Monday, December 22, 2008

People Who Better Not Say NUTHIN' Bout My Hair

Okay, I'll just get to the point. You know what really "burns my cookies"? When a guy gives an opinion about a woman's (particularly a Black woman's) hair. And I don't mean saying, "oh, I like your hair" or anything like that. Example time! Back in the day, I used to have this roomate that wanted every *BW to go natural. And while this was a noble plight, his thinking was very, very jaded. He would ask any and every BW with long hair if they were wearing a weave and if they weren't, he would congratulate them. If they were wearing a weave, he would put them down. If they were wearing a perm he'd explain that while BW aren't able to grow their hair very long, that doesn't mean that they should conform by trying to straighten out what little length they do have.

Okay, wait...what?!

Now on the other hand, around that time, I was dating a new guy. About a month before we made our relationship official, I permed my hair. He told me that if I went back to natural, he would leave me. Said jokingly, but still a very fu... , I mean jacked up statement to make on his part. He said that natural hair didn't look right. If I was having a bad hair day and wanted to sport a cute head scarf, he was very much against it. He said it looked too ethnic or whatever, I was a long time ago. He thought my weaves and extensions were nice looking, but teased me about them occasionally. (He didn't know that I was wearing these as protective styles, because I was gradually going back to natural, and leaving his dumbass-oops, I cursed).

So with these stories, I make the point that the people who were the most judgemental. That had the most to say about how I (or other BW) should wear my/our hair are always the same ones who don't know anything about how to deal with "our hair". (Oh yeah, and the first dude-my roomate...was Hispanic) I can understand an opinion. Liking or disliking a hair style. But judging a person based on their hair is especially bothersome to me, and even moreso when it is done by a guy. Black men especially, because they can feel particularly self righteous as if they are the ultimate authority on Black women in general.

Hair is sensitive to us. Why? Because it is a struggle that only a BW would know. Hell, we have the most fragile kind of hair known to man. So, I try to keep the judgement down to a minimum. LOL, except for when it comes to this chick hehe, joking. Having experienced our kind of hair, I have a certain amount of respect for the challenges we face, having to overcome the traditional standard of beauty every day. Hours of research, care and maintenance. Finding a hair routine that is simple and effective. Finding a hairdresser that is good at her job. These are pains we take in order to look good, feel good, and (yes, I'll admit it) to please our boyfriends/husbands/partners.

I guess it just peeves me because I'm a strong believer that Black women have it hard enough as it is. We're hard on ourselves, and when society isn't completely ignoring/dismissing us, they are hard on us too. On top of that, we have our "brothers" (some who mean well) throwing out insensitive comments that end up hurting women and adding to the complexes most of us already have. Imagine if I wasn't a confident, self-aware person. My ex-boyfriend would have really made me believe that my hair in its natural state was ugly. Or my roomate, telling someone that is wearing a weave that THEY are a fake person. Two men, very different opinions, both wrong on so many levels. This is the kind of judgement that a lot of BW have internalized and walk around carrying.

One more point and then I'm done:
A big one that I hear is the argument about BW wearing rollers while in the grocery store, as if that woman is a bad person or someone with low self esteem. How about that woman is busy? Granted, I don't do this, probably because I rarely wear rollers. And yes, I'll admit that I try to look a certain way when I go out whether it be to the grocery store or to the gym. But I don't pass down judgement on someone who is wearing roller sets or a scarf. I just assume that they have somewhere to go later on and want to look sharp. One day, a looong time ago, I was in an emergency situation prior to a big event and had to run to the cornerstore ( yes...curlers, scarf and all). You should have seen the nasty looks I got from the men folk. It was unbelievable. The women, didn't seem to mind so much. They all gave knowing glances with the "I feel you girl" grin. I was in "getter done mode" so I didn't pay too much attention to the self righteous attitudes of my "brothers" the same brothers, mind you that would be trying to holla at a sistah at the event a few hours later. It was interesting how quick the judgement was passed in the stop n' shop, but everybody was winking and grinning at the banquet hall.

Sooo in conclusion, brothers...if any of you read this. Probably not. Probably just talking to myself anyway. Every time you go to an event and see a fine looking woman, with nice hair, makeup and dress; remember that she may have been the very same chick in the store with the rollers and 'house shoes.' LOL And in seriousness, every time you are about to say or even think something about a woman that may be wearing their hair in a way that is not to your liking remember the hangups that she probably has had to deal with throughout life. The work it takes to have to deal with her hair everyday, in whatever state it is in. And remember that whatever you might decide to let come out of your mouth, may do more hurt than good. And nobody needs that. Any ladies care to weigh in?

*BW stands for Black Woman (or women depending on the context). I write that word way too many times in this article for me to be spelling it out.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oil ain't so bad ode to EVOO

I had a pretty good experience not too long ago that I would like to share with y'all. It kind of counter balances my previous post about how certain types of hair (extra thick, course hair like mine) needs a cream or lotion to keep it hydrated and moisturized. On the other hand, oil serves it's purpose as well. Warning: detailed hair washing regimen ahead... Couple days ago, I washed my hair with the desert essence shea butter hydrating shampoo & conditioner mentioned a few posts ago...
I did a deep condition using the desert essence conditioner mixed with about a half cup of olive oil, wrapped my head in a bag and used a blow dryer to heat up the concoction. (Remember kids, the objective is not to dry your hair or blast it with heat, it's just a way of getting all that moistur-ey goodness to seep into your hair and scalp so use medium heat or a low pressure.) Kind of like a steam job.

So, I washed that stuff out, towel dried the hair enough for it to be damp and drippy (rather than soaking wet) and decided not to retwist using my usual mango lime locking gel.

Which smells really really goood, but I've been on a 'no residue' kick lately, and I'll get into that later. Instead, I decided to retwist with some good ole' fashioned EVOO.

The whole time I was doing this, I was thinking to myself that my hair is not going to hold as well with oil. But I finished retwisting (which has become increasingly easier, since I am already locked up-aaand, I got a little help from the boyfriend ;-) I blew the hair dry with my blowdryer, (set on medium heat) and not only did they manage to hold, but they hung straight and did not leave any residue at all, except a beautiful shine.
Oil was very important back in my permie days because it gave me length, as well as shine and added a little weight to my hair without product buildup. I must have forgotten that, because I was really shocked when I finished blow drying my hair after retwisting with oil and ended up with hair that laid down a bit more and had a smoother texture, rather than a fluffy texture (which dries out quicker). There was no residue at all and I actually felt the hair on the back of my neck, slightly touching my shoulders a little bit. I wonder if my hair would have turned out a little more cylindrical if I'd have done this from the start. But I don't want to think about that...lalalala! (Places fingers in ears and shakes head)
I feel like my scalp is an indicator that tells me how I'm holding up in the moisture department, and it was feeling itchy lately (meaning it was dry). But not lately. When I feel my scalp and the hairs close to it, everything is pretty soft. So all is good in the neighborhood. I would not advise this to anyone who is in the process of locking, because I don't know if it will work as well...but then again give it a try anyway, who knows? Either way, it's a great way to keep the moisture in your scalp and hair sealed up.
Now the only problem is...what do I do with all those extra containers of mango lime locking gel?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Hair is a Sponge

So another day in the land of locks and I'm easing on down the yellow-brick road, like the Wiz. No complaints. In 38 days it will be my one year loc-aversary and I'm trying to figure out what I'm going to do with myself...but that's all the way in Emerald City for now, so I have some time to sit in the poppy fields and figure that one out.

Why the Wizard of Oz references? (Screaming) Because I look like a mother freaking scarecrow! (Awkward pause) That's why!!! (Throws empty beer bottle against wall) Damnit!

I'm sooo joking, lol. Just in a rambling mood today. But onto business. I haven't been moisturizing my hair like I should, henceforth, the scarecrow reference and the handy and very dandy, wool-knit hair net I am wearing today. (I know, I know...'foo on you, should be moisturizing your head!') I'll be honest. My days have been a toss up between being really really busy with work and running errands or really really lazy at home. So last night, right before bed, I made a weak attempt to fix the problem. I smoothed some oil into my hair real quick (knowing good and well that won't do a thing for my hair, except give it sheen) and tied a scarf on.

Which leads me to my next little blurb. My hair is a sponge and unless I moisturize with a thick hair cream or cowash (which for me means, wash with conditioner), oil does absolutely nothing for me, except give me a temporary shine. I think I've been fooling myself for some time, thinking that all I need is more oil and more oil. When truth is, if I don't wash or moisturize with a cream first, it doesn't matter. Before I locked up, my hair would get so dry sometimes it would sound like a crackling fireplace. HEY! You know what? Maybe the scarecrow reference WAS right on. (Straw is a kind of sponge.)

Oil alone works for some people. The "oil and go" crowd, so to speak. But not for me. The longer I wear locks, the more I realize that the hair on my head has the same personality as I do. It's different (not like anybody else), it means well, but it will not conform at all. Sometimes, I wish it would but I'm sure there are people out there that wish that I would conform too. When I wore it in a perm, it broke the permed hair in a subtle way, continually pushing through. There was no mistaking my hair texture. The more I tried to cover it up, the thicker and stronger it became until I had no choice but to let it be.

Since I'm talking about what kind of hair I have, I might as well mention that I looked up Andre Walker's hair types to see what category I fall under a couple weeks ago. I didn't post about it because when I saw that there were only 4 choices that I would be picking from (Straight, wavy, curly and kinky) it was a no brainer. I have thick, nappy hair. Um, no kidding...thanks Andre. But I added the site here and there are a bunch of links to different products (good for kinky hair) at the bottom of the page. I'm not much of a product junky, but I like the names...curly custard and whipped pudding. Makes me hungry, mmm. lol

To tell you the truth, I like the LOIS system, because it shows you how to look at your hair and find out it's exact pattern. I haven't done this yet, but I plan on doing it sometime soon. So check it out if you haven't already tried it.

And for good measure, I will give you the recipe to my little hair concoction that's in the spray bottle these days.

What you'll need:

1 8 oz. spray pump bottle (of course)
1 cup pantene relaxed and natural conditioner (looove how this smells)
1/8 cup olive oil
1 tbs glycerin oil
Mix ingredients, pour (or funnel) into the container. Spray and go. Coat with oil afterwards for shine or to lock in the moisture (if your hair is anything like mine).

That about it! Now, ease on down ease on down the roooad!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Nothing significant. Just an update. Took all the crap out of my hair and uh, back to the same ole same. I'm going to be honest. I've been kind of bored with the locs lately. Still too short to do some of the things I would like to do and the things that I can do require a whole lot of time and a whole lot of bobby pins. I want to try something different, but I don't think my motor skills are right for braiding hair at the back of my head like some people seem to be able to do. Anywhoo...that's my depressing little update.

I think it has more to do with my working all of the time than with my hair really. I just need a break, but with the current economy a sistah has to scrimp up as many duckets as possible and stop worrying about being creative and different with the tresses. And if that means throwing my hair into an updo everyday or wearing it all lose and wild with no rhyme or reason, then so be it.

(pictures coming)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lisa Nutter's Locks

I am a starer...a person who stares a lot. If you are an interesting looking person or a person wearing locks, I will stare you the hell down. I will watch you like a hawk while you walk into a room and I will stare at your face and/or the back of your head until you leave the room. Yes it's uncomfortable to the person being stared at but it's something that I cannot control, so I've learned to be discreet with my eye stalking behavior. One person that I was REALLY looking forward to staring at (from a hidden location) the other day was Lisa Nutter, wife of Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. She has beautiful, long, thick locks that compliment her dark exotic features. Mrs. Nutter attended the award show on Monday, along with Ms. Sonia Sanchez and CCH Pounder (other natural hair/lock wearers I was planning on staring down.) Of course, Mrs. Nutter decided to leave the show early. Maybe someone warned her about me. :-(

I did get a chance to glance at the back of her head once or twice, though. Le Sigh!'s some pictures of the woman.

Oh and for some really close pictures of her locks click this link. I included this post because I think that it is so cool to see women from different backgrounds and lifestyles rocking such an ethnic and strong look. For the split second that I was staring down the back of her head, I noticed some things...

1. That Mrs. Nutter has chunky tips and her locks aren't completely cylindrical...just like a certain someone I know who was stressing out about it a couple posts ago.

2. She dyed some of her hair (I believe it was her tips) a honey brown color.

3. Even though this was a formal event, she wore her hair down and it looked really nice.

So that's it.

And as a bonus...Sonia Sanchez and CCH Pounder

Isn't that picture behind Sonia Sanchez awesome?!

These women ROCK!!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Check out my new do!

I have been working as an Assistant Producer on an award show in Philadelphia for the past couple months.  It has been an exhausting project (as reflected by my few and far between postings) but it all came to an end yesterday.  Being that this was a big event, equipped with celebrities and dressed up rich people, I wanted my hair to be perfect.  I asked my sister to do something with my locs.  She was the one who did my hair for the model shoot a while ago.  The thing with my sister is that she always uses weaves (which isn't a big deal) but she always makes the hair a little extra flamboyant (which means a whole lot of weave and a whole bunch of craziness sitting on my head.)  I usually end up taking what she does and turning it into a bun (like in the model pics) in order to tone it down.  In my head, I consider myself edgy and risky, but realistically, I'm a conservative prude that doesn't like to push the envelope.   So for the big event, my sister did this...

A long a**, unbeweavable ponytail.

And I turned it into this...

...a conservative (slightly big a**) bun.

(Try to ignore my bare feet-I can't help it, I'm from the country)

here's the back of the head, in case you cared
As you can see, she tightened the locs and then braided them which kind of creates intricate designs on my head.  It's really interesting to look at.  I've received a lot of comments about it since I started wearing it like this.

I wore it in a bun for an event the night before the award show.  I was very impressed with how I looked after applying some much needed makeup and decided that I'd get brave and wear it down the next day.

So here's how your girl looked the day of the award.

So I guess this is my way of saying, Thank you twin sister for a job well done.  I was skerred at first, but overall she gave me a great hairdo.  And I got A LOT of compliments as a testament to that.  I would have never thought to do this to my hair, but damnit...she had a vision, she followed through and I'm glad she did.  Somebody's gotta break me out of my box.

So thanks Sis, for making me look like this...

And they say locks are not diversable...(yes, that's a homemade word!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Loaded Hair Questions - Your hair is nice!!! Is it real?

Lawd, I'm so

I have been working some really long hours lately, so a sistah has been tired.  And boy did I look it yesterday.  Let me just say that I did not retwist my hair in three washes and it looked like I was sporting a mini afro with some dred locks sticking out.  And then I had the nerve to try to squeeze that abomination into a ponytail and pop on a nappy bun.  LOL, it was a HOT MESS.  But sometimes you have to look like crap.  It's a part of life.  I wish I had a picture to show yall, but I took the hair down before I remembered I wanted to capture this bad hair day on film.

Anywhoo... I washed, retwisted last night and tah dah.  

Here I am today.  

I did a cute little behive type, updo thing today (trying to make up for yesterday) and it was REALLY cute.  But again, I forgot to capture the moment on film.  So I will have to do it again one day and post up a pic.


Have you ever told someone that their hair was really nice and then followed up with, "is it real?"  I'll let you think about that.

I haven't done that before, but that's because I think it's really rude.  I haven't been asked too many of these types of nosey questions lately because I am wearing locs now and my hair is short, but I used to get these kinds of questions all the time when I wore braids or a perm.  I noticed that Black women and men for that matter could not possibly give me a compliment about my hairstyle without verifying whether my hair was "real" or synthetic, sew in or glued, box perm or professional or whatever.  Maybe it's just me, but I would get these kinds of questions from Black people in front of anyone at any time.  I call them loaded hair questions because you never know how to answer them.  Of course, I was always honest, but how do you tell someone that they are being inappropriate?

This reminds me of another story.  I had an acquaintance in college that was famous for asking me loaded hair questions every time she saw me.  And if I didn't answer her quick enough or if I gave her the "stop blowing up my spot" look, she would literally put her fingers into my hair to feel for a weave.  All of my friends thought I was crazy.  "Oh, she's so nice." "She wouldn't do anything like that."  And then, while at some event in the student center at my school, I see her talking to a close friend of mine.  My friend throws a glance in my direction that lets me know that homegirl just said something messed up.  When she walks away, my friend (her name is Tiffany) says that their conversation went like this.

Tiffany:  Hey (blank)!
Innapropriate Girl:  Hey Tiff!  I love your hair!
Tiffany:  Thanks!
Innapropriate Girl: (all smiles) Is that a box perm?  
Tiffany: Um, yeah.
Innapropriate Girl:  Oh (pause) I can tell.  I remember when I used to get box perms.

(I guess that's when my girl threw me the sideways glance that said, "you were right.  she is an asshole").

I got my hair permed twice, once while a junior in high school and another time as a junior in college and both times while transitioning back I wore my hair in braided extensions.  I wore braids every day for a whole year one of these times and I'll never forget a guy coming up to me...someone I never really spoke to beyond casual greeting.  He says "how long is your real hair?" I looked at him for a minute, because I didn't know how to answer his thinly disguised loaded hair question.

So I tell these stories because I think everyone's experienced something like this before.  And I just want to know how other people respond to that kind of stuff.  I see so many black women, regular people, actresses, singers, professionals, students, all types wearing their hair in a vast array of styles so I think to myself...they must be getting these kinds of questions too, or asking them.

And don't think that you are escaping it by wearing locks, because there are plenty of lock extensions out there and I have already been asked if I was wearing some.

Okay do you answer a loaded hair question?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Brainwash Myself

Yes, you heard me right.  I have been in my little low moods as of late, and even considered . . . (I'm so ashamed to say it) taking down my locks and starting over.  There!  I said it.  But this happens from time to time and cooler heads prevailed as usual.  So I decided to continue trudging forward and resort to utilizing my brainwashing regimen.  Youtube.  I watch these videos over and over again.  Listening to the music and seeing beautiful locks and listening to the journeys of women like myself.  I figured that I would share these videos with you all, so that if you are having an off day (like moi) it gives you the boost you may need to keep going...

I feel better already!!! :-)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Chunky Knotty Lock Tips

Hi all...

I figured my hair is long enough and I needed to do something different. So I popped a few curlers on the head and here we are...

The curl didn't stay too well at all...(as you can see) since I had to take the curlers out really early in the morning. But I rocked it anyway.

The next day I curled it again and it was waaay tighter...and looked a little funny, so I pinned it up and was very flattered with the outcome.

So I washed my hair two days ago. And after washing with the shampoo and oiling it up, I am always very pleased with how soft and conditioned my hair feels, but several days later, it's back to dry and stiff (no matter how much I oil). And I oil a lot kids. So this time after washing and retwisting and drying, I oiled it down one last time and wrapped it in my favorite satin scarf. When I woke up the next morning and removed the scarf my hair felt really nice and conditioned. So I've decided that I am going to keep a scarf on my head for the rest of my life...joking. :-) But I will try to cover my head a little more than usual, to lock in the moisture. I don't do that enough.

Anywho...I have been getting these locs that bunch up at the ends. It's horrible. My loc will be a nice size all the way around, but the tip will be fat and round. Almost like the tip has rolled up and locked into itself. It's frustrating. I have found myself combing out the loc and retwisting, which leaves the tip looking completely different. I'm trying to figure out whether I should leave it like this or continue to take a comb and get to combing the knots off until I have a head full of half way done locs. I've even considered cutting the tip off altogether. My family says it's not noticeable, and they're right, but it still bothers me. Maybe I should just let it grow and hope it straightens out.
Has anyone experienced this? If so, what did you do?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

It's not easy being naturally me...

So I woke up this morning, took off the headwrap and rustled my locks around in my fingers the way I always do. After brushing the teeth and washing the face, I checked myself out for a little bit and really liked what I saw. Not that I don't usually, but most mornings I have what I like to call "bad morning face." Not this morning, however. The face was not swollen; the eyes were not puffy and the hair looked ESPECIALLY on point. Every lock was going in the right direction. It even looked a lil bit longer. I checked out the back of my head with a mirror. The kitchen was on point too. Well alll riiiighht! I thought to myself in the most Jay-Jay Walker, dy-no-mite, casanova of the ghetto voice. I decided to wear my hair down at work, which I never do. Most times, I pin it up in an up-do or stick on a ponytail because I have nosey coworkers that I like to keep guessing.

So anywho, I put on the designer shades, a black neck scarf and my favorite pair of skinny jeans and mozied off to the job. And let me tell you, my coworker gave me the most back handed compliment. "Your hair is..." (long pause) "...growing!"
My hair was not nice. My hair was not cute. It was just
 growing. Like a tumor. Then she says, "Don't worry girl, my hair was in that stage too." For those who don't get what that stage means...she's referring to the infamous, "ugly stage" of dreadlocs. (My coworker has long, beautiful locks. Just to give you some back story.)

Now, I did not stop her gibberish (as my best friend would call it, lol). I let her continue to hear her own voice and when she finished eating her foot, I went to the bathroom to double check. Maybe at some point, my hair decided to do something strange that I was not aware of. Maybe it was sticking up on the top of my head, like in my beginner days. Maybe I was mistaken this morning, because the last time I checked, I could have sworn I looked fabulous. But in a moment of doubt...I had to check myself, cause Lawd knows I've had some days where I thought I had it going on and I didn't.

So when I glanced in the mirror, this gorgeous looking diva was staring back at me. 

Phew! I thought to myself. She was just hatin' on a sistah! I thought it was me for a second.


Yeah, she was trippin!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I don't have the face for that!

One of the statements that I hear the most from Black women when they see my hair is, "Your hair is sooo nice" followed by, "I wish I could do that!" And my reply is always, "you can." To which they say, "I can't pull that off" or "I don't have the face for that." Now there is a pattern with this comment because these women are almost always one of these things...

#1- very attractive

#2- very intelligent

#3- very permed up

These are strong, confident Black women that hold management positions at their jobs. Women that make important decisions for their companies every day. These women make fashionable wardrobe choices with a self awareness that allows them to mix and match colors and styles to accentuate the right curves and hide the wrong ones. These women are (as the over-used Tyra Banks expression goes) fierce! And they're telling lil' ole eccentric, neurotic, nerdy, goofy, peon me that they're not bold enough to wear their own hair the way it grows out of their scalp.

Now I talked to the beau about it this morning and we got into a heavy discussion. We talked about dealing with peer pressure as children and the negative images of natural hair and how this causes us to hold negative images of ourselves as adults and so on and so forth.

But I guess the conundrum for me is why women in their thirties and forties who "got it going on" think that they would suddenly look like a gorilla if they decided to wear their hair natural. Now I have seen some rough looking ladies in my day, and let me tell you...a perm, a weave, or a dye job is not going to change how many teeth you have. A bump n' curl is not going to eliminate a weak eye or a slumping forehead. In other words, you don't have to have a certain face to wear a perm so why do people think that you have to have a certain face to wear natural hair?

It makes me think that they are seeing natural hair as a bold fashion move, like a gorgeous runway model striding down the catwalk in a trendy yet slightly bizarre outfit. It's a little extreme, but only someone like her could pull that off. First off, it's not extreme. And second, I'm far from a runway model (and I'm rockin this look, damnit! ;-)

Now I take it as a compliment when people say that I have "the face" to pull off natural hair, but it also saddens me a little bit. It helps me to understand that the person who made the comment doesn't think that they have the right face for their own God given hair.

And when I think about it, I've NEVER in my life seen a woman that wore her hair natural who "didn't have the face" for it. It always seems to suit that person. I've seen some women who are not suited well by relaxers, however. Women with awkward bangs or brittle, slicked down ponytails that don't compliment their beautiful features. And sometimes, I think to myself, "That woman would look really nice with a twist out or braided french roll." The idea would be preposterous to these women, I'm sure.

"I don't have the face for that," they'd probably say.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

An update...several months later

Yesterday officially marked my eight month anniversary and guess what else?  I went out and bought a new Mac computer so hopefully I can upgrade the pictures and actually add videos in order to give myself (and anyone who reads this) a better way to see the progress I've made.  About the has grown some (not much) but enough to see a difference.  Here's some pictures...
I've been covering my head at night with my homemade satin hair cover.  It matches the homemade pillow.
This really helps the hair to stay smooth and soft at the roots.  As far as the lock itself, it's hard to keep it looking silky and smooth unless you have a really fine texture of hair to begin with.  But then again, maybe I'm wrong because I saw a White dude the other day with locs and his hair looked thicker and shaggier than mine.  I had to do a double take.  

As my hair locks it looks dry, even though it's not.  In reality, it's fluffy and kind of wooly I guess.  But imagine trying to make a sheep look like it has shiny wool...not going to happen.  So I don't expect to make my dreads look silky smooth.  Right now I am at that point where the hair thickens a little and is fat at the ends, but I heard that this is a phase and with maturity my hair will become more cylindrical.  I think it's getting there.  I have been washing my hair with some shampoo that I bought from Whole Foods last week.  It's called Hydrating Shea Butter Shampoo and Conditioner and it's made by a company called Desert Essence.  I love how it makes my hair feel (and I'd better at $10 a bottle!)  This stuff hydrates and anything that hydrates is good for me, because my hair absorbs water like a sponge.  As we all know it's really important for Black people (especially ones with really thick and kinky hair like mine) to keep their hair moisturized and hydrated.  FYI: Dry hair is not conducive to growth, and it also increases breakage and split ends.  This stuff gave my hair and scalp the same feeling that I get when I pretreat it with the natural oils that I mix up.  The ingredients say that it contains no alcohol and that everything is natural.  It also contains Ginkgo and Rosemary (in the shampoo) and Meadowfoam and Wheat Protein (in the conditioner).  Don't really know what the latter two are, but I'll look them up.  

I have also been massaging my head with this oil that I got from Whole Foods.  It's called Almond Glow.  It's supposed to be used like a skin lotion, but I like all of the natural oils in the ingredients and it's lavender scented which is one of my favorite scents.  It contains peanut oil, olive oil, lanolin oil and vitamin E.  And it's light, which means no residue...which I will get into later.  It's also paraben free and even though I don't know what that means it sounds like a good thing too, lol.  So there tis!  My new easy to take care of hair regimen.  I rub the oil through my locs and go.

Now that my hair has locked up I don't have to re-twist half as much as I used to.  And it also has some weight to it which is great because it lays down now.  I was wearing it in an up-do a lot so that I could pleasantly surprise myself when I let my hair down and it had a little more length to it.  Of course I'd have to pull it down with my fingers, because when I took it out of the up-do, it would just stay up in the air gathered on top of my head.  But one day I let my hair loose and it actually dropped down when I released the clasp.  You should have saw my face, lol.  :-0  Yeah, it's a weird concept, but everyday is a nice little surprise.  For the most part, though, I've been wearing it down a lot more now.  I am loving this phase of my hair and every phase thus far.  My only regret is not doing it sooner.

That's it for now folks!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Happy 4 Month Anniversary

Hey everybody...I just realized that it's my four month anniversary. Not that it means anything, but I figured I'd do a quick blurb on my hair today. I've taken out the extensions and did a no-poo shampoo yesterday. I used herbal cleanse...I forget the brand name, but I'll post it up here as soon as I remember or see it. I didn't feel like going through the whole hair washing regimen and I figured that this would be a good time to try the no-poo.

My Take On No-Poo

A No-Poo or "dry shampoo" if you want to get technical, is kind of like using an anti-bacterial hand sanitizer on your hair. You squeeze the contents onto your scalp, wait one minute, and then rub it in with a towel. It is a clear gel that smells like alchohol mixed with a sorry excuse for a fragrance (well, mine does.) The boyfriend likes the smell...but what the -bleep- does he know? There's really nothing more to it than this, though. If you want to clean each twist/loc/braid individually, you put the gel onto the towel and rub it down the the hair you are cleansing, from root to tips.

I did this yesterday in sections as well as retwisted each loc with mango lime locking gel. The hair is looking tight (despite the fuzzies...we'll talk about that later), but I think I will have to end up doing a rinse because the problem with this kind of leave-in shampoo is the residue it leaves behind. Just like with anti-bacterial hand sanitizer, you are not rinsing this stuff out and although it dries quickly, it leaves the dead remains of whatever bacteria it has killed...that's right...on your scalp. Soooo, it's more convenient. It definitely gets the hair clean. But if you are meticulous (see: anal) like me, you are probably going to want to rinse and possibly even retwist. If not, you're still good to go. That's it for today.

I'll post up pictures of my frizzy, yet newly retwisted locs when I get a chance.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A Girl Can Dream, Right?!

So I did a photo shoot for a friend. Yes, me. He says that I have the perfect look for what he was going for (And let me tell you, that compliment did wonders for a sistah's ego :-)

For the photo sister added some extensions to my hair. She was not able to touch it up on the day of the photo shoot, but I tucked that bad boy into a bun and we did the model thing in the streets of Philadelphia wherever the photographer felt motivated to snap a picture. It was oh so natural! And the pictures turned out pretty great, I must say...

I'm quite proud of myself actually. The problem was taking that crap out of my hair. Actually, the crap is still in my hair. I kind of like it. And I wish my hair would grow already so that I can put it into a cute bun like the picture. Or so that I can wear it down.

So I've been walking around, perpitrating with a big-A bun on my head telling the people at church, "Yes! It's all mine." (Cause you know Black women will ask you in a heartbeat). I guess I forgot how childish and impatient I can be. But when it came time to take my hair down, I was immediately reminded.
I will take it out soon and come clean, I promise.


But that will be me one day!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Latch hooking, beeswax and a little profanity

Yeah, so I tried latch hooking.

First of all, let me explain and describe what a latch hook is in the first place. A latch hook is a hand-held tool consisting of a thin shaft with a hook on one end and a pivoting latch, used for drawing loops of yarn through canvas or similar material to make rugs and the like.
What makes this device perfect for tightening locks, is the pivoting latch. You put the hook through your twist or braid lock at the root. Next, you hook the end of your twist (or wrap it around...whatever, as long as it catches). Pull it back through the twist. If you continue tightens eventually. I guess it just depends on how loose your twist was in the first place. It sounds complicated, but I looked at the process once on youtube and two months later, picked up a latch hook and did it. Considering that my memory is like an etch-a-sketch...I would not have remembered and been able to execute this procedure 2 months later -mind you- if it was difficult.

My opinion on latch hooking. Great process, great way to tighten your locks for an extended period of time. Great! Great! Great! Will I use this method? No. Why not? It works too well. Such a permanent method wouldn't allow me the option of "taking down" my locs in the future if I decided that I wanted to take that course of action. I'd have to shave my head. Now I know that most people get locs with the intention of never taking them out but I try not to do anything that I can't undo. And to me, shaving my head should be an option, not a requirement (unless I have some kind of horrible disease or an outbreak of lice or something.)

Here's a picture of the latch hooked locs.
Granted, I did pull them up, they are still pretty tight on their own. I took this picture about 3 weeks after latch hooking some of my locs. The fact that you still see my scalp goes to show you that they have some serious staying power.

Now the issue of beeswax. I'll get straight to the point, I've been tempted to use the stuff. I know, I know...I shouldn't. It builds up, it's heavy, it leaves residue...but darnit! I'm getting desperate. Gel is fine, but once...just ONCE, I'd like to know what it feels like to redo my twists and have them actually look fresh the next day. Sigh! Call me crazy, but can I see my scalp every once in a while?! Huh? Pretty please?! @!$#%*? (She takes a deep breath and looks off into the sky wistfully).

Okay, I'm done.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

What's new?

Hey everybody! I know it's been a while, but I have been busy with some things. For example...

I just finished reading this ...

Hair Story, a book by Ayana Bird and Lori Tharps. You should read it too! This is a book about Black people and their hair. From our beginnings in Africa (as far as hair maintenance rituals) to the hair cair industry today.

Anywho...I have been twisting and washing, retwisting and washing some more.

<------Trying to do a model

These are pictures of me on several occasions of doing my new favorite thing to do (NOT!) retwisting my hmmm...locks(?) I guess they are still twists. They are in between so I guess I will call them tweenies :-).

This is my "You show is ugly" Color Purple picture

Okay, enough foolishness...I have officially found my new favorite way to condition my hair before washing. It's a mixture of two different homemade conditioners that I found on Here's what I do...

I mix 1/3 cup honey, 3 tablespoons olive oil, four drops of rosemary oil, and two eggs. Mix the ingredients and pour all over my head. Next I cover my head with a plastic bag covered by a warm towel and blow dry or don't blow dry (doesn't matter, as long as it's sitting there seeping into your scalp and pouring down the back of your neck, yuck!). After about twenty minutes, I wash the concoction out of my hair and I shampoo. Sometimes, after shampooing, I'll use a clarifying rinse like apple cider vinegar and water.
This is my favorite conditioner because it leaves my hair feeling really soft and moisturized. Also, the ingredients blend well and stimulate the's just all around nice. Warning: make sure to check through your hair a little, sometimes you may have to pick a piece of egg yolk out here and there. But it's worth it, trust me.

You know what? I really want to try the warm water, honey, lemon clarifying rinse but I'm skerred that I will just end up pouring sticky honey water into my hair. Does that sound crazy? (Don't answer that).

So that's been it, thus far. I don't see any changes in length, but everybody else says they do. And that's all that matters, right? (Don't answer that). I can fit my hair into a ponytail now. But I've never been into the teeny weeny pony tail, so I just sweep it up like this...

I think the braids in the back are cute and in a way, I get to showcase all of the hard work I put into retwisting my hair every week/week and a half.

So that's what's new. Oh, oh, oh...wait! I forgot to mention that I experimented with latch hooking. I will write about that tomorrow. I am actually thinking about trying some wax too. Don't know yet. I will write about that later too.

Until's some randomness...

My dog just graduated from puppy school.