Wow! It's been a LONG time. I really have no excuse except that life gets crazy sometimes and you just lose track of time. Either way, I'm back and boy do I have pictures! So here's what I'm going to do...
This was the length when I first got to Japan.
My alter ego. (Mutsuko Fujii)
I curled my hair quite a bit while I was over there. It was (and is) a good look.
Kimono photo shoot in Japan. And yes, that bun is real. ;-)
(That bun was done by one of my Japanese girlfriends. I was pleasantly surprised with her expertise.)
Back in the States!
New York during the summer. (This is one of my old stand-by hair styles).
While in Chicago a couple months ago.
Me and this fish have the same forehead, lol.
Rocking a cute up-do.
This is a very recent picture of me. I love how it shows off my natural highlights.
So that's where we are today. Can't say that every day is perfect, but I can say that I am pretty happy with my hair most of the time. Unfortunately, I have had to cut (sometimes rip) a few tips off because of dryness and some strands being too thin midway through the lock. Sometimes locks were being held together by 3 or 4 strands of hair. It's a terrible feeling to have to do that, but it had to be done. I would say that I've done that about 6 or 7 times over the past couple of months since I've been back from Japan. The only reason I can think of for why that happened was because maybe I didn't take care of my hair like I should have during certain stages in my life and so it's easy to see that years later. For the most part, though, my hair is forgiving and there are more and more things that I can do with it now that I've gotten some length. It's been 3 years now (come January 17th it will be 4 years) and I'm not going to lie . . . occasionally I think about taking these locks down. But everyone advises against it and to be honest, I don't think I'd be ready to deal with "free range" hair again. So I'm going to ride this lock thing on out - as long as I possibly can. And when/if the time ever comes to chop'em off, I plan on growing out a fro and then lopping off the locks at the tip. I'm not about all that bald stuff. I have patience, lol.
So I've experimented with a bunch of different looks, but I mainly find myself wearing my hair in a ponytail most days. I try to keep my hair covered throughout the day and that helps to seal in moisture as well as protect it from lent (which my hair is a lent magnet). I don't retwist as often as I used to and have found styles that help me to go without twisting for a while. For example, I like to wash my hair, condition, moisturize, put plaits all over my head and then blow them dry. After this, I wrap a satin scarf around my head and go to bed. The next day when I take out the plaits, my hair is soft and wavy. It looks pretty-much like the style that I had in the last picture. Simple and a little - I dunno - "free spirit" looking, lol. But hey! I love it. And it works for me. That's one of the things that I find about locks. You really have to find what works for you and once you do, you will truly be as beautiful as you feel.
Either way, I am loving my locks and loving my life. I hope you are doing the same!