Sunday, January 09, 2011

4 Year Old Sisterlocks...My Journey

This post is four years in the makings. So I guess I have to work on it for several days to make sure I convey all there is to say about my Sisterlocks and my musings on life. (I did work on it for 4 days). When I began this journey, I was excited about the possibilities and I embarked on this path with lots of information I scoured during my research and I stepped out on faith. I was prepared for those who thought I was crazy to lock my hair or those who side-eyed me as I walked by trying to figure out what the hell my hair was doing. I have received wonderful compliments from the beginning and a few not so great statements as well. When I began this journey I purposely stated I was not my hair, and you know what, I am not. I wasn’t that way four years ago and I surely am not now.

It was tough in the beginning with my hair due to slippage, braiding and banding and the awful flakiness that comes with the cold season. But I was in love with my hair then. Now, I like my hair but, hold onto your pearls, I ain’t loving it these days. Everyone around me loves it, but I think it is mostly because I have this length now that they all crave. I am ready to give up the length for stronger, thicker and sturdier locks.

Let’s talk about my regiment.

Since it is winter, I have to moisturize my hair at least every other day. This means a spritz of jojoba/water mixture, Sisterlock Moisture Spray or peppermint oil/water mixture before bed. My locks are drier in the winter than any other season so I have to moisturize.

I have to wash every other week during this time of year because no matter how much I oil my scalp with jojoba oil, the flakiness can and will get out of control if I don’t wash more frequently. Oh, and I am still braiding and banding. When I first started this SL journey, someone commented on the blog that they could feel my anguish in having to wash my hair. Guess what? I still hate washing my damn hair. Even with the few times I haven’t band and braided, washing my hair is a damn chore, which I still hate. I dread it. Really I do. No amount of time can make me love washing my hair and with this length, please. Ever washed your hair and it is still damp 2 days later? Ugh, I can’t stand it. And you know what, I blow dry or sit under the dryer before I even roll, braid or twist my hair. And then it still isn’t dry. That blows chunks. I used to think about Brunsli and others who stated their hair would take hours and hours under the damn drier to be completely dry. Now I understand fully. Why do I still braid and band? Because it is easier for me to get to my scalp completely and when I asked my consultant last year about stopping this task, she would not give me a definitive answer. When I have washed without braiding and banding, my hair is just not as clean as I like it, go figure. Maybe I should try a new shampoo. I still use SL shampoos and conditioners. I use a clarifying shampoo every two months or so.

After I wash my hair and semi-dry it, I have to figure out how I am going to style it because my hair is nothing without a style. It must be crinkled or curled or something or my hair is a hot mess. I need a minimum of 24 hours for it to work, because usually some of the hair in the back is still damp. My style usually lasts until I shampoo again.

I still sleep in a loc sock with my hair in a pineapple to keep the curls and such. No biggie here. And if I am not going anywhere fancy I do go out with my locks braided up or twisted up.

I retighten my hair every 3 or 4 weeks. Sometimes sooner, but never later because later could mean a lost lock for me. My hair grows fast. No really fast. My roots loosen up within a week, mostly because of my workout, but also due to growth. It takes me about 5 hours to do the front and 5 hours to do the back. I do my hair over two days. I have to be in the mood to do it and I have to be patient because if I don’t therein lies the possibility of lost locks. I still accidently marry them together every now and again, which usually sets off a round of curses and sometimes tears of frustration. I have combined many of my locks due to thinning roots to make the beds stronger. Sometimes this works, other times I lose two locks. My parts are no longer wonderful, they are still good but I no longer have over 500 locks and frankly I don’t care. Really I don’t - more locks means more time needed to retighten. I have to do spot checks for retightening every so often because can’t have too much slippage/growth.

So as you can see my regimen is boring, boring, boring. I don’t do anything spectacular. I have put in a rinse for my locks in the back that have so much lint in them they are disgusting, but other than that nothing awesome or grandiose has been done to my hair.

I am hoping to get in with my consultant this year and get a grooming/correcting/cutting and retightening done. It is time. I know folks are tripping over the fact I want to cut my hair, but with the summer we had last year and the fact I work out, locks are heavy and hot. I ain’t feeling that. Plus, I like my hair shorter and I just feel the longer the locks get, the heavier they get then the more strain on my roots they become. I could be wrong, who knows?

I love the ability to walk out in the rain and not worry my hair is going to turn back. I love being able to just sleep on my head, because when I was wearing a perm I slept on my arms, my hair never touched a pillow. I love being able to put my hair up in a ponytail. I love when the curls or crimps cooperate and my hair is truly the business. I love having to move my hair out of the way when I give folks hugs. I can even do a flip of the hair when I want to. I love the smell and feel of my hair after a fresh wash and conditioning. I love looking at my cousin who thought I was wearing a weave even in 2010, when I have told her 50 million times it is my damn hair! Sometimes I like that my hair is the topic of conversation. However…

If I could do it all over again there would be two things I would change. One, my locks would be larger all over. Seriously, I would. I don’t blame my consultant or anyone for that, because you don’t know until you have lived with your hair. The pattern was on target, but because my hair is so many textures, my locks didn’t swell in many places, um some haven’t even locked completely yet, those locks are just plain fragile and if they were a bit bigger they would be stronger. Oh, I learned to use the stray hairs around the locks to build up the foundation of them, but it would be a whole lot easier if they were just bigger. Me being allergic to the majority of blood pressure meds which were affecting my hair didn’t help either. However the lost locks are not visible to anyone but me, because I know when I lost them and how I lost them. The second thing I would change is I would have lived with my natural hair for at least a year so I could get to know all its differing textures. Really I would.

Funny thing about Sisterlocks that even though I can go out in the rain with them, have you ever been out, like to a bar or club with them? SweetMaryJosephJesus! Seriously, I have been known to opt out of outings of this nature because the damn smoke or smell will be in my hair when I leave. When I cruised with the family, I was like I can’t be in the club long; once the smokers start I am done. I recently went to this bar here and it is a nice little place, but you should have seen my ass grabbing my stuff and asking the person I was with to walk me to my car when the crowd started coming and the cigarettes and cigars started smoking up the place. I wasn’t in my car 2 seconds before I felt the beginning of tears. No really. No seriously. I knew I was going to have to wash my hair when I got home. I was just devastated. Least you forget, I hate washing my hair. I wasn’t mad because I had a good time, but I knew washing my hair wasn’t going to make for a great late night. When I let my friend know I was home I was like, “I should have brought your ass home with me to help wash my hair, geez!” They laughed and mention the Prince song, If I Was Your Girlfriend.

After 4 years, I like my Sisterlocks; I am just not in love with them. Maybe with some more therapy and my hair being healthier overall things will change. I knew this journey would not be easy and I knew there would be times I would be angry about the jagged path I was on, but really my locks have helped me learn so much about myself. It made life easier when I needed it to be. Frankly, Sisterlocks allows me to enjoy my life with locks and being natural. My hair has come a long way in 4 years…let’s see how much farther we can go…

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At 4:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy Locversary!!!!! Your locs are so long and beautiful!!!

I know exactly how you feel though about wanting to cut or join your locs. My consultant always shushes me when I mention I would like to join all my locs. I know they would no longer be Sisterlocks but I would like to give thicker locs a try.

I also agree with you about the washing. When my locs were shorter, I washed, towel dried, and my locs air dried within hours. I have to wash my locks weekly b/c of my dry scalp/eczema which totally bites. Doesn't it tick you off when you meet someone who can go w/o washing their hair for over a month & it not stink or be flaking or itching?

Sisterlocks is one of the best decisions I've made in my life & I really love my hair but I think now that I've surpassed my longest length & the newness of having locs has worn off, wanting to try something different is fine by me.

I know this was a long comment but I wanted to let you know I definitely understand what you're going through.

At 12:19 PM, Blogger Cashana said...

Meikmeika - I am glad someone can empathize with me. I have tried to give the good and the bad of the whole SL without having this negative feel on this blog. Although the newness has worn off and such, I still like my hair and still take pride in the decision I made to get them.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger rmcandlelight (nailsbeautiqued) said...

I'm a new follower!

Congrats on your 4 years!! Sisterlocks are wonderful aren't they. If I'd known that they were this easy I would have locked sooner in life. Lol! It's been 3 years for me and I tell you it's total freedom :D

At 9:48 AM, Blogger Cashana said...

Welcome to the blog. And congratulations on your SL's as well.

At 6:24 PM, Blogger Lovin Natural said...

Your locks are beautiful and your writing about them is hilarious! I read the blog 3 times cause I enjoyed it so much. There is definitely a love and sometimes hate relationship going on. I'm in the beginning of my journey and I look forward to the drama. LOL! Wishing you the very best. Peace and Blessings.

At 8:32 PM, Blogger Cashana said...

Lovin Natural, welcome to the blog. I am glad I was able to entertain you with my love and sometimes hate moments with my locks. Everyone's journey is not the same and yours may be easier and filled with a lot less drama. At least that is what I hope will happen for you. Keep checking back, I am always writing blog worthy fodder.


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Disclosure: Just so we are all clear any opinions or thoughts made on this blog or site are my own. Comments and statements from third parties may or may not be the opinion of Cashana Musings. I do not get paid to write book reviews or reviews of products or services. All reviews are based solely off my opinion as Cashana of Cashana's Musings. While I may receive review copies of books and even products or services they in no way influence my writing. All items that were received by me for review are disclosed as such. All advertising is in the form of advertisements generated by a third party ad network. Currently, we do not do advertisements.