Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Eighteen Months

Eighteen Months

The journey has been great so far. Over the past few months I've noticed that I
tend to keep my hands out of my hair when it's curled. And thus, I try to curl it as much as possible. I had another growth spurt over the past two months. Just when I thought my growth spurt was over the spring months, there goes mother nature at its best. Since my last entry I had another birthday.....39 and still getting younger (smile). I actually found a gray hair in my eyebrow...ugghhh!!! What's up with that?

Friday, July 14, 2006

Hot New UpDo!

Hello Everybody! I know I haven't updated in a while--please don't spank me. Whatcha think about my new do? Elaine (my consultant) and I decided to try this new style to help cool me off during these hot summer days. It may be hard to see in the pic but she flat-twisted it all the way around and let the crown "free-fall". I added the hair jewelry for some pizazz.

Wow, I can't believe I'm 15 months old this month (July). How many of us can remember when we were that age? So I guess I'm an official Sisterlock Toddler (smile). Oh, I recently mailed in my application to receive my birth certificate and other SL items. I'll try to do a better job in the future with posting.....still loving my journey!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

1 Year Anniversary!

Day After SL'd 4/15/2005

1 Year Locked After Coloring (Below)

Before Coloring
Happy 1 Year Anniversary (April 14)!

I finally made it to one year being SL. I can't believe time has passed so quickly! If you look closely, you can see one color. Elaine (consultant) clipped some more frizzy balls and trimmed some off my mature locks. Notably, I still have some very stubborn locks that just refuse to join in with the rest of the group. Thanks for all those who prayed for my health when I was in the hospital. It was really scary there for a moment. One benefit to being sick/hospital (it seems), my hair hit a growing phase, especially on my right side. So, I gather that my growing season is around the March/April/May timeframe.

Monday, March 27, 2006

11 Month Curl

11 Month Curl

I decided to try something different by curling my hair utilizing those Solar soft rollers. I can definitely see that I'm way past due for coloring. Thus, I plan to celebrate my one year Birthday/Anniversary (April 14, 2006) by having my consultant color my locs. If I look a little pale in the pics it is because I had "female" surgery a week ago and I'm just now starting to move around a little better.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

10 Months and Still Traveling..

Pic above was taken at 9 mo SL

I must apologize, these aren't the best photos. It's difficult to see the details of my locs. I have a hair clip on the left side and you cannot see my highlighted ends. I bought a new digital camera, and the golden rule remains the same, "you get what you pay for!" Not to fret, when I take my anniversary pics in two months, I'll be sure to use my Sony digital camera to capture the full effect. I can't believe it's been ten months into my journey. While I admit, there have been some rough periods and frustrations with my hair; overall, I have no regrets and I'm still in love with SL! I think most of my frustrations were due to the expectations I envisioned of my hair at this point in my journey. I envisioned a longer and more even length all around. My sides have grown extremely long, while the back and top seem to be in a resting phase. It makes for difficult styling at times.

For those considering SLs, the best piece of advice I could ever give you is to have "patience". I've discovered that the hair on my sides and crown is resistant to locing! Last month my consultant trimmed the locs in the back and a little on the sides; cutting off the balls at the end of my locs to give it a neater appearance. She stated that because of the "suspect texture" on my crown, she wasn't sure if the crown was ready to be trimmed. As expected, after a few washes, a few locs on the side slipped.

Upon my latest retightening visit I asked Elaine if we could try Dr. Miracle's 2-n-1 shampoo that is supposed to help with dry and itchy scalp. The shampoo contains glycerin, which could impede the locing process on my "resistant" locs. She suggested I wait until my locs are more mature before using that product. To help with my dry and itchy scalp, Elaine did a hot oil treatment before retightening. After retightening, she later massaged a brand (i.e.,Kiehl) oil into my scalp. Elaine recommended that I purchase some tea tree oil to help with the dry scalp. Perhaps it's time I start using the essential fatty acids again.

The following is my current daily vitamin regimen:

Women's multivitamin w/ iron (Vitamin World): 2 tablets
Super Biotin: 10,000 mcg (1,000 mg)
Vitamin C: 500 mg
Retightening Frequency: Every 4-5 weeks

Some of my co-workers asked about me taking the Retightening class so that I didn't have to travel to Dallas once a month. At this point, I have no desire to retighten my own hair. For one, it's thick and I have Carpal Tunnel. Two, having four children, working full time, being a full-time grad student consumes most of my time. My spouse is now retired from the military, but has chosen to return to Iraq; working with a contractor. So, essentially, I'm a single parent of four, on top of my other responsibilities.

Speaking of my spouse....he came home for Christmas and I actually got him to escort me to a retightening session. I was amazed that he had the patience to sit for 2+ hours. When I think about it, in the 18 years we've been together, he's never accompanied me to a beauty salon when I had relaxed hair, let alone sit the entire time while I was getting it done! I think it's safe to say that SLs has converted him (smile)!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Desire of the Woman

"Desire of the Woman"

We are fashioned for intimacy. We long for love and a sense of true caring. Yet, because of the Fall, we are broken people living in a world of broken people. We move toward others, based not so much on what they need, but rather on what we need, endeavoring somehow to slake the hidden thirst deep within our souls.

Our need for relationship is legitimate; it is there by God's design. To have healthy, functional relationships, however, it is essential that we sort out what God, our "Source," intended to be to us.

One of the foundations being exposed today is the "desire of the woman"—the belief that her husband can be her source of life, that he can meet her need for her life, he will "rule" her emotionally. She is "up" if things are going well. If not, she becomes hurt, discouraged, and depressed. Ruled by her husband—her heart, her "center." Having been turned from God to man—she is not able to be the help for him she was created to be. She is drinking from a broken cistern (see Jer. 2:13). She has the right expectation, but the wrong source.

Whatever we think will satisfy our longing will become our god. Satisfaction found in a wrong source, a false god, is always temporary, doomed to failure and disappointment. False gods are addictive because we must come again and again for refilling; what they can give us is never enough. We become slaves to what we think will fill the empty wells inside of us.
God wants us to find our "being" needs in Him; no human can fulfill them. When we find our life in Him, we will discover we can let go of our demands on others. We can then begin to move in genuine relationship with them because they are no longer the source of our identity and security. Until this occurs, real intimacy cannot begin to take place.

When a woman's heart is turned—when she sets her desire back on God—a new freedom comes. The grasping in her voice and her attitude goes. She is able to move into relationship with her husband based on wholeness rather than inappropriate neediness, hurt, and woundedness. She is able to speak into his life with more effectiveness because her worth and identity no longer depend on his response. When the woman stops looking to her husband for the needs he cannot meet, she frees him to meet the ones he can: the need for intimacy and shared responsibility for the marriage and family.

This is a key factor in what God is doing today in the hearts of women around the world. He is turning the centers of women, teaching them to deny themselves, their own strength, and to find their Source in Him. God is teaching them to live by the "tree of life," the life of God in them. He is freeing them from the broken cisterns of their own making and fashioning them anew, restoring the man's help to him.---Jane Hansen


Eve was the original first lady. She was not only a woman's first experience with God, but God's first experience with a woman. She was the first to delight the Father's heart as only a daughter can. She was the first to grace this Earth with the ways of a woman and the first to encounter the wiles of the devil. She was the first to love a man and the first to mislead one. She was the first to know the love of God and the first to suffer the curse of fallen humanity. She was the one after whom every woman who has ever lived has followed.
You, too, are a daughter of God. You were created and called according to His purpose. He may be calling you, like Eve, to pioneer. His destiny for your life may include some unexplored or unexpected territory. So go boldly after Him. Follow Him with all your heart. And if He asks you to do for Him what has not been done before, remember Eve. She had no mentor, no mother, no older female friend to help her on her way. She had only God; and if you ever find yourself as a first lady, He will be there to help you blaze every trial and break open every new day! --Author Unknown

5 Months Sisterlocked

Happy 1-Year Naptural Anniversary!

June 5, 2005

Wow, I can't believe it's been one year since I did the big chop! It's been an intense journey so far, and I have no regrets whatsoever. Since I got Sisterlocked almost 2 months ago (April 14th), my hair is growing like weeds. I have noticed; however, that my scalp is extremely dry around the hairline. I think it's in part due to the SL starter shampoo. It contains special ingredients to help facilitate the locking process. I've also read from other SL wearer's that their scalp is dry since they began using the shampoo. I spoke with my consultant, Elaine, and she assured me that it would subside in a few months. I did have some slippage, but not enough to cause concern. I waited 5 weeks before my first retightening session and it took 3 hours ($90) for Elaine to retighten my hair! To save money, I wanted to stretch these sessions out to 8 weeks instead of every 4-6 weeks. However, with my growth rate, Elaine recommended that I come in about every 6 weeks for retightening.

A New Style

March 2005
9 Months Natural!

Single Twists

Can you believe how much my hair has grown? It's close to four inches now and I still love it. I had my stylist put in some single twists to help with manageability while I wait to have my SL's put in. Speaking of which, I have my consultation appointment this weekend (March 12th).

My husband is back from Iraq now and his initial reaction to my natural hair was not favorable! I must admit it did hurt my feelings a little bit, but not enough to make me put a relaxer in it. I also had a hair catastrophe a few weeks ago. I tried dying my hair back to its natural color and ended up with black hair! You know how hard it is to lighten hair once it's been dyed black. I had to put in bleach and then follow up with a medium brown tint. Boy was I scared of hair loss! Surprisingly, nothing changed but the hair color, not even my texture. My stylist recommended that I condition, condition, condition, and that's what I'm doing!

Something Different

November 5, 2004
5 Months Natural

Two-week old Braids

I became impatient with what seemed like slow growth of my hair and decided to get it braided. Frustrated with the odd length of my hair, I had begun experimenting with different products, which was not only unhealthy for my hair, but quite expensive. So, I opted for some good ole' single, or "box" braids. It was done on October 23, 2004. I insisted that my braider be extremely gentle around my hairline, as it is known to easily break under stress and manipulation. Ayanna, my braider did an excellent job, and most of all, she listened to my demands for not-so-tight braids around the hairline! It took her about 6 hours to complete my entire head. I expressed to her that my goal was to allow my natural hair to grow in order to start locing. She completely understood because her hair is locked with traditional locs. So, we established a plan of keeping my hair continually braided, with touch-up braids as the new-growth grows out.

I experienced a lot of itching of course, considering that I used 100% Kanekalon hair, and I no-poo'd twice since getting my hair braided, and I've utilized Sea Breeze to help control the itching. My scalp was a little flakey, but I think that was a result from not thoroughly washing out all of the conditioner. I'll have to be more careful. In addition, my braider told me to stay away from lotions and use oils to keep the dirt and lint build-up at a minimum. I did purchase some medicated braid spray, which works well. My hair should reach 3-4 inches by February-March, but I probably won't get Sisterlocked until April or May. My plate is going to be full during those months, and besides, I'd rather wait until the weather warms back up before exposing my scalp. I'm still taking all of those vitamins. I'm thinking about cutting back and just taking the Women's multivitamin and the Hair, Skin & Nails vitamin.

Choice of Freedom

Three and Four Months Natural

Well, I’ve been busy these two months trying to decide what I wanted to do with my hair. After careful research and exploration, I’ve decided to get Sisterlocks http://www.sisterlocks.com/ it’s more than a hairstyle, it’s a lifestyle. Unfortunately, my hair is only about 2 inches now, and the consultant that I plan to go to wants at least 3-4 inches. So, it looks like I’ll have to wait patiently. In the meantime, it gives me the chance to save my money for the process, as it is not cheap. It runs anywhere from $425-550 and up, depending on your length.

The consultant I spoke with works in a shop called Your Best Image Salon and his name is Greg Day. He actually recommended that I stick with a TWA, but I want versatility and the look of relaxed hair without having to use chemicals. I also found a support group called Lock It Up to help me with my new journal http://www.egroups.com/group/lockitup I’ve learned tons of information about my pending “rebirth” and I just cannot wait. I would like to have it done before my husband returns home from Iraq, as I’m sure the price alone would send him through the roof!

I was told by another loctician that my hair has a medium to large curl pattern. I call it a “lazy” curl. I’m a little disappointed because I thought I would have the instant “S-shaped” curls like my 8-year old daughter. The beautician also told me that it may take up to one year being chemical-free before I’d see my true curl pattern. I guess it makes since because I’ve been relaxing for 15 years, so it could take some time to regroup.

The loctician confirmed that it’s very normal to hair several different hair types on your head (I thought I was going crazy). I have S-curls in the back, strays on the side, and cotton puffs in the front. I even have some strands of hair that are 3-4 inches long, while others are only 1 inch. I’m going to wait until January or February before giving Greg another call. In the meantime, I’ll be praying and asking that I have minimum breakage and lots of growth.
I’ve added a multivitamin to my list of vitamins. It’s a Women’s Ultra Multivitamin from GNC. That baby is huge (smile)!

My impatience and frustration is getting the best of me; I've decided to get my hair braided while I wait out the growth process. I have an appointment on 23 October 2004 to get individual braids. Perhaps this will help me to leave my hair alone.

Two Months and Counting

5 August 2004
2 Months Natural

I've been getting several compliments on the texture of my hair and its rate of growth. I'm beginning to realize what is meant by the shrinkage effect. My hair truly is a lot longer than it appears. It's just so frustrating at times because I look at my hair and I see no change, however, it has gotten thicker and healthier. I can see a slight difference, even from last month. I've also been getting comments about me having "good" hair and that's why it looks so pretty. Most of my co-workers know that my mother is bi-racial; therefore, they equate that with me having a nice grade of hair. Personally, I think they're just using it as a way to avoid going natural. They don't think their hair will look pretty, or as pretty as mine because I have white blood somewhere deep in my veins! I tell them all the time; I have "African American" hair. I'm not bi-racial, my mother is. They can have the same or similar results as I have had since going natural; it just takes patience, and understanding of self. Caring and wearing natural hair isn't for everyone, but if it's something desirable then one should experiment with its ideology. I'm very comfortable in my skin and my hair; it's other people who are not. For me, it's like succumbing to putting chemical straighteners in the African American beautiful; naturally curly hair is like telling God you don't trust his judgment! After all, he made our race out of his own design, and he knows what is best and what will be best, even when we don't understand his motives. As you can see, the subject of natural hair has really touched my life in such a profound way. I want to go and shake every African American woman with relaxers in their hair and tell them, "Loose yourself from Societal Prison and the Prison of Hair Relaxers". "Love yourself and the uniqueness of your hair, it is truly divine and like no other!" "Tell your black daughters that their hair is beautiful, and teach them about caring for their unique hair!" Excuse me, I'm just venting.

I put in a semi-permanent hair color (lighter brown), but it's barely noticeable. Believe it or not, but I like my natural color better! A few friends suggested I bleach my hair blonde—NO WAY! Talk about killing your hair…..I may as well put a relaxer in my hair (smile). I still have my wigs and when I'm ready for a different look, I'll just put one of them on. In the meantime, I'll still with brown hair. My hair care regiment is still the same, no alterations, nor additional hair care products added. I ran out of the Evening Primrose Oil pills, so I purchased the complete Essential Fatty Acids (EFA) needed for healthy hair, skin and nails. It contains Omega-3, Omega-6, Flaxseed Oil, Borage Oil, Gelatin and other oils. I also ran out of the GNC NourisHair Multivitamins and I decided to purchase the Hair, Skin and Nails (HSN) vitamins that they sell. The HSN contains a lot more Biotin than the NourisHair does so we'll see if my rate of growth increases.

Biotin: 5,550 mcg (increased by 1300 mcg)
MSM: 2,000 mg.
EFA Complete: 2 Daily
Pantothenic Acid (B5): 500 mg.
Hair, Skin and Nails Vitamin: 2 Daily

My one weakness that is a struggle for me is my diet. I lead a hectic lifestyle like most Western Americans, and my diet is horrible. Most times I have a SlimFast for breakfast, a snack, a can of soup for lunch or fastfood, and dinner is usually a prepared Lean Cuisine meal followed by another snack. I need more protein, fruits and vegetables. Let's face it, hair grows from within, so if your diet isn't healthy; it will show it in your hair, skin and nails! Vitamins alone aren't sufficient for healthy, long hair.

One Month Natural

July 5, 2004

1 Month Natural

A quick note: My vitamin regimen has changed to the following:

Biotin: 4,250 mcg
MSM: 2,000 mg.
Evening Primrose: 1,000 mg.
Pantothenic Acid (B5): 500 mg.
NourisHair Multivitmain (GNC): 500 mg.

My hair feels softer to the touch, and I’ve noticed that it’s taking on the formation of a curl. I’m thinking that I have type 4a hair, with 3c around the temples. I really love the Apple Cider Vinegar rinse. It totally changed my hair texture! Immediately after I rinsed, I noticed that my natural curls began to show through. I’m really growing to liking my natural hair; I just don’t care for other people’s comments. It’s amazing to discover how many African American women and men are still uncomfortable with natural hair (more women than men).

15 July 2004 (6 weeks)

I cut a few strays (split ends), but then I noticed that it was useless because my hair is still too short. My hair is getting curler by the day. My normal routine is to "no-poo" every other day with V05 Kiwi Conditioner, mixed with Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon juice. Sometimes I let it saturate my hair before rinsing. I've also enforced washing with warm water and rinsing with cool water. This is something I don't normally do—I usually wash and rinse with hot water! I finish with either Aussie's detangling moisturizer or Luster's Curl Activator/Moisturizer and CareFree Curl Gold Activator. I blot any excess and wrap with a silk scarf. I am still amazed that my hair texture is so curly. Last summer, when I attempted to go natural, I wound up putting in a texturizer. I loved my hair as long as it was moist, however, when dry, it felt like a brillo pad! Now, my hair is just as curly as it was when I had a texturizer, but now it's healthier.

I've been taking vitamins for almost a month now and I've noticed significant changes in my skin. It's not as dry and the tone has improved overall. Along my hairline I suffered traction alopecia on my right temple, but now it's hardly noticeable!


June 24, 2004

I found a great web site full of information about caring for my natural hair http://www.motowngirl.com The web site really motivated me to pay closer attention to the ingredients found in shampoos and so-called conditioners made for African American hair. Since viewing this web site, I have stopped shampooing my hair, and commenced to “No Poos”, and started a vitamin regimen, which is detrimental for growing and maintaining the root. It’s very difficult for me to swallow large pills, or any sized pills for that matter, so I’m a little hesitant about starting the vitamin regimen. I purchased 1 container of Vitaballs (multivitamin gumball), 2 bottles of Biotin (300mcg) and 1 bottle of Evening Primrose Oil (500mg). The Biotin pills are “tweeney-eeney-weeney” pills, which was a pleasant surprise!

I’m going to try to put more natural ingredients in my hair. This will be a “trial and error” experiment, so be patient! I put 2 parts honey and 1 part water to add shine. Well, I got shine, but I didn’t like the texture of my hair. I added too much honey! I think I’ll stick to olive oil and other natural oils for now.

June 26, 2004

Just a quick entry to note that I purchased MSM (500mg) my vitamin regimen consists of 1 multivitamin, Biotin (3090 mcg), MSM (2000mg), Evening Primrose Oil (1000 mg). Watching hair growth is like watching a snail move (smile)! I’ll be taking my 1-month pics this weekend. Hooray!

Decisions, Decisions: The Big Chop

Greetings Everyone!

I just wanted everyone to know that today, June 5, 2004. I did it! I shaved all chemicals out of my hair (The Big Chop)! I've longed to be reintroduced to my natural hair. It's been over 25 years that I've been running from it! Well no more! It's going to be a rough transition, but this too shall pass! I will be accepted and appreciated for who I am, and not what I look like. Call me a rebel or whatever term makes you comfortable, just remember, we make "hair", "hair" does not make us! My philosophy, "Hair today, gone tomorrow!" For some of you this may be a shock and you may even disagree with what I've done; for others, well............you know me--I rarely care what others think anyway. God bless all.

Last Chemical Relaxer: 30 April 2004
Last Color Treatment: 13 May 2004
Self haircut- Length is about 1/8” The Big Chop – 5 June 2004