Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Sharing Love

3Yrs, 8 months...It's that time of the year again...time to share love to every man, woman, boy and girl! 2008 is nearing its end and many of us are reflecting on goals not accomplished, unexpected events that have arisen, and hopes for the future.

Although Thanksgiving has come and gone, let us continue to be thankful for someone or something in our lives. Don't be upset by the driver going 20 miles an hour when you're already late for work...that driver could be your guardian angel preventing you from the car accident that just occurred 10 miles up the road!

Don't be annoyed when you are called to go to an unexpected meeting or training at thankful you have a job...oh, and don't forget the annual and boring safety briefing/training you're required to attend! You know, the one that you can almost recite word for word? Be thankful for that briefing/training...although the information may be repetitive to you, you never know how that information might help you help someone else! And don't get annoyed when a family member asks for financial assistance...for the second or third time. Perhaps that stimulus check or bonus check you received in the mail wasn't necessarily for you at all, but it was for you to help that family member in need.

In other this individualistic society we live in...keep in mind, your life is not just your own. We must all share love, share our talents, share our knowledge and wisdom. How selfish is the person that chooses not to do so! We cannot bury our heads in the sand or attempt to live in a vacuum because I promise you, eventually...almost certainly, one will be affected and effected by the same circumstances from which you hide from! It's a funny thing about us humans...we have a tendency to create the very circumstances we do not want-lol!

The Decision...for those who have been walking this journey with me, I have decided to postpone cutting my hair. I have discussed the possibility and style with my consultant, but because I am "thankful" for my thick and long locks, and thankful that it keeps the cool winter air off my neck and ears; I may not cut until the spring or summer. Stay tuned! Season's Greetings to everyone. My holiday wish for you is to have peace, clarity, and a joyous 2009!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

First Time

Okay Family...I wanted to share the first time I've ever been frustrated with my locks story! Yes, I said it, "Monica is frustrated with her sisterlocks!" It only took me a little shy of four years, but it's possible and I'm human, right?

Don't get me wrong, I still love them and I still have no desire to go back to relaxed hair...If you've followed my blog then you are a witness to the various changes I've been going through over the last several months. Thus, initially, I thought the idea of cutting my locks was just another symptom of all of these changes...What do we do when we feel powerless? Change the things we can, right? So, I brushed off the urge to cut and experimented with different styles instead. Sadly, it hasn't worked. This prompted me to do some further exploring as to why I've really wanted to cut my Sisterlocks when I've spent so much time patiently waiting for them to grow...Here are my conclusions:

  • While I may curl my hair (my favorite style); most times, I wear it straight or in a pony tail. The problem that has arisen is now that my hair has gotten so long, it consumes a lot of my time roller setting them (my preferred style of curling). In addition to the length, the thickness remains the same. I may start off with a pony tail in the morning, but by midday, I'm taking it down because the weight of my hair; coupled with whatever ponytail holder I'm using gives me a horrible headache! Thus, I'm strongly considering cutting my hair into a bob. A bob will give me the opportunity to curl my hair, and maybe even wear a shorter ponytail. Below is a pic of bob I want (taken from the Essence Magazine). I'm open to your thoughts and opinions, so have at it family! What do you think?......Monica

P.S. What I forgot to disclose was the fact that in the near future I will be undergoing a MAJOR career change. While training in this profession, the hair should not be below the collar. This criteria only added to my argument (smile). My next retightening isn't until November 1st and I am due for coloring...I'll keep everyone posted!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008


3 Years and 3 months later....Changes, changes, and more changes...although necessary; we all dislike them! I've personally endured many changes in both my personal and professional life since my last post. My final summation of it all is....God moves us out of complacency, despair, and turmoil at HIS precise timing and planning--not ours! Often times, we do not understand and cannot comprehend why things are happening and changing the way that they are, or why it's even necessary because it feels so deliberate and personal! The pity party begins, yet, no one attends but you..."Surely, no one else is going through what I'm going through!" and "How can everyone go on with their lives as normal....doesn't anyone understand that these issues are keeping me from sleeping at night?" At some point, you have to pull down the streamers and clean up after the party is over. Hope implies that there is more than one path to happiness! And while you're driving down that path you might run into some road blocks, or even run out of gas, but God blessed many of us with feet for walking--we just have to remember to use them!
Judging by the pictures, you can also see that my hair has gone through many changes (i.e. hairstyles) as well. The many hairstyles were born as a result of the Sisterlock shampoo being used on my hair during my last retightening. Great product, but it severely irritates my scalp. I was even contemplating cutting my locks short----yes, I said "cut"! If that's not a clear indication of my temporary psychosis, what else is (smile)? I finally made the executive decision to cut off the extra lock on my two-headed lock. It was my longest lock, but it was also driving me crazy! Anyone who knows me, knows that I have an obsession with even numbers and even looking objects.
Other changes included me getting; not one, but several more tattoos since my last post. Many people couldn't understand the reasoning or logic behind my sudden obsession for wanting to get inked. Family disagreed with my decision to get more tattoos, and I even had one friend threaten to stop talking to me! Are you serious? It didn't matter, as I rarely do things for other people's level of comfort or acceptance. Summer classes are over...Woo Hoo!!!! Til next post... "There are two primary choices in life; to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them"--Denis Waitley

Monday, June 02, 2008

My Accidental Beauty

June 2008---I just had to post pics of my "accidental hair style". I was trying to mimick a hair style my son uses (he has a slight variation of Brothalocks), and "WHA-LA!" I think it turned out pretty good.

I've been working out these past two months (gotta keep up with you young folk) and really needed something that would be kept out of my face and off of the back of my neck.
Guess who's back in school? Yep, I did it. I going for my second master's degree with plans to pursue both the Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT) and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) certification. I need many prayers and kudos; as it will be out of my pocket and hard to climb back on the horse!!!! Muuuuaaah-I love my Sisterlocks and my chosen family!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Charming 3's

Freshly Colored and Retightened

Hair tied up in Ponytail

"Bedtime Barbie" No time for Glamour

Taken Before Color & Retightening

"Happy Sisterlocks Anniversary/Birthday!"

3 Charming Years

Where has the time gone? The road less travelled is still leading me towards a glorious path of never ending discoveries about my strengths, challenges, and much education needed within our very own community. As an Academic Advisor at a local university that sits in the heart of a military community, I have been blessed with the opportunity of meeting various types of people with varying degrees of higher education. I'm talking about men/women who've served in war, acquired master's and doctoral degrees; acquired prestigious jobs, survived abusive relationships, or are faced with single parenthood; yet it astounds me how uneducated people are about themselves.

I've had many encounters this month already with many people wanting to know all about Sisterlocks. I must have given Elaine's phone number out to four people in one week! I don't know about any of my fellow SL family members, but I've noticed that I get the most compliments precisely at the time when I am due for a retightening! One gentleman asked, "how long does it take to put your holding gels and creams in your hair?" My reply, "huh?" He repeated himself and added, "It takes me 45 mintues to put my gels and creams in"! Shaking my head, I stopped him before he could painstakingly agonize me further...I briefly interrupted by educating him on Sisterlocks/Brotherlocks. The conversation ended with me giving him Elaine's phone number. Another encounter went as follows: "Girl, I am really really thinking about getting SL's, but I just don't's just soooooo permanent and I like changing my hair too much!" I looked at this beautiful and misinformed queen and replied with, "Well sweetie, why didn't you hesitate when you 'permanently' relaxed your hair?" "Isn't that also sooooooo permanent?" Seeing the light bulb come on and clearly out of excuses, this beautiful queen stated, "Yeah, I guess your right....I don't know what it is that I'm so afraid of!" It was as if she wanted me to do something I absolutely refuse to do, "Convince her to get Sisterlocks"! I assured her that the unsettling feeling she's been wrestling with was okay and that it's part of her growth processes. The encounter ended with me leaving her with some food for thought. I asked her to think about whether her concerns, or levels of uncomfortness was due to the inability to "change her hair texture" once locked or "change her hair style"? As many SL family members will tell you; style versatility is unlimited! As wrinkles of wisdom decorated her forehead, I handed her the Sisterlocks web address and Elaine's phone number (for at least the 5th time) before she departed my office. Both encounters took place at my office, and both initially came into my office with their academic concerns (or so they said). These two students reminded me of some of the reasons why I have distinguished myself as an Academic Counselor, and not an Advisor. There is a major difference between the two. Advisors tell people what to do, while counselors empower people by giving them adequate information, and or, resources to make their own informed choices. Anyone in the field of social services will tell you that the "presenting problem" is rarely an isolated event. Meaning, there are many other areas that are interrelated and can affect both your professional and personal life. A student may come into my office on the premises of finding out how many classes they need to complete their degree, or are having conflict with one of their instructors. When truthfully, the source of their problem may stem from them struggling with their identity, personality conflicts, or lack of support at home. There are a number of reasons why someone may end up in my office, especially when their visits are frequent and are not required. I suppose my mother gave me the perfect name: Monica, Latin for advisor/counselor-go figure!

However, because I started this blog on the premises of helping me through the struggles, frustrations and triumphs throughout my hair journey, I'll try to focus on topical conversations and thoughts related to hair. The key word being "try" (smile). Many of us know that we do not live in a vacuum, and thus, although I'd love nothing more than to just talk about hair; there are many interrelating factors that could affect thoughts and feelings about hair.

April 14, 2008 is my third year anniversary/birthday, and thus, I will discuss interesting three's. Let's have some fun:

3 Things About Me You Probably Never Knew:

  1. I used to weigh over 200 lbs (before kids), and shamefully, I must admit that I don't exercise and I have a poor diet...but will start on Monday (smile)!

  2. I always wanted to be a singer or model when I was a child (who hasn't, right?)

  3. My eyebrows have almost completely thinned out...I have permanent make-up (eye-liner and eyebrows)...and thank God for Mary Kay Cosmetics to conceal signs of aging (smile)!

3 Things About My Hair You Probably Never Knew:

  1. I have no gray hair (yet)

  2. Even after 3 years, some of my hair is not locked yet

  3. I will probably never take the retightening class because I have Carpal Tunnel, which may prevent me from completing my entire head

3 Pet Peeves:

  1. Crowded places

  2. Disorganization

  3. When people dissect me and presume that I am mixed with another race. For example, I often hear..."anyone can tell you're mixed with something because of your's not a typical black nose" or "your hair isn't nappy like ours" or "you look white; look at your skin complexion" or "you can't be all black because black people can't grow long hair"! It drives me insane!

While it's true that I am technically 25% white (grandfather was white), in my opinion, I am mixed like most other African Americans in this country! I was raised in the African American culture, and therefore, that is the race I identify with.

Before closing I'll offer my words of wisdom for those people still contemplating on whether or not to lock their hair.....The answer you're seeking can only come from "you"! Whether you decide to go natural, get Sisterlocks or Traditional Locks, it's clearly a personal choice. You have to embrace and accept yourself for who you, not who you used to be or who you're going to be! Hair does not "make" you, "you" make hair! It is not about hair my lovlies, it has always been about attitude and belief in yourself. Guess what? Having long or straight hair will not guarantee you a job, or the ability to keep a man. A man will leave you and your long/straight hair for a bald-headed woman who knows herself and is comfortable with herself! Deciding to change (be it your hair or bad habits) is an internal process that is reflected externally. Start with loving and sharing the uniqueness you possess! How selfish of us not to share the knowledge we acquire or our special god-given gifts. A good friend of mine was reminded of this one day while visiting a cemetary. As she carefully walked the graveyard and viewed the various headstones, an angel spoke to her and said, "My child do you see all of the people that rest here?" "Think of all of the words not spoken and never to be heard; think of all the knowledge acquired and never to be shared!" The angel begged her not to follow suit, and be the voice of knowledge. She was so inspired by that experience that she is currently writing a book to help empower women! My point is, when you do not share "you and your experiences" however minuscule they may seem; you have misunderstood your purpose here on earth! We are all interrelated and interconnected, and purposely so!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

First Locked-Give Me My Free Repost!!

Single Strand Twists

Day After SLs 14 April 2005
I was rummaging through my old cyber-attic and came across these old pics and decided to repost them and this blog entry for several upcoming 3rd year SL birthday is near, and I wanted to once again, visually step back and see my progress...stay posted, I'm due for a retightening and color this weekend and I will post my 3rd birthday pics as soon as possible.

8 Months (Natural)


I know it's been a while, but now that Christmas holidays have passed, things are settling back into "norm". I can't post any pics because my digital camera is broken. Currently, I am wearing micro braids that were put in around mid-December. When I measured my hair last month, it measured around 3-3.5 inches in the back. I'm sure it's a little longer at the crown. My edges are still very fine and easy to break, so my stylist is being extra careful not to braid too tight. She's awesome! I've been trying to convince her to take the Sisterlock's training course, but I don't think she's interested, as she is wearing traditional locks.

I have some great news; I made my initial consultation appointment for my SL's on March 12th with a consultant named Elaine Hill in Dallas. I plan on starting the journey in April. I was going to go with a guy named Greg Day but I've been getting the feeling that he really doesn't want to do it. I contacted him earlier this week to try to set up my consultation appointment; in addition, I informed him that I was wearing micros. He immediately told me to take the micro braids out because they damage the hair shaft; and thus, make for weaker SL's! Needless to say I was shocked. You would think that daily stress and manipulation would be more damaging than micro braids. I could see if I used synthetic hair, which contains fibers that cut/damage human hair, but everyone knows with micros, human hair is used! In search for some guidance, I went to my online SL group to see if anyone else knew about this so-called damage to the hair shaft. Two people responded. One female also said she was sporting micro braids until she grew out adequate length and the other was a male who pretty much said that it sounded like the consultant didn't know much about natural hair! He also suggested I search for other consultants. This is how I ended up making the appointment with Elaine.

The consultation fee is $25.00. It should take me about 2-3 hours to get to her shop. The way I see it, it'll be like taking a mini-vacation. By the time I lock, my hair should be around 4-5 inches. I'll probably go through one more set of micros before taking them out.I mentioned to my spouse about getting SL's, and of course, he translated it to "dredlocks". I tried my best to explain the difference to him, and his response was, "I don't think you want to do that!" When I told him it was a way to wear my hair chemical-free and still be able to take advantage of different hairstyles he responded, "Your hair ain't that bad, you don't need to put in chemicals anyway!" Nothing burns me more than to hear people refer to hair as "good" or "bad", as if it is alive and has behavior issues! People, my beautiful black people, news flash "HAIR IS DEAD"! Of course, that's with the exception of the root. Sensing I was defeated, I ended the conversation with, "I'll tell you more about it when you come back from Iraq!"

14 April 2005-Give Me My Free!!

Well, I finally did it. It took 11.5 hours to lock my 4.5 inches of hair. I'm still floating on cloud nine. I couldn't believe how thick my hair was and how little scalp actually shows through! Most people hardly notice it, and I would imagine that's because of the short length—give me a couple of years and they'll be all over me. My husband and children love it, and so do my co-workers. My consultant told me to do absolutely nothing to do for the next few weeks, no oils, no washing—nothing! If it begins to itch, she told me to spray it with distilled water; add Sea Breeze if it gets out of control (itching). I have to go back in two weeks so she can show me how to carefully wash it to avoid slippage. After that, I only have to go back every 4-6 weeks for retightenings. I'll definitely keep you posted on my progress.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day! Yeah okay...
Wow! I can't believe lover's day is already upon us. Personally, I think Valentine's Day commercialism is highly overrated! No, I'm not hating or upset because I don't have a man-- because actually I do . It's just that the older I get, the more my eyes have opened up to the reality of my surroundings. Why do we let society dictate to us when, where, and how we should celebrate our love with our significant others? When you're with the right person, Valentine's is not just a single day; it's every day that you spend with that person!
Men/women buy into the hype of having to get their loved one flowers that will die, candy that may go to the hips, or a piece of jewelry that is often overpriced and loses it's value as soon as you wrap it up in the box! All of this to show how much they care....I think not!
So many people go out and purchase gifted items that meant nothing to them the day before Valentine's Day and will mean nothing to them the day after-lol! What is really needed for Valentine's Day (every day for that matter) cannot be given by a man or woman! Unconditional love and pure forgiveness for our mishaps and wrongdoings! Simply put-God's love. At any rate, for those who enjoy the commercialism of Valentine's Day -may you enjoy your 24 hours.