Friday, December 29, 2006

LOCK IT UP - WEST COAST


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On December 16, 2006, seven of the West Coast Lock it Up ladies met for lunch at the Plantation Restaurant in Sacramento, CA. GiGirl put this together and did a fantastic job. She has more photos on her blog - I forgot to charge my battery so my camera was acting up :0(

Sisterlocks - A Year in the Life


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Today marks the one year anniversary of my Sisterlocks. I remember the day they were installed like it was yesterday. Desperate to have my Sisterlocks installed, and to be liberated from OPH and chemicals, I contacted my consultant Wendy Irvin on December 26th (the day after my 38th birthday). We scheduled a consultation on 12/27, me wearing tree braids and all. I stayed up all that night after the consultation taking down my tree braids, washing my hair. Wendy started my installation bright and early the next morning on the 28th and finished on the 29th.

What had I done? With more permed hair than anything, I was a little apprehensive about the shortness of my hair and the lack of fullness I was used to in wearing microbraid extensions and tree braids, but I held it down like a souljah. There was a new person staring back at me in the mirror, and I was anxious to get to know her. My brown hair which had been permed since I was 10 years old, I learned was not brown at all. It was "permed brown" from the chemicals. Wow what a revelation! What I had always referred to as my nappy go back to Africa hair was actually soft, spongy, had body, and was more than willling to lock.

I turned to my sisters in the lock it up group for support and inspiration, and did they ever deliver. A group of women so open, so giving, and so real could only exist in cyberspace (or could they?). I stayed up into the wee hours of the morning reading blog entries and looking at pictures, all the while gaining the strength and confidence to go on. I could see through their examples, that I would grow into my God given beauty. I tried to chronicle and share my journey even when I did not feel that my pictures represented me at my best. I was determined to keep it real for myself, and anyone else who might be interested.

So here it is a year later. I celebrated my 39th birthday on Christmas. My hair is mostly all locked now - I have a few shorties around my hair line which are still soft and spongy but not locked yet. I have cut off all of my perm, and amazingly my hair has grown back to the pre-cut length. I wonder how long it will take to have hair down to there. Looking forward to 40, all I can do now is sit back and watch it grow.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

No More Lye! The after photos

 


Well, there is no question now - I'm Locked! I can wash and go - now that's what I'm talking about. 10 months strong! Posted by Picasa

Transition Accomplished!

 
 
 
 

these are my BEFORE photos


Today is my 10 month loc'versary. I had my re-tightening with my regular loctician, 6 days ago, and was given the OK to free myself from my troublesome permed ends. I had my good friend, Lana Smith, also, a certified loctician, cut off my permed last night. FREE AT LAST!

In retrospect, I would not have been able to initially deal with the shorter hair, and I started with permed ends for that reason. What I found though, is that I had to constantly curl and style my hair, which meant that washing it was an all day affair. After washing, air drying, braiding and or setting it on curlers would take up the better part of a day for me - not the convenience I was seeking in locs at all! Between the bunching at the point where the two textures meet, I was not enjoying my locs to the maxx. Having had to curl it so tight, it looked short anyway, and I learned to adapt to the look.

I ran into a girlfriend on Tuesday, who I had not seen since before I had the locs installed. She was surprised to see me, but stopped and stared, when I looked at her inquisitively, she said "your hair!" This was not the first time I have had that happen. To look at my hair with the permed ends, you could never be quite sure what it was I was trying to accomplish. Posted by Picasa

Comedy!

 

Comedian Ralphie May was in Fairfield, CA, last weekend at Pepperbelly's. My Sister-in-Law and I were looking for something to get into and ended up at his show. The man is hillarious - we laughed til we cried. We had front row seats and of being 2 of the 4 African Americans in the crowd, he integrated us into the show - it was all good though. Ralphie is off the hook! I had previously seen him on the Last Comic Standing and enjoyed him thoroughly, but in person was even better.

I love comedy! Hopefully Leighann will make it out to the West Coast one of these days. The sista's here will definitely show up. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Natural hairstyles vs chemical relaxers

I do realize that since I made the decision to embrace my natural hair, and have opted for Sisterlocks as my styling preference, I have become somewhat of a natural hair advocate. I am guilty of trying to convert more than a few of my chemically dependent sista's, and a few of my weave wearin sistas to also embrace what God gave them, because we all know God does not make mistakes.

I would never ask anyone to make a life changing decision based solely on my humble opinion however, maybe what these sista's from the UK have to say might fall on more receptive ears...

ONCE A SLAVE



I'm not too big on Hip Hop music basically because a lot of the messages offer very little in terms value or the promotion of progress however, someone shared this Hip Hop video from Ghana with me and I opted to share it with you. To hear our brothers from the Motherland expressing themselves on slavery and opression somehow gave me a perspective I've never before considered. We are very familiar with the impact on us as African Americans but what about the impact to those who the slave ships left behind and the generations that would come after them...

Check it out and share your thoughts.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

My locs are 9 months old 9/29/06



I was feeling really good about my hair today when it dawned on me that 9/29/06 marked my 9th month with my Sisterlocks. I decided to memorialize the occasion and had my son take a few pictures. Can you tell I'm happy with my hair? I've been setting it with Crinkles and Curls, and rolling it on orange perm rods which I guess are about medium sized. They're bigger than my small Soft Spike curlers but not as big as my large Soft Spikes. My curls last about a week, falling gradually. This was taken about 5 days after my wash and set. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Roots by JustRemy7 Photography.



While the rest of our family was camping last weekend, Remy, our resident photographer, was at the Roots and Tribe Called Quest concert working as usual. You go girl! Posted by Picasa

Big Hair Days

These are some photos of my tree braids in Mexico - about 10 days before I returned home and had my Sisterlocks started. Two of the pictures are of my husband and I and the third is my brother-in-law.

I don't know if you can see it or not but the hair that is resting on my shoulders is balled and matted - it was a hot mess. I was frustrated and disgusted and it was there I decided to move forward in getting my Sisterlocks. I literally called the consultant the day after Christmas, had my consultation on the 27th, took out the tree braids on the 27th, started my locks on the
28th and finished on the 29th. No more lies, no
more lyes! Posted by Picasa

36 Weeks and Counting!

I saw my consultant Wendy on Monday 9/11/06, for a retightening, and thought I would take the opportunity to update my blog. I am 36 weeks into my lock journey and loving it. I finally have more locked hair than permed ends, hooray! The perm is actually just coming off on it's own. I will admit to having a few episodes of loc envy, where I took a pair of scissors to a few of my locs to rid them of the permed ends. I just wanted the little curly q natural ends... I managed to regain my composure without doing too much damage.

I must give a shout out to Maryee, for helping me figure out how to create a photo collage as I had been admiring the ones on her blog but for the life of me could not figure out how to create one of my own. Thank you! Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

18 Weeks - CAN YOU SAY BRAID AND BAND?





Now mind you I have only been locked since December 29, 2005. I was feeling a little confident on Sunday, and pressed for time, so I decided to wash my hair without braiding and banding. My lock pattern is holding but my hair is not yet locked. Having been a long time microbraid wearer, I have a mesh hair net specefically designed for washing your hair. I put the net on, jumped in the shower and proceeded to wash my hair. I got out, dried off, got dressed for bed and took the net off to my HORROR.

I literally wanted to cry - all six weeks of my new growth had come together as one. I literally had to separate each and every single lock from several surrounding locks. I also have permed ends which had become drawn up into the tightly coiled natural hair at the point where they meet, so I had to pull each and every one of them down and try to smooth them out as best I could. Now mind you I came up with this bright idea because I was pressed for time. I had to sit under the dryer for about 15-20 minutes to dry my hair out a bit and then go back and carefully pull down 7-10 locks at a time and braid them so I could go to bed. I sleep with the Lucy Cap.

Thank God I was seeing my consultant on Monday (yesterday) for a retightening. It took her an extra hour to do my hair because she had to repair some of the locks in the back that I could not see or access very well in my effort to do damage control. Bless her heart, she did an awesome job and I'm back on the block but that was scary! Needless to say, I won't be doing that again anytime soon if ever.

On a positive note, my hair has grown. My consultant was noting that I actually have more locked hair now than I do permed ends which made me very happy.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006













To the credit of Sisterlocks, my "Welcome Kit" arrived today - just one day after I received my "Sisterlocks Birthday Certificate" - A tote bag, lapel pin, ceramic mug and a souvenier ink pen (not pictured)

My Sisterlocks Birthday Certificate Posted by Picasa

12 weeks and counting Posted by Picasa

12 week retightening Posted by Picasa

12 weeks loc'd Posted by Picasa

12 week retightening Posted by Picasa

Friday, March 03, 2006

The Last Straw!

This is my husband and I, in Mexico on the island of Janitzio, this past December. I was wearing tree braids with some very expensive human hair. The weather in Mexico was in the mid to high 70's by day and in the high to mid 60's by night. This hair went completely crazy on my head during this trip. It must have been cut from the head of a mad woman. Now mind you I specifically got my hair done to go on this trip. It was here in Mexico fighting with the big hair mess on top of my head where I realized that the people there could have cared less about my hair, my skin color, what kind of designer purse I carried, or how many pairs of shoes I had or whatever. They were simple folks, hardworking, gracious and kind. Not at all superficial. I actually begin to feel self conscious about the tree braids which by the time I left Mexico closely resembled Chaka Khan circa 1977. I refused to be photographed by that point.

This is an amazing sunset near El Camiche, in Yurecuaro. It was here walking the trails and communing with God that I decided accept and embrace everything God has given me, including my beautiful kinky hair. Who was I to keep frying my hair, burning my scalp, trying to beat my hair into submission to fit someone elses standard of beauty and managability? I had spent thousands of dollars over the years on weaves (sewn in, glued in), micro braids, dookey braids, corn rows, inter locks, you name it, I've had it, and had never been happy with the fakeness of it all, yet still I tried to convert my hair away from what God has given me. I really felt the need to ask for His forgiveness. I made my decision right then and there that the fake hair was coming out as soon as I got home and I was going natural. Hence, I returned home on December 19th, my Sisterlocks were born on December 29, 2005.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


8 Weeks into my journey. I'm learning to love my locks. This is a braid out with bumped ends (large size soft spikes). I haven't gotten used to the length yet but It's growin so I'm encouraged.