Tuesday, July 22, 2008

living in the moment

funny. i've read so many blogs about women getting SLs. often it seems that there's some other major life transition or event that's taking place around the time that folks decide to lock their hair. a new baby, a recent divorce, graduation from higher ed, a weight loss journey...the list goes on and on...and i am no different.

i've been dealing with my weight for some time now. i've gone on different diets, bought different workouts...and am still battling the bulge. so instead of setting lofty goals of dropping 50 lbs by the end of the year, i'm re-starting small. this week is my only focus. better yet, the next 5 days. i will exercise 30+ minutes a day and keep a food/activity diary through July 27, 2008. i'm soon to begin teaching diabetes education to patients and at risk individuals - i need to live as the example i'm trying to set for others...i know better, therefore i need to do better.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

4th of July in Andrews, SC

i went to the country with my sweetie to visit his folks for the 4th of July...we had a wonderful time. we brought the wii and balance board to entertain ourselves and the family...they LOVED it! one aunt went out and bought a wii system the following day. his mother is thinking of getting one too (ervin may surprise her for her birthday in november). the only downside to our trip was that i lost my digital camera...and all the pictures i took since i got my SLs. major bummer...so, i will have to improvise with my camara phone until i can get another camera....i'll probably post pics after my first retightening next week...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

can't keep my eyes off of you...

I am sooo in love with my hair!!!! I can't stay out the mirror. I'm constantly playing with my locks. I can't keep my hands out my head. And neither can other people. Everyone else keeps petting me too (for lack of a better way to explain it). I am truly luvlockd with my hair.

My SLs will be one month old come Friday. It's already beginning to change. I've got lots of tight curls formed at the ends. Some of my locs have little buds on them (they drive me crazy, but after i picked them off i was told that the hair does that when its trying to lock...oh well. you live and learn...).

I'm still getting used to the shortness of my hair, particularly up front. Before locking, I had bangs that reached down to my lips. Now I feel limited in how I can style my hair because the front doesn't hang anymore, so I keep my hair pulled back off my face. I've curled it a few times with rods, but i mostly just let it do what it do, baby. I LOVE the fact that I can spritz it with water, shake it, and let it go. I thought it would be hard for me to let go of all the different products I used in the past - I faithfully oiled my scalp and used conditioners, moisturizers, etc. - but now I don't want anything in my hair. The only thing I miss are the smell good shampoos, etc. the SLs starter shampoo doesn't give me the same herbal essence experience, lol, so i'm thinking of trying the VO5 kiwi lime clarifying shampoo...i know, i know, i should stick with the starter shampoo, but i want to have an alternative that i have ready access to instead of waiting for the corporate office to send shampoo.

Sisterlocks installed!!!

Sisterlocks birthdate: Jun 18, 2008

Starting length: 3-5in" (shorter at the very front)

Loc number: 433

Loc size: med/large

Loc pattern: 4pt

Labor of love installation time: 30 hours, over 3 days

Consultant: Kia, by way of Mae

I've never been in love with me like this before!!! And it was worth every penny!

the big chop

I went from this...

to this...

what in the hell did i let her do to my hair?!!!

mae felt like the straight hair at the front of my head was permed hair. while i agreed that perhaps 1-2in may have been permed (i hadn't gotten many hair cuts), i knew that most of the hair on my head was natural. again, i hadn't been permed in almost 2 years.

since the majority of my head was super curly, unruly and the front edge was straight, mae suggested that i cut some off so that the textures and ends would match more closely...hmmmm, somehow that made sense at the time. i say okay, cut off the perm. keep in mind, i could not see myself in the mirror from where my chair was positioned. i only see piles of hair falling to the floor. "its okay. its only hair," i reminded myself as she continued to cut. she placed almost 30 sample locks in various places in my head and allowed me to see what my hair looked like.

i hadn't really taken it in when i first saw my hair. i had been with mae over 2 hours and was ready to leave by the time she finished my samples, so i simply put a scarf on and went home. when i got home, i took a real long look at what had happened minutes ago...

"WHAT THE HELL?!!! she cut off all my hair!!" my 8in" in the front was reduced to 1-3in" in various places. The back was taken from 6-7in to 5". and to add insult to injury, she didn't even cut it in any particular shape. it was a choppy TWA at best. all i could think about was how my hair would look once my SLs were installed.

when my boyfriend saw my hair, i didn't know what to think. his only response was, "it'll grow back, right?" i was appalled. needless to say, i almost felt like i jumped from the frying pan and into the fire when i switched consultants, but mae is well loved by her clients and successful in her business....trust. all i needed was a little trust.

what had i gotten myself into?!

(1 month into SLs: though i regretted cutting my hair, in retrospect, mae was probably right. i have a few straight ends up front that don't curl up like the rest of my hair and they tend to stand out like sore thumbs. the different textures at the ends probably would not have looked good. i've even cut a few of the straight ends myself to make them blend in more with the rest of my hair....)

My SLs journey begins....

Since Jan 1, 2008, this year has been all about transformation. I mean serious big bang theory changes in every area of my life. My personal relationships have changed, for the better. I finally left my job at the health department in mid April to concentrate on graduating from my master's entry into nursing program in November. I'll be living with my boyfriend come August. And I recently embarked on a serious love affair with my hair...

I had never heard of sisterlocks. On the last day of my employment, my office friends and I were chit chatting about one of our favorite topics - our hair. One coworker had recently cut off her once bra-strap length palm-rolled locks to sport a cute lil TWA - she claims the TWA will be her last style, though I'm still cheering for her to get locked once again. My other coworker sports a large Angela Davis/Jill Scott 'fro on occasion between creative braided natural styles and puffs. I was simply fed up with trying to deal with my hair on a daily basis. My last day at work, I flat ironed my hair to just above shoulder length, but had no intention of maintaining straightened hair on a daily basis....I was just tired of being tired of my hair.

"Why don't you just lock your hair?" said TWA. "No, that's too permanent. I like to play around with my styles..." Afro sister suggested, "Maybe you should just go ahead and do the big chop." "Nah, my head's too big. I like the braids, but I'm tired of the braiding and take down sessions..." "You could get sisterlocks" said TWA. "What's that?" "They're like microlocks...Just look it up on the internet. I think you'd like it..."

So I left work for the last time, wondering if I could really go through with locking my hair. My boyfriend had been locked for about 16 months. Though I love playing in his hair, I never considered locks for myself. Immediately I jumped online and started reading message boards and blogspots from women with SLs. I BECAME A SL ADDICT! I couldn't read enough about the freedom and joy that women experienced with sisterlocking their hair. How could one hairstyle literally change the lives of black women everywhere? Would I feel the same way if I had SLs installed? Was it all just hype?

I was obsessed with looking at picture documentaries of women's journeys, but kept a lookout for negative experiences with sisterlocks. surely, someone in the world hated their decision to get SLs. Surprisingly, I could not find ONE negative blog or angry person. Now, I did run into some warnings about picking a certified consultant who could do the job right. I even read stories about women who got sisterlocks, then decided to take them down weeks/months later, but still had NO regrets about being sisterlocked...I had to seriously check them out.

So I emailed most every consultant I could find on the sisterlocks website, waiting for responses. I got two call backs. I made an appointment with one consultant who lived close by and was recommended by a college acquaintance. She and I bonded immediately, talking about our world travels. My hair at the time was 6-8in, with the front being longer and straighter than the back. She placed 2 sample locks in the left center of my head and we scheduled my installation for 2 weeks later...

My research for sisterlocks didn't stop with my consultation. I continued reading stories from women who were contemplating locks and those locked for 5, 10, and 15 years...One thing that didn't sit well with me was that my consultant only placed 2 samples, which were only locked about 3in of 6-7in. After asking around on lockitup, I decided to go with another consultant. Nothing personal, but SLs cost too much for any consultant to cut corners...

Mae, my consultant, was able to get me in for a consultation during the upcoming weekend. She and I had a great connection as well. But I let her do something that I was soon to regret...