29 October 2011

What I've been up to part 2...

Well, here's part 2 of what I have been up to recently and why my blog has been so quiet!!
I unpicked my sisterlocks!!!, that's right! As most of you may know I was increasingly finding fault with my locs and after seeing the work my NEW consultant had done with my daughters hair, I knew I had to take mines down. The main issues have always been the partings and sizing. After that marathon combine that my previous consultant had done, even after I rectified, it was not the same, there were larger locs in the front, micros in the middle and all sorts of sizes in the back. My ear to ear parting had morphed alongside most of my other straight partings and I had just had enough!! I also had a surprise call from my previous consultant that basically said after having gained a further years experience since my install, she feels she would have done it differently and that it was me who taught her her that combining where possible should be done lengthwise to preserve the partings! No comment!

The take down process...
The take down process took 3 weeks!! I started on a Saturday and ended on a saturday and it would have been quicker had it not have been for having to go to work and care for the kids inbetween...oh the inconvenience!!  My tool of choice was a needle which i soon learnt pierces the skin!! so I wrapped it with some sticky tape and worked my way from the ends up until the roots. I hadn't washed my hair so there was some natural oils in my hair and that was it!! After the take down I sprayed it with Mane N Tail detangler (brilliant!) and combed it out in sections and gave it a good wash surprised to say there was minimal hair loss! Sorry there are no pics of the process, I couldn't stand the half locked half napps look lol.

So what next?.....A new Chapter!

 That's right, a new install!! Of course I wasn't going to just take down my locs and leave it like that!! I prebooked my installation with my trusted consultant in advance, took down my locs, gave them a good wash and headed back into the chair!! I will post more pictures of the finished look when I get them. But here are the new stats:

Install date 26th and 27th October
Install time 2 days, 16 hours
Size Small and Medium
Lock count 379
Consultant = A Gem, Client satisfaction = priceless!!

Those that knew my old set will know that I had considerably more locs, but to be honest after the experiences that I had with the combining, I didn't want to go through that again, so between me and my consultant we tried to ensure that each of the root beds has a good chance. Of course there may need to be combining if any of the locs are in trouble, but a good foundation sends them off on a good start.

Day 2 after install

17 months on from my initial install, what have I learnt?.....Do your research, see a consultants work and always talk up if you have concerns!!

Join me on my new journey xx

25 October 2011

Retightening help!!

Fellow lockers, what do you do if you have started to retighten a lock and then realise that you cannot complete the rotation, do you leave it in the direction it can comfortably retighten to or do you abandon the full rotation and try to end it in the direction of that section of hair?? confused!! what do you do??

23 October 2011

What I've been up to part 1...

Hey fellow bloggers, its been a while since my last post and I thought I would put out an update. So much has happened in the last 4 months so this is part 1, part 2 will follow a few days behind.

Introducing.....Miss Mac!! That's right, my eldest daughter has been Sisterlocked.

This was a few months before her locs were installed, her hair was damaged by the continuous styling she done as well as peer pressure in secondary school  we reached for the chemical crack which only took 2 months to destroy her crown
Locs were installed after numerous conversations and late nights agonising over the decision!!
Loc Stats: 375 locs installed over 2 days, total of 10 hours with just over an inch new growth, standard sizing in July 2011, age 12, maximum attitude!   
Carnival Time August 2011, can we say shrinkage!!
September 2011 and looking good!!

What Miss Mac calls spider head!! Just before a wash and after being asked again, "when can we wash it without the plaits!! hehe soon baby, soon!

Miss Mac is very pleased with her hair and still has me in knots over the amount of styling she does, but we are working on minimal manipulation whilst they settle, she has asked since day one to have her pics posted on my blog and I am so pleased with my baby girl finally embracing her natural self even going against the odds at school and holding her own, beautiful.

Update on my locs in a few days!!

19 July 2011

So today is my birthday

Yes today I celebrate my sweet 16 times by 2 lol so I decided to do something a lil different with my fro. Last night in prep I washed with Dr Bronner's Almond soap as well as my Dread Soap and set my hair on some perm rods, I was going to use my pipe cleaners but after having them sitting down for 2 months I couldn't find them so reached for the next best thing. Given that I am usually a wash and go sort of girl I must admit that the look is a lil different, but I think I kinda like it! We got a week full of family birthday's this week so I can't wait for them to drop and loosen up a bit. Here are some pics...

Take care for now x

18 May 2011

Stylish Blogger Award!!

Can you believe I have been nominated for the Stylish blogger award!!

A special thank you to Gerrylocs for nominating me, when you become a blogger you get the chance to communicate with people from around the world who you would not have perhaps come across in everyday life, that I am grateful for and Gerrylocs has been a great inspiration throughout my journey. Thanx hun and to everyone else who reads my blog x

The rules of the award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person that awarded you this award

2. Share 7 things about yourself

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award

So here are 7 things about myself:

God is my everything, I am continually learning about how to hve a relationship with him.

I am a newly wed, I married last year on Valentines day to my best friend and soul mate in my favourite    place, the beautiful island of Jamaica.

I have two beautiful daughters born ten years apart but going through the same things! My 12 year old is going through the lippy, I know everything and can answer everything stage, and my 2 year old is going through the well...the I know everything and can answer everything stage! but i love them both just the same!

I studied ballet from the age of 4 and attended a Performing Arts School studying dance. I am now a Social Worker, working in the Fostering and Adoption arena, which is emotionally challenging and tiring but I love trying to help.

I am a fairly quiet and introvert person but I make bold statements by the way in which I carry myself, I do not follow the crowd, I do what is comfortable for me.

I can be very impatient and head strong! When I make up my mind that I want something, I have to have it now, and if something isnt going my way I get rid of it...that is true with most thigns in my life!.

I love my food! All types of food but mainly carribbean dishes, I also love my deserts, hence my larger bones!!.

My nominees for the Styish Blogger Award

sisterlocked I love her blog posts, this lady has two excellent blogs which are heart warming and real, her second blog is here raisingchildraisingself

braidlocsadventure A great blogger and sooo photogenic!

passionatelynaturalfrancesca I love her creativety with colour and passion for change

therealnique Beautiful locs

naturalhairjournalsisterlocks Another beautiful locked sister

07 May 2011

Fresh Re-Tight 8 months...

Nothing like the feeling of a fresh re-tight...ahhhhh. This month I am going to start experimenting with some growth aids. First on my list are the bee mine products. I have purchased the bee sensitive serum which is oil free and has all natural ingredients as well as a sulphur (MSM) included. Now I am not a growth aid boffin so for more info on the benefits of sulphur and how it helps hair growth please do you research! First impressions is on a nicely retightened scalp, IT ITCHES LIKE CRAZY!! lol gonna need a wash as soon as I can. Anyhows, I am reviewing quite a few products (my kids have agreed to be test dummies a well) so the one's I cannot use I will use on them. Reviews will follow in the next few posts.

28 April 2011

New Revalations and a change in direction...nevertheless the same outcome

Some of you may know that I have been considering a range of things for my locs stemming from dissapointment with the way in which my locs have been progressing in terms of size, partings etc as well as critisisms from the closest woman in my life...my mum. After my recent trials and tribulations with the haphazard combining of weaker and wrongly installed mega micro locs, I decided to go ahead and install loc extensions to my locs. Now I know that this changes the direction of things and some may not agree with what I have done but as far as I am concerned...I love them and that is all that matters. 
So what do I have now? well i have a mixture of braidlocs (some that were restarted and not locked by my consultant), twist locs (some that were too small to braid were twisted), remenants of sisterlocs (i say remenants because my partings over time were defaced) and loc extensions consisting of 2-3 inches at the ends. Now I know it may not look like much of a difference but it is funny how overnight I felt my confidence grow! I have not wore my hair short like previously since I was 14 years old and the majority of my adult life has been with me in single plaits. Even my husband said to me that although he loved my locs as they were, that he hasn't seen me smile as much as I do now, which is lovely. I am not giving them a name or a brand and I am sure there will be many different enterpretations of this so for now they are MY locs, MrsMac's locs. If you buy a TV in the shop and take it home and add a DVD player is it no longer a TV?

Am I worried about the effect on my locs? No. And I'll tell you why. Over the last few months for one reason or another I have been unhappy with my locs, not because of sisterlocks, I still love them and that is what my foundation is. The difference is that with all the above I have tried so hard to recitfy the problems myself and almost came to the understanding that I would need to say goodbye to my locs and take them down, so in a way I have done my greiving should things go wrong with the extensions. I do not harbour bad feeling over the events that led me to this as I have learned so much in the process and should the extensions go wrong then I know what I want and will find a consultant that can install the sisterlocks or indeed microlocs that I want. Of course heart of hearts I am hoping that this will not go wrong and in a year or so's time I will cut off the 2-3 inches and have a good head of sisterlocks/microlocks/whateverlocs. Having said that, if I was or need to do it all again, the root beds would need to be larger because I just dont think they are strong enough to hold tiny locs but would flourish with larger ones.

After wash & dye

Is there any difference? Yes there is, I have escaped from bondage and today I dyed my hair jet balck (boring I know! but my favourite!) as well as washed without braiding and banding. My hair rejoiced halleulia as the water flowed through my scalp! I have also noticed that I dont seem to have that immediate itch as I did when I had to braid and band which is heaven sent! I will be washing my hair on a weekly basis especially now the time is warming up. I will hopefully still be going to my new consultant if she will have me and will more than likely take a class either official or unofficial to retighten my hair myself and I will be spritzing with water, rosemary oil and rose oil on an as needed basis.

After flat twisting, all apart from top left
So with all that said, no frills, nothing fancy, just me and my way of doing things. I hope I continue to receive the same support as I had done before and I continue to look forward on my journey x

11 April 2011

An update and ramblings...

There has been so much going on since my last post! I will try to keep it brief!

4 Weeks ago I took some pictures of my back row of locks that my consultant said I had build up in. The pictures were absolutely awful and I decided that I was not going to walk around with what looked like immense build up. I sectioned off my hair and put it through an ACV wash and then a clarifying wash. I then took pictures to see the progress and if anything the specs of what I thought was build up was worse. I took the desision to undo the entire back row. Upon taking them down there was what appeared to be white or grey little balls in my hair, didnt think it looked like build upthough. I redone the back row using my nappy lock tool and at my appointment my consultant said I done a good job. Great.

During my retight my consultant said that there were more locks with build up in them and that she would not retighten them and that I should take them down and she would put them back in at my next appointment, or I could do them myself as I done such a good job! NOT HAPPY! Becasue she spent so long retightening and looking for build up she did not finish retightenening my hair and put brightly coloured rubber bands over the ones she wanted taken down. Further into the session I mentioned to her that I was not happy with the tiny size of some of them at the front and that they are always tangling and look unstable, she agreed that she had installed some of them too small in the beginning. I asked if any combining was done for it to be done vertically so that it would preserve my partings. I left the appointment as was told to come back a week later for her to finish retightenining and reinstalling the taken down locks.

When I cam home I was broken. my hair had rubber bands hanging off the ends 22 to be precise, the retightening of the rest was half done and I realised that the combining that was done was generally side by side and not in rows as I had asked. The result was that from around 3 rows in either side of my ears I could not part my hair straight. I spent most of that evening in tears with the tail tooth comb unpicking the 22 locks. It took me the whole weekend.

Deciding that I could no longer take no more, I enlisted the valied opinion of another consultant who agreed that there were a lot of issues with regards to my rows in the front half of my head and we discussed taking them down and redoing a good third of the front. We also discussed the build up issues and after thinking about it, what I believed was build up was more than likely lint that could have been picked out if I had known.I left sombre, but hopeful that things will get better. Hopefully this will be my new consultant from here on out. Knowing that I was on leave for work nad had a little time on my hands, when I arrived home I put myself together and decided to go through and see for myself how bad the partings really were and the spirit of DIY took me! I went through row by row re-establishing the vertical partings by uncombing side by side locks and recombining them with the one in front or behind. Where I could not undo the combined section of two locks I took it down and relocked them the way I wanted them seperately. This took me two whole days. Upon being so personal with my hair I realised that whilst I have 3 boxes in my front section, that I also had two traingle sections, well at least they were matching so I cut my looses and said that triangles stay!  will see if I can do a drawing to show what I mean by that.

Having sorted that problem and feeling confident that my parts are somewhat decent, I finished retightening the rest of my hair myself and cancelled the appointment with my original consultant. I then comissioned another peice of work to be carried out on my locks that I will not go into in this post. After being cancelled on once, the hairdresser came to do the work asked. She hadnt finished the task and said she would be back the next day to complete the work. Having worked with this lady before I agreed to pay the fee requested and agreed to see her the next day. The next day she cancelled. So once again I am back to having now a quarter or my head looking totally different from the rest and am having to wear my hair under a scarf.

Needless to say this has been a very trying 3 weeks, I am slightly discouraged with all that has happened, but am determined to have my locks the way I want them!

Stay blessed x

16 March 2011

Itchy Scalp...Dry Hair

The product junky in me is resurfacing! I have been having terrible trouble with dry itchy scalp and dry hair that is becoming brittle.

At frst I thought it was the sisterlocks shampoo as that left me scratching straight away, so I discontinued using it. Then I have found myself having to use harsher shampoos as my consultant says that I have a little build up. So far I have tried:

Pantene Clarifying Shampoo - That was good for cleaning my hair but as I was using a bottle I had for ages the last wash left my hair grey!

Mane N Tail Shampoo - That was the bomb!! but due to it's moisturising qualities my hair felt like silk, I will use this after I am fully locked as I dont want to risk my hair turning to soft cotton wool!

Jamaican Mango and Lime Tingle Shampoo - Smelt like it would do the job but again my hair had a grey cast when it was washed out

Neutragena T Gel with coal tar - Wasnt too bad but left my hair really dry as for my scalp, it was less itchy for a while

V05 Kiwi Lime Clarifying Shampoo - Brilliant for cleaning I was shocked at how dirty my hair really was! but my scalp is constantly scratching and my hair feels brittle and is breaking with the least friction

Now the problem is I am 6 months into my journey and my cosultant says that my hair is locking fast which is good but with the dry scalp and itching issues I really am starting to get disheartened. The shampoo that does work for me is still too moisturising for me at this stage. I dont think I have an actual scalp condition as my skin is contradictory all over. For example I suffer with dry skin, on my legs I have a condition named Icthyosis for which I use creams with urea and if you take a closer look at some of my pics, on my face I have small dry patches of exema. In total contradiction I sweat an abnormal amount and it can be simply from getting ready in the morning and putting on my clothes. So if I relate that to my scalp it is the same thing, I have dry scalp but then at least once a day it gets drenched in sweat and then goes back to being dry and itchy.

I have managed to go 6 months without using anything apart from water on my hair and scalp but I think it is safe to now say that my scalp does not produce enough oils to moisturise my hair.

Ohhhhhh, right now jsut so frustrated. My consultant is not really knowledgeable on hair so this means it is difficult to get recomendations and help

07 March 2011

Just a pic

I attended my father in laws home dinner get together this weekend and was pleased with my hair so I thought I would document it. Excuse the glasses, I had a drink or two and no matter what I did my eyes kept coming out funny in the pic!

28 February 2011

6 Month reflections

I made it through the first 6 months!!! I say that with great excitement as I am not known to sticking to one thing for too long! It's had it's ups and downs but all in all I love my locs.

Notice the picture on the computer screen, that was my hair last month, growth already!!

Ignore the lighting on this one my skin is really playing as well but you get the idea!

The slight wave you see is the result of a flat twist out that I done on Saturday evening after I washed my hair. It turned out alright I think but will look even better with some more length.

-After 6 months on loc down it seems as though my hair is starting to loc, I am also noticing that it is growing as well.
- I am enjoying the freestyling of my locs although I wish the length was more uniform. I have done a braid out,a flat twist out and 2 cornrow styles in 6 months!
- My consultants chair is really uncomfortable and I am starting to "dread" my retight appointments as I end up suffering back pains anything up to 2 weeks after
- I have realised that the mountain of "grease" I used to apply to my hair was not needed to keep my hair moisturised, but that I do still need something...just haven't figured out what as my hair is quite dry and the ends break due to this
- I still get plenty of curious looks when out and about

My Routine
- I still braid and band when  washing
- I sleep on a satin headscarf tied to my pillow as wearing one directly makes me too hot at night
- I spritz with water sometimes!!
- Daily styling is running my hands through my hair...simples! lol

- Freedom baby!!
- Save a ton on the "latest" product
- Not constantly worrying about my next weave!

- My mother  when talking to me, avoids looking at the top of my head
- Shampooing! I hate braiding and banding! I lost my sisterlocks starter shampoo and my consultant hasn't got any more. I have been having a hard time finding a good shampoo. I find that after I have shampoo'ed my hair that t looks grey in colour and that there is build up in my hair which as I don't use products, I have no idea where it stems from.
- My scalp itches from dry scalp

All in all it's been a great experience and I am looking forward to the next 6 months xx

07 February 2011

Braid out on short hair

This was kind of an accident! I braided my hair on Friday with the intension of washing later that night. Unfortunately I have been really unwell so decided not to let water touch my head. My retight appointment has been rescheduled for next friday but I thought I would go ahead and wash anyways. So last night I washed my hair with the same braids in and sat under a hooded dryer to keep the cold from getting to my head. This morning I undone my braids for work and this is what I was left with. As my hair is quite uneven I had to tuck it up and under a little to create eveness.

Can't wait to try this out when I have some more length, this will probably be my everyday style as I have always loved curls!!

03 February 2011

5 Months...the joys of!

Hey everyone well I have just passed 5 months and this last month has been an experience! On the previous 2 visits to my consultant she discovered build up in my back row so after some research she suggested I try an ACV rinse. So...braided and banded I go to the bathroom and carry out the nesesities. Mr Mac inspected and said that there still seems to be some left although not as much as before BUT low and behold for the 1st time since having my locs there was major slippage! Considering that my locs were retightened two weeks before I could fit a pinky and sometimes his bredren between my roots and the locked section of my hair! I was horrified. The ones around the front all but slipped out.

Decisions had to be made... so armed with my NL tool off I went to work. Now considering that I had only retightened a few in the back row and maintained the 6 babies at the front...this was gonna be a mamouth task! So I spent all of half an hour watching my fav youtube diy'ers and begun..It took me two evenings but I fixed the problems and my locs were once again defined. I felt a great sence of accomplishment and then came the realisation that I only have 3 weeks left before my retight! So i prayed lol Thank God I now have another inch regrowth in that time and am due for a reight this weekend.

Whilst I was up in my head I also had a look at some of those combined ones that was causing me concern with my partings and after watching another video seperated them and re combined them along a different line so that the partings at the front are more defined again.

Anyhows, here are some random pics of my hair in month 5, I still cannot do much in the way of styling but that is ok, although I am having a few nervous moments as my one year wedding anniversary is coming up and I need to look my best.

Moral of the story, is that when it looks as though you cannot do a thing...wait until your back up is against the wall. Of course I was terribfied that I mess something up, but it all worked out ok. Oh..pics are not after my retight! x

05 January 2011

My Partings...

As you know I've been looking into the partings situation and identifying any possible problems that I may have so that I can rectify them sooner rather than later and here are the pics...what do you think am I being anal?

Center part...take one

Center part take two...trying a different angle, dunno if you can see it but the front two to the left are actually in the center part

Until next time x

04 January 2011

Happy New Year!!

Wishing all my readers a very Happy and Prosperous New Year for 2011, I hope all your dreams and wishes are achieved.

Well, it has been a busy holiday season with both sets of parents coming around for our first Christmas dinner at home...can you imagine...I aint never cooked so much food in my life lol and the last thing I wanted to worry about was my hair. Thank God for sisterlocks! I decided I would go and get another canerow style after my retightening and my little one practically begged to let her do the canerows, now I must admit I was apprehensive, not that I dont believe that she could do it, just was worried that it wouldnt be what I expected. With a hairdresser you can tell them you dont like it...with a 12 year old you gotta be more diplomatic!

That being said, I must admit, she doen a pretty good job! not perfect but better than I expected. The style is simple canerow with a plaited ponytail for variety! Now I know the use of external hair might no be for some, but for me making my own ponytail adds to my styling and besides, it was a special occassion!

Overall the process of my hair has been good, it is growing and forming nicely. I am still braiding and banding which gets on my nerves but I understand why so will stick with it. The sisterlocks shampoo, I am not o thrilled with. It leaves me with a very dry scalp which itches for days after. I also have been told that in my back row I have...BUILD UP! I dont use products on my hair only occassional water but I am what you call an oily person and sweat all the time including winter so oftern times my scalp is hot and sweaty...hence a build up of all. I have found that the shampoo is not shifting this oil only drying the scalp so I am looking on various blogs to see if there are any other recommendations.

I am becoming more and moer frustrated with the parting structure and am thinking I need a second opinion. I think i blogged before about the ones at the front being really small and I was concerned about the partings then. Now nearly half of the front ones have been combined which further changed the partings and it is hard to find anything resembling a straight one. I wouldn't mind so much as I want healthy roots at my locs but what is frustrating is that when I mention it, I feel as though I am being dismissed and told "that is just how it is". I think my next post will show what I am talking about and maybe anyone reading can advise me whether to seek a second opinion. If it is dodgy then I have to have it rectified asap. For now here is a pic with my hair out and as promised a pic from the Dinner Dance in November x