I promised in the intro post that I would come back to talk about why I chose Braidlocks or as Cherie King spells it “Bradelocz”.
After wearing puffs and occasional afros, I wanted to see for myself the merits of protective styling. I started out by wearing small two-strand twists for a week, and then unraveling them for a twistout on the following Sunday. The twistout seemed to look ok for 2 days max, and then I’d two- strand twist again for another twistout on the following Sunday. That regimen lasted about 2 months. Then sometime during the month of January 2008, I ran across a challenge thread on nappturality.com, that called for keeping your hair in protective style, deep conditioning, moisturizing, etc. on a regular basis. There were 4 quarters to the challenge and if I remember correctly, 4 levels. The gold level meant you were in all 4 periods and doing everything required.
I pledged level 4.
I had worn my hair in back to back two-strand twists for 8 months. But with washing with the twists in, a complete takedown of each twist, then twisting it back up was not only time-consuming, I was losing a lot of hair since I was doing this on a monthly basis. It was really frustrating to see of all the hair that would be on the bathroom floor each session, and that I could not wash my hair regularly without messing up the hair. I was doing this on a bi-weekly basis, but that got to be too much so I switched to monthly. However my scalp was protesting loudly (if it could talk) about not getting washed often.
Now I’d been researching locs prior to entering the protective style challenge. Although I love all locs, I preferred the look of Sisterlocks. However, I did not have Sisterlocks money for the initial install, had absolutely no idea on how to maintain them myself, and did not want to go back to being on someone else’s schedule in terms of doing my hair. Also, did I mention the money issue?! Gotta watch them pennies as they turn into dollars…I digress.
Braidlocs seemed to be the answer and Cheleski’s blog was the answer to my questions. I could put them in myself, wash my hair immediately if I wanted, make them very small like the Sisterlocks, and I could maintain them myself. Yay!! But (you know there is always a but, right? 🙂 ).
I had no clue on what the latching method was and could not get a grasp on how to do it from the written instructions. (I’m a visual learner…coupled with written instructions). So I chickened out from putting them in when I originally planned which was sometime in late March or April.
Fast forward to around mid June or so, I was looking at YouTube videos on locs and Nubianlockedprincess’ video pops up in the related videos section. The Universe answered my prayers again. You know the saying that when the student is ready the teacher will come? I have found this to be so true. She has a video that shows how to do interlocking (latching) which I watched over and over and over again. I had also asked many questions of naturalsoutherngrrl, ibbs72 and starlamotivates also on YouTube. Go and check their videos out as they are awesome women. Armed with all of the info I mined from all of these amazing women, I decided to do a test loc and practice the “latching method” on one of the two-strand twists and let it stay in to check how it would hold up through washings.
My initial plan was to use the parting I already had with the two-strand twists. The tester loc looked great after 3 weeks or so but it looked like it was too large for my taste so I took it down. Wow!! It was a job just trying to get that one down, so that told me that it surely would hold up through weekly and maybe even daily washings/rinses. Confident with that information gathered from the test loc, the decision to loc my hair was made. However, it was way too darn hot to start this project, as it was in the midst of summer and in the hottest months of the year. So the plan was to install the braids in late Oct/Nov time frame.
Then suddenly and surprisingly, a cold front hit the region the middle of August, making the weather feel like the beginning of spring and not the height of summer. I feel like it was the universe’s way of telling me “Now is the time”.
On Aug 16, 2008, I began taking down my two-strand twists to re-part into smaller sections for the braids that would eventually become my locs. For those that know astrology, only later did I connect the dots of the timing (haha that’s a Saturn term) of “labor pains” leading to my loc birth. The day I began, Aug 16, 2008, Saturn transited over my ascendant. The meaning is new beginnings. Anyway, it took 8 days of working a little at a time because I wanted the parts to be as straight as I could get them and the sizing to be right. That’s my Virgo Ascendant I’m sure. I figured go smaller than you might think as it’s easier to combine later than to split one that you feel is too big. I finished on Aug 23, 2008, so the new journey began and right at the beginning of the sign of…you guessed it Virgo. As I mentioned above, the exact timing was not planned. Later I’ll post some pics once I figure out how to do it. lol
That’s enough for now as I’m sure y’all are saying “Did she have to write a book?!” lol I told y’all I’m long-winded when it come to subjects I’m interested in. In the process of doing this post, I see that I may tie astrology and the other metaphysical sciences into my posts as my way of learning to know thyself.
Until next time,
Peace, Love & Laughter 😉