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 2 strand twists for a week and the unraveling them for a twistout on Sunday. The twistout only seemed to look ok for 2 days max and them I’d 2 strand twist again for another twistout on Sunday. That regimen lasted about 2 months. Then in Jan 08 I ran across a challenge thread on nappturality.com on 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. That’s the level I pledged.
I had worn my hair in 2 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 lots of hair since I was doing this on a monthly basis. It was really tiresome to see of all the hair that would be on the bathroom floor when I was done 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.
I’d been researching locs before entering the protective styling challenge but was still on the fence about it. I knew I needed to wash my hair on a frequent basis, wanted to DIY and 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 that goes along with that?! 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), 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. 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? It is so true. She has a video that shows how to do interlocking (latching). 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. I practiced sometime later on one of the 2 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 2 strand twists. The tester loc looked great after 3 weeks or so but i felt it was too large for my taste so I took it down. Man it was a job just trying to get that one down, so that told me that it surely would hold up through weekly even daily washings/rinses. With that information, the decision to loc was made however, it was 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 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 right time”.
I began taking down my 2 strand twists to re-part into smaller sections for braids on Aug 16, 2008. For those that know astrology, only later did I connect the dots. 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 begins 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 😉