My First Braidout Updo

Hey everyone! I hope that this finds you all well.

I wanted to do a braidout on my locs the next morning but I had to go out. I knew I was going to be gone for a while and wanted the braids to stay in for more than 12 hours. The braids would have been in for 24 hours or more if I had thought to put them in earlier before going out that morning. Since there really was no rhyme, reason or method to the braiding, it did not look good enough for me to step out of the house like that.

 

 

 

See what I mean? Call me vain but this was not cuttin’ it. ūüėČ Now I probably had about 12-13 braids in. I spritzed each hunk with a bit of water before braiding, securing the ends with ouchless bands. Then I just pinned them however I thought looked good. Here’s the finished product.

 

Not to shabby and I could certainly live with that better than before though for some reason the expression on my face does not reflect it.  Well, I did just come from seeing my aunt for the last time as all this was in preparation for her funeral the next day.

Here’s the resulting braidout the next morning. I was not able to get a pic right after I took the braids down so this is 15 hours or so later. It was hot & humid all day with a bit of rain so of course the curls dropped some and with the small number of braids, the curls were a little loose from the start.

 

 

I really loved the result. I’m so glad that my locs are much longer than the last time I did a braidout because this time it only took about 20 minutes to do the braids. If my locs had been spritzed prior, it probably would have taken even less time. The only thing I may do different the next time is add one or two more braids on the left side so that the updo will be a bit more balanced and the curls a bit tighter.

 

TTYL,

msfullroller

Happy 2nd Annual Loc Appreciation Day!!!

 

Just dropping in real quick to note that today is ¬†the 2nd annual Loc Appreciation Day. Here’s hoping that all of us who wear locs and those that appreciate locs are having a wonderful day.

It’s hot so here are a couple of pics of what’s going to be my summer style. My first real ponytail!! Whohoo!!

Enhanced by Zemanta

How I Use (Coconut) Oil on My Locs

Hey guys! I hope this post finds everyone well.

Violeta over at Oceangrins did an update post on her “itchy” situation. ūüėČ There, a question was asked by Naturalocs on the use of coconut oil and water on locs. She said that coconut oil was softening her skin but not her locs and she asked was there a certain way to use it. I thought that this might help others so I decided to answer here in a post.

I’ll start by saying I have fine/thin hair. Now I’ve been using coconut oil on my then loose natural hair for a little bit before locking. I liked it but it was not softening my hair in the way I would have liked. I started locking about year after this point ¬†so I stopped using coconut oil and all oils for that matter until my locs were further along into the locking process. A year or so later I decided to revisit coconut oil on my locs.

Coconut Oil squircle

Coconut Oil squircle (Photo credit: Ennor)

To be honest, I’m not sure what made me start applying coconut oil to wet hair. ¬†I liked it but still not exactly what I was looking for. When I was using it on my loose hair, I applied it onto dry hair. That worked OK but that was it…just OK.

Then after I locked, either by design or by accident (probably the latter) I applied it on my damp locs. I know this might sound crazy but what I mean by damp hair is …just washed hair. I wait until my locs have stopped dripping water but before they are slightly damp. Kinda like when you wash jeans and take them out of the washer right after it’s stopped. They are not dripping but they are wetter than a lightweight t-shirt would be that was washed in the same load. I don’t towel dry my locs or dry with anything.¬†Applying a nice amount, I go through my locs, making sure I get the top and bottom of the locs. ¬† That’s the only time I apply coconut oil until wash day rolls around a week later. During the week, if my locs are feeling a bit dry, I’ll spritz with water only. This softens my locs right back up.

This is I was looking for! Now, why have I gone thru all that description? Because I did not get quite the same result when I started with dry locs dampened by spritzing with water. Looking at the post noted below, I see why I’ve changed how I was using coconut oil on my locs and remember this routine was before I came up with my herbal coconut oil concoction. ¬†I’ll do a post later sharing my concoction.

So try using coconut oil on your hair/locs on wash day, and don’t wait until your hair is completely dry. If that does not work, it might be that you hair does not like coconut oil. ¬†My hair does not like olive oil.

Hope that helps. ūüôā

Enhanced by Zemanta

An Herbal Apple Cider Vinegar(ACV) Cleanse for My Oily, Flakey, Sore Scalp

Hey everyone! I hope this post finds you well.

 

Scalp Treatment

Scalp Treatment (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d share what I use to cleanse my scalp. ¬†Though I never been medically diagnosed but based on my research, I think I’ve got a mild case of Seborrheic dermatitis. This has been a problem for as long as I can remember and it gets worse when the weather changes. If¬† I don’t keep the oily build up off my scalp, I produce enough flakes to supply a mini ski slope. ¬†Also my scalp gets quite sore and not just from scratching either. Ironically the soreness would go away when I scratched my scalp with a comb.

Now I had already tried dandruff shampoos, rosemary, tea tree, lavender, peppermint, sage and cedarwood¬†essential oils, oiling my scalp with natural oils and aloe vera juice/gels.¬† All of these made my scalp flare up more. In the summer of 2010 while in the 3rd day of retightening and right after washing my braidlocks, I noticed that I still had greasy flakes. The kicker was I had not oiled my scalp in 5 days…from the last wash. ¬†And I had not oiled my scalp then either! :-0¬†¬† Silly me, I thought I had been suffering from a dry scalp all these years! :-0

So I decided to again search for a more natural, cheaper way to help with the oil build up. ¬†Quotidianlight on Youtube had done a video on Seborrheic dermatitis¬†and in it she mentioned salicylic acid. The light bulb went off in my head because I had found out a few months prior that salicylic acid is white willow bark. It’s basically nature’s aspirin.¬†¬†Well I’ll be! ¬†Momma Nature knows best and has been at it waaay longer than man has. I decided to ¬†revise (many times lol ) what I had concocted before, combine it with straight Apple Cider Vinegar which I had used at the beginning of my loc journey. ¬†This is what I came up with:

  • ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar) Any kind will do. I use the Walmart brand.

    Apple Cider Vinegar

    Apple Cider Vinegar (Photo credit: AndyRobertsPhotos)

  • Sage Tea (This is just sage leaves steeped in heated water then cooled) I use it to cut the ACV instead of just plain water.
  • And the following dried herbs:¬† Burdock Root, Comfrey Root and Leaves, Horsetail aka Shavegrass, German Chamomile, Nettle, Hibiscus Flower, Sage ( in addition to the tea) , Slippery Elm (I heard it keeps the Comfrey from going rancid), Peppermint and White Willow Bark
  • Aloe Powder
  • Neem Powder,¬† if¬† I remember to put it in the mix. lol
  • Lavender or Cedarwood essential oils for preservative (because of the sage tea being made w/water) and for the soothing properties too.
  • Peppermint essential oil ( for extra tingle)
I don’t really measure anything but I use approx 2 teaspoons of everything adding one or two more of what I feel I need.

First heat the ACV in a pot. Low heat is preferred and even better if you have a glass pot.¬† Add the herbs, put a top on the pot and let them simmer on very low heat for at least an hour. I try to let mine go for 2 hours or more. Then place the mix in a glass jar. I don’t like having to do this all the time so I generally will ¬†use 3-4 cups of Apple Cider Vinegar. ¬†Make sure the ACV is covering the herbs completely in the jar.¬† Vinegar is a preservative and by making sure the herbs are covered, they won’t go rancid. After letting this mixture set for a few days though I’ll let mine steep a lot longer, strain the herbs out. Place in the container of your choice. I like to use a mesh strainer first for the big stuff, then strain a second time with knee-high stocking for the small stuff.

When I first started using this particular combo which has gone through some additions and subtraction of herbs (mainly for cost

Vinegar is commonly infused with spices or her...

Vinegar is commonly infused with spices or herbs‚ÄĒas here, with oregano (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

reasons), I was using the ACV mix straight, no chaser. That was to get my scalp under control which took about 6 weeks. Then I started cutting it with plain water resulting in a  50-50, 40-60 mix. Later I decided to use sage tea since sage has been used for conditioning for eons and is supposed to be quite good for dandruff.

I’ve been using this for about 1 1/2 years now and my scalp really likes it. What I do is apply the mixture on my scalp with a spray bottle making sure that I get all areas of the scalp and message in well. Then, I let the mixture set on my scalp for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes I’ll put on a conditioning cap. The other herbs and the sage tea cut the vinegar smell down a little bit, however it does not bother me and rinses out easily so no vinegar smell is left in my locs.

The result for me has been a better feeling scalp that’s not still sore after washing it and I can cancel the contract to supply flakes for the ski slope in my area that does not get snow. lol ¬†As long as I keep up with washing my scalp at least weekly, I’m fine. Otherwise my scalp threatens me with early termination warnings for cancelling that ski slope contract. ¬†ūüôā ¬†Also note, I don’t put anything else on my scalp. No shampoo, soap, oil or anything else for that matter besides water of course.

I also use this as a facial cleanser/toner.

Hopefully this will spark some ideas for you to try if you are suffering with this issue.  Share your concoctions!

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to Latch/Interlock Your Braidlocks/Locs using a Homemade NappyLock Tool

Here’s a video I did for my YouTube channel showing how I latch/interlock my new growth using my homemade NappyLock tool.¬† It’s a metal yarn needle that I have modified to make it easier to use on my braidlocks.

I hope this demonstration is helpful to you and empowers you to maintain your locs on your own.

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to Make A Cheap Latching/Interlocking Nappylock Tool for Locs

For the past 2 years or so I have been interlocking aka latching my roots with a size 13/16 metal yarn/tapestry needle. These needles can be purchased from almost any craft store. I found mine at Micheal’s in a package of 4 for $3.30 including tax when I first got them and I just purchased another package of 2 today for the same price. So, that means the price has gone up but it’s still much much cheaper than the Nappylock tool.¬† You might be able to find a larger size so you won’t have to modify it but that’s the only size I’ve been able to find in my neck of the woods.

First let me say don’t get nervous about this being a needle. The business end is rounded so there are not sharp edges or points to damage or snag your hair. Those of you with micro interlocs might be able to use the needle as is. Also it was too long for me to use on my locs when I first purchased the needles at about the 1 year mark. You probably can make it shorter by sawing it down with a hacksaw but I did not want to do that because that was extra work. lol¬† So I waited until my locs got a bit longer. For me, at the time I started using it my locs at about 15 months were still in the budding/swelling stage especially the ones in the back so I had to make the eye wider. It’s super easy to do however it does take a bit of patience. I’ll confess that I broke two of the needles…that’s how I learned that it takes patience to get it right. lol

What you’ll need for this project is:

  • ¬†A metal yarn/tapestry needle.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†

Of course right?! This reminds me of how my grandmother would give my mother recipe instructions. She’d write in her letter (the recipe was an integral part of the body of the letter) saying, “If you don’t already have (the main ingredient of the recipe), go to the store and get it.” If it was frozen she’d say “unthaw x”. If x ingredient was in a can¬† she’d say “get the can opener and open the can”. For some reason this was always absolutely hilarious to me, I guess because you’d have to really be an airhead not to understand her instructions.

  • Needle or round nose pliers.
  • Needle-nose pliers

    Image via Wikipedia

    An alternative is a small flathead screwdriver.

    A yellow flathead screwdriver

    Image via Wikipedia

    Note: If you use a flathead screwdriver instead of the needle nose/round nose pliers, then add an extra dose of patience.

Step 1.

Open the pliers and with your palm facing the floor insert the tip of the pliers into the middle of eye of the needle.

Step 2.

Slowly and gently turn the pliers to the left or right, whichever direction is comfortable for you.

Step 3.

Remove the pliers and repeat steps 1 & 2 inserting the pliers further into the eye of the needle until the eye is large enough to fit your largest loc.

It’s important to remove and re-insert the pliers to do it like I said because it forces you to increase the eye a little bit at a time. Trying to get the eye wide enough all at once will result in breaking the eye. Even more so if you are using a flathead screwdriver to do this. Remember earlier I said that I broke 2 needles? This is why. ūüôā ¬† Fortunately @ $3.30¬† for a pack of 4, that means each needle is about $.83 (price based on the first set purchased) and $1.66 each (based on the more recent purchase) so I don’t feel too bad about it.

Here’s the final result.¬†

That wasn’t so bad was it?

If that was not clear and you are able to view video, here is the video I did for my YouTube channel.

Let me know if you use this and how you like it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

An Almost 4 year Comparison of My Braidlocks

Since I have pics for the previous 4 years of this date (2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012) of my locs I thought I’d do another collage.¬† As always I try to wear the same clothing in the pics so that it is easier to focus on any difference in the hair . Also to prove to myself that my locs have grown. ūüôā And to encourage you all to document your journey in pictures, whether you make it public or keep it private, it’s awesome to see how far you’ve come along with how much your locs have transformed. I have transformed a lot as well. ūüėČ In what way has the locking process affected you or not?

Enhanced by Zemanta

More Pics of 3.5 Year Old Braidlocks

Wow, I think my braidlocks have finally caught up to the stretched length of my loose hair at the beginning of this journey.  The bottom pic was a length check on the day I started putting in the braids that transformed into braidlocks/locs. It took me 8 days to get all the braids in hence the date you see in the pic.

My hair has never been this long!

Enhanced by Zemanta

42 month/3.5 Year Braidlock Update

Just poppin’ in to do a loc update with of course a comparison pic to last year.¬† It’s been 3 1/2 years, I’m still at it and still lovin’ it.

I’ve gone back and forth as far as how long I’m going to go between retightenings. Since last year I’ve been going 3 months with a 6 month stint thrown in there from last March to September.¬† I’m not gonna lie, I definitely enjoyed that 6 month break but on the other hand, I certainly did not enjoy having the re-ti take much longer than it normally does. To clarify to the universe, I’m not complaining about having new growth to retighten…I’m rather grateful!¬† So I decided to do re-tis every 3 months and I might cut that to every 2 months. Mainly because I don’t like having to do more than one rotation (I’m still using the 4 point rotation). My growth rate is a bit below average and I don’t like going all the way to the scalp. Also that cuts down on the time and reduces the chance of holes in the locs resulting from going through the same hole twice.

I’m using a new tool to do my re-tis with. I’ll do a post here showing what it is and how I made it.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

A Quick Braidlock Update Month 33


I was reminded by BajanLily and QueenRella that I had not done a loc update in awhile so here’s a comparison collage of a photo from last year and another 1 year later. As I did the collage which I use Picasa, I have to say I’m really glad y’all called me on that. To be honest, one of the reasons I had not wanted to update was because I did not think my locs had grown all that much and the growth is way less than many who started locking at the same time as I. However, upon review there really is a visible difference from last year!

TTYL