Changing my retightening schedule…again

Here we go again but practice makes perfect right?!. Anyway, I finished re-tightening my hair last Tuesday after starting on the previous Thursday my entire head. Really though that “session” was the fastest one yet. I only did 2 rows the first day (I start from the back), Sunday and nothing at all on Monday. So that means the real progress was on Friday, Saturday and Tuesday.

Well, remember I said that I was going to change and do the back, sides and up to the crown every 4 weeks and do the entire head on the 8 week mark? What the heck was I thinking!! It took longer to do the top than the back on this last re-ti. Granted it had been a bit longer than 8 weeks for the top but it was taking way too long to do each row since of course I had lots more new growth. So, I will go back to my 4 week schedule for the entire head.

However, I did implement the change and will stick with…for now( lol) doing the top portion utilizing the 2 point rotation. I did it this time and though there’s not much of it but I can feel the difference in the re-tightened portion that I just did compared to the portion done earlier with the 4 point rotation. It looks a bit fuller and is softer. I’m also gonna do 3 point on the remaining locs. The portion right above my ears in the back is the tightest and seemingly slowest growing portion so a lot of those were getting only 3 turns of the 4 point rotation anyway. That one last turn would really be too tight and make my scalp HURT. Been there done that with that section and let me tell you if I have not already done so it ain’t no joke. Like I said in my demonstration video there’s not point in having a sore head. If there is only a little bit of new growth left, leave it. This is where I have noticed where you tend to catch the hairs of the ajacent loc when you are really close to the scalp. That too is painful trying to release it and when trying to cut those few hairs, you run the risk of cutting the lock. Haven’t cut and entire loc yet thank goodness! So like I said it ain’t (yes I said ain’t..more than once) worth it.

Her’s a pic b4 & after retightening + 2 washes:

7 months today


Y’all my braidlocks are 7 months old today. More of my hair in the back up to the crown area is further along the process in that they are budding & compacting more. This is taking place on curly q portion. The majority of those have the 2 textures of the interlocking at the top and the curly q now budding/meshed & tight portion at the bottom. Many have shrunk down from 7-1/2 inches to 3-1/2 inches or a little longer. Wow! I’m so glad that I took a picture of where I started from and that one lock that I could still stretch last month as it has now gotten with the program and can’t be stretched any where near that far. Otherwise, I might think that my hair is not growing. Now I know that’s not true as I always have something to be re tighten and that can’t all be slippage. lol

That brings me to the point that I wanted to mention to anyone who is considering locking that is starting out with 5+ inches of hair and will be latching/interlocking for maintenance. If your hair shrunk a lot when it was loose you are probably going to experience a lot of shrinkage while locking too. You’ll be wondering, oh where, oh where has my length gone?! Not to worry. Your hair is indeed growing. I think I see a bit of growth on the nape row. Remember I said before that this was the first area that started the locking process.

I wonder if the twice daily spritzing has speed up the process because changes really started picking up after I started doing this in the later part of month 5 and into the 7th month. Now I wish that I took advantage of daily rinsing when I first installed the braids since it was in the hottest summer month with at least 2 more months of hot weather to go. Duh!! I fully intend on doing that this summer. My hair seems to love water. For the winter months I’ll have to stick to spritzing. My sinus passages let me know that they DO NOT like for me to go outside with a wet or even damp head in the cooler months. Trust me, waking up in the am feeling like someone has a jack hammer going across your eyes and head is not funny.

Yep, the frizzies are really kicking in now but I’m totally cool with that and holding my head up higher than ever before. Friday, the Sun moved in to my sign Aries and my birthday is next week so that may have a little bit to do with it too. lol

Here are some pics. That reminds me I gotta update the Fotki.

 

Homemade Interlocking/Latching Tool for Dreadlocks

If you’ve looked at any of my videos on You Tube you’ll realize that I’m a DIYer and I mentioned this too in my introduction post of my blog as well. So my tool of choice will be none other than using what I already have. I mention it in the video but I thought that I’d show pics of it here and tell how it’s made since I did not go into that in the video. Also for the benefit of those who may not be able to view video from You Tube for whatever reason. Shoot, blogs are where I first got my information on locking and at that time I was still using dial-up so viewing video was out of the question.

I got the idea from Miel001 and MsButterfli on YouTube. In that she tells how she made her tool and she demonstrates the 4 point method to tighten her locs. From those videos, I made my tool which starts from a paper clip.

Step 1.  Stretch it out as best you can, then fold it over to form a loop making it as large or small as you like.

Step 2. Twist the ends of the loop together.  You may need to use some regular or needle nose pliers if you got ’em, to make a handle.

Step 3. Lastly, wrap some tape and I used duct tape, around the twisted portion of the tool. It’ll make the tool more comfortable to grip.

Miel001 calls it a “blind needle” because the hole is so big that a blind person could probably use it to sew with. I thought this was a great idea and would be much easier to use than the latch hook and there are  no moving parts to get caught in the hair. Love that and it’s cheap ’cause I already got that stuff lying around the house…did I mention how I love that it’s cheap!!

I hope that this is of use to you and let me know if you’ve made you own tool for latching your locs!

 

 

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Where I get my coconut oil from


I’ve been asked where I purchase my coconut oil from in bulk. That place is Tropical Traditions. It is the gold label virgin coconut oil and for the 5 gallon bucket, it is a lot to shell out at one time. At $230 + shipping and to my area of the country that was $20 for a total of $250. I do use it for more than just my hair, as I mentioned in the previous post I cook with it, use it in my shealoe mix for my body (face included) and now I’m back to using it (the coconut oil alone) for my hair. I used to use the shealoe mix for my hair too when it was loose. Now, that works out to about $6.24 per 16oz which is the largest size I have seen offered in my neck of the woods. The cheapest I have run across is $9.99 at Walmart in the vitamin section which is virgin coconut oil to $19.99 at the health food store. Of course to get those savings, you do have to get the 5 gallon bucket. The savings gap is a lot less as the next size down from the 5 gallon is 1 gallon. The regular price for the 1 gallon bucket is $70+ shipping. That works out to a bit under $9.00 per 16 oz, since I’m sure shipping would be a bit less. Oh, I just went to the website and they have a special going on for 2-1 gallon pails for $99 until Sunday March 22,2008. That is equal to the per 16oz cost of the 5 gallon bucket. If you miss the sale, don’t worry they run sales quite often so I would not be surprised if you see that offer again very soon. At the regular price though, it is almost equal to the Walmart price but you don’t have the containers to throw out and clog the landfill every time you run out and purchase more, unless of course you are saving those containers to reuse. I reuse the one container I have when I was trying the virgin coconut oil for my shealoe mix. So, you can see you will save a significant amount by purchasing in bulk, especially if you are going to be using it a lot and there is no reason to end up paying more for the same product. Another more simplified example. The Walmart virgin coconut oil is as I said $9.99…$11.00 if you add tax, for the 16oz jar. To use 5 gallons you would have to buy 40 jars and no that is not a typo. At $11.00 a pop you will have spent $440. Which would you rather pay, besides free which is not an option here lol, $250 or $440? Y’all that’s my Virgo rising, gotta analyze. And you thought there was not going to be any astrology in here…not. But only a tiny bit, I’m not that proficient in it yet. Ok, back on topic.

As far as tips on storing it, I’ll includethis bit from the website:

“5. Does Coconut Oil need to be kept in the refrigerator, and how long does it last?

No, coconut oil does not need to be kept in the refrigerator. In the Philippines and other tropical climates, where the ambiance air temperature is much higher than North America, people traditionally have not refrigerated coconut oil. Virgin Coconut oil is very stable since it is unrefined and mostly saturated. The expiration dates on our Virgin Coconut Oils are for two years, and on our Expeller-pressed coconut oils they are 18 months, but they will usually be fine much longer than the expiration dates. We do recommend you store the oil out of direct sunlight. In the tropics coconut oil is almost always a liquid, since it’s melting point is about 76 degrees F. In North America it will usually be a solid, butter-like consistency. It can be stored in either form.”

Now unless you keep your house at temps approaching molten lava, I don’t think you have much to worry about. 🙂

Hope that helps.

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or distributor of the product nor am I being paid to review the product. The opinions set forth in this post are solely my personal opinion.

Coconut Oil

Virgin Coconut Oil that is. I had stopped using it in my hair for the last 5-6 months now because once I found out what makes my hair soft I did not want to go back to that slightly stiff feeling that I experienced when I was using coconut oil in the 1st month of locking. For the last couple of days I decided to give it a try again using the less is more principle that I’m using with essential oils. I put a really, really small amount in my hand, rub both hands together to melt it down then put it on my damp locs. Very nice and my locs absorb it quite well. It also looks like I only need to do this every 2-3 days. I had read back when my hair was loose that coconut oil penetrates and strengthens the hair strands so I wanted to take advantage of while I was locked too. I’m glad that I can still use it.

Virgin Coconut Oil is not machined processed so it retains its beneficial properties, however it is quite expensive compared to LoaAnn Coconut Oil that is refined which you can get at Walmart for just under $4 for a 32oz jar where I am in the country. To get the price per 16oz down, which is probably the most commonly sold quantity for the virgin coconut oil, you’ll want to purchase this item in bulk, especially if you’re going to cook with it and use it in skin/haircare as I do. I’m still using the 5 gal bucket I got Jan 2008 and have about 1/4 left.

So if oils are making your locs/hair feel stiff you might not have your hair at it’s proper moisture level and in the case of moisture more is more, use only a tiny amount of oils every few days or so.

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or distributor of the product nor am I being paid to review the product. The opinions set forth in this post are solely my personal opinion.

Latching/Interlocking Demonstration

Here’s a video that I did on my YouTube channel demonstrating how I interlock/latch my roots as maintenance for my braidlocks. It’s minus the 2 month update. In it I show how I do the 4 point rotation using a homemade tool made from a paperclip and duct tape.

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My Routine & Changes to previous routine postings


I thought that I would post on my routine and what products I’m using.

My shampoo recipe:

1 TBS baking soda
2 cups water
2 dollups of Dr Bronner’s Lavender Castille Soap
a few drops of tea tree oil, rosemary oil, sage oil, eucalyptus EO’s
a few drops of jojoba oil
a few drops of almond oil
a few drops of orange oil for fragrance

I started using the baking soda mixture with the rosemary EO while I my hair was loose to help with my dandruff and itchy scalp. Commercial shampoos and conditioners I guess were leaving a film or something behind on my scalp because I had itchy, flaky scalp even in the summer. Co-washing was not helping either. Winter time was worse, enough to make my own ski slope. lol The baking soda mixture was helping a bit but I was only at that time shampooing every 2-4 weeks so I decided to try the tea tree oil in addtion to the rosemary oil. The sage oil & eucalyptus oils and Dr Bronner’s are recent additons at month 5. I put those in for growth, addtional scalp anticeptic properties and cleaning respectively. I wash weekly though sometimes it’s been 10-12 days between washings lately since it is winter and I keep my heat at no more than 69 degrees. Sometimes it gets a bit chilly walking around with a wet head. I’ve found that air drying helps to retain moisture. Gotta tell y’all my scalp feels a whole lot betta.

I decided to try the jojoba & almond oils for 1) I already had them, hate to waste stuff I’ve spent my hard earned money on and did not work at the time I purchased them, 2) My hair was looking a bit dry after a wash. Now I just tried this on the last wash on Friday and I like the results. My hair dried with a lot more sheen than with the addition of the Dr. Bronners and eucalyptus oil in month 5.

I’ve also decided to add a few drops of the jojoba oil to my spritz. I’m liking the results of that too. I just have to be careful that it is indeed only a few drops. Too much and as I mentioned b4, the locs will be feeling a bit stiff. Me no like stiff hair! Dealt with that long enough and I ain’t going back. I’m determined to have soft hair/locs even if that means it takes a while to lock. lol Though, I’ve got some that are actually locking, as you saw in the video/pics so that debunks that myth. Love it when a plan comes together and I do something that someone says can’t be done. Maybe that’s my Mars in Aries the 8th house inconjunct Uranus/Pluto in Virgo in the 1st house. Had to throw some astrology in there.

The last change that I’ve made is that I’m going to still retighten at 4 weeks starting in the new moon period but I’m only going to retighten the back and sides. The crown and top/front will be done every 8 weeks. These areas are a bit looser/thinner than the back and side areas of my head. They are still growing and this is the area of my head that grows the fastest so I’ll just have to make sure that I pop those locs after shampooing. Speaking of retightening if you are not sure how to do it I have a video of how I retighten my hair. It will be in the video bar.

Update: I am no longer using the Dr. Bronner’s as a shampoo just as a body wash. As of October 2009 I’m currently using Raw African Black Soap that I have made into a liquid. There will be a post on this.

Disclaimer: All of the products mentioned in this post have been purchased by me. I have no affiliation with the manufacturer or distributor of the product nor am I being paid to review the product. The opinions set forth in this post are solely my personal opinion.

Pics of the journey thus far. Day 1-6 months

Pics of the journey so far. The Fotki has been updated too if you are not able to view the video.

I’m loving this journey and excited about the changes that I see in my braids progressing to locs.
I will be sticking with the new moisture routine and shampoo additives. Now if anyone knows of a 12 step program to help me stop touching my locs then let me know. lol

My locs are 6 months old!!!

Quick post with pics to follow later. Monday the 23rd was my braidlocks 6 month birthday and I was not feeling well at all! For the last 5 years I have cut way back on beef and eggs and have totally eliminated bacon, luncheon meats and the like. But lately I’ve been eating way more eggs than I had in the past thinking that was a good way to up my protein intake. Well, my body was not having it and let me know by making me feel it. On top of that the female monthly visitor was having her way so I was not up to posting or anything requiring thinking. LOL I’m now in the middle of retightening so when I decide to take a break I’ll post a few pics here and update the fotki.See y’all later. 🙂

More thoughts on Moisture, Moisture, Moisture

There are a few more things I have observed on my new moisture regimen as I’m one week away from my braidlocks 6 month anniversary.

More of the braids are “fuzzy/frizzy” down the length of the braid as it’s doing it’s thing in the formation of locs. I was twirling that hair around the braid to tame the look. But I have noticed in these last few weeks of twice daily spritzing, the fuzziness/frizziness factor is reduced a lot. It’s still there but does not have that dull look to it that accentuates what might be called the not so neat factor. Now my hair being a fine texture has a certain amount of what I call built in frizziness, however I now know that my hair in the old days was never at it’s optimal moisture level.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that my hair has a sheen to it when it is fully moisturized. I’ve already mentioned that I’m not using oils since I’m in the beginning stages of locking and my scalp flakes more with the addition of oils on it. The coils have an amazing sheen on them and the buds have a bit sheen to them as well.

Third, there is more body, movement and flexibility to the hair. Our hair is not known to have the body and movement of say those with straighter textures but I’m beginning to believe this is so because most who have kinky, coily textures experience shrinkage when water makes contact with the hair, therefore messing up whatever hairstyle the hair is in. But with proper moisture content, the hair is fuller, lighter and more flexible. A good example of this is a tree. A tree that has had to endure many seasons of drought, will have a trunk that is extremely rigid. A good stiff wind will either snap the tree off at the trunk or knock it over from the ground. Because it cannot bend, it will break. Proper moisture allows the tree, your hair to bend and flow. It also looks lush and plump not limp and brittle.

Now I realize this may slow down the speed in which my hair locs but I’m ok with that. My theory is that since a loc is made up of new hair growing into the loc and hair that was already there, then it makes sense to prevent hardness from the start by having moisturized hair make up the loc. Instead of later trying to soften layers of hair that was hard going into the loc formation.

Peace, Love & Laughter