9 Months

Well it’s time for another update already, 9 months to be exact today. Movin’ on up!!

Not a whole lot of change from month 8 though the back is still puffy & frizzy on the ends, it has calmed down a wee bit and slimmed down some. It’s also taking quite a bit longer to dry after washing or a really good spritzing. Not a problem though…just gotta wash it earlier in the day than I used to earlier in the journey. I’m more in love with my hair than I was before not that I did not love it before, it’s just I’m so amazed by it. Oh, yesterday an older gentleman coming out of the thrift store was walking toward me as I was approaching the store. He called out to me to get my attention and said “I just wanted to tell you that you are very attractive”. Now you know that made a sista feel real good and coming from an older person (as he looked to be around the same age or older than DH who is 17 yrs older than I) who are generally are not too keen on locs. They was blowing & swanging (y’all know there is a difference between swinging & swanging) in the wind as I walked about. lol

Oh I forgot to add that I’ve reduced the amount of baking soda that I use in my shampoo mix from 1 tbs to 1 tsp. Since I don’t use any product in my hair other than a few drops of peppermint, lavender and cedarwood essential oils in my water spritz I don’t have the need to clarify, just clean my hair. I’m also substituting the water part of the mix with aloe vera juice. I mentioned this in the last post.

DH & I attended his 2nd cousin’s wedding & reception today so here are some pics of how I’m wore my locs. I double two strand twisted the front, french rolled the lower portion in the back and then adorned that portion with some decorative pins. I did that ’cause I want my puff to sit up high but those lower locs have condensed the most and are too short to go into the puff. Y’all I had to put in a million and one pins (well that’s a bit of an exaggeration…it was more like 9 pins but still) just for that little portion. The puff portion is held up by another hair tie I made, and was rolled with large rollers to give some lift to the puff since my hair seems to want to lie kinda flat in that back middle area. It was humid today and ended up raining so the puff dropped a bit so I think if I do it again in the future, I’ll use smaller rollers and smaller sections of hair. Plus the smaller ones should be easier to sleep on I hope. The two strand twisted portion held up well probably because I did 4 locs per section ,2 strand twisting 2 locs and then 2 strand twisting those together.

The top that I was wearing, y’all a thrift store find at $5.00 and the black skirt $.50! Who says you can’t look fly on the cheap!!

Aloe Vera Gel/Juice, Peppermint and Cedarwood Essential Oils


Ok I had this bottle of Aloe Vera Gel that I bought 2 years ago when I first went natural that was about to expire in July in this year. I was using this in the shealoe mixture consisting of shea butter, coconut oil and of course the aloe vera gel. Well now that I’m locking I did not want to risk using that mix in my locs though I still use it as a face and body moisturizer. Anyway, there was oh probably 1/4 left in the bottle that I did not want to go to waste and for those of you that have seen my You Tube videos know I don’t like to waste anything, especially hard earned dollars. So I thought I’d pour the rest of the aloe vera gel in my shampoo mixture since it was almost empty. I then added a bit more Dr. Bronner’s, peppermint & cedarwood essential oils. Wow, you talk about even softer locs after they’ve dried than before for me! Now part of that may also be because it has been raining here at least once a day for the past 3 weeks therefore the humidity in the air has been minimum 70%. But the sheen has been kicked up a notch, even the locs in the back that are doing their thing. I’ve also oiled my scalp only with coconut oil and a couple drops of cedarwood and peppermint EOs each.

Motowngirl has info on a few essential oils so that’s where I got the idea to try the cedarwood and peppermint oils. On another website (click here) mentioned that peppermint oil was for dry hair & helps promote growth. As far as the peppermint I can understand growth but I would not have thought is was for dry hair. However it really does make sense in that the mint family of plants thrive in drier growing conditions. Dry conditions… dry hair, maybe there is a connection. The other reason for trying this combination of essential oils is that I’ve had issues with high blood pressure in the past, so I thought it might be a good idea to look for an alternative. So to clarify (no pun intended), I am no longer using rosemary or sage essential oils in my shampoo mix or spritz.

Aloe Vera, I’ve found in my research is strengthening for the hair, soothing for the scalp, aids in hair growth and has amino acids. One lady on the LongHairForum says uses it as a strengthener since it has protein in it, using it like Aphogee I would assume. I’m gonna try it that way, since that will be a whole lot easier to deal with than henna.

If you use the aromatherapy kind of essential oils that are for external use only, which is probably what you’re getting at the health food store and use them a lot check out this site the http://www.thecatalog.com. I ordered the EOs that I’m using at quite a bit of savings than if I purchased the same ones at the health food store. I was very pleased with how the order arrived.

I got the big bottle of lavender, peppermint & eucalyptus oils and quite a few other oils since I like to make air fresheners out of these in addition to using them for my hair and future concoctions. Here’s an example of the savings. The lavender EO was $47.19 for a 16oz bottle with sales tax (which they did charge for my state by the way at 10 %) is $51.91 and with shipping (if you ordered less than $75.00), grand total $56.91. That means that each ounce, which is the size of the bottles that you purchase at the health food store or GNC is $ 3.56. I don’t know about y’all but where I live even at GNC, I paid $8.79 for that 1 oz bottle. Buy 16 of those and you’ve paid (sit down b4 you read any further ’cause you may have already done this) $140.64 sales tax included. Which is better $56.91 or $140.64 especially if you are purchasing/using the same product/thing whatever on a regular basis?! This is an illustration/reason to have liquid savings aside from your emergency savings to take advantage of things like this and how we unconsciously dribble away our money. But that’s a whole ‘nother post.

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.

New Style..sort of

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I don’t do much styling but I stumbled on this by chance. I’m re tightening right now and was using my homemade hair-tie to hold my hair out of the way while I do my thang. This might be backwards for some but I start at the back of my head and work my way to the front. Well, when I got to the point you see in the pic I got to thinking…shoot this looks kinda cute. SmileyCentral.com Thought I’d better get a pic so when I want to recreate this I’ll have a reference. So here it is with an additional pic of a really sad attempt at basketweaving the part that’s hanging down.

By the way, today is offically my 2 year Nappy-versary!!! SmileyCentral.com

8 months today!

My locks are 8 months old y’all! The only real changes are they are a bit more frizzier in the areas that moved into the locking process in month 6. The areas that started in month 5 have calmed it’s frizzes down a bit. The front I think will be the last to lock.

I just remembered that I was going to address M*Shawnte’s question on the feel of the lock after re tightening. The 3 & 4 point rotations feel firm whereas the 2 point rotation feels a bit more squishy so I think I’ll (change…yes again) back to the 3 & 4 point. I also experience a bit of bunching like Naturigurl mentioned. It was like the loc was trying to go back through the last rotation done. So I made sure to pull and straighten those out after my weekly wash. Since I’m returning to re tightening my entire head on the 4-4 1/2 week schedule, I should not have to go more than 1 rotation. Unless of course I have a serious growth spurt and I sure won’t complain about that.

Oh and how could I forget the hairballs at the end of 2 of my locs! One is in the front that’s getting a bit annoying because it swings in my face. The other one is in the back that looks like lint on the end. It’s a hairball with a gray hair coil within the hairball. I lovingly refer to it and the other grays in the top as my built in loc jewelry, because my greys are not just grey but they are “metallic silver”. lol

Difference in the 2 point rotation vs 3 or 4 point rotation?

I was asked by Anthio-Ofo (when you are done here check out her wonderful blog but not b4 you’re done reading here lol) if the 2 point rotation was fuller than the 3 point which she is using. Since I’ve only done this once on about 3/4 in new growth it’s kinda hard to tell visually. I just took a pick of the top of my head and compared it with the last pic I took of the top back in January using the 4 point. I’m pretty sure the January pic was after retightening and 1 wash whereas the left pic is after retightening & 2 washes. In both pics I have spritzed daily. Y’all see any difference?

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.