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

Moisture, Moisture, Moisture

The key to real estate I’ve always heard is location, location, location. Well I think that holds true for kinky, coily hair except change the word location to moisture, moisture, moisture.

I’ve been experimenting with spritzing with a sprayer that gives a stronger mist stream than the push pump bottle and spritzing more than once a day for a couple of weeks now. I make sure to lift the locs up to get in between the layers and the underside of the locs as well. What’s in my spritz you ask, well just water and a couple drops each of lavender & eucalyptus essential oil in this pint container. I’ve tried aloe juice & gel, vegetable glycerin, silk peptide powder, leave in conditioners and a few others. They all seemed to leave my hair feeling slightly stiff. Oiling my scalp with olive, jojoba, sweet almond & coconut oil was making my scalp flake even more. So again, I’m finding less is more in terms of products. That’s not a typo on just 2 drops each of the EOs. More than that left my locs again with that slightly stiff feeling when it dried. Not complaining though… less product is good for my pocketbook too.

Now as far as moisture specifically water, the exact opposite is true at least for my hair. More is better. This is the softest my hair has ever felt. Incredible. No other product except water & EOs. Even if I could use conditioner, there is absolutely no need for it right now. The portions of my hair that is mostly locked is soft. Those locs feel like a firm sponge. I never knew that natural, kinky, coily hair could feel this good. WARNING THIS HAS SIDE EFFECTS: H-I-L-D better known as hand in lock disease. I can’t help it, my hair feels sooo good. I never knew that natural hair is really like this as we are taught to be afraid of water, surely don’t let it get on your hair.

My hair is glad that I’ve decided to take this journey. For the first time in my life that I am comfortable in my own skin. Natural hair & locs are that powerful.

Until next time,
Peace, Love & Laughter

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.

Gonna try Latching/Interlocking w/the New Moon

I’ve heard of the saying about cutting your hair with the New Moon for growth so I’m thinking about waiting to start my next latching session with the first day of the New Moon which is the eve of Feb 24. I had been starting around the 14-15th of the month. Why not? This I think will be another step in aligning my life more in tune with natures cycles.

I’ve been latching on a 4 week time frame since I seem to have too much (Universe, please don’t think I’m complaining…I’m ecstatic that it’s growing way faster than when it was loose!!) new growth for just one rotation. ‘Been using the 4 point rotation but I’m thinking of switching to the 3 point. Anyway, with more new growth (yay!!) it takes twice as long to do each row. My reasoning is that the least amount of entries that need to be made the better. thereby decreasing the chances of entering the same hole twice or more. Also the more area I can move through when I work on it helps my patience level and sense of accomplishment.

Though I am low maintenance, I do prefer a more tailored/manicured look, hence my choice of latching my new growth instead of twisting or freeforming. By DIYing I save money and I can work on my own schedule. It takes me about a week to finish once I start but I bet I could get it done in 2-3 days. I’m usually not in the mindset to work on it more than 2-3 hours at a time though I have gone longer some days and even shorter on others.

Until next time,
Peace, Love & Laughter 😉

I have a Fotki now!

OK y’all I just uploaded all my photos documenting my journey thus far onto Fotki. Check em out.

I told ya I don’t do any styling. lol That’s mainly ’cause I’m low maintenance like I said b4 and I don’t want to disturb the lock process by stretching them. Plus it’s been a bit chilly here lately and the locs feel good on my neck and around my ears. lol I think I’m getting the hang of this blogging thing, but I got lots more to learn.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell y’all, when I was at Walmart yesterday a lady was looking, almost staring at my hair. I think she might have been a bit nervous to say something so I decided to melt the ice a bit by smiling at her. She then complimented me on my hair, asked if I was I locking and who did my hair. I told her yes I was and that I did it myself. She mentioned she was thinking about locking and was currently transitioning out of her relaxer. She also said she did not know where to turn so I told her about YouTube, and the web on finding out about natural hair and locs, offering encouragement to continue the transition to natural hair. I may have a convert!! Lets hope so.

Until next time,
Peace, Love & Laughter 😉

Pics of Braidlocs in the beginning

The bottom pic is the from the day I finished putting the braidlocs in. Started out with 7-7 1/2 in of hair. My measurment tool for parting was a # 2 pencil. This goes for the horizontal partings and each individual section for the loc. Now, they are not all exact but I’m very happy with the results. I don’t know why I did not take a picture of the back and sides. The next 2 pics were taken 2 weeks later with 2 washings. I wash my hair every week & spritz everyday.

My avatar pic is after my last retightening a couple of weeks ago. As you can see shrinkage is in full effect but they have filled out a lot. I’ll post a few more pics at the 1/2 year (6 month)mark which is coming up in two weeks.

If you want to see a bit more click on my YT link on the right side here and go to my YT(YouTube) page. I have a playlist for the braidloc journey thus far. I’m debating on whether to do a fotki album also. Of course it will be the free one, like I’ve said before, gotta watch them pennies. I’m sure the free one will work just fine since I’m not a style maven by any stretch of the imagination. lol

Until next time,
Peace, Love & Laughter