May 07, 2017

3.5 Years Locked

My goodness does time fly by so quickly!  I've had my locs for 3.5 years now and I still enjoy my journey.  Here's an update of my locs followed by some changes I've made:


Hair Color: My locs are healthy and strong!  During the winter break I dyed the front half of my locs reddish-brown.  I wanted to have a two-toned look because I was inspired by youtuber tbey82's video from long ago when she dyed the back of her locs a different color.  My color is much more visible in the sunlight.  It's light enough to notice that I've colored my hair, but dark enough to blend in with the rest of my natural hair color as my roots grow out.

Style: I'm wearing a cornrow braidout, but normally I'll just curl my hair using locloops or wear it freestyle.

Health: I've been eating healthy consistently, exercising regularly, and drinking plenty of water on a daily basis.  I've noticed that my roots look and feel healthy, and I believe that it has a lot to do with maintaining a healthy lifestyle.  

Double Dragons: So I still have my two-headed dragons from when I first combined my locs in 2015.  Over the weekend I decided to combine just a few more locs, mainly my entire back section since these locs happened to be the thinnest.  I think I'll keep my dragons a little longer, but I know that I'll need to cut them eventually because I have more volume as my locs grow longer.

Maintenance: I will tighten my locs every one to two months and work on the front half on one day, and the second half the next day, or the following week.  Before it would take me 2-3 hours to work on each section, but I think it should be faster now that I've combined a few more locs.  I still use my nappylocs tool and latch hook, and I shampoo with Shea Moisture Fruit Fusion Coconut Water Weightless Shampoo.  It smells amazing and I like the sudsy feel it gives.  Other than that, I don't really use anything else on my hair except for water.

 (For more pics click here. )

These photos show off the color of my locs in the sunlight.

March 20, 2016

2.3 Years Locked

Last night I had tightened my locs and curled them up for today.  I was amazed by how good they looked and I just wanted to share some pictures with you.  They have grown so much and I am beginning to see their length.  My hair appears to be fully locked, including most of my ends, and so far I'm enjoying this journey.  I keep my routine very simple:

-Wrap my locs with a satin scarf every night
-Shampoo them 1/x a week and periodically use AVJ as a leave-in
-Spritz them with water as needed
-Tighten them every 1-3 months




I had also made a video that explains my journey so far:


Combined Locs

One year after my loc installation I counted 580+ locs all over my head.  I had requested smaller locs to be installed w/ the intention of combining them later, which I had done around my 2 year mark.  If you start with smaller locs and gradually combine them over time to achieve having bigger locs, then the process may be easier than starting with bigger locs and trying to split them and make them smaller later on.


My DIY Reti's were shorter in the beginning, but as my locs grew longer so did my reti sessions, and some of my locs naturally married together since my hair is thick and dense.

My newly combined locs have allowed me to keep up with my reti's since my hair grows quickly, and I tighten them every 1-2 months with my nappylocs tool and latch hook.  After a few loc journeys, getting to know my hair, and how it matured once it locked up, I knew exactly what to expect with this journey and I proceeded with combining my locs.  They are still small but a little bigger than their initial size in some areas.


2-HeadedDragons: I plan to keep my two headed dragons, and  I do not have plans to combine them or cut them off.  At one point I had also taken down a few locs on one side of my head just to play with my loose hair, and then I two strand twisted them back to re-loc my hair once again.


December 12, 2015

12-Yr. Nappiversary and 2-Yr. Lockversary!

Greetings!
Hi family!  It feels so good to be back again!  I've taken a much needed two-year hiatus from blogging because I went through so many changes that required much of my time.  The good news is that during that season I was able to shift my focus and experience personal growth in different areas of my life.  I've missed all of you and I've been longing to reconnect with my naptural family again.  When I had some free time, I visited your blogs and vlogs to stay abreast on how you've been.  :)  I have updates for you and I've posted plenty of pics below for you to enjoy!

Nappiversary
I have been natural for 12 years!!

Lock Journey 
In January 2014, I made the decision to lock my hair again.  Wearing my loose napps for one year (2013) was a fun experience, however I missed wearing my locs.  I began my research online for a locktician, since I wanted them professionally started, and I found a wonderful lady on Yelp who started and maintained a variety of locs.  Yes, I'm a risk taker.  Her portfolio is amazing and after conversing with her for a while, I had her install my locs.  I showed her a photo of what I wanted, which were very small interlocks, and she installed them for me.  She did a phenomenal job!

Loc Stats
She installed my locs on my 10-12 inches of virgin hair.  Since then I became a DIYer and maintained my locs by interlocking my new growth.  I requested to have very small locs so that I could combine them later as needed.  She parted them in such a way that would allow me to maintain evenly parted spaces and rows if I ever decided to combine them in the future.  This is a current photo of what they look like, and in this pic I'm wearing a cornrow braidout.
For the first year: 
  • I hadn't counted my locs 
  • I've been wearing my natural hair color
  • Used my nappyloc tool for retightenings  
  • Braided and banded my locs every time I washed them
  • I'd worn them freestyle for the first 6 months
  • Washed them with Shea Moisture Coconut and Hibiscus Shampoo (my favorite!)
  • Spritzed my locs with Aloe Vera Juice post-wash
For the second year:
  • Simple routine - washed 1x/wk with Shea Moisture shampoo
  • Used my nappyloc tool for retightenings  
  • I had worn more curly styles 

2 Year Lockversary
My 2 year lockversary is next month and my locs have matured nicely.  I felt ready to combine most of my locs, so I used my new latch hook to join most of them together.  It was a good idea to request smaller sized locs, so that I could combine them later on.  I'm glad that my locktician parted my hair in such a way where my root bed and spacing would still be even after joining them.  Now I can enjoy the process of watching my locs grow out a little bigger than their previous size.  See, that is what I enjoy about having my locs; I can try new things, change things up a bit, and explore wearing different sizes.  It's a journey and it's all good. :)    

Photo Timeline
Below I've posted a photo timeline of my first two years of being locked: 

Install and Months 1-6
(left): Installation ----  (right): 1 month
(left): 3 months ----  (right): 5 months
(left): DIY fresh reti ----  (right): 6 months
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Months 7-12
(left and right): 7 months

(left and right): 11 months
(left and right): 12 months
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Year 2 (Months 13-24)

(left): 13 months ----  (right): 15 months

(left): 22 months ----  (right): 23 months
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In my next post, I'll update you with more info about my newly combined locs along with some photos.  I've enjoyed wearing my little locs and watching them expand and mature.  Now I'm ready for them to be a little bigger and strengthen my root bed in some areas, since they have grown longer.

December 30, 2013

My 10 Year Nappiversary!!!

I'm celebrating my 10th year of being relaxer-free and wearing my hair naturally!!!  I can't believe that I have reached this  milestone in my life and the journey has been incredible!   I celebrated this occasion by pampering myself in different ways.  I've been following a new regimen that includes a few new products and so far it seems to be working well for me.  As I continue my natural hair journey, I aim to keep my hair healthy and strong.  I praise God for this experience and I know that it will on get even better! 
 PUFF/AFRO
I was invited to a Christmas concert held by my former community choir, and I kept my look classic with a red and black theme.  I wore red skinny jeans, knee high black suede boots that made me even taller, a red shawl over my black ribbed sweater and simple accessories.  I even wore lipstick that I made myself.  The recipe can be found on my beauty blog: http://skinparadise.blogspot.com/  I received so many compliments and I felt great!
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FRO-HAWK


I rocked a fro-hawk during finals week of my grad program, and so many of my peers were in awe of how I could wear my hair this way.  Oh the beauty of our gravity defying tresses. :-D  This style was achieved on a braid-out  (the first time) and then on a bantu-knot out (the second time). With the first one I made 6-8 large plaits after washing my hair, and allowed them to air dry.  I've found that when I do this then my hair stretches even more making it easier to pull the sides up and bobby pin them into place.
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 MINI TWISTS

                                                           
Twists on stretched hair before shrinkage:

                                                       
Twists after shrinkage:

For New Year's I made mini-twists on stretched hair after wearing an old puff, and I was surprised by how much new growth I had.  They felt light, airy and very full.  Two days later I rinsed them and major shrinkage transformed the style into a cute bob.  I wore this shrunken state for maybe two more days because my hair tangles easily and tends to lock quickly.  In fact, signs of entanglement had begun to show so I untwisted each one.  The take down process was much faster than putting them in obviously.  Below are some pics of the finished twists up close. 

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PUFF WITH TWISTED SIDE BANGS
  
I changed things up a bit by adding twisted side bangs with my puff.  I think I might wear more twisted bangs in order to preserve my hair line, and I need to sew a few more hair ties since this blue one is my default color choice no matter what I wear.
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HAIR REGIMEN

New Regimen: Here is my new regimen.  After I wash and condition my hair i'll spritz aloe vera juice all over, and then seal in the moisture with my oil mixture using:

1 oz. Vitamin E
1 oz. Castor Oiil
1 oz. Avocado Oil
1 oz. Sweet Almond Oil

My hair will dry quickly once these oils have been absorbed.  My hair feels slightly moisturized, and even more so when I spritz it with water.  I'm so glad that it doesn't feel as dry either.