October 02, 2007

9-12 Months

12 Months
More Curls:
I am really feeling these loose curls and i'm excited just thinking about how they will look when my locks grow twice as long. Next month will be my 1st Lock-versary and I can't wait!
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Workout Hairstyle:
Now that my locks have grown a little longer, I am able to put my hair back in one low lock puff and i'm excited because when I run they stay out of my face finally.
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Retightening w/ New Color:
I am very satisfied with the maturity of my locks and the new color that I have even though these photos don't give my color any justice. Praise God for this freedom and every kink & coil on my head. Btw, I revamped the top that I have on. It was a regular t-shirt that I cut up into this style.
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11 Months

HAPPY NAPPY-VERSARY TO ME!
5 YEARS NAPPTURAL AND LOVING IT! (as of Dec. 1st)
I can't believe it. 5 years! I had to do a double take on that one but i'm so excited that it's has been that long since my last perm. Here are some reasons for celebrating:
1) It's all mine, every kink & coil. No more perm/extensions ever
2) I know how to properly care for my hair and meet its needs
3) I love my hair and myself meaning no more mental shackles
4) Time and patience is a virtue
5) I'm free!
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NEW COLOR:
I decided to go with an even lighter shade of blonde and I like it! It's Light Golden Blonde. The color came out the same as my old one but even lighter/brighter. I've been debating whether or not to continue coloring but my rational was that if I could find a color I liked, then I would continue using it, and I have!
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LOOSE CURLS:

This is my first time experimenting with large rollers to create looser curls and I like it so much that I think I prefer this more than the tight curls with the pipe cleaners. I used skinny perm rods but I think I need to use something else because those rods had little teeth that snagged some of my locks.
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SINGING
I participated in a Carol Service where we had to sing beautiful Christmas Carols and I decided to wear tight curls. Everyone loved them and I just felt gorgeous.
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SUN * WIND * SKY * FREE


Fresh Retightening


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10 Months
Pipe Cleaners = Curls!
I bought a pack of pipe cleaners from the art store and used them to roll my locks while damp. I left them in overnight until my locks fully dried and then took them out the next morning. I had huge shirley temple curls and decided to leave the front ones in, and separate each curl in the back of my head to create smaller curls. I wore this style for a week before I had to wash my hair but I knew they would have lasted longer if I hadn't. I received so many compliments and this style reminded me of when I wore my short puffs and twists. I was so accustomed to the curls and the short length (from when I wore my loose napps) that after washing my hair and letting the locks fall straight, I almost didn't recognize my own locks. I researched how to use pipe cleaners from the nappturality website and thought 'how creative and inexpensive this is'. I give this 2 thumbs up with a big smile :-D I found information about how to use PC's from http://www.nappturality.com/
. Type "Pipe Cleaners" in their search box and select the "Lock Forum" Category and you'll find lots of info. and photos.



Above: curly locks.

Above: Curly lock-puff


Above: curly locks

Above: After locks dried w/ pipe cleaners


Above: (left) pipe cleaners on damp locks (right) dried locks with pipe cleaners removed

Above: Pipe cleaners & spirals up close
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The Floppy Lock-Puff

This is how your lock-puff looks when your hair is growing longer. Months ago my hair wasn't long enough to even make a decent puff without a headache, and now it's too long to make a puff that will stay up period. I tried shaking my locks, scrunching them up, basically anything to make them stick up and out but now, gravity decides to have its way. This is one of my favorite styles too. I do admit that I chose not to style my hair until my 1 year mark, after my first lock-puff attempt, because all that pulling unraveled some of my ends. Now I think I waited a little to long but at least my locks are firm and stopped unraveling. Oh well, I guess i'll have to wait until it's long enough to make a decent pony-tail. What an adventure.
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Grad School
I am a full time grad student and all I can say is that I need a vacation after this because all this studying can be draining. My current classes are very demanding and as time consuming as they are, I try my best to have somewhat of a social life. Some of my friends think I dropped off the face of the earth but really, if I didn't discipline myself with studying, then I would never get any work done. The coolest thing about having MLs is with a busy school schedule like mine, you don't need to worry about your hair.
Where do I study? I prefer a location where I feel most comfortable such as my bed or the couch. I'm not a big fan of studying at the library because people are noisy there too surprisingly. Do what works for you. Saturday was my 10 month SL anniversary and being so busy with school I didn't really pay much attention. I'm excited about reaching my one year mark but until then, I need to focus on my studies.
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Seborrheic Dermatitis
I have a scalp condition known as Seborrheic Dermatitis which is also another form of eczema. Definition: Seborrheic dermatitis is a common inflammatory condition of the skin that most often affects the scalp and face (areas above the neck), and that causes flaky scales to form on oily areas such as the scalp/hairline or around the ear. As far as what causes it, you can do more research but in my case this is genetic. It has always been an issue since I was a child and i've been to many dermatologists and used many medications to treat this problem but had no success.
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I've accepted the fact that this is a condition I must live with for as long as it exists and i'm more knowledgeable now about when I have my exacerbations. My flare-ups occur the most during Fall and Winter seasons and are particularly worse in dry/cold weather especially around my hairline, part of my face, ears and neck, and immediately after washings. I experience skin discoloration as well. This is the reason why my scalp won't tolerate any products except a medicated shampoo, and when I became napptural is when I discovered that hair products had enhanced my condition all along. The main reason for locking my hair is so that I can have my med.shampoo reach my scalp during washings. The thickness and density of my loose napps made this complicated and flakes of shedded epidermis always got trapped in my napps and were hard to brush out. I have relief only when it's Spring/Summer time, warmer conditions, or when sweat keeps my scalp moisturized so exercising a lot really helps and cuts down and flare-ups.
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I share this information with you because I know that others out there have similar issues and I just wanted to encourage them by saying, take this day by day and don't get frustrated because things could be worse. At times it's embarrassing when I have flare ups but the good thing is that my locks are long enough to cover those areas that are drastically inflamed. At first I was hesitant to share this information but I felt that I needed to because I had my flare up when I first SL'd in January and it calmed down after the first 3 months but now it's back with a vengeance since Winter is coming; I need to share my journey of having S.D. while locked.
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9 Months
Cocoa Butter Lotion
As sensitive as my skin is, I am unable to use just any soap or lotion on my skin and the facial moisturizers that I had been using contained too many harsh chemicals/ingredients so i'm trying a different route. After reading about the benefits of Cocoa Butter, I went and bought a bottle and decided to give it a try. If my skin reacts well to it, then I will use this lotion as my daily moisturizer. I like the fact that it contains a more natural product and its smell is very pleasant. It doesn't hurt to smell a little like chocolate.


Self-Grooming

Disclaimer: I know it is recommended to wait a year or until your locks mature to have them groomed by a consultant, but my hair locked very quickly from the first day and I know for a fact that my hair is locked because it's hard/stiff, and I don't have anymore unraveling. These are my locks and I can do what I please with them. Not everyone follows the rules so no need for a controversy about what I did :-) . End Disclaimer
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My hair is basically locked and i've decided to groom my locks to remove any extra stray hairs and straggly ends. This was a tedious process and I can see why consultants are paid to do this, and even though I did this myself and I knew what I was doing, I wouldn't recommend anyone just doing it because I did. I happen to know my hair very well. I'm pleased with the results and can see a major difference in my before and after photos. I sectioned off my hair and used a 2-way mirror and a pair of scissors to do the whole process. "Before" is on the left and "After" is on the right of these six photos:
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Before & After

Before & After

Before & After


These are more photos of my locks after I retightenend and groomed my entire head:

21 comments:

Cluizel said...

Oh wow...you can really see a difference. I have had my hair groomed a few times in the past year and change (my consultant does what she wants/best for my hair...not what Sisterlocks recommends) That's really cool you can do it yourself!

Love the color!

Ofo said...

Wow, you have a lot of hair girl! Lovely color. It's beautiful. I've been reading your blog and see you had to take down too. I'm glad you did it. Your 2nd set is far far superior to the 1st.
Ofo

Ms Stella said...

I just love your hair. I can't get over the fact that you started a 2nd set of locks 3 months after my Sisterlocks were installed and you have already dyed, self-maintained and groomed.

You were born to lock!

Tra said...

You did an awesome job with YOUR locks girlfriend! I think they look fantastic and you should certainly be proud of yourself.

SistaLocd said...

I think you did a great job. Your locks look wonderful and I just love the color.I have always been a fan of your locks!

Naturally Sophia said...

You, your locs and their color are all fabulous!

Lakia said...

lovin the color, it suits you!

Creyole said...

Pretty good missy! I tried it but it was just too much for me. I happy to know you beat all odds on this one. Keep up the good work!

Creyole

dewdrop said...

Thank you ladies for your compliments. I know it seems that i've done a lot to my hair already but it just felt right and i'm not afraid to take chances, especially if I have a good idea of what the outcome might be. Right now i'm looking forward to my lock-versary in the next 3 months...omg it's approaching quickly!

blackrussian said...

Greetings from your hair twin!

I just did a self-grooming too! (even though I'm only 6 months locked and was told not to.)

I am sure it will be fine!

I'm happier too, but I didn't bother taking before and after pics. I wasn't as organized about it as you were, so I am sure I will need to have my consultant go through it more thoroughly later.

I just got the parts that were bothering me the most.

The way my hair locked (I suspect yours was similar) it wasn't really fuzzy all up and down the lock, but the ends were kind of straggly.

I snipped little dangling bits of hair off the last inch or so of several of my locks and now they look much much neater.

Looking good!

I'm curious...how often do you touch-up your color?

n'Drea said...

Congrats on reaching 10 months. I reached that milestone as well on the 28th.

Your locks look amazing, and I'm inspired by the fact that you maintain your locks yourself, and have even coloured them already!

Continue to enjoy your journey, this second time around.

S0uthernGirl said...

I can hardly believe how quickly your locks have progressed! Your grooming and the color both came out great. I want to dye mine again but I think I'd have major slippage so I'm holding off for now.

I'm glad to see that you're happy with your locks this time around. It's always a good feeling when you overcome a set back and end up getting exactly what you wanted.

Renea said...

Great job all around! Your hair looks really good. If you use fewer locks on the pipe-cleaners, you can probably get a similar result as I did with the Wrap-A-Locs. Though they are stiffer than regular pipe-cleaners. I think my set came out tighter because I sat under the dryer.

Khandi said...

Wow your locs are lookin gr8 and i love the curls!

Can't wait til i am able to style mine and i think i will give the pipe cleaner a go. If you have a link to where you got the info i would be most appreciative

Khandi

blackrussian said...

I like what you did with the pipe cleaners. I am going to have to try that!

Lakia said...

I am loving the pipe cleaners. That is a great economic way to get curls.

ja stu sister lock journey said...

I VISIT YOUR BLOG OFTEN, HAD TO LEAVE A COMMENT THIS TIME. I AM LOVING THE PIPECLEANERS CURLS, THEY ARE FABULOUS, YOUR LOCKS ARE LOOKING GREAT.

ALL THE BEST.

Tra said...

You always do so well with you hair and the pipecleaners are no exception. The curls look great!

Audrey's Pleasure said...

girl, you are just incredible with your locks. they look amazing and you do great work with it. thank you for sharing your styling tips. i love the pipecleaners. can i get that to buy at Ricky's or where? your style is so fly i had to put your link on my blog. i would love to have a SL style party where we bring our tools, accessories, products, etc and show each other how-to-style.

Da_AnTz said...

wow..Love your hair also..I will try to keep people posted...wish my hair looked that full..hahah

Escoveitch said...

Thanks for the post about seb. dermatitis. I suffer from it as well but I had previously thought that having locks would make it more difficult to care for my scalp, or that I'd have to be picking flakes from my locks. Glad to know it is actually possible.