Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Loc Divide: Freeforming versus Manicured

This is probably one of the most tired topics that you've probably seen a couple of times on natural hair/loc blogs, sites, youtube posts, etc., but I just wanted to throw in my two cents on it.

Frankly, I'm sick of tired of the superiority that some manicured loc rockers have and the "my method is better" attitude of some freeformers. Today I mentioned to a loc'ed friend of mine that I'm freeforming now, and I was just shocked at how he made it sound as if I don't take care of my locks and just let them grow like bongo dreads. And the funny thing is, he said that my locks looked nice before I even told him that I freeform. He intially thought that I still retwisted, but just when i say I freeform he's like "oh..." and starts giving me attitude. What's up with that? So are my locks less beautiful now because I don't retwist them? He said that freeforming is a "wrong way" to take care of dreads. From there I just couldn't take him seriously, honestly.

Then there are the freeformers who say that people who manicure locks have the same attitude as people who wear perm or relaxer, that they are "ashamed of their new growth/nappy roots." Is that really fair? We all still have natural hair on our head, so why does it matter? Sometimes it still even annoys me when there are loc discussion for ONLY freeformers, but that's the same for manicured, sisterlocks, braidlocs, etc. Not that the categories alone bother me, because I think it's just more convenient and overall okay to talk to other lock rockers who have the same kind of locs as you; what bothers me is just how I see a hint of superiority and attitude in the discussion boards.

Now, I know that we all have our lock preferences and I think it is sometimes normal to speak out about how much you prefer one method over another. I have nothing against that, to each their own. What I don't like is how people look down upon others all because they are following a locking method that isn't for them. I don't like how people judge and make assumptions, or give attitude. I think the beauty of locs is that there is more than one way of maintaining them, and in my eyes, both manicured locks and freeformed locs are beautiful to me. What I DON'T like is a dirty, stinky, icky head of locs. As long as all of us take good care of our locks and keep it clean and healthy, what does it matter how others maintain them?

So what do y'all think about this topic, do you think enough is enough?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Frontal Braid-Out

Lastnight I combined some locs in the front because I was somewhat worried that two of them were getting kind of weak at the root, but then changed my mind because I realized that they weren't really that bad and that I liked how these locs in the front are a bit slimmer in comparison to my thicker locs in the back. I came to the conclusion that as long as they aren't literally hanging by a thread, there is really no reason for me to combine them. So I unmarried them, realizing that I somewhat got a braidout going on.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Loc Rockers and Our Pets

Not too many people know this, but I LOVE animals. Well, actually, everybody who knows me knows that I'm obsessed with animals lol, but most of all, I just have a passion for pets. I have a darling girl kitty called Sugar Baby, but I call her Shug or Baby Girl for short. Sometimes I call her Porker and Porky because she is one pudgy girl. She is 8 years old. We have such a special bond with each other, I've never had this kind of bond with any other cat ever. When she goes one day, a huge part of me will go with her (I always get teary-eyed just thinking about it). I know that sounds so morbid, but I can't help it, she's just so important to me. Anyways, I just thought of sharing a bit of Shug with you guys, isn't she adorable? As you can tell from the pics, she's such a cuddle bear and still acts like a kitten even though she's a senior cat now lol. Does anybody else have any pets? Please share any photos if you have any!


Thursday, July 22, 2010

Then and Now

Here are some early photos of my baby locs. I found these on my computer (I almost forgot that some pics were taken of me with my little locs lol) and thought I might as well show them to y'all so you can have a clearer picture of what my locs were then and what they are now. These pics aren't really in the right order lol (I wish I could organize them and make them look a bit more "professional" but it seems like the formatting won't really allow it lol). The bottom left is when they were first installed. The upper left and the bottom right is how they looked a couple of months after, and then the last one is I guess when I noticed that they started looking like locs. I wish I can give exact time and month they were taken but back in the day I honestly didn't really care about keeping a loc journal or anything like that, until now lol. The pics that are posted in my prior 18-month loc update post is what they look like now. What a transformation, eh?

Loc Update: The Year and a Half Mark!

Damn guys, today my hair is at the 18-month mark, exactly a year and a half. Honestly, I don't have anything major to update on my hair. Nothing much has really changed, other than that it is getting thicker and the combined locs are finally fully married (as you can probably tell from the pictures). I will just give y'all a rundown of what I'm doing to my hair right now:

1) Giving it TONS OF MOISTURE. I basically rinse my hair every day or every other day, mostly because it is so hot out. I wash my hair every 2-3 days, esp. after I get back from swimming or chilling at the beach, or just from jogging or driving in the heat. As usual I use Dr. Bronner's, and occasionally Suave. Every morning and night I spritz my hair with my mix of water, vegetable glycerin, oil, and essential oils. I've recently bought a bunch of essential oils, and they are absolutely wonderful. I mix a blend of lavender, lemongrass, sweet orange, and tea trea oil in my applicator filled with olive and coconut oil, or a blend of peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil. Trying to mix it up once in awhile with the blends, but not so much where the smell is too overpowering. At most I try and mix no more than 4 types of essential oils at a time. And last but not least, I drink lots of water, not just for my hair but for the rest of my body too.

2) I LEAVE MY HAIR ALONE. I think I'm over the hand in loc disease. I just don't have much of an interest in really messing with my hair, and that includes styling. The only time I really mess with it is when I'm massaging it, otherwise, yeah, at the moment I'm pretty boring with my hair lol. I just don't have that itch yet to go crazy with styling it, one day I will though. I think leaving my hair alone has allowed my locs to just do its own thing, plus it is nice to finally be in that state of mind where my hair is just my hair, and I don't feel the need to worry about what's going on with it because I'm letting it do what it do.

3) I oil my locs after every wash. Not much, just a little, mostly at my scalp. I remember when I used to really over do it with the oil to the point where it would just leave a mess on my pillows and other people's clothes lol (so embrassing), but now I'm pretty lax with the oil.

4) I seperate my locs once in awhile if they are hugging, but lately I hadn't had to do that all that much. The base of my locs are becoming denser and firmer, which is a good thing because I guess that means that the hugging will not happen as much, or that my locs are maturing. Either way, it's nice to not have to seperate as much.

5) I use my loose hair to wrap it around an adjoining loc. I've tried to loc some of the loose hair but I just don't like how skinny they look, it makes me worry that they are just going to break off.

6) I always cover my hair, I wear a headwrap during the day and a satin cap at night. I just don't like having hair all over my face lol. When I'm outside though I let my hair out, just so they can have some fresh air haha.

7) I do take some vitamins/multivitamins such as Centrium, B-complex, and biotin. Most important though I focus on just eating healthy, which I have always done all my life. Not sure how much the vitamins and my eating habits are contributing to my hair, but no harm can be done in taking some supplements.

8) Last but not least, I'm really learning to embrace my locs at this stage of the journey. I love the 2-3 inch of afro hair floating underneath my locks. I love how soft my locs feel when there is water on it. I don't think my locs have gotten longer, but I really don't care. I can't wait until they are more mature, but at the same time, I really like the way they are now. They still look like two-strand twists, but I'm okay with that, and I'm embracing it. I'm fully satisfied with their size and have no regrets for combining so many of my locs. Last time I counted, I think I have 72 locs, and that's perfect for me. Now that I've sorted out the size issue and have finally decided to leave my hair alone and let them do their thing, I've gained a better appreciation for my locs and how they are developing. Looking at old pictures of my locs when they were babies, I'm just amazed how they looked then and how they look now, it's amazing.

So that's that y'all. 18-months locked and still loving it!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Out With the Old, In With The New

Once in awhile, I look back to the days when I first got the BC and how I was still trying to learn and explore what products work best for my hair. Some I have kept since Day 1, while other products I have just stopped using all together.

Here's my list of products that I used to incorporate in my hair regime but don't use anymore and probably will never use again:

* Shea Butter

I wasn't too sure about this stuff, but at around, hm, I suppose 8 months after I got the big chop, I decided to give it a shot. I ordered my shea butter from, and I also once bought a jar of it from my loctitian. Here was the exact jar that I ordered from:

For some reason, I loved the smell. It was very nutty and had a yellowish white color to it. The texture though was so grainy. When I used to put it through my TWA, it felt as if i had put sand through my hair. And the smell for some reason sort of bothered me once it was in my hair lol. Even when I had protective styles I still didn't like what shea butter was doing to my hair. It made it feel a little too oily and just grimey. On my skin, though, it was nice, it left it soft and smooth. Once I ran out of shea butter though, I just gave up on it and moved on. One, I just didn't feel like ordering another jar or going all out of my way buying it someplace else, and second, with all the debate and controversy over what is "real" shea butter and what isn't, I was just overwhelmed and felt like there was too much drama surrounding just one product. I finished that one jar and never really went back to it again. Good riddens lol.

* Black Earth Protective Mist Bodifier

This was another product I bought from around my early days of wearing natural hair for the first time. I'm not sure why I decided to buy this. This was just before I decided to make my own spritz/mistifier. I remember ordering this before I went to Ocean City with a friend for holiday. The great thing about this product was that it smelled just wonderful, like a pina colada. It claimed that it was meant to moisturize hair, but instead it made my hair feel very sticky and didn't leave my hair feeling moisturized at all. It was such a bummer. After using this product I then decided to make my own moisturizer.


Yes y'all, way back I used to use plain, flavorless, colorless, all natural yogurt to condition my hair. I also mixed the yogurt with honey and olive oil. Actually, my hair had never been as soft and luxurious as when I used this stuff. It's a little strange, yes, but it left my hair SO soft and shiny. I stopped using yogurt once I got my locs installed. I don't really miss using yogurt though, because after awhile it did get kind of messy and I'd much rather eat the yogurt then put it on my head haha. I doubt I would use this yogurt conditioner on my locs one day, but who knows.

*Burt's Bees Conditioner

Again, another product I used in my early days of wearing my loose natural hair. I forgot which scent of conditioner it was, but I really didn't like it. I didn't actually use it to condition my hair, I used it as a leave-in conditioner in a spritz bottle filled with water, oil, and glycerin. It left my hair feeling very hard and brittle. I know some people swear by using this leave-in conditioner mixture, but for me it left it feeling nasty and gross. When I did use the conditioner normally, it still had that grimy stripped feeling. Burt's Bees is just not for me.


I used this in my loc gel when I used to retwist my locs, and my loctitian actually used straight up honey and olive oil for my first ever loc retwist. I have no gripes or regrets from using honey, but after awhile I just got tired of using it.

Here's a list of the keepers:

* Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What's not to love about this stuff? Since day 1 I have used olive oil, and it has never failed to impress. Leaves my hair soft, moisturized, shiny, and conditioned. Plus, I can practically buy it anywhere.

*Coconut Oil

My second favorite oil next to olive oil. Love the smell! The only downside to coconut oil is that it really isn't a year-round oil, it's great for the warmer months but during winter it just remains a solid in your hair, which makes it appear as if you have build up. Otherwise, love this stuff.

*Vegetable Glycerin

This was also another product I used since day 1. It leaves my hair soft, and a bottle can last forever. The bottle that I just finished using had lasted for 2 years. I only use this stuff during summer though, but it is definitely a go to product for me.

* Apple Cider Vinegar

I don't remember when I started using ACV, but ever since I've used it as a major staple for after I shampoo and condition my hair. I don't mind the smell as much as some people; after using it so many times I just get used to it. It leaves my hair soft and detoxes my locs.

*Dr. Bronner's

Love, love, love! I have tried practically all of their scents except for eucalyptus and orange. If I ever have kids I will use the baby formula scent on them lol. Plus it also does a nice job at helping me clean my laundry, dishes, counter tops, etc. Especially nice and convenient during my college years!

* Suave Shampoos

I only use suave shampoos when I run out of Dr. Bronner's or when I'm out of town. I'm not a fan of all their ingredients, but as a basic and cheap shampoo to use on occasions, it does the trick.

*Essential oils

I just started jumping on the essential oil band wagon. I must say, essential oils are just wonderful. I just ordered an assortment of essential oils, I will post a review for each one explaining the smell, its benefits, and so on.


Naturally, I had to add this! Water is basically what keeps my hair and my locs going.

Finally, here are a list of products that I for some reason stopped using, but don't mind going back to them again.

* Grapeseed oil

I used to use this as part of my daily spritz mixture, but for some reason just stopped using it. It's not expensive, you can get a large bottle for $4, and just like olive oil, you can find it in most grocery stores. It is probably one of the lightest oils there is, plus the light green color of the oil is just gorgeous and really pretty. It works better for the skin though, because it easily absorbs and doesn't make your skin feel greasy, plus there is hardly any smell to it. For my hair, it was also wonderful. Eventually I want to bring grape seed oil back in my regime.

* My Herb-Infused Water Spritz

Before there was essential oils, I used just dry herbs to ensure that my hair was getting the all natural good stuff. I either grew the herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, etc.) or bought them from the grocery store. I used to put these herbs in a jar and pour hot boiling water over them, let the herbs seep like a tea, and then spritz the infused herbal water mixture into my hair every morning and night. It smelled great and I think it did encourage much hair growth when I used to have really really short hair. Plus I got so many compliments on the smell. I think I stopped using fresh herbs mostly because I became too lazy to make the herbal spritz, and since I've started using essential oils, I just don't feel the need to buy fresh herbs anymore. Yet, I really do miss this spritz. I need to get my butt back in gear to making this stuff. The work in making it was worth it.

* Aloe Vera Gel

I used to use this as a twisting agent for my locs, but since I decided to freeform I hadn't felt the need to use it. However, aloe vera gel in general is just such a great product that I will probably use it again by rubbing it through my locs once they are more mature. For now, I just use it very occasionally on my skin.

So here's basically all the things I have ever used on my hair. Other products I do want to try and in the future are:

- More essential oils!
- Castor oil (i have heard such great things about it in regards to making the hair thicker and softer)
- A cheap shampoo from a Wholefoods or Trader Joes (i'm just curious to try their store brand shampoos)
- Conditioner (I want to wait until my locs are mature enough to use conditioner, right now, they just aren't ready. For now, a hot olive oil treatment works best for condtioning).
- A brush (I can't wait!)

So ladies, what is your list of products that you have thrown away, still keep, and want to bring back again. Don't forget to also mention products that you are curious to try out one day. Please post your response on my blog or post it as an entire blog post on yours. I can't wait to read your lists!

Much love,

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I'm On the Road to Queendom!

Guess what guys, I'm a Loc'd Beauty of the Week on the fabulous site On The Road to Queendom. I'm honored to be featured because this is one of my most favorite loc blogs ever and I love Queen Tosh, wonderful lady! Thank you to all those who are supporting my loc journey so far, i really appreciate it!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Product Review: Suave Rosemary Mint Shampoo

As you all know, I don't normally like to buy hair products because I'm very much a DIY-make-my-own-hair-products kind of girl, but once in awhile, I will purchase Suave shampoos because 1) they are SO cheap, and 2) they do a pretty decent job at keeping my locs clean without leaving build up. Sure, some of the ingredients if not most of the ingredients in Suave shampoos have the unpronounceable, not-so-good stuff that shouldn't really be put in our hair, but since my hair care routine is generally all-natural, I can afford to use a product that may not be as natural as the rest of the stuff I use on my hair. I decided to purchase the Rosemary Mint Shampoo because of Miss Honey Dip mentioning it while featuring her adorable son on her blog (thanks Miss Honey!).

As I usually do when purchasing a hair product, I look at the list of ingredients. The ingredients weren't so bad. It didn't really have as much of all that bad stuff (alcohol, sulphates, and so on) that the other Suave shampoos carry. It does have some assortments of oils in it to give it that minty, rosemary aroma, and it even had a hint of aloe-something in the ingredients too. I really liked the smell of this shampoo. It smelled more like mint than it did rosemary, but it did smell very nice and pleasant (that's another plus about the Suave shampoos, they do smell very lovely without being too overpowering). When I began to wash my hair with it, I loved how it lathered up very quickly. I didn't dilute the shampoo like I do with Dr. Bronner's, just because Suave shampoos aren't as strong and powerful as Dr. Bronner's. Even during the rinsing process, the smell of the mint and rosemary was nourishing and relaxing. It didn't leave my hair feeling too dry, no drier than Dr. Bronner's. Naturally I did an ACV rinse afterwards just to be sure there wasn't any buildup, and after that I slapped some of my oil blend all over my hair to seal in the moisture and to get rid of that dry-feeling from my locks. Overall, the shampoo left my hair feeling clean and soft. I really liked it. Just because I'm sort of a stickler on using just my homemade hair products, or all natural hair products in general, I don't plan on relying too much on Suave shampoos, but I definitely would use this particular shampoo once in awhile when I want a bit of a change from using my handy dandy Dr. Bronner's soap, or when I run out of it and need a back up. I'd recommend everyone to purchase a bottle of the Suave Rosemary Mint Shampoo, it's only $2.50 if not less than that when it is on sale.