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Monday, June 30, 2008

Lock Stages and Sisterlock Sizes

I received some more questions about Sisterlocks in regard to sizing. When I answered the questions previously, a young lady who was unfamiliar with locks e-mailed me about my hair being locked. She asked me was my hair locked now and basically about stages and sizes.

I have Sisterlocks that are in the baby stage now. I still have baby locks after one year because of my hair texture and also because I used to use a silkening shampoo with detanglers in it as well as hair products with shine boosters that soften the hair.

In order for hair to lock, the cuticle must be as rough as possible. It is important to avoid things like conditioners and standard shampoos so that your hair will lock promptly. When I had traditional locks, my hair locked in the first year. I also went several months in between washes and used no detanglers in my hair along with no products.

Baby Locks- Depending upon your hair texture, this phase lasts from 12 weeks to 2 years. Soft, fine hair will take longer to lock than coarse, curly or kinky hair. In my honest opinion, the small sizing of Sisterlocks allows hair to stay in each of the 3 lock stages for longer than with traditional locks.

Onyx Cherry here in the photo with me has teenage locks. But guess what? We have about the same number of locks (500). You can see the differences in size are attributed to the hair texture and density and also the stage of the locks. My parting size is medium in the back and small in the front but my lock size is small behind and micro in front. Onyx Cherry has small parting in front with large parting in back. However, her lock size is small in the front and medium in the back because of her hair texture and lock stage.

Immature or Teenage Locks- This phase can last anywhere from three months to 2 or 3 years. How long this lasts is dependent on your hair texture. This is the phase where many people get frustrated. By knowing this is coming, hopefully you can avoid this frustration. During this phase, you may get budding or matting. The reason locks in this stage are called teenage locks is they tend to be unruly. Budding occurs often when a pea shaped knot forms near the end of the lock. You may also notice little balls of hair that gather at the very end of the lock. I have heard people refer to this stage as the caterpillar stage and they have used hats as their “cocoons”. I do not think the teenage stage is anything to be ashamed of. Locks take work, time and patience and this is why you can be proud of your achievement once you have achieved a full head of beautiful locks.

You should pop your locks apart from one another as often as necessary because they have a tendency to creep or crawl. Crawling occurs when the hair from one lock begins to lock into another. If you do not continuously keep the hair separated, you will eventually have to pull it apart at the scalp risking weakening the lock and possibly leading to breakage. This can be avoided by making separating the locks part of a weekly routine. See if the locks are crawling and if they are, gently separate them. After washing is when the locks will have a tendency to crawl. So, handle them gently while shampooing. I also pull my locks down gently to combat bunching. You can begin to use oils and moisturizers during this middle stage. But, do not overdo it.

Mature Locks- You should expect your locks to reach full maturity sometime after the first year. At this point, maintenance becomes easier. Your locks may reach full maturity anywhere from the end of the first year up until the end of the second year. This does not mean your locks are maintenance free. And, they may still require quite a bit of time before they take on their final shape. But, you will be past the trials and tribulations of the teenage months. Mature dreadlocks are the strongest and require less frequent grooming. If your hair is soft, you may continue to experience frizzies and will have to do more maintenance than those with coarse hair. Mature dreadlocks can be washed and conditioned as frequently as you like. Some wash theirs daily while others choose to wait at least 3 weeks. Just make sure that whatever regimen you develop that you avoid dry scalp by moisturizing, conditioning and/or using hot oil treatments. At night you could put your mature dreads in a satin scarf, cap or sleep on a satin pillow to prevent damage caused by friction while sleeping and to maintain a proper moisture balance.

Here is a photo of Sisterlocks that are mature:

Friday, June 27, 2008

Answers for Those Contemplating Sisterlocks

At the last meet and greet, many of the womyn had questions about the Sisterlocks. Today as I was getting gas (and crying LOL!), I met a woman with a beautiful afro that said she was ready to explore locks after 20 years of natural hair. Wow! She looked really healthy and way younger than her true age. I gave her my consultants cell and asked her to come to the site and provided my blog. I decided to do this post to answer the questions she asked and that were raised at the last meet up.

How can you find out about Sisterlocks? What are Sisterlocks?

Here is a photo of Sisterlocks.

You can find out about Sisterlocks by visiting the website. Sisterlocks are locks which are smaller than traditional locks, have excellent parting, and have been reinforced with an interlocking method to start and maintain the lock. You must be certified to install Sisterlocks. All of the certified consultants appear on the site.

How do you wash Sisterlocks/ how often?

This is how you should: Once they mature, you can wash them as normal. Until then, you are supposed to braid and band them to prevent unraveling and bunching. You are also supposed to use the Sisterlocks Starter Shampoo until your locks mature.

This is what I do:I wash my hair much differently. I am not suggesting you do what I did because my locks are not as uniform and have experienced some bunching. I discarded the bands after the first wash and as soon as I ran out of Sisterlocks shampoo, I switched back to Aveda Sap Moss Shampoo (my pre Sistrlocks shampoo). Then, I found that to be too silky so I switch to Ganier for oily hair because it kind of roughens the cuticle without being too harsh. I also use a body and hair bar sometimes that I got from Whole Foods awhile back.

What is bunching?

Bunching is when the Sisterlocks become fuzzy and begin to lock in a more traditional way and look less even and knotted. If you look at the labels on the left, you will see a bunching post and an update on bunching.

Are all Sisterlocks small?

Yes! All Sisterlocks are small. The size of Sisterlocks is based on a parting size established by Dr. Joanne Cornwell. Depending on where your locks are in the process and the hair texture you have, the lock may appear larger or smaller than your part.

You can have Brotherlocks which are only slightly larger like Consultant Amba's son.

I have checked some blogs out, and I keep seeing the number of Sisterlocks coming up. What significance does the number have?

In my honest opinion, The Sisterlocks number doesn't matter as much as people may think. All Sisterlock wearers have between 300-800 locks. The number has to do with the size of your head and how far your hair grows down on your forehead and neck, hair texture, hair density, and parting size. Your consultant will discuss your particular head of hair in order to best suit you and your needs. There is nothing wrong with having an idea about what you want but your locks won't look exactly like anyone else's Sisterlocks.

In the picture below one of these consultants has close to 400 Sisterlocks and the other consultant has closer to 800.

Do you know which has more? Is it obvious?

Well, not to me. So that's why the focus should be on what's best for you. To me, all properly maintained locks look beautiful.

How many Sisterlocks do you have?

I figured you'd ask. LOL! I have about 500 give or take because I have had some locks combined and split.

What did your hair look like when you first got them?

When will my hair grow and drop (as far as length)?

It depends on your rate of growth and the length you start with initially.

My hair grows fast but I have a lot of shrinkage because my hair is locking. It looks more curly now because my locks are locking and less straight.
Shrinkage is when your hair looks shorter than when you first started.

Not everyone experiences this, I think this is based mostly on hair texture. Your hair will grow and won't shed like loose hair.

Just look at Cluizel and Onyx Cherry's growth. I don't think they experienced shrinking.

Please feel free to ask me questions but I am NOT a Sisterlocks consultant. The best thing to do is to get as much feedback as possible and make your decision from there. Good luck on your natural hair journeys!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nina Simone: a Natural Inspiration

Nina Simone (Eunice Waymon born 2-21-1933) has always been an inspiration for me since I first discovered her music and unapologetic Afrocentric style. Her voice and its character take me to her mood and has made me laugh out loud, dance, and moved me to tears. She was a multi-lingual classically trained musician. I can't accurately express her talent or how she still manages to "put a spell on" me. Whenever I need some natural inspiration, watching a concert performance or viewing one of her many photos showing her Afrocentric and sexy style are enough to guide me through my wardrobe and into my inner self.

Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don't Leave Me) is one of my all time favorites.

And her version of Here Comes the Sun just truly epitomizes sublime as they say.

Her remains were spread over Africa after succumbing to breast cancer in 2003. A piece of Nina will always remain in my heart.

Relaxers ARE Evil

I was visiting this post ( ) on someone else's site regarding my post Tagged! 6 Things I Don't Like about Sisterlocks . I also visited someone else's site who may have perceived my life long commitment to natural hair and specifically speaking about that as snobbery. It's amazing how having a different journey and/or opinion than another Black woman leads to name calling (snob). What's next b*&^# or h*3? I think we are all flowers. Our natural beauty represents a garden for me which is why I chose the flower template on this blog. I may disagree with my sisters, but I will not ever call you outside of your name.

In case you don't already know, relaxers are evil. They contain carcinogens that have been linked not only to cancer but also Parkinson's disease. In my honest opinion, it does nothing for the self-image or self-esteem for curly/kinky textured women to have relaxers.

Secondly, it's blog and my hair, so get over it! Maybe you don't think having life-long natural hair is worth celebrating. But I do! It is a struggle to have an Afro when almost everyone says it's unprofessional, when men ask you what are you going to do about your hair, and when women manage to try to humiliate you for keeping your hair in a state closer to what God intended than they do. I made it past all the negativity and pressure from society in general. I will continue to surpass any negativity.

Recently, at a Sisterlocks gathering, the young woman across from me told me she wanted to get a perm to get Sisterlocks. She figured if she did that she could keep her length. I asked her why not just grow your Afro out longer. She stated that permed hair grows length faster. This is essentially why I am against locking perm (my opinion). If she knew that permed locks were not an option, she may not be thinking like this. I know that everyone's situation is different and some people don't want to go through the short hair process or are attached to their perm. I understand that; I encourage every woman's journey to becoming natural. However, I still think permed locks are counter-intuitive. This is my opinion on my blog. If you have a different opinion, wonderful. Everyone should be able to do what they want and have their own thoughts.

But I think it's sad that I've gotten some e-mails and some comments that were miraculously deleted about being self-righteous and taunted me about the fact that I am not under some tree getting juices for my hair. LOL! Just because your journey to Sisterlocks included a perm and mine didn't, is that a reason to act that way? Any reasonable adult would agree to disagree and keep it moving. An outstanding adult would try to bridge any misunderstandings and grow as sisters. I offer this post as a bridge. And I do have fruit trees, by the way; sometimes the juice from the fruit tree is used in my hair.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Atlanta Sisterlocks Meet-Up Round 4

This time we did brunch at La Madeleine. The food was delicious and the conversation was great as usual. I got a chance to see the new Sisterlocks Journals and give/take feedback about Sisterlocks. Enjoy the slide show of the event:

Monday, June 23, 2008

Don't Miss Another Hair Show

Annual International Locks Conference

Natural Hair, Health & Beauty ExpoThe Tradition Continues

Save This DateSaturday & Sunday, October 4 and 5, 2008

at Walter D. Palmer Leadership Learning Partnership Charter School

located at

910 North 6th Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19123

For additional information about:Volunteering * Vending * PresentingFeel free to email the kuumba family or call1-888-305-3186

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Naturally, Sophia Wishes She Could Have Played with These Barbies

Remember back when we were kids.
Do you remember how all the dolls used to be White? Remember having your White Barbies?

I remember styling their hair until it would get knotted and matted. Then I would cut the matted bottom half of Barbie's hair so that it could remain soft, straight, and silky like I thought all hair was supposed to be.

Then one wonderful Christmas, I woke up to find my first Black Barbie. She had thigh length straight hair and blue eyes. I loved her and wanted to grow up to be like her. Even the Jet Beauty of the Week, had long straight hair like her and me...ahh back in the day.

Well, wow how things have changed. Here are some natural beautiful Barbies by Mattel even though they are too pricey. They are named Tatu, Mbili, and Sugar.

There is an artist that will take your doll and make locks for them! OMG! I would so give this to a little brown girl especially if I had one of my own.

Awesome Right? Follow the Link Below to
Get Your Dolls Locked.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fashion Fab: Badgley Mischka Time Pieces

I'm not much of a watch person. I mean everything else has a clock on it. You listen to the radio, and they stop the music to tell you what time it is. The time appears on the TV as soon as you turn it on. There are clocks on billboards and clocks on cell phones. There are more clocks even on computers.

Besides always knowing what time it is, our culture here in America is obsessed with time and it's linear nature. She's early. He's late. I have to get married by 35 and I have to do this before Jesus comes back. Time! Time! Time!

Having said all that about the precious commodity of time that most of us somehow manage to waste in some way or another, I really love these watches. It makes me think of time as art. A concept just as abstract as these watches:

WTF? I'm So Hood

I was driving around in the ATL and saw this sign in someone's yard. Too Funny!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bunching Update

So, I had some serious Bunching issues.
And, as always, the sisterlock community came to my aid with helpful tips and suggestions.

I am happy to report I have picked out my ends that were bunched and braided them down to almost the ends. I took a safety pin and started my way up kneading the lock until it was loose. I only picked out the bunched part of the lock. I also pull the locks apart some people call it popping the locks. When I do this, I also pull down to eliminate bunching. But I caution you to only do this when your hair is dry. I did this when my hair was wet and lost the end of one of my locks.

I think the bunching was caused by neglect (allowing it to bunch), my hair texture, and using shampoos that contain ingredients that detangle allowing more loose hair out of the lock in areas where the pattern wasn't as tight. Right now, my consultant uses a 3. I think I will ask her to switch back to a reverse four until my locks mature. Any insights on that idea?

So, I just got my hair retightened and how it shows! LOL! But the bunching is gone. I am on track for more even locks although I think my hair texture will always give it that organic vibe.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

WTF? Ex-HBCU Professor Had His Son's Black Wife Murdered

This murder in Atlanta really affected me when I heard the news in 2000. I was in an interracial relationship at the time, and while at my parents house, I heard "Indian Man's Black Wife Found Dead". Well a few years later the media reported the police found some evidence that the Indian (from Indian) man's father hired 2 African American men to kill his daughter-in-law because of her race (Black).

So, regardless of how anyone feels about interracial dating, the resolution can never be murder. I am utterly disturbed that someone felt that murdering their granddaughter's mom was a solution to their son's interracial marriage. The family migrated to America to no doubt take advantage of the American Dream. Isn't a key component of being American freedom? Freedom to choose how you want to live.
Neither set of parents were happy with their children not completing their educations first reports the local media.

Rajeeve "Ricky" Rai testified yesterday. He was married to Sparkle Rai, who was brutally stabbed to death while holding their infant daughter who was "unharmed" physically. He hid the child and marriage from his Indian parents. He was asked why he hasn't seen his daughter, Analla, on whom he once doted, since shortly after the murder. He gave custody of her to Lowry (ATL reporter and step-mom) and her husband, the child's grandfather. His parents have never seen the girl.

"Why haven't you seen your child in almost eight years?" Ross (prosecuter) asked.

"It just seemed things got more and more distant," Rai stated. Since the murder he has maried an Indian woman and received his Bachelor's degree from NorthWestern.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sophia's Naturally Squeaky Clean

I wanted to take a moment to highlight a black owned health and beauty product manufacturer. Nubian Heritage sells delightful products that are relatively inexpensive. They are cruelty free and also not made with any animal fats. WOW! There price range in the Atlanta area is $3-$4 per bar which has natural exfoliants already included. I like this because you can cleanse and exfoiliate in one step.

Monday, June 16, 2008

13 Month Sisterlocks Journey (in Pictures)

Lakia had a great idea about showing progression photos of my Sisterlocks journey over the past year. Thanks for the suggestion!

Here is a photo journey of my first year! I have tried many different hairstyles, but I am a freestyle girl. I usually just wash and go. Sisterlocks makes that process much easier. YAY to my first year and many more.

This photo (below) shows me about 1 year prior to Sisterlocks:

This was shows my initial install in May 2007. I have micro/small Sisterlocks all over:

This shows me at 3 months. I loved my Sisterlocks but wasn't use to seeing so much scalp. I was used to looking like a lioness. See Afro pic above. LOL! I was really in a turquoise mood too.

This is me after 4 months. I hated my scalp showing and learned styles to cover it. Like the half up pony and the chignon. I was seriously peeved about finding certain consultants horrible when looking for someone good retighten.

This is after I Dye d my hair black right at the six month mark. It looks more like locks and less like braids in this picture.

Here I am at 8 months. I really was starting to like the fullness returning. Can you tell I need I retightening here? I really enjoy how it looks right before a retightening. Really messy and without all the grids.

At 9 months, rolling around on my mom's carpet. Can you tell I am so over lint? I hate having to wrap my hair or only use black towels. My solution is a nice Naturtint dye over every 6 months. This was like a week after a retightening. And I had just about split all the locks some consultants combined.

Here I am rocking the fiercest Mohawk known to natural hair at 11 months. It was really tight on my scalp, but I loved the way it looked. I wore it for about a week.

And here I am today at 13 months. Because it's like 90 degrees in the shade, I rock the pom-pom as my co-worker calls it. I think most of us know it as the pineapple.

Friday, June 13, 2008

What about Your Friends?

Are your curly/kinky hair texture friends natural? I noticed that my social circle of permed women outside of work have been on the steady decline over the last few years. My best friend still rocks a relaxer, and her hair is quite healthy (i.e. no split ends, no breakage). But other than her, I can count the womyn I hang out with on one hand who chemically straighten their hair outside of work.

I have made so many friendships recently that started with hair, Sisterlocks, or a conversation on transitioning to natural hair. Have you?

The weird thing is that I spend more time with and have better relationships with the women in my life now as a whole; and in general, those friends are without chemically straightened hair, excluding my best friend. My best friend is still my best friend, and I love her dearly.

Is it a case of birds of a feather flock together? What about your friends?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Stone Mountain: 3rd Atlanta Sisterlocks Meet-Up

We meet-up at Stone Mountain in May before it got so hot. It was perfect as the hottest part of the day was over, and I was already stretched and ready from a busy weekend. The breeze on top of the mountain is incredible. I wish Atlanta always had that type of summer breeze.

Amba and her beautiful family (all have pretty hair and skin) climbed the mountain along with her client and children, Onyx Cherry , and myself. The climbing the mountain is not a "walk in the park" as you might think. At least one part or another is challenging to almost everyone. It's a great cardio workout.

There was a picnic after the climb, but I didn't stay around for that. Amba previously cooked some delicious plantains so I know I really missed out.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Shine Stealer- HD's locks

H.D. ( Heartbreaker Decepticon) is locking now. Apparently, I am his locktician. He wanted Brotherlocks but expected me to attempt to do them. I explained that he would have to go to a certified technician for those. Once he realized that they may not be as willing to barter for massages ( He is a licensed massage therapist.), he decided that he wanted me to do them. Everywhere we go people compliment him and then me for doing them completely ignoring my locs. Ugh!

Previously, I twisted his hair when he wanted locks before. He cut them all off on my birthday almost 3 years ago after getting sand and lent embedded in them. He first thought locks was a no maintenance hairstyle. No hairstyle that I know of requires no maintenance.
Now, he wants me to start his locks again so, according to him, that he will always be connected to me. In that case he will have traditional locks, I did his first retwisting this weekend. He has good hair for locking. It keeps the shape, but it could be a little tougher because it gets fuzzy quickly. He's thrilled because everywhere he/we go, people compliment his locks.

My Sisterlocks Anniversary- Came and Went

The date, Memorial Day, snuck in like a thief in the night and departed just the same way. I have now had Sisterlocks for 1 year. I know all of you are celebrating with me.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tagged: 6 Updates about Moi

I was tagged by Aya some time ago to list 6 random things about my life.
I am not personally tagging anyone; but if you have not been tagged consider yourself invited by yours truly.
Anyhow, I was taking a break from the hair topics and the random topics I usually blog about. There have been a lot of things brewing in my personal life. Want to hear about those?

1. I am officially NOT moving to Miami. Everything didn't fall into place, and the cons seem to outweigh the pros right now.

2. I was offered an internal promotion that I accepted. The job is more challenging mentally and less stressful. I am one happy camper.

3. I realized from the whole moving to Miami ordeal that I have way, way too much stuff for one person. Yes my house is big, but keeping things I don't use or wear or love is ridiculous regardless of the space. I have given away 25 pairs of shoes so far and am working on a whole house clearing out. My reward will be a nice Christian Louboutin or Giuseppe Zanotti shoe or LV bag. I am personally a fan of the watercolors bag with the exotic handles.

4. Me and HD (Heartbreaker Decepticon) are currently working on our relationship. I guess his persistance paid off. We'll see what happens...

5. My dad's birthday is next week, the day after father's day, we are having a big get together to celebrate both days. He will turn 74 years young. I really appreciate the relationship I have with my daddy. Look forward to a seperate post on this.

6. I think I want to invest in a ROTH IRA. I am researching it now but open to advice.