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Monday, October 27, 2008

Sisterlocks Interview- My Sis Mya and Her Beautiful Hair

What are your hair stats? Type? Texture? Pattern? Size of Locks?

I was told by my Sisterlocktician, Martine Bernard, that I have ‘good locking hair’, it has a very tight curl pattern, for the most part. What I call ‘crunchy – I always loved the feel of my hair when it was natural, I enjoyed running my fingers through my hair, pulling a lock and feeling it spring back into a curl way before I had locks. Also, as with most peoples from the diaspora – I actually have several textures of hair – tighter curl (good and nappy) in the front and a little looser in the back – which actually my Dad tried to tell me years ago, when he shaped my first Afro!

Tell me about your first hair experiences? How did your family react and/or style to your hair as a child?

As a child I was always the one that the women in my family would look at and shake their heads over, my oldest sister had ‘good hair – a reflection of the native American and white ancestors. Although the next oldest didn’t have the good hair she had the length and an unusual sandy color and hair so strongly textured that when you pressed it, it stayed that way for a long time, and then I came along – I didn’t have the ‘good’ hair nor the strong hair, and no length whatsoever – the women just scratched their heads in puzzlement about how shortchanged I was (pun intended)!

Growing up with a Mom who didn’t know a thing about doing hair it was all about the backward plaits and press and curls for special occasions with little tiny pigtails. I have a 4th grade school picture with several pigtails and a big burn under one eye from the straightening comb….

When did you first go natural? Why? If you returned to relaxers, why did you return to that?

Growing up in the 70’s I had an afro for years which I loved, and as I transitioned into the workforce I started with the perms in order to look more professional and to be in style because Afros became obsolete and to have natural hair meant that you were “homey” or poor. – and then the curly perms until I couldn’t take the wet head any longer, then braids and perms – I’ve always been active and have never liked being in hair salons so eventually I would cut the hair off until

How did you wear your hair at different stages in your life?

afros, press and curls, perms, curly perms, braids, twists, and now S’locks.

Now that you have locks, how do you feel about coloring them? Any advice or color preferences?

I colored my hair just before getting locks, and continue to color every 6 months or so. I felt it would be a good way to accent my hair during the beginning stages of locks. I keep the color as close in tone to my natural hair color because I only color 1-2 within the year and I don’t like to see a striking difference between new growth and colored hair. No advice other than to listen to your locktician! I always stress to folk that because of the diversity of hair textures what works for me and my hair may not work for yours!

Have you had any problems with locks? What were they?

None other than lint becoming embedded in some of my locks, especially at the nape of my neck. Easily prevented by wearing a slumber cap and easily fixed by coloring!

Have you taken a Sisterlock class? How did you find it? Do you use it?

Yes, I took the SL retightening class approximately 6 months after my installation, I found it helpful because it helped me to understand my loctician’s instructions and even though initially I did not use the training I appreciate being able to tighten up my own hair if I choose.

How do friends, family, and men react to your hair?

Family and friends were taken aback at first, but I and my children had been on a natural hair journey for some years before I installed my locs – so folks were used to be being “different”!! Now of course, family (my mother especially) can’t believe how long my hair is and most friends acknowledge that the style suits me perfectly.

Attitudes like natural hair are contagious. How many people have you inspired? Any stories?Me, my sis, and her daughter above:

Since installing SL’s my daughter and my baby sister have both installed them, and my good friend as well as several co-workers who watched my hair progress over the years now have SL’s. I live in an urban area and commute to work via public transportation, I am constantly being “stalked” by potential SL clients and now carry my loctician’s business cards (Shout out to Jacqueline in Boston) as well as the email address for SL!

What do you like best and least about Sisterlocks?

There is pretty much nothing I don’t like about Sisterlocks – sometimes I feel my locs get WAY too much attention in inappropriate venues (i.e. during a business conference I attended with my boss – a white male – 2 sisters came up to us and started asking about my hair.....

What are some future things you’d like to do with your locks?

Now that I have enough length I would like to have it styled in an updo – but I have to stay the free and loose style works perfectly with my lifestyle.

Would you ever cut the Sisterlocks off in lieu of a new do or style?

Yes, I’ve decided that upon reaching a certain age milestone – I’m going for the close shaven look – I’ll have a ceremony! But right now, as someone who was told all my life that my hair would never grow, I’m finding it fun to watch it grow longer and longer and longer and to hear family and random strangers comment on the length. In fact, my mother now kinda likes the hair and admits its because of the length. And one of my sisters can’t stop touching it – especially when I twist it and it has this nice wavy look as it cascades down my back…

What is the one best thing about Sisterlocks?

FREEDOM!! I love the natural texture of my hair and feel this has been the most flattering style I’ve ever had. The bonus is the statement this makes to people about my life philosophy – I love being a woman of color, I like my naps, and I take care of my body without artifice… I feel that its not just a hairstyle, it’s a lifestyle and my lifestyle is becoming more and more free of the artificial – and more inclusive of substances that a re holistic and natural. I love the way I am starting to dress to fit my locs!


Meikmeika said...

Mya's locks are insanely gorgeous. As I was reading her responses I could identify with a great deal of what she stated. The freedom and statement locks make are amazing. It's always nice to hear locked women in the corporate industries are doing well.

Wonderful interview!

onyxcherry said...

Great Post. Your sister has a great philosophy about hair and wears her sisterlocks very well.

Quietspirit said...

I love your sisters attitude about her hair and her locks are quite lovely.

muslimahlocs said...

wow. your sister has beautiful locks. i tend to get a little lock envy whenever i see locks with her texture. oh, well. i wish that i could lock hmc's hair but her dada is holdin gup the process. how old was your neice when she got hers?

Naturally Sophia said...

Thanks Ladies!

@ Muslimah- lol, in her 30s. My niece is a bit older than myself because we have a blended family.

Anonymous said...


Naturally Sophia said...

Your hair grows everyday regardless of whether you have locks or not. With locks, the ~100 hairs you shed will shed into your lock contributing to the length. It is not hard but tedious and expensive at times. Please speak with a consultant that is certified from the SL site.