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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lush Life

My new shampoo:

I have switched to this solid bar called Trichomania from Lush Cosmetics I start with damp hair and work up a nice lather scratching my scalp working from the back of my head to the front. It rinses of clean while providing minimal moisture, leaving a wonderful coconut smell that does not overpower.

It contains:
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Stearic Acid, Creamed Coconut (Cocos nucifera), Glyceryl Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cocamide DEA, Lecithin, Perfume, Vetivert Oil (Vetiveria zizanoides).

All of the chemicals in green have a level of 0-2 out of 10 according to rendering the product to be mild, vegan and nearly free from carcinogens and toxins.

By contrast, the product above, Bumble and Bumble Wild Child Curl Conscious Shampoo has a ranking of 10 out of 10 on the cosmetic database. This means ingredients in this product are linked to:

Developmental/reproductive toxicity
Violations, restrictions & warnings
Other concerns for ingredients used in this product: Neurotoxicity, Endocrine disruption, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive),

Notice the packaging has KINKY displayed across it. Call me a conspiracy theorist but doesn't it seem odd that such a hazardous product would be marketed at one with Kinky hair?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

La Dawn: Another Sisterlocks Success Story

So for my next interview, I bring you my big niece who has phenomenal Sisterlocks and a very interesting hairstory.
Here she is in 2007 (shown in the middle with the highlights on the tips), approximately one year after her Sisterlocks were installed.

Dawn has only had a relaxer once in her life. She permed her hair in high school. She said that she wanted to fit in and the "mushroom" she rocked at the time was poofy. Peer pressure rears its ugly head again.

At that point, she grew her relaxed hair out in braids. After all the relaxer was removed, she grew a large Afro which she cut completely off. I asked her why she cut her fro. She replied that her son was very small at the time, and she needed a low maintenance style. "My hair has to follow my lifestyle, not the other way around", she said. What an enlightening view!

Here she is in 2005, she was going through periods of growing her natural out a few inches.

She kept it versatile with color and scarves/wraps. She still wraps her hair from time to time to keep inquisitive fingers out. ;p

Three years ago she decided to Sisterlock her hair. Excellent consultant (trainee) Jacqueline Ashby, who has been installing Sisterlocks for almost 6 years, installed Brotherlocks sized locs for her as she wanted her locks a little larger.

Now her hair has constricted to near micro Sisterlocks. And look at the growth? What a difference 3 years makes?

Dawn always wears her hair in cute styles. She curls her hair with Soft Spikes often; she also styles it regularly, rarely wearing it in a "freestyle".

I asked Dawn what were the most significant things she noticed about her locs since starting them. Here they are:

She said because she is an educational consultant, it is wonderful to see young brown girls inquire and compliment her hair. She always encourages them to explore options outside of chemicals.

Also, she would not recommend starting Sisterlocks from relaxer mainly because of alopecia she developed from Depo Provera. Depo Provera weakened follicles in an already sparse area of Dawn's head. She believes she lost hair because of the medicine. She said if she had a perm at the time, she would have attributed it to chemical damage. "Having natural hair, I was able to see what Depo was doing to my hair. Ya know what I mean? I have shed many locks. I don't mind it because those locs had a different weaker hair texture from the birth control. Now my hair is growing back strong."Dawn noted that not enough testing is done on how medications affect hair growth and cells in the long term. Her point is if you are on medications and adding chemicals to your hair, how could you narrow down any specific problems that may arise with your scalp and/or hair.

She has a very active lifestyle. She bicycles or walks to work and runs errands the same way using the transit system in Boston. She also works out almost daily alternating between swimming, yoga, and pilates in addition to having a teenage son. Sisterlocks are ideal for activity.

She shampoos her hair with Johnson's Baby Shampoo, Neutrogena, or Dr. Bronner's castile soap in Almond. Sometimes she uses a leave in spray (Trader Joe's Tea Tree) or mousse for holding curls. Less can definitely be more with products.

I asked her if she had any more things she would like to do with Sisterlocks. She said the dye kind of dried her locks out; so she doesn't think she will dye for awhile... She told me at first she thought she would grow them out for 9 years. But for now, she loves having the shorter length. She wants to explore more things to do with short Sisterlocks. She told me she has always preferred short hair, and many Sisterlocks styles are centered on length. I agree; I think more time should be dedicated to styling options for short hair with Sisterlocks across the sisterhood.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Even More Locked Inspiration

I know I have been needing some locked inspiration lately. I decided to share these beautiful locs with you. Artist Salakida has some of the most beautiful locks that I have seen.

To sample her self-titled album go here:

My Daddy Didn't Even Do This

Photos courtesy of Clifton Green.

Ok, so awhile ago I found an article that caught my eye. It was about a White father, who happens to be an Atlantan, that does his adopted Ethiopian daughter's hair. His name is Clifton Green, and he is an outstanding guy who gave me the permission to post the photos and blog about him.

I must admit it made me a tad jealous that my dad never did my hair though he was/is always there for me.

Clifton Green believes in keeping his daughter's (Miriam's) hair natural. Yay! She initially had bald patches from malnutrition. He ended up doing her hair as his wife was pregnant at the time of Miriam's arrival. When her hair grew, he got ideas from African-American families who had children with natural hair.

This is him styling it before church. He does have a rat tail comb; but, I guess, a fork would do. She has so much hair. He is sectioning the hair with elastic bands to twist to the ends and securing the ends with barrettes.

Here is a photo of all her hair products. Amazing! You know I had to tell him about Sisterlocks and who the only thing I use is shampoo...Vaseline is a no-no. He said he prefers Carol's Daughter Black Vanilla Leave-In Conditioner for Dry Hair.

Here is the final result:

Clifton and Miriam plan to tackle cornrows next. He wrote that he has a long way to go, lol!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Seriously Considering Sisterlocks

Occasionally, I get some serious blogger love. I had to share parts of this e-mail from Tiffany because it really made my day! It also has valuable info for those who may be attempting the transition. Her words are in this color.

Sophia, I LOVE the blog and have read every post (and every blog linked to your blog).

OMG! Someone actually reads e-v-e-r-y post, even the rants, even the random ones. Whoa! And she noticed I carefully select each blog linked to my blog. I am in awe.

I have wanted locks for about 5 years, but changed my mind many times after being discouraged from those "who don't know any better" (including my husband).

We all know about the nay sayers. Liberate yourself my sistah; do what you want to do. Life is very short!

But this time I am arming myself with all the information I can, to prepare for this transition of my life.

Preparation is the best policy, ya know besides honesty.

I have been free of the chemicals for about 7 months (WoooHoo! Congrats) ,and I currently go to natural stylist every other week who does the twists/twistout, cornrows, ionic flat iron, etc (she does not do sisterlocks)........

My hair is seriously damaged around the nape area due to three straight years of excessive weave, treebraids, micros blah.blah,blah, so I am trying to get it healthy right now... My edges were almost as bad as Susan Taylors (please don't get me wrong I am not talking about Susan, I love her but the cornrows are killing her hairline). I noticed. The choir says Amen!

I really do put alot of trust in what you say, so I feel comfortable telling you that I am looking for a colsulatant in the Atlanta area to talk to.

Trust? We have this kind of relationship? Awh shucks!

It looks like you are in the sisterlocks "circle" so you know whos SLs look good, who does a good job/who does not, who is professional/who is not, who is fast/who isn't, basically--- who will be a bit patient and won't mind schooling a indecisive sister who doesn't make many decisions on her own.

ok, I am in the circle and now you are too. Please attend the next meet-up. A few consultants will always be there.

I am going to ask you to do your own research here in Atlanta. I failed to do that for a consultant and suffered some serious foolishness as you know.

I also think that you may be a bit PARTICULAR (like myself) {Who me? No! LMAO ;)} and not one exceptant of what isn't top notch. I see that you had a bus. card for your consultant, Julia, on your blog, and actually, she was the first person that I considered calling (even before I read your blog) because sheis listed in my area, but I am willing to travel where-ever in the metro Atl area for the best person.

Julia is a great consultant. She has never missed a strand and is hella fast. I know no one faster than she. But she does work from home and has a small child which may be a con for you. It didn't deter me, but I have heard others complain about that sort of thing. I like Julia also because she believes in holistic body care and has a great high energy vibe. She answered all my questions and promptly returned my phone calls. Would you believe some people didn't even call me back when I looked for a consultant?

If there are some other specific names you want to inquire about, ask away. I don't know all of them; but I have heard of most of them, which are really good or really bad.

Also, I am a teacher, and had not really planned to get my SLs until either spring break (April), or the very beginning of the summer (like after Mem. Day, in May). Would contacting a consultant now be too premature... I don't want for it to appear that I am wasting any ones time... but I am really, really interested.

It is never too early to start the interview process. Heck I bugged Brunsli for weeks with questions! LOL!

Sisterlocks are too expensive, time-consuming, and semi-permanent to really wait until the last minute to start finding a consultant. It helps to know what size/look you want, and it helps to ask specific questions that are important to you like:

How long do your retightenings take?

How much do you charge?

Are you in a salon?

Do you have locks?

Who does your locks?

May I see photos of your work? Call your clients?

It's good you teach; I really admire people in education. Also,I think your timing is good because it corresponds to the Natural Hair Show in April. There may be deals for the show.

If I didn't tell you before You are MY sisterlocks idol.... I love your style and the effort you have put into this blog is amazing....You're a sisterlock fairy godmother( They need to put you on the site:)

Thanks for the compliments; literally, I am still blushing. They would never put me on the site mainly because they don't condone using other methods of hair locking which I am open too (e.g. lock glue, Nappylocs). And also any official Sisterlocks info has to come from Dr. Joanne Cornwell. She is the Oprah of Sisterlocks. But I wish they would update it; and make it younger and more cool.

Hope to see you at the next Meet-Up Tiffany!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cut & Color: A New Hair-Do for the Year!

So, here is the cut. I cut an asymmetrical bob. The other side is shorter.

Are you seeing a color difference too? I did a very unnatural thing.
I tossed the henna to the side and pulled out the Clairol & the bleach.

And I so think it was worth it!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Guess What I Did to My Sisterlocks?!

I CUT IT! Yes I did! And then,

I cut it some MORE!

Wait, I wasn't finish. I cut it even MORE:

I cut 6 inches off in some places. Less can definitely be more!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Bittersweet New Year

This year started with the loss of a beloved relative that is missed dearly. It made it hard to speak to anyone or even get out of the bed after I heard the news. But as it is said, "This too shall pass." And as my double cousin ( our dads are brothers & moms sisters) said, "The only thing we are promised is death."
Directly before the New Year, around November, I started 3 of my 4 New Year's Resolutions which are:
1. Be more organized.
I realized that I could not do this without purging clutter. I purged from all over the house but especially the closets.
So accordingly, I got rid of 8 large boxes of clothes, shoes, and accessories. I also threw away papers that were years and years old. So, I am off to a good start. It's the habits that I have that need improvement. I plan to throw away mail daily and hang up my clothes after the laundry rather than tossing them in a basket. I also reorganized my closet and bought a nifty rack for my shirts that I keep in the guest bedroom.

2. Lose weight.
I have lost around 30 pounds from the time I first got Sisterlocks. I plan to reign in on carbs, cheese, and soft drinks this year. I consistently worked out twice a week in 2008. I plan to step that up as much as possible this year. I feel motivated after watching more of the Biggest Loser marathon than I'd care to admit.

3. Develop consistency in my Spiritual Practice.

I would like to increase my temple/church time to at least twice per month. I would also like to chant/pray/meditate at least an hour daily in addition to keeping a spiritual journal. So far, I have been going to yoga class once-twice a week. I feel ready to begin my daily practice on my own.

4. Do my own Sisterlocks.

I retightened my hair myself after 3 months of growth with the Nappylocs tool. I curved it per Onyx Cherry to keep from joining my micro locks. It took me days, but I finished. The photo below is her using the small Nappylocs tool to retighten her locks. I use the micro tool and find that it is still too big for the locks around my hairline.

I like doing it myself because it's not as tight and I can cut the strands that have grown together rather than popping them apart like my consultant does. I saved around $200 which I desperately needed during these tough economic times. I see that trend continuing through the New Year. I love my consultant. No one is faster than her, and I always have good conversations with her. But doing my own hair has to be the norm for now. I will see her as an occasional treat, maybe every six months or so.

Honorable Mention: Me and my darling Heartbreaker Decepticon went on our first date this day 4 years ago!!!!!!!