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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.


EvelynP said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. :)

Nubian1 said...

less is definately more in my case. I dont use any products in my hair other than shampoo. My consultant makes this little roll on scalp oil which is pretty cool to apply. I purchased this 4 months ago when i got installed, i rarely use it....but it is handy to have around as and when i need to.
Mention Henna to your big niece.

Anonymous said...

This is one of my go-to sites for all things sisterlocks - or in my case braidlocs. Thank you soo much for all the info. I have a small section of hair that has thinned out ( which was the impetus for locking), my Md have me some steroids, but I don't wanna take em. R there any products you used to help yr scalp mend and encourge healthy growth. Any help us appreciated.
Tnks, lil'locks

Naturally Sophia said...

Thanks EvelynP, I hope to see you at the meet-up tomorrow

And Nubian1 thanks for stopping by

@ Lil' Locks- If your doctor prescribed steroids for a medical problem related to your thyroid or other ailment, it may be in your best interest to get a second opinion from an M.D. and a holistic practitioner.

I have PCOS and have to take hormones for my health. At the same time, I am on a plan to treat it completely with controlling my diet and my weight.

General things to aid the scalp:
1. Make sure you eat your veggies.
2. Vitamin E applied directly to the scalp from crushed capsules can help.
3. Emu oil and Tea Tree oil treatments can help.
4. Make sure you are ingesting and topically applying more natural/organic products. Many harmful chemicals are added to cosmetic and food products. It is better to use products with less carcinogens, preservatives, etc.

Here is a link to put products and chemicals by level of toxicity:

Quietspirit said...

What a great post. Lot of good information. I'm inclined to agree with your neice on shorter hair being easier. More styles for shorter locks would be nice.

Black Girl said...

Her hair is so beautiful!!! I can't wait until I FINALLY get serious about loc'ing my hair. I think I definitely want Sisterlocks

Harriet said...


I live in a little town that you probably would not be able to find on a map if you looked. LOL At any rate, do you have a database of people throughout the country that do sisterlocs? If not, do you have any information about how i can do them myself?

I stated in a previous comment that I am considering growing my hair back out naturally. I will start by putting marley twists in my hair (with extensions) so the permed portions can grow out (it's been over 4 months since my last perm).

After about a year of that, I will cut the residual permed portions off and I would love to get sisterlocs.

The closest big cities to me are, Shreveport, LA, Dallas, TX, Jackson, MS, Baton Rouge, LA, Lafayette, LA, New Orleans, LA, Houston, TX.

Do you think it can be googled?

DiVA_La Reine said...

Definitely going to visit that cosmetic database site you recommended to a reader. I love that you not only share about your hair but you also give us a look at other sisterlock wearers. You make a great journalist! The first unbiased one by far lol

Naturally Sophia said...

Quietspirit- It is wonderful to hear your presence on my blog. Thank you for reading.

Black Girl- Greetings, thank you, and I wish you well on your natural journeys whether you decide to loc or not.

Harriet- You may find Sisterlocks consultants on in most of the major cities you listed.

You will have to have your Sisterlocks retightened (similar to crocheted) every 6-8 weeks. It is important that you do this research about who will do this before they're done. I didn't do this. I flew to Boston to get them done, and it took me nearly 3 months to find a halfway decent consultant here in Atlanta. I didn't find my current consultant until much later.

You have other options!
1. You can start small traditional locks and maintain them with interlocking yourself for free.

2. You can try nappylocs. It is an inexpensive way to start and maintain your own locks.

I hope this helps.

anthia-ofo said...

She and her locs are beautiful. D'you mean her brotherlocks condensed in size to micros? And yes depo is bad news. It causes other problems in addition to hairloss.

Naturally Sophia said...

Yes I mean condensed. And thanks for the compliments. Yes Depo seems to have rough effects.