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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Sisterlocks: the Complete List of Resources

I was looking high and low for a comprehensive site on Sisterlocks when I first locked my hair a couple of years ago. I found a few blogs and the Sisterlocks.com site. But I had to search for info and ask questions. If you are contemplating Sisterlocks, you should too. You may find it a chore to get all the info you need. I have complied this list for you. I hope it's helpful.


Sisterlocks: Is a method of locking hair into micro dreadlocks founded by Joanne Cornwell. A certified Sisterlocks consultant should install your locks. A complete list of consultants and official trainees are on the site http://www.sisterlocks.com/





What is the method? : It involves crocheting/knitting your hair from the ends to the scalp.

Can I add hair?: What about Sisterlocks Extensions?:
The method was not designed for hair to be added. If you have any doubts about that, see Dr. Joanne Cornwell. Many Sisterlocks Consultants offer extensions onto the locks as a separate service. I would caution against this but to each, their own. You can find info about this on http://www.youtube.com/

The intention of Sisterlocks is to offer natural hair care management without chemicals or extensions. I think you are beautiful and don't need anyone else's hair to be. I also do not believe in supporting the Koreans and Indians in purchasing hair making them rich and lowering our self-esteem.

Can I wash Sisterlocks? :
Yes, Sisterlocks is your own hair. Of course, you can wash your own hair.

Sisterlocks seems permanent. Are Sisterlocks permanent?:
No is the short answer. However, removing Sisterlocks is very difficult. It takes a lot of money and time to start Sisterlocks. It would be a considerable loss of an investment in both time and money to immediately take Sisterlocks down.

Here are the stories of 2 women who have taken down Sisterlocks:
Sisterlocks can be dyed. Please see a competent colorist with locked hair experience.
Sisterlocks don't seem to have any styling options. I like doing lots of things with my hair. Will I be limited?:
No! Look at just a few of the things I have done. You aren't limited at all.

You are not limited at all. You can curl Sisterlocks with any type of rollers though soft, spongy rollers work best. You may also crimp your hair by braiding it together damp with water and/or styling lotion (mousse), then unraveling it dry.

Some Sisterlocks resources have been more helpful than others for my personal Sisterlocks journey. Here is a list of the links I have most frequented since my journey:

Why are Sisterlocks so expensive? :
In short, Sisterlocks are expensive because they are teeny tiny and take a whole lot of work to put in...My consultant spent 33 hours on my head and many of my locks are smaller than toothpicks. How much would you want to get paid for that kind of work if you were a hair care professional?

You can justify the cost with time, and I also encourage you to compare it on a yearly basis with how much you are spending now.
Sisterlocks are still to expensive! What are my options for small locks?
Nappylocs is the first alternative that comes to mind. You can read more on how to do the method yourself at http://www.nappylocs.com/.

You can do small traditional locks started by a single or 2 strand twist where you interlock when the locks grow out with a latch hook (craft tool sold at beauty supply and craft stores) or your own hands.
You could braid your hair in tiny braids and retighten your hair with a tool.
Do professional women have Sisterlocks? Can I get or keep a job with Sisterlocks?
Yes! Yes! Just look at Docs Locs. She is very poised, articulate and an M.D. no less.


I have gotten one job offer and 2 promotions since my Sisterlocks were installed. Personally, at my previous place of employment, I noticed only other Black people view natural hair as unprofessional.

Can I transition from perm or a relaxer?
Yes you may. Many with Sisterlocks choose this route:
Blackluvdmom
Brunsli
Caughtintheact
Chocolata
Drea
Mel
NappyTexanGirl
Vee
Will my hair be thin/thick, grow longer, or shrink?
It is important to realize that Sisterlocks will look like your own hair. If your hair is thin, I guarantee your Sisterlocks will make your hair appear thicker; but not thicker than someone with a thick head full of Sisterlocks.
Yes, your hair will grow without shedding! You may experience your hair appearing shorter after you lock it while it is still maturing. But everytime you blink you will have to get your hair retightened. I kid! Not literally but often (every 4-8 weeks). Your hair may also grow in between your parts and sprout where there was never hair before...
What is retightening?
Retightening will take place after your hair has grown out a bit. It is a way of maintaining the strength of your locks by interlocking the hair. A certified consultant or trainee can retighten it for you. But you may retighten it yourself.

What Did He Say?


This is what Rapper David Banner said:

At a recent appearance at South Carolina State University, rapper David Banner stunned the audience when he made the statement that “Blacks Don’t Love Themselves.”

More importantly, he uses Black women who perm their hair as an example of black on black crime and media control.

In a question-and-answer session, Banner challenged black women in attendance to explain why they perm and straighten their hair. In response came the defense that “hair perming” is equated with being able to get a decent job as a professional and not being viewed as a threat by bosses who are usually of a different race.

“This is what I mean when I say black people don’t love themselves,” Banner said. “Perming your hair is a clear example of ‘black-on-black crime’ and media control. Black-on-black crime is not just a black person committing a violent act against another black person.

Focusing deeper on the media’s impact, Banner said the continuing depiction of blacks as aggressive and as a threat to society lowers the value of black life.”Blacks have accepted the way they are portrayed in the media as a reality,” Banner said. “This sad reality makes it easier for a black person to commit a crime against other people of color.”

Naturally, Sophia thinks that I don't recall Mr. Banner ever featuring a natural hair model/women in any one of his videos. Nor do I recall his songs uplifting black women. Also, in his raps, he glamorizes criminal behavior.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The PCOS Diaries

1. Today my face is on fire and swollen. It burns from laser hair removal. Because of PCOS, I felt the need to get the removal which is just a reduction. I will still have my signature mustache but it will be more like peach fuzz than a true 'stache just not the accompanying stubble, 5 o'clock shadow, and beard that started to appear.

2. My stomach is giving birth to itself. Metformin (generic Glucophage) is making me feel this way.

3. The topical Progesterone and Yaz is making my hormones rage out of control.

I know some that read this blog have PCOS (Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome) and/or IRS (Insulin Resistancy Sydrome). How is it going? How do you cope?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Latest Sisterlocks Updo





I twisted my hair in 5 large twists angled around my head. I clipped the back with a Basic Hair Clip. I secured the back with hair pins. I finished with Jane Carter Leave-In Conditioner to pat down the fuzzy bits et Voila!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sisterlocks Mythbusters

I did an informal poll of my friends with locks, and now that I have done a post of Natural Hair Myths, I am going to address just Sisterlock myths.

The first myth is that they are dirty- you can't wash them as often as you like.

I think all loc wearers have gotten this at one time:

Do You Wash Your Hair?

Of course you can wash your hair as often as you like.

I will say that if you wash them early in the process as a newbie it can cause slippage. The Sisterlocks would have to be redone if that occurs. But it is your hair; and if you braid and band it, the slipping will be prevented for the most part.

2nd Myth: They are not versatile.

Sisterlocks are versatile. They are not versatile in the "wanna add different chemicals and weave every other day" sense. But to date, I have done so much with my hair. You can color it, style it, and cut it. If you'd like to see my initial install consultant's photos, click here . You can style it as you would loose hair.

3rd myth: Men do not like women with locks.

It depends on the man. All the men I like, like women with locks. Would you really want to be with a man who didn't embrace your natural hair?

4th myth: They're expensive.

ok, yes Sisterlocks initially cost a whole lot of $. But please consider how much you pay on your current hairstyle now. For example, I would get my hair done almost every week for $25 and pay for weave occasionally, deep conditioning, and haircuts. Then, I would pay to style my hair at home with $ spent on flat irons, curling irons, and blow dryers.

Now I only pay occasionally to get my hair retightened if I don't do it myself. In the past year, I have gotten my hair retightened only 6 times. When I multiply those 6 times times the amount I paid, it's far less than I paid at the salon and the beauty supply store 3 years ago.

Then, you must consider time is money. Instead of spending an hour on my hair every morning before work, I spend maybe 15 minutes, once every month if I want an updo or something. I do not spend the 2 -3 hours at the salon every week that I used to spend. In the past year, I have spent 1/16 of the time I spent on my hair in the years before that.

5th myth: They're too small, they'll fall off.

They are small but they won't break like some free form locks and traditional locks do. You can have a healthy set of traditional locks or free from locks though! But specifically, those locks can be more prone to breakage from over twisting at the scalp and/or weight. Interlocking the hair keeps any size locks strong and attached to the hair growing from the scalp. The smallness of the locks allows for more versatility in styling.

6th myth: People that have Sisterlocks are not natural.

This myth goes back to Natural Hair Myth Busting! . There is some ambiguity around the word natural. You don't have to be natural to have Sisterlocks. Many womyn with Sisterlocks do some very unnatural things in my opinion. My hair is natural in the sense that it grows out of my scalp without using any chemicals that straighten the hair. However, my hair is dyed. To some, this is unnatural. But many people with freeform locs, say that the constant grooming and manipulation of Sisterlocks renders them an unnatural style. I think it's important that you define the word for yourself. To me, no chemicals + no added hair = natural. I encourage you to make your own equation and share it please.

Are there any myths I left out?

Friday, February 13, 2009

SC's Natural Hair Interview

Awhile ago, one of my friend's did the big chop (meaning she cut off all her relaxer). No holding on to the inches of length. No premeditated plan to grow her hair out. No transition period.



I decided to interview her. I like her quiet courage and easy going nature.



NS: Please tell me about your hair history, hairstory if you will :)?

SC: I grew up having my hair natural until I was 12. I am from Mississippi and that is just what we all did at a certain age. No one even thought of keeping their natural hair as an option.

NS: Ok, so as a teenager, after the relaxer, what styles did you wear?

SC: My first cut was a mushroom; after that I cut it short in the front, and it was long in the back.

NS: Ha! The black girl mullet! I had that cut too. Nothing after that?

SC: Nah! I'm about easy maintenance and I just put it in a ponytails. I kept telling myself that after high school, I would do more with it. Then I said that after college, I would do more. Well from age 15-32, I did the ponytail.

NS: What? Really? No weave? I have seen your hair done on occasion.

SC: I did weaves on a few occasions for special events. I got my hair done occasionally but daily I would wear a ponytail. It damaged my hair.

NS: How so? at the scalp? at the base of the ponytail?

SC: It (the ponytails) tore my hair in the middle of my head where I wore the ponytail. It broke off where the ponytail started.

NS: ok, so I understand you are a low maintenance person when it comes to your hair. But what made you think that it was the perm?

SC: I have never really been a fan of the salon or the perm. I only got perms every 3-4 months. I was ready because my hair was unhealthy. I was also going to the gym every morning like I do now. The ponytails were really getting old. Also, my husband was tired of the ponytail. Every time we were out and there was a woman with a short natural, he would introduce us and ask her about her hair.

NS: So your husband prefers natural hair?
SC: Yes. He had been mentioning it to me for awhile. I cut it off on our first wedding anniversary.
NS: ok, it is important that womyn reading my blog get that. Many womyn still think men only prefer yaki or relaxers or anything but their hair.
But what made you decide to cut it off all at once?

SC: It was time. I went to Urbanbella http://www.urbanbella.net/ ( natural hair salon) in Atlanta, and they showed me what I could do to grow it out, some styles to wear etc. Or, the lady said, we can cut it off right now. I chose the second option.

NS: How did you feel?

SC: I am still in shock (laughs).

NS: You surprised yourself huh? How is it now that it has been 7 months ago? How did your family and friends respond?

SC: As far as maintenance, it's easy. I wash my hair everyday just about with Hair Rules . I put some leave in stuff to kinda make it even when I pat it down. I love it.

My friends were just as shocked as me but were nice, lots of compliments. My mom was surprised. i went home to Mississippi and my little cousin (6 year old girl) said, "Why you got your hair like a boy?". I said, "You don't like it huh?" She said, "ut ah". LOL! At the bank, this woman (teller) referred to me as sir.

NS: Hmm, Do you feel masculine? Do you feel any different? Any changes?

SC: No! I was dressed with a cap on that day, and she didn't even look up. If anything, I walk with my head up now. I feel (pauses) stronger.

NS: Stronger?

SC: More confident. When I first got it cut, I bought some make-up. That lasted for only a month. I felt I needed to dress it up more. I dress up now a little more. When I want to be fancy, I wear a headband.

NS: LOL from a 3 hour salon trip to a headband. Makes a huge difference. Don't you love not using umbrellas and shower caps?

SC: Yeah, I love how easy it is. All kinds of people give me compliments! I workout everyday without worrying.

NS: Good! What's next? A huge fro?

SC: Well, I don't know. I just take it as it comes. I have no plans for my hair. I see my friend's hair who has dreads. They are longer and longer every time we see each other. One day, I might just lock it. But for right now, I am just liking it. Ya know I didn't even know what my curl pattern was or that I had one.

NS: Nice. Thanks for sharing your story. I know you will inspire, encourage someone.

Natural Births

2 of my most favorite natural womyn inspirations had babies this year.

1.Erykah Badu gave birth to baby girl Mars Merkaba on February 4th shown here with the baby's father Jay Electronica.

On Twitter she explained that "her eyes are looking right into mine. She struggles to focus. So much in her. I wonder where she just came from. I mean ... her spirit."

Badu, who has two children from previous relationships named Seven Sirius (with Outkast's Andre 3000) and Puma Rose Sabti (with rapper the D.O.C.), did not explain the origin of the name. According to Crystalinks.com, the word Merkaba refers to a "divine light vehicle allegedly used by ascended masers to connect with and reach those in tune with the higher realms." The vehicle is described as a kind of three-dimensional Star of David that "transports spirit/body from one dimension to another." In the Bible, the Merkabah is described as a chariot made of angels with four wings and four faces that represent the four directions and take the form of a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle.

2. Lisa Bonet (Lilakoi Moon) gave birth to a baby boy on December 15th (my mom's birthday) named Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa.


This is the family minus Zoe ( Lola, Jason, Lisa pregnant with baby boy Nakoa)

Bonet gave birth on Dec. 15 to Nakoa-Wolf Manakauapo Namakaeha Momoa, as per her agent, Tracy Christian. Bonet’s longtime lover, Jason Momoa, is the star of Stargate Atlantis and his mother was the first to announce the baby’s arrival. She posted on the fan forums on her son’s official Web site and also mentioned what the baby’s unique name meant. Nakoa stands for “warrior” and Mana means “strength/spirit.” Kaua is “rain” and Po is “dark” and that refers to the day he was born (it was a bad, rainy night in Los Angeles). His middle name, Namakaeha, is the same as his dad’s. The name is pronounced Na-Ko-Ah Wolf Mana-Ka-Ooh-Ah-Po Namma-Kay-Ah-Ha Mo-Moa, a Hawaiian source told Access Hollywood.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Natural Hair Myth Busting!

I decided to do a post about common myths involving Sisterlocks. But then I realize first I have to address some common myths about natural hair.

The first myth is that natural hair is not professional. And along with this myth is the myth that people with natural hair belong to certain subcultures (activists, poets, hippies or criminals).

Seeing is believing. So, first I have posted a variety of people that have natural hair. My aim here is to show that natural hair isn't a certain look that belongs to a certain type of person. From top to bottom (Rapper Lil' Wayne; Whoopi Goldberg, award winning actress and grandmother of 3 sporting a chic look by Christian Siriano ; Sanyika Calloway Boyce, a financial expert and entrepreneur who has been featured on Good Morning America; Professor and famous activist Angela Davis)


So who has natural hair? Criminals? Yes some criminals have natural hair. Please understand that I am not saying all rappers are criminals. Activist? Yes some political activist have natural hair. Conservatives? Yes some conservatives have natural hair. Lesbians? Yes some lesbians have natural hair. Lawyers? Yes some lawyers have natural hair.

When you decide to go natural or keep your natural hair, you have to consider it will be you with the natural. If you are a professional, it will be you as the professional being you are with natural hair. If you are not a rapper and you have locks, then it can't be true that only rappers have locks. Got it?

So, natural hair does not belong to a certain subculture. Natural hair belongs to the wearer.

The next myth I have heard is that natural hair is too masculine for women. Or I have heard women say men will not like me with natural hair.

This is untrue. If you are not masculine to begin with, how you wear your hair won't change that. There are plenty of attractive men of all races who not only like but prefer natural hair.

My next post is about myths specifically related to Sisterlocks.

But I would like to hear your thoughts about the myths surrounding natural hair in general.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Am a Left-Parter? How about you?

Siblings and sociologists John and Catherine Walter have researched how a person's image is affected by his or her hair part. Whether you part your hair on the left or right side of your head -- or not at all -- influences how others perceive you and possibly even how you perceive yourself. The idea behind their theory is that your hair part alters how others interact with you, thus altering how you interact with them, and so on.

Warning! The theory is a tad bit sexist, but here’s a link that discusses the study.

This is the hair-part breakdown, according to the Walters:

Men who part their hair on the left are often popular and successful. People perceive them as strong.

Women who part their hair on the left are considered reliable and intelligent. It's a smart move for those who work in politics or business.

Men who part their hair on the right are seen as radical and open. These men should be strong enough to overcome the stigma against men with this part.

Women who part their hair on the right are viewed as gentle and feminine. Because it is a more traditional style, it can affect how seriously they are taken.

People who don't part their hair, can't part their hair due to baldness or use a center part come across as trustworthy and wise.

I don't know about you. But I like my hair parted to the left with not that much scalp showing. I really dislike all my parts showing after retightening it.

How about you? Please cast your vote:



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Come to This Hair Show

Greetings!
The Taliah Waajid Natural Hair Show will be the first week of April.

If you are in the area and would like to participate with poetry or spoken word, here's some info:

Poet and Spoken Word artist call Sunday February 22, 2009 @3:00pm The Grounds Coffee Shop Spoken Word artist, unique entertainers and Poets Get the exposure you need.Contact: TaRon Johnson, Poet's Corner coodinator

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The New Year Atlanta Sisterlocks Meet-Up

Yesterday, was the first meet-up of the year. This is the first time that everyone who confirmed via RSVP came. I am so happy about that!

There were some really good conversations about professionalism and locks, blogging, and products; I always enjoy every one's lock stories. There were many who just arrived to Atlanta.

Lady C below is from Colorado:


Look how her hair grew in just 6 months:


And Amba's friend below always makes me miss my traditional locs. She has this great natural light brownish color too:



Jane Carter represented their line, a little late but worth the wait. I purchased the scalp serum .
Here are the ingredients for the scalp serum:

SCALP NOURISHING SERUM: Pure essential oils of: grapefruit, cedarwood, rosemary, ylang ylang, palmarosa, nettle, vitamins A,D,E in a hybrid safflower base.


Here are the ingredients for the leave-in conditioner:

REVITALIZING LEAVE IN: Purified Water, Extracts of Aloe Vera, Comfrey, Watercress, Myrrh, Panthenol, Essential Oils, Anthemis Noblis Flower, Symphytum OfficinalLeaf, Equisetum Arvense, Urtica Dioica (Nettle), Rosemarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Humulus Lupulus (Hops) Lawsonia Inermis (Henna), Butoxyethenol, Polyquarternium11, Soyamid DEA, PPG30, Cetyl Ether, Oleth-3 Phosphate, Hydantoin,

Both of these products can be found at Whole Foods. I like the Jane Carter Solution's Leave-in Conditioner. It smells good and has a light water base. I haven't used the essential oil scalp serum yet (future product review), but I know tea tree oil works like a charm at a better price.