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Saturday, September 21, 2013

How to Make Sisterlocks Retightenings Painless

So another thing I have to admit about myself is that I'm tenderheaded. My mom is heavy handed and I didn't have much of a choice growing up.

Retightenings can be annoying when you're tenderheaded. Here are some things to reduce the pain:

Friday, September 13, 2013

Is My Hair Too Good for Sisterlocks?

It's a misconception that only kinky hair will lock. People from every group have dreads. So it doesn't matter if you're white, black, both or neither, you can have Sisterlocks.

Here is A.M. who has straight hair and had Sisterlocks at the time of the video. Look in the mirror in the video link below to see the full view.



Here is my video discussing the matter:


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Natural Hair Cyber Community

I posted this cartoon on a Natural Hair Group. It got about 400 "likes" and about a hundred of the most negative, insulting, and hateful comments ever. Even if one doesn't agree with the message, why use social media to tear someone down just because they don't agree with you?


Thoughts?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Atlanta Sisterlocks Meet-Up

Hi Sisterlock Enthusiast,

The Atlanta Sisterlocks Meet-Up is hosting an event September 8th:

Hi Everyone,
You are invited to "da Kink in My Hair" play! Don't miss this time to connect with other Sisterlockers and Sisterlockaholics like myself. We will gather 30 minutes before the play begins to meet and greet.
Play Synopsis:
“If you want to know a black woman, you touch her hair,” says Novelette, as she delves into the tresses and stresses of her clients to reveal their hidden stories. Set in a Caribbean hair salon in Toronto, ‘da Kink in my Hair gives voice to eight black women who tell their unforgettable stories in a kaleidoscope of drumming, singing and dance. It is a testament to the challenges and triumphs in the lives of contemporary black women, many of whom are immigrants to North America from the Caribbean. Mixing laughter and tears, revelation and inspiration, the unapologetically intense stories of each woman are woven together in this powerful piece.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sisterlocks & Lupus

A Sisterlocker emailed me writing that she has Lupus and wants tips on hair loss. I reached out to a doctor friend and 2 women I know with Lupus as well as a nurse practitioner. I don't have Lupus so it was an education for me. Thanks for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to blog about this subject.


 

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that occurs when your body's immune system attacks your own tissues and organs.

 No one knows for sure what causes lupus. But some groups of people have higher rates of lupus. African-American women are three times more likely to get lupus than white women. African-American women tend to develop lupus at a younger age and have more severe symptoms than white women.

Lupus can cause anemia and hair loss itself. Hair loss is enhanced with iron deficiency, with or without anemia. A common cause of anemia is iron deficiency. The medicine that is prescribed for lupus commonly causes hair loss.

So you have lupus and hair loss, what can you do about it?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Value vs. Costs of Sisterlocks


Sisterlocks are not free, hell they are not even cheap. But are they worth it? Absolutely! You have to assign the value you think it's worth.

I suggest you utilize a certified Sisterlock consultant from the Sisterlocks.com website.

The first expense is the installation. I live in a major city. Installs here typically range between $500-$1000. It may be cheaper in smaller cities.

The second expense is retightenings. $20 -$40 per hour based on your location. Trainees typically charge around the lower end of the scale. 

You will be saving on time, effort, styling tools, products, and potentially less stress surrounding what to do with your hair.

Consider the video below and please share your thoughts:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Sisterlocks Sizes & Grid

I've seen Sisterlocks recently that appear to have fallen outside of the realm of what is taught at the Sisterlocks training classes as far as sizes.

I wanted you as consumers to know that Sisterlocks Consultants and Trainees are taught to install Sisterlocks with an even grid in this manner. The trained Sisterlock Consultants are shown and provided with parting charts and taught NOT to deviate from this size for Sisterlocks as of today. The sizes below reflect the size of the Parts not the Sisterlocks.

Here are the Sisterlock Parting Sizes:

1/8" to 1/4" for Sisterlock Micros
1/4" to 3/8" for Average to Large Sisterlocks
Over 1/2" is Too Large according to Sisterlocks

I've used my head to give you a real life example:

Sisterlocks are installed as a rule of thumb slightly larger in the middle and back. If this is done properly, it should be virtually impossible for an onlooker to tell the slight difference. Can you tell from the photos below?

The first photo here is a photo of the front of my Sisterlocks parting.
I measured these recently with a translucent green ruler that did not photograph well. But these parts here are all 1/8".


Now when we move to the back of my head, they are all 1/4":


Now you may wonder if my Sisterlocks are twice as large in the back. Yes some are! But I barely notice their size difference. If I had all 1/8" parting, I know I would have longer retightenings and perhaps less fullness. My install would have taken longer and more of my locks would have to be combined. 2-3 of the micro Sisterlocks had to be combined to lock and to not hang on by a strand of hair.

Over 6 years later, my parts are the same size they were then. This is why it's so important to keep up with your maintenance. Having an even Sisterlocks grid with the correct size parts allows you more styling options and a neater look. This is what Sisterlocks Consultants are trained to do. 

Thoughts?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Sisterlocks Shower Cap

I haven't used a shower cap since college.  I ordered one just in case I care enough one day  I style it to keep it from getting wet.

If you're interested, order Here
I chose the XL. I am impressed already though I haven't used it yet.



Friday, August 2, 2013

PCOS, Metformin, & Sisterlocks

I have gotten some emails on the topic of Sisterlocks and Metformin. I have P.C.O.S. (poly cystic ovarian syndrome) and Metformin is often prescribed for one of the many symptoms I.R.S. (Insulin Resistancy Syndrome).

I did not notice any effect in my hair from taking Metformin. But Metformin gave me horrible stomach aches, diarrhea, nausea, and lactic acidosis. I took myself off of Metformin and lost 40 pounds!

I no longer have amenorrhea, but I still see some of the other symptoms now and then. I especially see it when I fall off my diet. I cut out refined carbs, junk food, soda, and high calorie/high sugar juices completely.   I eat mostly high quality organic protein and veggies. My drink of choice is now water.

I was having some hair issues associated with the hormonal imbalance (another symptom of PCOS). But balancing my diet has improved that.

My number one PCOS suggestion is LOSE WEIGHT. This is something you can do right now by changing your diet, eating more of the right things, moving around more, and cutting the crap out of your diet.

YES it's hard, but it's not harder than having alopecia, out of control hair growth like a beard, depression, fatigue, hormonal imbalance, amenorrhea, infertility and all of the other PCOS symptoms.

Be encouraged all my Soul Cysters out there!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sisterlocks Bunching

When I first got my Sisterlocks done, I had a bunch of  Bunching.

Bunching is when your hair mattes outside of the Sisterlocks rotation in the lock. It usually happens on loose ends or towards the bottom of the lock.

There are some things you can do to prevent & avoid bunching:
1. Make sure your consultant locks down as far as he or she can to the end of your lock during your initial install.

2. Use the right products. Try to avoid sulfates in your shampoo. In my honest opinion, it makes curly hair frizzier. Creamy products and anything with a silkening, detangling or creamy effect will cause your loose hair to fizz which will cause both slippage and bunching.

3. In the beginning, wash your hair ONLY when necessary which is probably much less than you think. 

4. In the beginning, braid and band every time you wash.

5. Get regular retightenings at least every 5-6 weeks especially if your locks have not matured. Your consultant can better monitor bunching and slipping if you go regularly especially until your locks mature.

If you already have bunching, here is my video on some things I did that GREATLY improved the bunched Sisterlocks.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to Grow Long Sisterlocks Naturally

Here's a video on how to get long Sisterlocks from one of my favorite lock rockers Chescaleigh


Because it may take awhile for your patience to arrive, you may want to try these tips:

1. Eat Right!
2. Take a Multi-Vitamin. I suggest you take a natural one. I take Dr. Mercola's along with a slew of other vitamins included Biotin which makes hair healthy and strong.
3. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
4. Relax - it's just hair.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

How to Choose a Sisterlocks Consultant?

If you found this post, this means you are doing a great job in the first step: RESEARCH.

RESEARCH is so important when choosing a consultant. The first thing I want to caution you to do is find a consultant or consultants who can do your install AND your retightenings. I write this because some consultants only do new installs. Also I chose to get my install in a different city than where I lived. So if you opt to do this, you will need to consider who to do your installs in advance.

I would NOT go to a consultant who has NO References. I chose my consultants based on client referrals. Interview their clients. Make sure you see and examine their work with your own eyes and hands.

Make sure the Sisterlocks Consultant is using the Sisterlocks Tool.

Examine the Sisterlock Consultant's work including the grid, parting size, and size of locks.

Chat with them about the size of Sisterlocks you want, the maintenance, the products, etc.

Make sure they do a tester lock, provide you with a Sisterlocks starter kit, provide info, and get your info to the Sisterlocks Home Office so that you can get a certificate with your Sisterlocks birthday. This may not be important to you, but I wanted a record of who did my locks and when it was done.

My awesome consultant in Boston, Jacqueline Myers of www.hairstoyounaturally.com also gave me a calendar, info about the locking stages, and so many tips on how to maintain the Sisterlocks she installed. She provided braiding and banding info as well as the bands to do it and the technique on how and when to wash.

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Sisterlocks Tool Part 2

To clarify there are 2 Sisterlocks tools, the clip tool and the hook tool.  The public isn't given access to them. For more details and a photo of each tool, click Kreyola's blog HERE.

In order to gain access to the tool, you have to spend the money to take the class to become a Sisterlocks Consultant. The last time I inquired about the cost, it was around $1000. Before you think that's to expensive, consider some women pay that much to get Sisterlocks.

I prefer my retightenings with the Sisterlocks hook tool because I find it is the best. The clip tool frayed my locks and my initial install consultant and retightening consultant both agree that they get more tension with the hook tool allowing a tighter rotation (meaning no visible holes/gaps in the lock).

However, to each their own. I have seen Sisterlocks maintained nicely with other tools. AND I have seen Sisterlocks maintained poorly with other tools. You should take into account the tool, the retightener's technique and your hair texture.


I hope this helps.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sisterlocks Soft Spike Curls

Sisterlockers,

I created a video on how to achieve this look:


Here it is. Let me know your thoughts.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sisterlocks Tool & Method

Hi All,

I came across a young woman who had her install done by a consultant who did not use the Sisterlocks tool. Another woman had her locks installed by a woman who was never ever affiliated with Sisterlocks and did not have the tool at all or know the technique.

If you click HERE you can see the Sisterlocks hook tool compared next to the NappyLocs tool. Many women who had their Sisterlocks started with the the hook tool in the link above now maintain their locks themselves with the Nappylocs tool or even a latchhook.

I experimented with the Nappylocs tool, the latchhook, hair pins, bobby pins, and upholstery needles until I found my consultant. You see, I got my locks installed in Boston and had not found a Sisterlock Consultant that suited me here in Atlanta initially by the time I needed a retightening so I experimented with self re-tightenings.

My conclusion: I prefer my hair retightened with the Sisterlocks hook tool. I dislike the Sisterlocks clip tool shown in the article HERE because the spring lever that attaches to the lock caused my ends to fray after a couple of retightening sessions here in Atlanta with a Sisterlocks Consultant. I asked her to use the hook tool and she said that she only uses it for new installs. Needless to say, I found a better consultant (Julia Stewart Stackhaus). I have heard some consultants say they prefer the Sisterlocks hook tool because they can do tighter rotations than with with the clip tool.

Sisterlocks Misinformation

One thing that really irks me and is extremely frustrating to me is the MISINFORMATION running rampant about Sisterlocks.

Sisterlocks remains the best hair decision I have ever made and I just want others to be correctly informed.

I started with Google. In searching Sisterlocks, I found this misinformation on Wikipedia. As a result, I edited the content from:

"Sisterlocks" and "brotherlocks" are a particular patented genus of dreadlocks created in Afro-textured hair that are installed in needle-thin twists to create very fine locks. "Sisterlocks" or "brotherlocks" are maintained exclusively by tightening the roots, or "new growth" with the latch-hook tool as the tension created by excessive twisting encourages locks to thin and potentially break off.

to:

"Sisterlocks" and "Brotherlocks" is [12] a method of locking any hair texture or type into micro dreadlocks founded by Dr. Joanne Cornwell. Only a certified Sisterlocks consultant has received the certification and training to install Sisterlocks or Brotherlocks. A complete list of consultants and official trainees are on the Sisterlocks.com official site. Sisterlocks involve interlocking your hair from end to scalp with the Sisterlocks tool. The technique was not designed or intended to be combined with hair extensions.

And so it is. I am trying to get an official Sisterlocks page on Wiki as well. Wish me luck! It requires multiple references and it's difficult because there is so much false info on the net about Sisterlocks.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sisterlocks Cornrows Part 2

I slept in the cornrows overnight with no additional product added. In the morning, I took at the back of the cornrows and got a sort of wavy look. Here's the outcome.




Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sisterlocks Cornrows


My mom agreed to braid my Sisterlocks in cornrows. Here's the outcome. Tomorrow I may only keep the front braided and have the back in waves.
This is my first time getting my Sisterlocks cornrowed. Have any of you tried it?

Friday, July 19, 2013

Twisted Sisterlocks Bun

Sisterlocks blogger Kreyola inspired me to do my own version of a twisted buns. Her simple, cute chignon evolved into this for me.

I took all my hair and placed it in a ponytail at the crown of my head. Then I double-strand twisted the ponytail into about 5 sections and wrapped them one under another making an "O" shape at an angle.

Not too shabby for 5 minutes before work with no hair pins if you will. :)

 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Bed Head

Sisterlockers, do you wrap your hair at night? Do you have a night routine for hair? I do for skin but that's it.

I sleep just like this minus the make-up & earrings. No wraps. No scarves. Most of the time I do remember to put at least one satin pillowcase on the pillows.

For me, less is more with Sisterlocks...


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What are Sisterlocks?

1. What kind of braids are those?

A: They are not braids but rather very small dreadlocks called Sisterlocks introduced by Dr. Joanne Cornwell.

2. Is that all your hair?

A: Yes. Sisterlocks are designed to be worn with your natural hair only. Some people use extension methods to add hair to their locks but I am not one of them.

3. Can you take them out?

A: Yes. It is possible but involves a very manual process.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

How to Reattach Sisterlocks

My first video ever! This is how I reattach Sisterlocks that have broken off, was pulled off, or cut off.

Let me know your thoughts?

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Men Love Sisterlocks

Men love Sisterlocks. Let me rephrase almost all of the men I have encountered have been extremely fond of my Sisterlocks. My father especially loves not finding my hair in any drains. He is also extremely fond of the length now.

My guy friends often say things like "Wow that's all your hair?". "You don't wrap your hair at night?" "You don't have an umbrella or shower cap?"

They are not used to Black women having hair they can touch or pull. They aren't used to a woman not having a weave. In my informal poll, they seem to like weave the least.

Not that you need another reason to like Sisterlocks nor am I saying that men validate your beauty. But as a busy single working and dating girl, Sisterlocks have only helped.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Hair Ties with Free Shipping

Hi SL Peeps! Many of you have emailed me about hair ties over the past 2-3 years. Well I just wanted to show you a few of the hair ties I'm offering again on my site:
 

 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Weight Loss & Sisterlocks = A Great Combination

This post is not necessarily about hair.

It's about weight. As many of you know from 2011-2013 I lost ~40 pounds.

Having Sisterlocks definitely helps in having one less thing to worry about while working out. You can work out without worrying about sweating your hair out or getting your hair wet.

My 3 favorite ways to work out are hiking (climbing up and around Stone Mountain for locals), swimming, and yoga.

Many naturalistas wrap their hair but I don't. I heard a good site is www.saveyourdo.com; I read several great reviews for her headwraps that trap moisture to save your hairstyle. If you experience "slippage" in your Sisterlocks, this product is for you.

As for the pool, I tie my hair in a bun and dive in. I tried putting 2-3 swim caps on but now my hair is too full for it. Usually my hair is not soaked all the way through, so I just wash and condition. Then I air dry if it's warm out and blow dry if it's not. But I only go swimming at most 3 times a week. Have any of you tried a swim cap for locks you like? I know there are several on the market.

I know this may sound weird; but although I am still overweight, I have no desire to lose more weight. My main goal is being healthy, and if that requires weight loss then I chose my health. BUT I love my curves. I enjoy having a fleshy body. Really it would be great if we could spot reduce because I only want smaller arms and a flatter tummy.

Anyway, here's the progress as of January this year. For those of you who know me personally or through Facebook or Instagram, this is old news. But I wanted to share that this is a another great thing about Sisterlocks.

With Sisterlocks, working out is no problem!


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Best Sisterlocks Advice Ever

Hey Sisterlocks Ladies!

I started blogging again in part because I saw much misinformation on Sisterlock forums and did not see my particular viewpoint being represented.

I am often still inboxed on Facebook via email and pulled aside at natural hair shows to have conversations with women that are dissatisfied with their hair. Many times, they say they are dissatisfied but only in comparison to someone else's hair.

"I want my Sisterlocks to look exactly like yours."
Not possible! We were all created with different DNA.

"My consultant didn't make mine as small as your Sisterlocks."
Consultants generally do the size they were taught to do based on the Sisterlocks grid and texture/volume of YOUR hair after discussing your wants. They try to meet your wants against their training and experience.

" Our texture is similar. My hair will look like yours in 5 years".
Your hair will always look like your hair. My hair will always look like my hair. It's real hair not weave.

So here is the BEST DARN SISTERLOCKS ADVICE YOU WILL EVER READ:
Never ever compare your locks to others (not the texture, length, color, number of years or locks, not the density). When you stop doing this it becomes easier to be happy with the hair that matters most, your own.


So when you learn to accept what you have, then you can love it. Then you will stop comparing your hair to others and just maintain the best head of your own Sisterlocks that you can.

Now this advice is free. And you can apply it to any area of your life not just hair!

Be Well Sisterlockers!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Soft Spikes on Sisterlocks

Lately, I have been feeling more experimental with styling my Sisterlocks. I plan to try many different types of rollers and post about the results.

My go to staple for Sisterlocks curls are Soft Spikes. I have used them since around the first year and they always produce nice curls. Plus they are soft. I go to sleep on them with no problems.

I ALSO SELL SOFT SPIKES. Right now I am selling 1 pack of 30 long rollers with end papers to wrap those loose ends that may not be sealed in the lock for just $15 with FREE SHIPPING on my site: https://www.etsy.com/shop/NaturallySophia

Here's a brief  description of how I used them.

1. Start with damp clean hair. I added Jane Carter's Wrap & Roll.
2.Take the ends of a small section of locks. Place the ends of your hair in the end papers. Make a rectangle (ish) shape with the papers.

Hair Mask & Protein Pack on Sisterlocks

My Sisterlocks had been feeling extra dry and wiry. I dyed them twice this year both times using bleach. They typically feel dry but I could tell that it might not be a bad idea to condition them.

Now I donated all my rinse out & deep conditioners once I started Sisterlocks years ago along with my combs and brushes. So, I needed to buy one again. I also did not want to spend much money on it, especially not knowing how the outcome would be.

So, I went to the "natural" section at Target. I settled on a trial size of this product


and also purchased 2 of these (below):




I left the trial pact of the Olive Oil Masque and the Palmer's Coconut Deep Conditioning Protein Pack on for 4-6 hours with a plastic bag on my head. The instructions say 10-20 minutes but I fell asleep on my couch LOL!


I think the result was good. It definitely felt better than before while applying, after washing out, and even 2 weeks later. So I applied it again to clean, damp hair focusing on the tips and working near but not on the scalp just like I did 2 weeks ago.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Gray Days

I am whiny today because I have discovered my one gray hair. I plucked it out but isn't this supposed to happen later in life? Geez! I called my brother and he laughed, told me it's a non-issue, and that if I pluck them more will come.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

My Newest Color for Sisterlocks

Many have asked who and what product did I use to color my hair. I went from the color on the left to the one on the right.


I did it myself. I had the time, am experienced with color, and wanted a change.

Before you attempt DIY color, educate yourself and be patient. Accept that you may not get it right the first time and may damage your hair.

You'll need  color safe shampoo, something to prevent the color from bleeding onto your hairline like petroleum jelly or Vaseline, latex gloves, mixing bowls, foils or a plastic or latex cap for processing and conditioner along with ample time.

Well I used permanent colors Loreal 6.54, Clairol 6RR & 7RN, and Flame (demi permanent) by Adore now discontinued to get to this bright red color. The romantic in me did this in February the day before Valentine's Day. My ends were already bleached from dye in 2009. In order to get the saturation of color, you or someone must lighten your hair first. I used Clairol 30 weight developer with powder lightened for the back which was quite dark.

I processed the color with a plastic bag atop my head after rinsing the bleach out after about 20 minutes. I sectioned my now bleached hair and applied the color. Because I wanted lowlights in the red, I braided the 5 sections after applying various color at various times. This gave me dimension in my color. I didn't apply the color near my scalp either. I took my 8 or so braids and placed them in a white/clear plastic bag atop my head for about 1 hour.


I AM NOT SUGGESTING YOU DIY! COLOR AT YOUR OWN RISK.

I ended up with a pink bathtub for awhile and an ugly wall stain.

But I also ended up with this beautiful color...



that I promptly got bored with! In May, I decided I wanted to be strawberry blonde. So since I already achieved the strawberry in February, I went straight for the blonde. Voila! I used the same technique with these box kits from Clairol Textures and Tones that I bought at Taliah Waajid's Spring 2013 World Hair Show at a steal.  I used 4 boxes. One of 6G and 3 of 7G Lightest Blond/ Champagne which came with a bleach powder lightened booster kit. I am careful not to dye near my scalp. I like the ombré look with my dark roots and don't want the dye to process on my skin.




I have since deep conditioned my hair and don't plan to bleach or go any lighter for the next few years and certainly not anytime soon without a professional colorist.






Friday, May 31, 2013

6th Anniversary! Where did the time fly?

Y'all my Sisterlock kids turned 6 on Monday, May 27th. Yay!

In the past year, I've colored my hair twice, rolled it with Soft Spikes a handful of times, and rocked a bun and ponytail at least once a week.

Oh and I relaunched my blog! Stay tuned...