Friday, August 28, 2009

Sisterlock vs. Nappylock

Apparently, this debate is years old, dating back to 2005. Until Wednesday, I was also unaware that a case actually went to court for trademark infringement. I was open with the trainer and told her that I had used the NL tool so she asked how it was, but then she stopped herself and said she didn't even want to know because of everything that happened. So I did some research and found the court papers which is lengthy, take your time and read through. In the end NL won, but I now feel as though I slighted myself by purchasing the NL tool because I have SL's no doubt about it. In addition, the NL website goes on about how much cheaper it is then the SL classes/tools for the same results. However, I'm not 100% certain that over time the results would be the same. Only time will tell and the only way to be sure of this is to compare someones hair who has been using the SL tool vs someone using the NL tool. So for me I will never know, but I know I will be using the SL tool going forward.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Need I Say More

Double click on the image for a larger view.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Retightening Class

Today I went to my retightening class and I met Kay Exquisite. It was just the two of us and honestly we talked for the entire class to each other and the instructor. With all that talking we actually ended up staying an extra hour just talking, it was a GREAT experience. #1, it was great to meet a fellow blogger in person, and #2 it was nice to see another person's hair in just about the same stage as I'm in.

In regards to the class, I definitely implore all of you to go and take the class if you want to DIY. I learned alot about my hair, why things are done a certain way and what my hair is currently doing, information about my cuticle and because Kay Exquisite was also there it was like we were able to bounce ideas and questions easier and learned even more then if we were there alone. Although, you do have your consultant for that you know human nature always wants you to get a second opinion on everything. The trainer was extremely knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and giving of information and for all of those reasons she will be my new consultant. I will definitely be going back to her in the future to check on my hair on a quarterly basis and if I need any styling for any special occasions. Now the ultimate test of course is which do I prefer. Since I have already retightened my whole head with the NL tool and now I have used the official SL tool, by far the SL tool wins!!! Hands down it cannot compare and I think my 5 day retightening will be reduced to 3 days. I will test my theory out over the Labor Day weekend. I still love my SL's and even more so now that I can take care of them the proper way.

And one last thing is that I have changed my pattern now to a 3 to allow my hair to coil around its natural pattern instead of keeping it stifled.

On another note, there is a HUGE back story on the NL tool and how it came about. I will post about this tomorrow, its time to go to bed!

Nothing new

Nothing new going on today. I just wanted to post because a natural co-worker of mine will always ask me what I did to my hair, if its a braid out or roller set. What's ironic is the past two times I've washed my hair she will ask me the same thing. After washing my hair, I just let it air dry, no braids or rollers so I always laugh and respond, "I washed it". So this time around I asked her does it look different and she told me that it looks fluffy and light. Here is my hair that same morning. I'm thinking I'm going to start washing my hair once a week because I don't put any oils in my hair but I do sweat so maybe the mixture of my natural oils and the sweat is weighing my locks down. I'm going to monitor for a month and see if I see a difference.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Test sisterlocks

As I did tons of research on SL's I always wanted to see each stage. Someone contacted me asking about the size of my locks, initially so I thought it would be a good idea to see where it all began. Here is a picture of my test locks which I only had in for one week. I was ready to take the plunge and I didn't need nor want to see how they behaved, I just wanted them. Isn't it wild to see how far they have come in size in only five months!

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Sisterlock Starter Shampoo

I ordered a new bottle of starter lock shampoo on Monday and I received it on Friday (four days) not bad at all. The bottle is much larger than the shampoo in the starter kit. I diluted the shampoo this time around with water I would say 1:1 and I shampooed three times.

What I notice different from using the starter shampoo to Dr. Bronners is that my curly ends are really prevalent as my hair dries. My hair does not feel as hard as the first few times I used the SL shampoo. I think that has to do with my hair settling now and plumping up, not a result of the shampoo. The largest difference is that I don't see the white bulbs and that's a great thing. My hair feels clean. The verdict is that I will be using the SL shampoo every two weeks until the bottle finishes. I plan to go back on the sisterlock website and order the green tea shampoo once this one finishes.
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Friday, August 21, 2009

Taking your locks out? perfectionist ways have caused me to lose two locks. During my retightening I combined two locks because I could not get the new growth apart, but since I lost a part I wasn't really pleased with leaving it that way. I wanted to fix them, meaning take it out and re-install it. PhePhi (thanks for the guidance) gave me a you tube video to watch on how to install a SL from scratch. I figured I was ready, so I pulled out a bobby pin and started taking the lock out.


As I picked the lock out my hair was shedding and the further I got the more my hair was shedding. When I was done picking out both locks I ended up with a ball of hair on my dresser :-) You know the type of ball that you get when you wear a weave or braids and finally take it out, yeah that ball :-) So I put my hair in the toilet and flushed it in essence I flushed two locks away.

I didn't put 2 new locks in because the hair remained is so to come (my camera needs to charge). I figure during my next retightening I will just combine the few strands with a lock nearby.

Now I have no thoughts of taking my locks down in the nearby future, but from this experience it has got me wondering. What if I did ever want to take my SL's down, it seems like I would have to cut them because my hair has begun locking. Yes, very positive that my hair is already locking, but sad knowing that if I do want them out I would have to cut them...luckily I'm not having those thoughts!

Here is what is left of the two locks!

Overall Styling with SL's

I have always been the girl who dresses a little edgy, have my own sense of style, and although I follow trends I put my own spin on it. Matchy, matchy clothing has never been my style and my BF always wonders where my color combinations come from. Although I'm big into my shoes and clothes I've never been a big accessory person. You can probably see that because during the week I only wear sterling silver or white gold jewelry only and that's most of my pictures posted. During the weekend I try to jazz it up and rock some more eccentric looking items. So when I ran across a website from a forum that I am on I decided to order and I ended up purchasing earrings and also earrings & necklace sets. When I received the products I was happily surprised at the construction, quality,and materials that the jewelry is made out of. On many occasions I've purchased items from stores and the first day I'm wearing them they fall apart, so this was a pleasant surprise indeed. The woman who hand crafts the jewelry was extremely polite, professional, and very easy to work with. I'm a bit indecisive when it comes to purchasing items and we went back and forth for a few days before I finally settled on the items and she was very patient with me. Please check out her website

So now that you have SL's do you find that your style is changing?

Oh and I got a little hair piece...I have no idea how to put it in.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Black Soap

UPDATE: The container of black soap that I'm currently using.

I've bought black soap made by Ambi, but it goes so quickly so I started to wonder am I buying the real thing? I stopped in the African market by my house and asked for black soap. Well the first one they showed me was white and looked like a rock. Hmm..wasn't quite sure about that one. Then they showed me some small round black "things" and I asked what the difference was. The woman said after the large white rock one is small they take pieces and dye it to make it black. Ok, so I didn't want anything with chemicals, but the large white "rock-like" thing I wanted to know how to use it. The woman then said you take a piece and put it in the water. Well I don't know about you, but I don't remember the last time I've taken a bath, I only take showers so I didn't want to buy it. I ended up buying some shea butter (an oldie but definitely a goodie), and I bought some cocoa butter (you can never go wrong), and some black soap (which says herbal soap) in a jar with a label; now you know the natural stuff comes in a plastic ziploc or plastic container. I went ahead and used the soap last night which is like hard jelly but lathers really well, but it seems to dissolve better in my hand than my wash cloth or loffa.

Black soap is said to have the following benefits:

Used on most skin types including rough and dry
Helps clear skin of bumps & spots
Helps reveal radiant, fresh & healthy skin
Helps relieve acne, oily skin & other skin problems
Great for removing make-up
Helps against premature facial lines

I say all this to say do you use black soap, if so for how long and what benefits are you seeing?

Random Shots

Since Toronto, I have been really slacking on taking pictures and posting. I think I'm coming to the point where I don't really like to mess with my hair anymore and just allow it to do its thing. Since I have not been using any oils or creams on my hair at all, I've decided to go back to the sisterlock starter shampoo. My hair is definitely progressing and feels hard which is a step in the locking process, so why not throw the SL shampoo in the mix which will make it lock better, or at least thats my thoughts. I will begin taking pictures more frequently since the summer has finally hit the tri-state area so I can go outside and get the sunlight in the background :-)!!!

This is a photo from Toronto, nothing new with the hairstyle just trying to put some accessories in the mix. And the top one is from when I got home, as I was trying to put a new style in the mix, didn't work out so well :-0.

Six months - well not quite!

This morning as I'm getting ready to take pictures to document my 6 month mark I realize that I'm just entering my six month. Hmm...obviously I'm a bit special with my counting and the ironic thing is I'm an accountant!!! So on September 18th, I will have had SL's for six months. In any event my hair desperately needs to be washed, the white bulbs that I discussed in an earlier post from Dr. Bronners are very visible to me in the front. I ordered some more starter shampoo and I'm awiating its arrival which I will dilute and then wash my hair and then make my decision on which I will use for the remainder of the year.

That bantu knot out from Monday night, well I opted against it and I did some quick cornrows and went to bed. I have been real lazy about my hair. Today I have a scarf on a ponytail and bang hanging, needless to say it is far from creative, but it will have to do for now.

One thing I noticed though is that my braidout doesn't last longer than like two days. I used mousse this last time and I woke up this morning and basically all my crinkles are already gone. How do you sustain your braidout?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Lets See..

I had a fun filled weekend, of outdoor activities, and nighttime parties, but unfortunately without any pictures. When I pulled my camera out on Saturday night I was disappointed because my battery had no charge. So let me just tell you what I've been up to. I always notice my length after a retightening so over the weekend I wore my hair back in a ponytail and with a bit of a hump to give it some style. Lol!!! Tonight I'm going to try some bantu knots to see what look I can get out of that. If it doesn't work out, the ponytail will be back in the morning.

I have a little dilemma; actually not really a dilemma, but here goes. So you know I'm going to take my retightening class next week and it just so happens that it falls the day before I'm scheduled for my retightening with my consultant. Its obvious that I don't need her to retighten my hair. Should I let her know this week or wait to the weekend? And do you think I owe her a phone call or will text will suffice? I have been spoiled since getting a blackberry a few years back, because I actually love emails and texting rather than the phone. I like talking but I rather do it in person because you can communicate better by seeing the other persons body language...I digress. So the question is, do you think I should call her? I think I owe her that since I will not be going back. I doubt I will even go back for maintenance from her. If all goes well, I may begin using the master trainer who is giving the retightening class as my backup because she has a salon, styles, and is a master trainer? Need I say more. So what do you think, you know I'm still thinking back to the fact that she missed a few locks last!!!

Friday, August 14, 2009

5 days and I'm D-O-N-E!!

Whew!!! I'm finally done. I can't believe its finished my 4th retightening and I did it myself!!! It took a total of 5 days to finish I skipped Thursday because I was pooped from the gym! I can definitely do this going forward, but I have to report that I lost one to the struggle!! Yes, the struggle!!! "What happened was" I caught another lock while pulling it through the new growth and when I tried to get it out I "broke" the new growth to the 2nd lock and it was too thin to stand on its own. So, all I could do was combine them, and with that I've also lost a part!!!! Ugh! I'm a bit upset with myself because neither lock was thin and didn't need combining. However it was a learning lesson and while we are at it here is what I have learned for the next time:

1. Be patient -can't be done in a day (or 2)

2. Take your time while retightening

3. Keep duck clips positioned

4. Keep a mirror handy

5. Its much easier to separate after washing my hair rather than when retightening.

I can't wait to see what else I learn in the retightening class. :-)

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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Almost done with my 1st DIY retightening

I can't believe that I am 4 days into my retightening. I only have my crown left to do and if I don't finish it tonight I will finish by Friday. Woohoo!!!! My arms aren't tired yet. I did a quick braidout last night and this is what I have this morning. Do you notice the length on the side shot..ok maybe its just me, lol!

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Taking the Retightening class

A Sista Who Locked brought up a good question:

Why are you still taking the class? It looks like you have it down

For me, since the SL's are a trademarked locking technique/system I feel that I should respect the integrity of it. I have made the commitment (mentally/financially) in my SL's so I feel I should learn the proper way to retighten my locks. Plus I feel that since I haven't had them even six months yet (a few days away though) that I should just make sure. Although, I do have the technique down from the wealth of information given on the web and it will get easier and faster as time goes on, but there are two things that I know can change from using the NL tool to the SL tool. For the NL tool you have to:

1. Thread the NL tool (for each lock)which is time consuming.
2. You actually have to pull the NL tool through the new growth for each turn.
3. As my locks swell from locking I may have to purchase the larger sized one.

With the SL tool or even the latch hook you don't have to do the first two things. You push the tool through the new growth wrap the lock around it and then pull through like crocheting (lol) which has to be much faster. Even still after taking the class I will have the option of using either tool and I will be 100% certain that I'm doing the correct pattern and rotation for my hair.

Whats your thoughts on it?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Its Done

On Wednesday, August 26th I will be taking the retightening class.Its definitely official that I will become a DIY'er...Go me!!! How quick and easy and inexpensive to have absolute and total freedom. So this is what I'm thinking, I'm going to finish my retightening this week and leave a section out so that I can retighten during the class and guess what -- the SL tool comes with the package so I will have options as how I choose to retighten going forward. SAY WHAT!!!

Day 2 in who knows how many!!!

Well, another two hours in to my retightening and its coming along well. What a tedious process that I have embarked on but I'm loving the feeling of self satisfaction. After I was done I can see the change in my locks (i.e the length, the density). As I'm retightening I can feel the difference in some locks, I can see, well feel if my hair is growing thin by the root and what areas has a growth spurt. I probably won't be done with my whole head until Friday, but honestly I don't think another consultant will see me for a retightening. Its definitely not about the price, but I feel accomplished by doing this for myself.....
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Monday, August 10, 2009

Ladies, Ladies

I was just forwarded an article posted on another website and although it doesn't have to do with Sisterlocks I thought it was just as relevant to pass along and discuss.

When I was younger, not like I'm old, (lol) but now that I am more mature I can see how I used to "hate" on other woman for whatever reason. I realize over time that it was to put that woman down and make myself feel better. As I'm now older I can see the faults in myself and work on them internally instead of dispersing the negative energy on to others..and if I do happen to see faults in others I try to uplift them instead of dragging them down further. Maturity is a beautiful thing isn't it?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

They are Everywhere

I'm sitting here watching America's Best Dance Crew on MTV and one of the girls from a group has sisterlocks. As she was dancing they were just bouncing and moving and and I just had to post a picture. If I didn't know better I would have thought she had extensions...go on girl!!!

Well on my way...

My last retightening was July 21st, which is less than a month ago but for only three and a half weeks ago I have a lot of new growth so I decided to retighten a few locks. I decided to start in the back and see how comfortable/uncomfortable it would be. I finished my last row within like 20 minutes (whew, whole head is a full day), but I did it. Check it out!!!! My next appt is schedule for August 27th, which I think I may end up cancelling for now we will see how it goes.

The last row looks way uneven but I guess it wouldn't really matter.

Did I unknowingly join?

I've mentioned this before, but over the past few days I have been thinking about how SL sistah's treat a newbie. When we find out that they have just got their install done the first thing we say is "Congratulations, welcome to the SL family/community" or something along those lines. So what I'm questioning is why do we say family? We are already family as black sisters and brothers, so why do we say welcome?

Although I love my SL's I do feel at certain times its like a sorority of some sort, go get your consultations which is like the pledging process. Then go get the install and that's like the crossing over and you've earned your letters. After that, we have like our own special language, and abbreviations and I'm sure for some it leaves them feeling like an outsider. Although my analogy is in good fun, do you understand what I mean. What's your take on it?

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Friday, August 7, 2009

Birth Certificate

I received my birth certificate last week while I was away. How interesting though that I receive it at least 5 months from the date I actually sent away for it. I received my SL coffee cup and tote bag 5 months ago, lol. The tote bag is my daily work bag as I like to rep for my SL ladies. Oh well, I'm happy to know I'm official. Although I will never forget my "REBIRTH" date!!!!

Have you received yours?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

3 month comparison

So I just learned how to do comparison shots and so here you go. As I look at my hair daily, I know that its growing, but I don't truly see the difference but now I can really document it and view it for myself!!!

Oh yeah, we are getting somewhere!!!!

Caribana Photos

If you have no idea about Carnival, feel free to ask questions; there are no stupid questions and if you know about Carnival - then bring your Heavy T!

And here is a little bonus!

Aren't we all too familiar

A follower of my blog suggested that I check out a video of a little girl getting her hair done. We are all too familiar with this ritual, and although I cannot view the you tube video from my job, I can only imagine what it looks like. I did find an article that directs you to the video, please take a look and give me your comments...

I will be back later to give you my thoughts!

Click on the title and it will take you to the article.

Well I've had a moment to watch the you tube video and it is disturbing to me on so many levels.

1. As a mother, even if my daughter is acting like a total crazy woman I don't use that type of language towards her.

2. If the mother did have to brush the little girls hair due to knots or tanling, the manner in which she was doing so was not going to get the knots out, all it would do is pull the hair out. She was brushing her hair in big chunks no wonder it hurt it was as if she was grooming a doll.

3. I'm assuming the person who taped it is the little girls big sister who was obviously much older. It just gave me chills of like an Antwone Fisher type of situation. Abuse, I hate to say it. It just appeared again from my observation that this mother was not a caring mother she just saw a task at hand that she needed to get done and that was it.

Seriously speaking though, my stomach was in knots watching that video. The screams, the actions, and the constant instigation from the recorder. WOW!!!! I wonder if authorities have been called DYFS (NJ) comes for any reason I wonder if they paid her a visit.

Month 4 Looks so Far

Yes they are from the car.... Lol.

Picture one is a braid out and yes you noticed I got some new sunglasses. I lost my other pair at my BBQ a few weeks ago. I like these much better, but for the price I can't afford to lose them. Picture 2 is lock loops (an oldie but goodie) from this morning, yep a few shades darker from the Canadian sun-lol. --and if you're asking I sure am wearing a shirt I posted with a few months ago...(hehe) I love green!

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Good Hair

On the Wendy Williams show yesterday she showed the preview to Chris Rock movie"Good Hair". Well I must say I will be in the theaters with my daughter at that to watch this movie. The most ironic thing to me is that one woman in particular stood up from the audience and said how we should accept our natural texture and be proud of it, yet you would not believe was on her head. It was a wig, not only was it a wig, but it was silky straight, greased to the nine probably with Vaseline, and on top of that it was covering her eyes. Personally she made herself look pretty (I'll be nice) silly (hehe)...

Since Chris Rock, a comedian made this movie I still hope that people take it seriously although it will be presented with much humor. I will have to wait and see.........

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Limp Looking Locks

After being away only for four days my house looked like a tornado ran through it because of packing before I left and now the unpacking. I say that to say, it's been a few days and I haven't had a chance to download and post the pictures of the beautiful costumes but they are soon to come, and I even have a bonus for you all (hehe)!!! What I do have on my mind since I have the time is limp locks.

So I had not washed my hair in about three weeks since my last retightening and when I went to work on Tuesday my hair just looked wimpy. Wimpy in the sense of it was just hanging on my head had no curl, no bounce, and what felt like no body. Granted I have not put any oils or creams on my hair at all in the past three weeks. The only thing that I have used is a spritz of water here and there. In thinking about it, I realized I was out in the hot sun all day on Saturday and my hair had even more of reddish tint when I looked at it. With all the factors I didn't know what to think, so I decided to go ahead and just wash my hair. I still braided and banded and used my good old Dr. Bronner's almond liquid soap and my hair is refreshed. I did decide to put some green tea oil in my hair just to revive it a bit and today I'm feeling much better about my hair. To the touch I have my yarn soft hair again.

I guess the largest difference is that right now I don't think I need to continue B&B because I have many locks that have started "budding" and I haven't had slippage in over two months now so I think its safe to say I can keep my little rubber bands for my daughter and her!

Are you still B&B? If so, did your consultant tell you when you could stop?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Toronto....what a debacle

Maybe I was too excited to go on this road trip and the idea of going turned out to be better then the actual trip.

My disclaimer...Toronto was a beautiful city, the Canadian people were so friendly, and since I'm a party girl Carabana itself was HOT which is why I'm planning for my trip next year.

Here goes...

Traveling in the car was my boyfriend, my brother, and my boyfriend's sister. already know way too close for comfort. It was supposed to be ten people but you know how it goes when you start talking money people start dropping out. In any event, 5 minutes away from the house the 1st argument happened. Oh yeah that was a sign, the arguments continued for the entire trip.

The party on Friday was for teenagers we got in line and got out because the bloods came through with the gang call..that was enough. We ended up partying with my parents and had a ball!!

Saturday was cool the parade was very nice. Saturday night we drove around what felt like the entire city and didn't get into a party until 1:30 and the bar closed @ 1:45 hmm...after paying 45 bucks and the club itself closed @ 3. Hah..a bust. The party would've been great had we got there early. We know for next time. In any event, even with the bs I had a great time...I will post pics when I get home still about 5 hrs left driving.

Weigh in...

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