Thursday, 5 November 2009

To Dye or Not to Dye

I really really want to dye my hair. However I am a little worried as I have not put chemicals on my hair for nearly 10 years.

Anyway, while i still think about it I thought I would share this story that highlights the importance of doing the skin sensitivity test before you dye you hair and make sure you follow the instructions

Hair dye puts women in burns unit

Monday, 5 October 2009

25 Months - Bit of this a bit of that

Hello blogging family

Hope all of you are happily nappy :o)

If you recall in my last post I was going to decide what to do about my re-tightening. The last one I did again took me aaages. Well partly because I some how hurt my neck and back in the middle of me retightening, which stopped me from continuing. I do not know what happened I just woke up like it. It was very painful and I had limited movement. Took a week to recover. I also have hair sprouting everywhere (see pic below) and I am finding it hard to get into a loc neatly. So for those reasons I have had enough and I’ve decided to let Liz do my re-tightening (well at least for the forseeable future).

The other week I had a nightmare hair washing experience. I decided to use my Avalon Organics range, even though I had not used them since my last bad experience. I used the Lemon clarifying shampoo. Even though I rinsed and rinse I was still finding white build up (what I do when I was my hair is scratch my scalp and make sure there is no gunk/build-up/product under my nails). So used some bicarb of soda. I then conditioned with Lavender nourishing conditioner. Because of my last experience I made sure I diluted the conditioner. I did my scratch test and kept revealing product, kept rinsing and then I used bicarb of soda. Finally I thought I had rinsed all the product out, the water was clear in my hand (another test I do is to squeeze the locs into my hair and check to see the water is clear). When I looked in the mirror this is what I saw

I could not believe it!! No matter how I rinsed, used some bicarb of soda I could not get it out. In the end I had to use IC Fantasia Pure Tea Clarifying Shampoo mixed with bicarb of soda and that got rid of it. It took be nearly two hours to wash my hair, I was sooo not impressed and I had to go to work with wet hair. I do not know how other people find the range but for me it has been a nightmare and I will not be using it again.

On 26 Sept we had a SL meet-up. I decided to try an experiment with a new hairstyle. I curled my hair with perm rods overnight. I then put my hair in a loc-hawk/mo-hawk (welll my take on one). I can’t braid or I would have tried some cornrows or flat twists up the side. Anyway I think it turned out really good and I got loads of compliments. I inspired a lady at church who put her locs in an up-do Sabbath gone. And I also inspired my friend whose locs I had previously re-tightened and she bought some perm rods. She curled them and pinned them up really nicely. I like inspiring people and showing them that locs are versatile and you can do loads with them. I can’t wait to get more length and try more styles

The pic below is my consultant and some of her clients

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Two Year Locversary


Happy Locversary to me, happy locversary to me, happy locversary happy locversary, happy locversary to meeeeeeeeeeeee!!
Ok, ok my locversary was actually 5 days ago on 21st but i was busy and i didn’t get chance to do an entry. But anyhoo i’ve been locked down for 2 years (and 5 days :oD) and I still LOVE MY LOCS

This pic is a comparison of my locs, from top: day my locs were installed, locs at a year, locs at 18 months, locs at 2 years. I didn’t think that my locs had grown between 18 and 24 months but i can see that they have. My hair was not the same length when i started my locs so they kinda have a layered look, where the strands are at different lengths. It’s getting there and i can’t wait til those top locs are down to my shoulders.

If you remember that at 21 months i said that my locs had build-up that made them look ashy and dirty. I was going to dye them black to try and dye out the build-up. After looking around i decided to go for Naturtint as it is meant to be gentle with active vegetable proteins, with no ammonia. I had to get it from a health food shop and it’s quite expensive compared to other brands, costing £8.99 per box. However I decided to go for colour instead and i love red. I purchased 3 boxes of Iridescent Chestnut as it looked like it would show up on dark hair (the pic is of the model on box).

When i got home I decided to do the skin sensitivity test – i’ve never done it in the past but i haven’t dyed my hair for years and i am not allergic to anything that i know off. But I’ve also seen too many stories where ppl have had an severe allergic reaction and i did not want that to happen to me. This was on the Tuesday and the test was meant to be done 48 hours before you dye your hair. I was planning on dying it on the Friday so i thought i had more than enough time to check sensitivity. Well everything was fine, I did not have any swelling, difficulty in breathing, or rashes. However on the Friday when i noticed that the skin felt a little rougher. On the Sat it was really rough and friends said it looked burnt. By the Sunday the skin was very rough and sore and the pharmacist said i had been burnt. She recommended buying some E45 cream to put on it to keep it moist and it will drop off. Drop off??! Obviously i cannot see behind my ear so i wondered what she was talking about. I tried to take some pics, sorry they are not very clear.

By the Monday it was sore and itchy for which i was recommended to take an anti-histamine tablet for. By the Tuesday the skin began to peel and by the Wednesday it was all peeled off. I was very surprised about what happened. I was happy I had done the sensitivity test and i would recommend that everyone DO A SKIN TEST BEFORE YOU DYE YOUR HAIR. I do wonder what would have happened if i had dyed my hair on the Thursday as this was 48 hours later and i did not notice anything then. So currently dying my hair is on hold until i decide what to do. I’m not keen on dying my hair blonde first to lighten my hair to get the colour to take (that’s another thing the strand test did not take). Someone said that D&L has hair lightener in it so that could work and my consultant said i cud sit under a dryer but you have to be very very careful with doing that. I did email one hairdresser that specialises in locs and natural hair but i did not get a response. I would love to use henna but i know my hair would have to be lightened first. So i am still thinking of what to do.

My last re-tight i went to my consultant as the one i did before that just seem to take forever. I don’t know why it took so long but i just got so frustrated with it all. I’m still deciding what to do. I like doing my hair myself to save the money, but on the downside it does take up a lot of my time. I am not fast enough to do it in one day. With my consultant there is the cost of the re-tight and travel as she is quite a distance from me. But 3 hours and she’s done. I am going back to uni in Sept to finish my doctorate so i need to decide what to do. I can see her and save on time (which i can use for my studies), or i can do it myself and save on money (which i need as the course is expensive and i do not get any help with it). I’m goin to do my next re-tight and will see Liz after that. I guess at that one i will decide as i would be back at uni by then.

I’m still using the SLS shampoos that i had in my cupboard but they are running out. I haven’t decided what to do yet but i think I may purchase some from the Avalon Organics range as I can get that from my local health shop. Plus i already have the lavender conditioner so i may buy the shampoo to go with it.

I was meant to be making my own hair products and noting my results but i kinda didn’t do that. I made two spritz. One with rose water and de-ionised water and the other with de-ionised water and lavender, peppermint and rosemary eo, which smells refreshing. I used them whenever i felt like it but i’ve stopped using the rosewater one. There is no particular reason for this, other than i prefer the smell of the other one. I also wondered if rosewater goes off (although it does not smell off). My hair oil that i use to oil my hair and scalp was 4 floz olive oil, 2.75 floz coconut oil, 1.25 floz Jojoba oil with 14 drops cedarwood eo, 20 drops ylang ylang eo and 12 drops bay eo. I quite like the smell of this. I have recently made another batch with slight tweeks and will continue to use this. I still haven’t done a hot oil treatment but if my hair is feeling dry i may lather some on and sit under the hair-dryer or wrap my hair in cling film and headscarf over night.

The other day i re-tightened my friends locs. She has traditional locs started with twists but she wanted me to inter-lock the roots for her. It took ages as she had not re-twisted them for weeks. I did at least 4 rotations (4-point) on each one some as much as 8. I told her off lol. Ok i recommended that she keep on top of it so not to loose her locs. I know with traditional locs you can semi free-form but they were not forming so needed twisting. Some of them were hanging on my few strands and she actually lost one in the re-tight. She is also nearly bold on the top. I was wondering what she could do to help improve her hair condition here. She said she may get some rosemary as it’s good for stimulating the scalp and preventing hair loss. Any other ideas??? She is considering chopping her locs off. I kinda agree to give her chance to improve her hair and then could try again. We will monitor it and then decide.

Well that is all i can think of for now
Enjoy your locdown

Locs in motion

Sunday, 21 June 2009

22 Months

My locs are 22 months old today and all i want to say is


Wednesday, 27 May 2009

21 Months

Comparison of my locs day of installation left, one year middle and 21 months right

Nice neat partings :o)

The build up on my locs. See how dirty it makes my locs look :o( So not impressed

Thursday, 23 April 2009

20 Months & Curly

Hello blogging family

Tuesday gone my locs were 20 months old. Time is flying by and soon it will be my two year locaversary. I was in the middle of re-tightening the front on the Tuesday as for some reason that was really messy and in a need of a re-tight. But the back is not quite there yet and I don’t want to force rotations so I’ve left that for a lil while. I really didn’t want to do this but it’s the only way.

After I finished re-tightening the front yday I decided to curl my hair. At the mo I really like my hair when it’s curled. I wasn’t planning on washing my hair just yet but I ended up doing it (B&B the front). I find the best way to clarify my hair is to use bicarb of soda. I’ve tried clarifying shampoos but bicarb of soda seems to get it the cleanest and clarified. After I washed it I put my hair in perm rods and sat under the dryer for an hour. I actually left the rods in over night. I’ve never done this before as I thought they would be too hard and uncomfortable but for some reason I decided to try it last night. And I must say it was not bad at all. In fact it was more comfortable than sleeping in soft spikes. This morning I took them out and then ran my fingers to it to separate. I actually got a few compliments at work.

I actually now remember what I wanted to put in my other post. When I was in St. Lucia I went to the cinema and a lady stopped me and asked me if I had sisterlocs. I was surprised as this has never happened to me before. Also I was practically half way round the world. Unfortunately we were late for the film (Medea goes to jail, proper funny would recommend it) so I didn’t get chance to speak to her.

I was wondering what people do when they go to the beach. It’s not something I do often but when I was on hol I was wondering what others did. I actually only went to the beach 3 times whilst on hol and the 3rd time I didn’t wet my hair. After the first time I washed my hair with shampoo. The 2nd time, 2 days later, I decided to just rinsed my hair with water. I don’t know if I should have done a shampoo or of the rinse was sufficient. So I was wondering what others do when they go to the beach?? Although when I washed my hair when I got home I did see sand in the bath. It scared me to think that sand had been sitting in my hair. Although I didn’t rinse it after I was under the waterfall as it didn’t click to me that although it was not sea water it could still have grit in it. But there does not seem to be any damage to my locs. They did feel a bit battered out there and if I had been at home they would never had gotton to that state. But they seem fine now.

I was also looking for a deep conditioner and I found one totally natural SLS free – think happy organic surge citrus mint intensive hair treatment. Can’t r’ber the exact price but it was over £6. I saw it in the shop seemed good so I decided to give it a try. Unfortunately it didn’t click to me at the time that it was a thick cream and therefore probably not suitable for my locs. So I watered it down but I think I was a lil scared of getting product stuck in my locs that I may have watered it down too much. It was runny enough to go through a spray bottle. Therefore I am not sure how effective it is as a deep conditioner as I don’t know if watering it down would have affected it.

I’m now looking for a new shampoo. My A’kin shampoo is nearly finish but it’s soo expensive I’m loathed to buy it again. I’m half wondering if I should just use the old shampoos I have even though they have SLS. Money is tight and I don’t want to waste the products (some are practically full). But since I have gone natural with my hair products I’m loathed to go back. Decisions decisions.

I haven’t attempted to sew back on the lock that I accidently chopped off. I was thinking about it when I was re-tightening but I manage to use the tool and didn’t see the point. After all it’s only hair and it will grow back. As you can tell I’ve over my grief and accepted my loss lol.

I have a feeling that I have forgot to include something but if it comes to me I will add it another time.

But for now stay nappy and happy



Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A bit of this a bit of that

Hello my blogging family, hope that all is groovy with you all.

Well I was thinking the other day of updating my blog and now i can't r'ber what i said i would include :o/ LOL Never mind

I was re-tightening my locs the other day, it was getting late but i wanted to finish a section, plus i was watchin desperate housewives and i noticed a few hair strands had joined together. So i reached for the scissors to cut the strands as i couldn't undo them. Can you guess what happened?? That's right i cut my lock!!! You read that right I accidently cut my lock. I couldn't believe it.

What have a learnt from this, don't rush your re-tightening, stop when you are tired and concentrate on what you are doin. I still have the part i cut of and i was thinking of trying to sow it back on so it's not so short as i don't think I could retighten it the length it is. I haven't done it yet as i'm not sure i can see the angle properly. Apart from that there has not been much change in my locs since the last post.

I put perm rods in my hair last Thur but the curls didn't last long, more of a wave now. I did a new updo on Sunday where I pinned up both sides almost like a loc-hawk (but that was not what i was going for). I was inspired by a hair style i saw but i don't have a pic to show you. It didn't turn out how i wanted but i still think it looked nice. I will try it again when the curls are fresher.

Now O/T I recently spent 3 weeks in the Caribbean and i thought i would share some pics. I spent most of my time in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. I spent 3 days in St. Lucia and I was in transit in Grenada and had a wistlestop tour. Hope you enjoy

Sunday, 22 February 2009

18 months

Yesterday was 18 month locaversary, time has really flown. I was in the middle of re-tightening my locs so I decided to wait until I’d finished to post pics. I’ve literally just finished and my arms and shoulders are killing me, but I thought I would start writing the post whilst I watch Come Dine With Me. I’m loving my locs and more people are finally recognising that I have locs :oD

My Current Hair Routine
In Dec I decided that I needed to “formalise” my hair routine as I thought it was a bit hit and miss. I thought I would conduct an experiment for a few months that I will blog about at a later date.

Firstly I decided to stop using shampoo with SLS or parabans (I still have nearly full bottles at home, haven’t decided what to do with them yet). Looking at other blogs some of the natural products that people mentioned I could not get in the UK. After doing some googling I came across the A’Kin product range. I purchased the Rice Aminos & Wheat Protein Shampoo and the Avocado & Calendula Re-Moisturising Conditioner (they are expensive £6.49 for 225ml bottle). So far I’ve liked them, my hair feels soft and they smell lovely. I’m not sure if I will continue using them as they’re a bit too expensive. I’m also toying with the idea of making my own shampoo and conditioner but I haven’t fully made my mind up.

I made my own clarifying shampoo which I used monthly. The first one I used a recipe I found on the internet. The directions said to use as normal shampoo so I wet my hair first but I think the mixture was too wet for that. I haven’t used it again yet so I don’t know what it will be like using it on dry hair. I’ve also used baking soda added to my normal shampoo. I let them sit for up to 15 minutes before rinsing and then doing a normal shampoo. I did purchase the Avalon Lemon Clarifying Shampoo and may continue with that. Go figure after I searched the internet looking for SLS free shampoo my local Tesco Extra gets a health shop concession which stocked the Avalon range. Not sure how I feel about the range, see my previous post. Well the shampoo was fine not sure about the conditioner. May try diluting it and see if that will solve the problem.

I’ve made my own hair spritz with de-ionised water. The first one contains rose water and the other essential oils. I spritz my hair when I feel like it or if I am curling my hair dry i.e. I haven’t washed my hair first. I also made my own hair oil, which I use to oil my scalp after I shampoo also if I feel my hair is dry I may put some on my hair and sit under my dryer for about 15 mins so it penetrates. I haven’t used it as a hot oil treatment as yet but I will at some point.

I don’t tend to style my hair much apart from curling with soft spikes or perm rods (I ended up purchasing some of my own as the others were at my parents). I bought a satin cap which I find allows my curls to last longer than using a scarf. I can’t wait til I get some length so I can experiment with some more updos and get a loc puff :o) At the mo I jus get up, maybe spritz, finger comb and go.

I re-tighten my locs approx every 4 weeks, still takes me a while to do it, not sure how many hours. This last one took, umm approx 20 hours but I’d left it for 7 weeks. So in most places I was doing 2/3 rotations some more. I could get my finger through some of them, not good. I also lost a loc, not sure how but as I was re-tightening it I noticed then it felt really really thin like it was holding on my few strands. In the process of re-tightening it came off. Oh well it will grow back. I have 4 baby locs along the hairline which I make sure I protect when I wash (I forgot a few times and they washed out but I r’ber now). I don’t B&B apart from these ones. A few of my locs I find a lil too thin, (which is strange as I didn’t get micro or small SL), so I’ve put some knots in them hoping that it will thicken round them otherwise I may have to wrap some hair round them.

Erm that’s all I can think about for my locs at the mo. Now for some comparison pics :oD. Wow that took longer than I thought but here they are. The pic is from day installed, 4 weeks, 6 months, year and 18 months (sorry I didn’t manage to a good pic of the back). My locs are growing :oD

Friday, 13 February 2009

Scary Experience

Today i washed my hair. Once a month I do a clarifying wash. I recently purchased Avalon Organics Lemon Clarifying shampoo, which i used. I also purchased Avalon Organics Lavender Nourshing Conditioner, which I used a healthy dose of. I was doing some stuff and I actually left the conditioner on for about an hour. I washed it out as normal, i make sure i rinse well. I was sectionning my hair to put in perm rods when i noticed some white stuff. I thought oh i've missed a bit not like me so i went back to rinse again. But when i was scratching my scalp loads of white stuff was coming off and no matter what I did it didn't seem to rinse out. In the end i did another clarifying wash using my normal shampoo and baking soda and that seemed to get rid of it.

It's strange as this has never happened to me before, so i got a bit scared. I'm not sure exactly what it was but i'm guessing it was the conditioner.
  1. I've never used the Avalon range before
  2. I used quite a bit of conditioner i made sure my hair was covered.
  3. I don't usually mix my products with water. I used dilute the shampoo but never the conditioner and i've never had any problems before. I do not know if the Avalon Conditioner was too thick
Has this happened to anyone else before?? Does anyone else the Avalon range and how have you found it?? Do you think i left the conditioner on too long as it's the longest i've done it??

The good thing is that the clarifying wash got rid of it, just meant that my locs didn't get a conditioner.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Pig-tails :oD

I know to some of you out there it may not seem like a big deal but to me it is. I got my locs into pig-tails, woohoo!

Yesterday I was about to do some cleaning and i wanted to keep my hair back. The idea just came to me to try pig-tails & it worked. I was shocked as I didn't think my hair was long enough to go into a bobble. Actually I hadn't seen my friend for about a month and even they said my hair had grown. I don't see it, but maybe it is. Also a lady at church complimented my locs. She said she tried to start them herself and went to the hair-dressers for them to re-tighten them for her, apparently the lady said it was wrong, took them out and said to come to her to get them done proper. I'm a little dubious thinking she said that to get money or am i being cynical? She got a stocking weave in the end, but I gave her a lil info.

Oh yeah my locs are now 17 months old :) I'll post comparison shots next month