I have been locked up 5 years! As i said in my last post i have been
completing my doctorate at the same time, and my locs have be kinda
neglected; however i am trying to remedy this. As started previously
some of my ends had been coming off. I have lost on average about 2 ins
of some locs :( I must admit that some of them i pulled off as i didnt
like the way they looked, they were weak. The picture below is a
comparison of my locs from 4 years to 5 years.
My hiar goal for this year is to focus on growing healthy locs. I still usually get my hair re-tightened but this last one i did it myself. It was the first time in about 3 years. It was a long process, but it enabled me to check out my locs. I actually found a 2HD that i didn't know i had. As i was doing them i was thinking that some of them were rather thin for my liking, so i was considering combining them. I do not know if I was just being overly negative, but i will see how it goes. I am searching for a new loc tool. I usually use the SL clip tool and i had always liked it; however i was finding that the clip kept getting caught and i dont want my strands to snap thereby weakening my roots and locs. I do have the nappylocs tool but i have never really been that keen on it. My friend told me about the loc-key, which i have ordered. I will keep you posted on how i find that one.
As i said previously i am looking for a new routine for my locs and i
wanted to go 100% natural with my products making my own. My last wash,
last week, i did a deep cleanse with bicarb of soda and ACV mix. I
wasn't too sure how it was so i still did a shampoo on top of that. I
then deep conditioned that i had made. I realised that the DC i used in
my last post was more of a protein conditioner and i want a mositurising
conditioner, so i did some more research about the best ingredients. I
used a recipe that i had found online which consisted of: 1 avacodo,
coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and honey. All ot these ingredients
are meant to be good for softening the hair. I blended all together,
slathered on my locs, covered and left for 30 mins.
As can be seen from the picture the mixture was not the creamy texture that i had expected. The experience turned into a nightmare!! I was left with, what i can only describe as avacado fibre strands in my locs. The pic below does not do justice to what i had in my hair, i could not believe it! I have circled some of them in red so you get an idea of what i was looking for.
I spent about 3 hours going through my locs and picking out the fibres. They were so small it was a nightmare, and i couldn't really see the back, so i wasnt sure if i got it all out. In fact i still found a few the next day. I do not know what the cause was. I had bought the avacado that morning and i picked the ripest one. Maybe it wasnt ripe enough, however i am not willing to try again.
I have also been trying to find a mosituring spray to keep my locs soft. I think this week i went a lil mad and tried too many different things. I now realise that i cannot just spritz with water i need to seal it so that the water doesn't evaporate and leave the hair dry. First i made a blend with distilled water, lavender eo, vegetable glycerin and JML cactus oil. I spritzed my hair and then sealed with my shea butter mix i mentioned previously. I am not sure about this blend and i think i just do not like shea butter on my locs. Another time i tried sealing with coconut oil. My hair still didn't feel as soft as i wanted. I kept researching and i head people say that aloe vera juice is meant to be really good. So i made a blend with aloe vera juice, distilled water, coconut oil, avacado oil, vegetable glycerian, lavender and tea tree eo. This is what i am using at the mo. I do not like the smell that much and after a week i feel that i want to wash my hair, which i never usually do (that could be because of the various experiementing i have done over the past week). I recognise that my hair will only get the softness that i want through deep conditioning so i am planning to focus on that. I am thinking over whether to make my own products. I really want to but i do not have the money to keep experimenting with different ingredients, although i know that it can also take time to find the right product. I am going to have to monitor it and really focus on my DC.
I am not very good at styling my locs over the past few months i have tried out a few styles, which I have made into a lil video. I also did a loc bun for the first time on Saturday
So it has been a long while since i have posted on my blog aside from my recent videos. I have been concentrating on my doctorate that has taken a lot out of me. It has been a lot harder and taken longer to complete than i expected. I am on the home straight now to submit and then it is just my viva. It is interesting as i started my locs the same time as my doctorate (locs installed Aug 07 and started doctorate Sept 07) although i did take a year out from my doctorate so it has been 4 years. I can't believe i am almost 5 years locked!!!
If you see my earlier posts i was suffering from ends that appeared to be unravelling which was strange as my locs are mature. My consultant said it was due to over conditioning so it was softening my hair so she advised just to shampoo my hair. I tried it for a bit but it didnt make any difference except make the rest of my hair dry which i didn't like. On reflection i feel that i have neglected my locs somewhat, which may have been due to me focusing on my doctorate. I noticed that my locs feel dry even though i oil them. I make my own blend of oils which i put on esp after i wash my hair. However following my research the more oil i added my have resulted in drier hair as the oil would seal the hair shafts so that water cannot penetrate. I did try to use shea butter as people rave about it. I ordered 1kg of shea butter off the internet last year - it was meant to be unrefined but i am not sure. See the pic below
I had to really rub it in my hands to melt it but i didn't like the way it felt on my locs so i used most of it as a body cream. I did start trying to put some of it on the loose ends which felt dry, but i must admit i was not very consistent. Then this year for the first time I went to the Afro Hair and Beauty show and i purchased Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifer, which i have been using as a leave-in conditioner. Two or three times a week i would spritz my locs with it. I love the smell of it
So I thought that it was time that i pampered my locs, gave them some loving and focused on trying to combat the dryness and just overall improve the health of them. So yesterday i decided to pamper them and i am currently researching a new hair routine. This the pampering that i did for my locs:
Firstly i did a pre-poo with pure coconut oil following this method i found on BGLH. I don't usually do a pre-poo and i am trying to think if i have ever done one. I have done hot oil treatments but if i recall correctly that was after shampooing not before.
I actually left it in for about 1.5 hours as i was doing something. I also put on my new microfibre turban towel over the plastic cap to create more heat. I am so happy i found this towel in a 99p store. At first i thought it might be too small but no my locs fit in it
I washed it out with my IC pure aloe shampoo. This is a product i have had for a number of year as i keep changing the products i use, which was diluted. I thought my hair felt softer after this but i am not sure if it was my imagination or just the water in my locs.
I then made a deep conditioner:
2 eggs whisked to which i added
about half a 500g tub of natural yogurt and
some extra virgin olive oil.
I slathered it over my locs ensuring that they were well covered and covered it with a plastic cap. Picture of my mixture below
I found the mixture quite watery and it ran down my face esp if i bent over. I would have preferred to use mayo but i don't have any in my house (it is on my shopping list). Additionally the yogurt i bought was actually fat free as i had purchased it to eat it, this is may have contributed to it being watery. I would recommend using full fat yogurt as it's the fat that you want. I left it on for approx 30 mins and then i rinsed it out, ensuring that i had washed all the product out. What i did find was that i had egg in my locs, i think the water may have poached it, maybe water was hotter than i thought. This was annoying and i had to pick it out of my locs. I think it would be easier to rinse out with loose hair than locs. Looking at this video from Naptural85 it would appear that finding egg could be common. If i use egg again in a conditioner i think i would just use the egg yolk as that is where the fat and protein is.
As my hair was already hydrated from the water i sealed it with a new moisturiser that i made. I didn't measure the ingredients but it consists of pure coconut oil, unrefined shea butter (my friend kindly gave me some better one) both of these were at room temp so were soft and could blend easily. I also added extra virgin olive oil jojoba oil and small amount of vegetable glycerine then blended it all up with a hand blender. It is quite runny as i didnt want it too thick in case it created build-up. The recipe is based on this recipe from Naptural85. I will monitor how i find it and if needs be modify the recipe
I then put my hair in pipe-cleaners. I very rarely wear my hair straight and usually curl it and i am loving the curls i get from PC. I am going to experiment with style for church tomorrow which i will post if i do. I left the pipe-cleaners in over night. This morning i thought my hair felt dry so i spritz it with some of the TW mist whilst still in the PC. I have now taken the pipe-cleaners out and the locs do feel soft. It it something that i will have to monitor and see what works best for my hair.
I am trying to get a new hair routine so i have been doing a lot of research over the last day or so. You would think that after all that studying for my doctorate i would want a break lololol. I am thinking of becoming a low or no poo-er. I have read that people co-wash but it was something that i didn't get previously. Following my research i think that i will try it (see this link for further info). I know people have raved about it for a while but i am only now just catching on and i will see how i find it. I am aiming to once a month include a clarifying wash as well. I am going to start of using TRESemme Naturals nourishing moisture conditioner as i already have this at home (in fact i have quite a lot of conditioners as i find my shampoos run out quicker). It is silicone free and i have research every single ingredient in there. For the most part i think that the ingredients should be fine and some beneficial ones. I will also add some homemade deep conditioners, which was previously missing from my routine, naughty, naughty. Eventually i would like to go 100% natural making my own stuff instead of relying on products. I was thinking of making shampoo with castile soap but i am still deciding on that. I will keep experimenting and adjusting the routine until i find something i am and my hair is happy with, i will continue to post updates. I am also thinking of investing in a hair steamer but i cannot afford it at the mo (so many bills from the doctorate coupled with being unemployed) but i will think about it more
On a final note over the last two months or so i have been also trying to improve my diet as this will impact on your hair. I am trying to increase my water intake as that is the best to stay hydrated including your hair. For personal reasons which i shall not go into i know that i do not drink as much water as i could. I have been making green smoothies which i find delish. I usually use:
1 banana (adds sweetness)
250-300ml of fresh fruit juice (e.g apple and not from concentrate) or soya milk (i do not use cow milk, never tried almond but will one day). My friend uses nettle tea but i have not tried that as yet. I once made it with pure coconut water which was rather nice as well
Then i just shove in a load of raw spinach and raw curly kale (i don't measure i just usually fill up the rest of my sports cup)
I sometimes add strawberries (frozen gives it a nice chilled quality) but i find it turns the mixture brown, no impact on the taste
I also somtimes add hemp protein as the protein should balance out the the sugar rush from the fruit. I dont add it too often to be honest as the taste is an acquired one. You could try other protein powders such as as whey
I then blend it all up and it is simply delicious.
I have also experimented with other fruit such as kiwi, necterine and other green veg such as broccoli, green beans, broad beans and sprouts. You can try any fruit and greens that work for you. The above recipe is my staple. I have also been eating sunflower seeds, great to snack on or add to food trying adding to scramble eggs or to spinach. Sunflower seeds are rich in vitamin E (see this link for further benefits). Since i have increased my greens and sunflower seeds i have noticed stronger nails. I am assuming that this is because leafy greens are a source of biotin which is great for healthy hair and nails.