Saturday, 2 August 2008

Great Author Giving Away Fabulous Prizes

I just wanted to let every know that Angela Benson, an African American Christian fiction writer, has some pretty cool gifts that she's giving away in August.

I recently won one of her prizes! An autographed copy of her latest book "Up Pops The Devil."

Angela is a great writer. I've been reading her books since the late '90's and have pretty much followed her new projects through her blog.

If you are like me and you like to win stuff - check out her blog and enter her constest!


How To Take Down Sistelocks

Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of the process of me taking down my sisterlocks. The process spanned a couple of weeks, probably more than one month.

To take them down, I just did the opposite of what my consultant told me to do to keep them in :-)

The first thing I did was condition my hair. That lead to a lot of them, especially in the back, coming out on their own. The others I had to pick out one by one. I developed a "routine." At night, I used a push pin to pick some out. In the morning, did a conditioner wash (co/wash) in the shower, gelled my edges and pulled it all back using a headband. Since the ends of my locks were still out, everything pretty much looked "curly."

I've heard of some taking down their locks with the hair being wet or heavily saturated with an oil based product or conditioner. That didn't work well for me. I got better results working on hair that air dried during the day and taking my time to pick them out with the push pin at night.

Initially, I tried using a rattail comb and an unfolded paper clip. They didn't work too well. I hit the jackpot when I started using the push pin. The size of the push pin was perfect and it's pointed edge really helped to get the locks untangled.

To avoid getting frustrated or damaging my hair, I did small sections at a time. I wasn't in a "rush" to get them out because I figured out a way to style my hair "around" the process. I also detangled each section after removing the locks as I went along.

That's pretty much it. It was fairly easy. It just took a long time to do.

Here is a picture of my hair taken in May.


The Sisterlocks Are Gone

Yep! You read it correctly.

I began taking my sisterlocks out in March, if I recall correctly.

I decided that sisterlocks really were not for me. One of the reasons that I got sisterlocks was to provide longevity to my natural hairstyles. NOT! I was experiencing the same frustration of spending A LOT of time styling my hair (i.e. roller setting or twisting for a twist out) and the style flopping or looking a hot mess the next day.

To me, sisterlocks are a lot of maintenance especially in the beginning. The banding of the hair to wash it, for example, was too much. The four hour retightenings - I have never been one to enjoy being in a stylist's chair for more than an hour! Even if I was only going to the stylist every couple of weeks.

I found myself waiting for my one year "commitment" to end, just so I could take them out. Then I thought - "forget that, I'm taking these things out now!"

I had a great moment of self realization during the process. I have never been one to keep braided styles in for a long time like most people do. I am pretty much done after a month. I've been known to take them out the next day after spending a day getting them in. So, I'm not really one for having my hair "confined." That realization further confirmed that sisterlocks were not for me. I wanted "my hair" back in an unconfined state. I would literally see other naturals with beautiful wash-n-go's or pony puffs and be like a kid and say "I want my hair to look like that!"

Another thing - I didn't realize until after my consultation the anatomy of a "loc." It actually consists of hair that has shed from your head (dead hair) integrated or rolled into your hair thus forming the "loc." Knowing that I'd be walking around with dead hair hanging from my head was kind of weird for me. But, I had been on the fence about giving sisterlocks a try for a long time and I didn't let that deter me.

In no way do I regret getting the Sisterlocks installed. Like I said before, I had been researching them and talking about them on and off for over a year. I think that I needed to go through this experience to realize that they were not for me.

I did talk to me consultant to let her know of my decision. She tried to make sure that she didn't miscommunicate anything to me in the beginning. She did not. She also tried to think of alternatives to ease my frustrations but really there weren't any. I had pretty much given it a lot of thought and made up my mind.

So, this blog will continue to be about my journey - but not a Sisterlock journey. It will be about my journey regarding natural hair styles, fashion and beauty. I hope that you will continue the journey with me!

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Am I The Only One Who Hasn't Heard of Boots Products?

Has anyone ever tried Boots products? Has anyone ever heard of Boots?

Well, apparently they are based out of the UK and are now selling in larger Target stores in the U.S. Here's a press release regarding their entry into the U.S. market.

I happened upon the Boots display, or should I say, aisle, today while perusing the cosmetics section of Target. I didn't "really" plan to purchase any cosmetics - I just went in there to get a cosmetic travel bag for a bridal shower gift. After spotting the one that I wanted to get - I did a little wondering in the aisles.

When I got to the Boots aisle, I was surprised to see a representative from the company there talking to another customer. I was like wow - this must be some serious stuff if they have a rep here in Target, nonetheless. Apparently the other customer was familiar with Boots products in the U.K. and commented on how she was happy to not have to pay pounds for the products. It seems like the products cost more in the U.K. than here in the U.S.

Well, we all know that I am a little high maintenance when it comes to customer service. So I excitedly awaited my turn to talk to the rep to find out just what this boots stuff is all about. To make a long story short, I left Target with quite a few boots products. I must say I was really impressed with the pigmentation in their pink eye shadow. Unfortunately, they were sold out. I also liked the fact that they had demos that you could try. A very department store "feel", you know, in Target.

The rep had successfully instructed me on the many beneficial aspects of their skin care products so - I purchased a few!

I wasn't exactly "in the market" for new skin care items. I had been considering trying something new since my current regimen, while good at first, seemed to be stalling out on me. I noticed that the moisturizer wasn't so moisturizing. Like I said - I am pretty high maintenance when it comes to customer service. Since the Boots rep gave me so much of her undivided attention and took the time to explain the products and company history to me - I was an easy sell.

Now, let's see how good the products work!

Saturday, 10 November 2007

The Funky Blues Are Over

Okay - I have gotten over my sisterlock "blues" that I posted about earlier.

I discovered Sistalocd's blog where she recommended using small scrunchies instead of rubber bands to band the hair for washing.

I immediately went to my daughters room to "borrow" her small scrunchies and went to work! It made such a difference. Now, washing my hair is not such a chore.

Also, I've been reminded of the end result. Check out this link. This is how I would like my hair to look in the future :-)

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Not Feeling My Sisterlocks

Okay, today is a day of honesty.

I am really not feeling these sisterlocks.

First, the notion of "low" maintenance is a myth. Well, it is for me right now. Because the twisting and banding process just to wash my hair, takes at least 30 minutes and let's not talk about the de-banding process! But get this - I have to (well, I am supposed to) go through this process twice a week to encourage locking.

Okay so these sisterlocks are feeling a little high maintenance right now.

Next, let's talk about style. Now one of the MAJOR reasons for me getting sisterlocks was to be able to sport some cute hairstyles. Well, it's like I need a hair style intervention. This "Al Sharpton" curly snatch back look is getting a little old for me. And get this - the styles DON'T LAST! I might as well still be straight up natural no locks, if I gotta be re-rolling every two days.

I shared my dissatisfaction with hubbie, he told me to give it some time, so I will. We all know that I get bored easily. I wonder if I have hair ADD :-)


Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Living With Sisterlocks

I have to admit, once my sisterlocks were installed I had a moment where I thought - "I can't wait for them to grow and mature so that I can wear them in some of my favorite styles." (see, for example, the styles featured on this site )

Then, I told myself not to rush the process and I made a promise to myself that I would enjoy my sisterlocks every step of the way.

So, I have come up with a style that I like for this stage. It's pretty easy to achieve. I mist my locks with water and set them on rollers. Initially, I used rollers that were too small in the front so I re-set the front using Caruso steam rollers a couple of days later.

Here's the latest picture which was taken a couple of days later.

I'll have to enlist the help of hubbie to start capturing pictures of the back :-)