Why You Should Steam Your Locs

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There are two main reasons why you should steam your locs: Moisture and Hydration.

Let’s get into it.

Moisture & Hydration

Moisture is important to all hair, but especially to locs. Once you loc your hair, it becomes harder for water to penetrate the hair and get to where it needs to be. That is why dry, brittle locs are a problem for loc wearers. This is also why those with locs are encouraged to drink plenty of water daily and spritz their hair with some kind of water or water based treatment.

Another factor to consider is living in a cold weather environment. The winter months can be brutally cold and dry. These conditions can have harsh effects on natural hair and locs. Without proper moisture, your hair will become brittle and eventually break off which makes steaming your locs even more important.

Hydrated locs will feel soft and look shiny and healthy, but the hydration needs to start on the inside first. On October 14, 2020, the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, found that an adequate daily fluid intake is: About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids a day for men. About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day for women. Proper water intake is key to proper hydration for your overall health, body and hair!

Steaming Locs... yay or nay #locs #steaming #dreads | Locs, Dreads, Style
Gentleman getting loc steaming treatment

The Benefits of Warm Steaming Your Locs

  1. Warm steam lifts your hair cuticle which allows treatments to penetrate the hair shaft. It also opens the pores in the scalp that allows for better absorption.
  2. Cleanses your scalp and locs by loosening up dirt and dead skin.
  3. Encourages blood flow to your hair follicles which promotes hair growth.
  4. Helps fight against dryness and breakage and instead gives you soft, shiny locs.

How To Steam Your Locs

Let’s be honest, hair steamers are not cheap. Just go to amazon.com and price them. But there are ways around this.

  1. Use your shower to steam your locs. It’s cheap and convenient.
  2. If you choose to purchase a home steamer with the hood, make sure you do your research and buy a quality one.
  3. Purchase a hand held steamer. It’s cheaper than a hooded steamer and you can take it anywhere you go.
  4. Boil a pot of water on your stove. Carefully sit it in front of you and hold your face and locs over it and take in all that nice steam.
  5. For ultimate moisture and hydration, oil your scalp with your favorite oil (preferably a light oil) before steaming your locs.

Happy steaming!

2020 Was CRAZY, But 2021 Will Hopefully Be Better!

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Hey y’all! Usually I’m good at staying on top of the closing of one year and the start of another. By now I would have already blogged about the good and the bad of 2020 and what I look forward to in the new year.

It goes without saying that 2020 was CRAZY! I mean major crazeballs. COVID19 – need I say more? But as it relates to my locs and the decisions I’ve had to make regarding the care of my locs, 2020 wasn’t all bad. Hear me out.

In 2020 I Took Charge Of My Hair

You guys, I’ve blogged and vlogged about my displeasure with my sisterlocks consultant who established my sisterlocks. Let’s recap: Not only was she a scammer who practiced bad business, but she was doing a half job on my locs! She was skipping whole sections of my head but still charged me full price for her services. She was constantly trying to find new ways to get more money out of me all while providing bad services. She was habitually late to my appointments constantly, running behind with her appointments 15-20 minutes even though I always show up early. She would have people come in during my appointment so she can provide services to them while I wait. Granted I didn’t find out that she was skipping whole sections of my hair until I started seeing someone else, but I made the right decision to stop letting her janky butt touch my hair.

How did I take charge of my hair? First, I found someone else to do my reties and that’s when I found out that my previous loctician was skipping whole sections of my hair. That news angered me, but it also put pieces of the puzzle together. How can you possibly zip through almost 400 locs during a retie in an hour? All that pulling she did on my hair pretending like she’s doing the 4 point rotations when really she was only doing one or two rotations – if any at all! We’ll talk about the damage she caused to my hair later.

While going to the second loctician I decided to combine my locs so I could have bigger locs. That was something I had wanted to do for a long time, and it turned out beautifully thanks to my sister-in-law. It was some time after this that I found yet another consultant who also did not work out, and from there I decided to do my own reties. So far I’ve done one full retie of my entire head. I made some mistakes along the way but I didn’t stress over it. I was too busy being proud of myself for taking charge over the care of my hair. I felt empowered and accomplished.

My sisterlocks establishment in 2018 vs my combined locs in November of 2020

Using My Platform To Help Others

Throughout this whole process, I decided to use my platform on YouTube to help others. I made videos about my horrible experiences with my first loctician and the following ones as a public service announcement to others to beware. Beware of the red flags, the lies, the scams. It is my goal, my mission to keep others from going down the same road I did, and I considered myself “informed” and had done “extensive research” before getting my locs! It just goes to show you that sometimes none of that matters because when you encounter a scammer, they prey on what you don’t know about sisterlocks. I knew the basics, but there was so much more that I didn’t know.

A plait out on my combined locs, 2020

I think it is so important that women go into their loc journeys as informed as they can be. I go into detail about the things they should look for, the questions they should ask, and more importantly, don’t be afraid to walk away if something doesn’t feel right or seem right. You have a choice, there are other ways to get the look you want for much cheaper than sisterlocks, there are other people you can see to get you started on your loc journey OR…you can take charge of your own hair and start your locs yourself using two strand twists or plaits. So many women who are thinking about locs don’t realize the options they have and that’s why I vlog about it on YouTube.

Starting Conversations About the Ugly Underbelly of Sisterlocks & The Loc Community

By me speaking on my bad experiences with sisterlocks, much needed and long overdue conversations has begun on my YouTube page and elsewhere. For some reason, it was taboo to speak against sisterlocks because many believe Dr. Cornwell is this fearsome woman who will somehow jump out the shadows of the room and get you. All this woman can do is sue people, but she can’t sue because someone is speaking their truth about their bad experiences under her brand! There are others who feel that we as black women shouldn’t speak bad about another black woman who is a successful business owner. Ummm… come again? Bad business is bad business – I don’t care what color or gender you are!

I thought I had bad experiences with sisterlocks, but once these women started commenting on my videos I realized my experience paled in comparison to theirs! And that’s a shame. That truly breaks my heart that there are so many women out there being taken advantage of and robbed blind. So many are being overly charged for sisterlocks but what they were given weren’t even sisterlocks!

Within the sisterlocks community, there was no safe space to talk about the bad side of the company. Most sisterlocks Facebook pages were pro-sisterlocks. If you questioned anything or complained you would get jumped on verbally and told to go elsewhere with the “negative talk or negativity”. These people want to ignore the problems in sisterlocks but today, I am so glad that so many are speaking out and sharing their experiences on YouTube and other places. There is wonderful advice given, support, and knowledge being shared.

Hoping For A Better 2021

I feel even more determined to continue to be a resource and a safe space for women to talk about their experiences (good or bad), to provide comfort and guidance and help them get back on the right track with their loc journey. No one should feel silenced, no one should feel stuck or feel that they have to continue to take the bad service they are receiving.

More importantly, in 2021 I hope to hear less horror stories. I hope these horrible locticians, sisterlocks or otherwise, are called out and put on blast as a protection to others. And I hope the great, wonderful, caring, ethical locticians are shouted out, praised, and given all the accolades for caring about what they do and the women and men they service.

May all of our hair grow abundantly, flourish, and be healthy in 2021 and going forward.

It’s My Two Year Loc-Versary!!!

On the left my loc journey started with Sisterlocks. On the right I now have combined regular locs.

You guys. I’ve been loc’d for two years now, and boy has it been…eye opening! Let’s get into it.

Sisterlocks Weren’t For Me

I fell head over heels in love with sisterlocks completely naive to the inside drama that came with it. But how would I know that inside drama even existed when I didn’t know anyone with sisterlocks to ask? I made one key mistake and that was rushing on deciding who would install and care for my sisterlocks. Even when I saw the red flags I convinced myself that things would work out, everything would be okay. But it wasn’t. It only got worse. I’ve talked about this in previous blog posts so I won’t beat a dead horse here, but that bad decision led me to where I am today.

Over time I realized that I wanted bigger locs, and that was something I’ve always wanted. After kicking my first loctician to the curb, COVID hit and it made me go ahead and combine my locs and start a new journey. I was still looking for a new loctician, but unfortunately that didn’t work out either.

Sadly, People Can’t Be Trusted

Searching for a new loctician in my city was a joke. All it proved to me is that people can’t be trusted and the world is full of scammers. And weirdos. I’ve had people tell me that I still had sisterlocks and therefore would still be charged sisterlocks rates. I’ve had people tell me that in order to combine my locs I had to take them down to the root and then pay them $300 to re-lock my hair. I’ve had people take me on as a client but after two visits tell me that they are moving out of state and will give me a name of someone else to go to – but only on Facebook – and they never gave me that person’s name.

All of those horrible experiences made me realize that no one can be trusted. And this isn’t just people in the sisterlocks community, but the loc community as a whole. Everybody is out for the bag (money) and are constantly looking for ways to screw you over and it’s sad. It’s extremely disappointing and disheartening. Here I am thinking the loc community would be welcoming and freeing and this lovely place where you celebrate natural hair and hair freedom. Nope. It’s the complete opposite and they are the same if not worse as the loose natural hair community. You have your loc purists who think they know everything about locs and are quick to point out your errors and tell you you’re not a true locked person, you have those who prefer calling locs dread locs vs those who prefer to call them locs, you have the sisterlocks vs traditional locs infighting and snobbery. It’s so much and it’s sad.

It Was Time For Me to Step Into My Power

Despite all the bumps and bruises I encountered on my loc journey, I realized that it was time for me to step into my power. Stop being afraid to retie my own hair. Do what I needed to do, what I knew I could do, to care for my own hair. Stop trusting others to do right by me and bet on myself. It took me some time to get to this point, but I’M HERE! (Cue in Whoppi Goldberg’s classic scene in The Color Purple when she’s leaving Mister’s house towards the end of the movie!)

My experiences from my first loctician alone was enough to make me bitter towards sisterlocks and locs alone, but I didn’t allow myself to have those feelings because it wasn’t the locs that were doing me wrong. It was the person doing my hair at the time and the other people that followed her. I kick myself for being so trusting because these were people who were highly recommended and I assumed they would do right by me. They didn’t. It also doesn’t help that I live in an area where there aren’t a lot of experienced AND GOOD locticians. Sisterlocks are beautiful. They looked beautiful on me. But that wasn’t the look I had envisioned for myself, and that was my fault. I should have gotten traditional locs to begin with. But I do not regret my sisterlocks experience.

I’ve always wanted locs and I’m glad I continued on my journey in a different way by combining my sisterlocks to have medium sized locs. I love the way they look now and I love that I am in charge of the care of my hair. I can’t wait to see what the next two years and beyond bring! Happy two year loc-versary to me!!

Customer Service And Communication Matters!

Most of us have been raised to have manners, to be kind, to say please and thank you and to live by the golden rule of treating others the way we’d want to be treated. Basically, how to be a decent human being. Ever since I started going to the beauty salon to have my hair professionally cared for dating back to my junior year in high school, I’ve had various experiences with communication and customer service, most of them being good. Within the last 10 years, lack of communication and poor customer service has increasingly become a problem.

Not Respecting My Time

Don't waste my time! | Words, Quotes, Funny quotes

The last beautician I had when I was still getting relaxers (aka creamy crack) had a lot of clients. She was always busy which meant she was running behind constantly. It was very rare if she wasn’t overflowing with customers or had time to spare. Over the years, she began to take advantage of my kindness and understanding by blatantly disrespecting my time.

Here’s what I mean. While I always made sure I was early for my appointments, she either wasn’t at the shop yet or had five or six people ahead of me. When she wasn’t at the shop, it wasn’t because I was super early. It was always because she was running late. Ten minutes, fifteen, a half hour, to an hour or more late. She never called me to say she was running late. She never left word at the shop that she was on her way. She showed up when she showed up. Not only would she show up late, but she’d stop doing your hair so she could go get food, or someone else would bring her food and she’d take an hour to eat, laugh, and play around with her family members who were always at the shop. Meanwhile, her customers sat and waited under the hooded dryer or in her chair. And we waited and waited and waited. That, (among other egregious things) is what made me go ahead and big chop and start my natural hair journey.

Lack of Communication

Bad human communication leaves us less room to grow | Picture Quotes

Since getting locs, I’ve encountered locticians who do not communicate well at all. My first loctician was not a forthcoming person. I had to constantly ask and practically drag information out of her. She never told me how my hair looked or how it was doing. I had to constantly ask and she always gave short answers. Mind you she has experience with sisterlocks and traditional locs, she went to school to become a trichologist, and she has all these other certifications when it comes to hair. She advertised and promoted her knowledge and certifications, so I thought she would share her knowledge and expertise with me, her client. No. It became clear early on that all she cared about was my money. She ran her business like a revolving door – she got you in and got you out. And she too was always running behind.

I had the same unfortunate experience with my last loctician. She promoted herself as someone who knows how to care for your locs so that you will have healthy locs and claimed to be knowledgeable in all styles of locs and care. Once again, she wasn’t forthcoming. She said my new growth was breakage because my hair grew outside of the loc and in my parts. I had to explain to her that no, it’s not breakage but simply how my hair grows. My thought process on this is if you’re so experienced with locs of all kinds and you have 20 years of experience under your belt, you mean to tell me that you’ve never encountered someone with locs whose hair grows outside of the loc? If I had breakage I would have lost locs by now, and I’ve only lost one loc on my entire two year loc journey.

A few weeks after my visit with her she announces on Facebook that she’s moving out of state and is not accepting anymore new clients or appointments as of October 1st. She knew she was moving out of state when I first saw her, so why bother wasting my time taking me on as a new client? Okay, her reasons are pretty obvious: I was just a means for her to get more money before she moved. I get it and it is what it is. But to make this announcement on Facebook instead of telling your clients personally was just plain tacky. I could have continued my search for a loctician instead of wasting my time with her – and I actually like her locking methods! She washes my hair first and then soaks up most of the water out of my hair and then starts retying with a crochet needle. It’s gentler on your hair and it’s less tension when you do reties on damp hair. I’ve never experienced that before and I loved it!

This past weekend I went for my last retie with her and, and in her Facebook announcement she promised to give recommendations to all of her clients during their last appointment with her. After she was done with my hair, I asked her what were the names of her recommendations. She paused and said “Welllll…I have this one young lady in mind. Her name is (such and such) and she’s on Facebook but I want to give her a heads up first before I start sending people her way. But stay tuned for my Facebook post because I’ll provide all of that there.”

Say What Now GIFs | Tenor

Excuse me? WHAT?

So you basically lied. You had no recommendations ready for your clients, or you didn’t want to give ME any recommendations. I’m not sure what it was, but her vibe was very off to me. You know how there’s something not quite right about someone, like their aura isn’t quite aligning with yours but you try to roll with it anyway because your relationship with them is new and you want to give them the benefit of the doubt? That’s how I felt about her. In that moment I felt like she left me hanging and she didn’t care. Why would she care when she’s moving away soon? On top of that I was a new client so she really probably didn’t care. Any other time I would have freaked out not knowing who was going to do my hair next. I would have left her shop pissed and started my search right then and there. But I didn’t care. I already had a plan.

Customer Service

The Top 100 Excellent Customer Service Quotes

In all of the examples I gave above, customer service was not the focal point. To me, customer service goes beyond being polite. Communication and customer service go hand in hand. I’m not expecting the people I receive services from to do back flips and cartwheels for me every time I’m in their presence, but I do expect transparency. I expect the “professional” to ask key questions of their client, especially if they are new clients, instead of the client having to ask all the questions. There should be an equal exchange of communication and participation in getting to know what the other expects and needs, and whether or not those expectations are reasonable or can be met.

Frankly, I’m tired of initially being told that someone knows how to do x, y and z only to get you in their chair, but later finding out that they cannot do x, y and z. I’m tired of one-sided communication with those I am paying to care for my hair. But more importantly, I’m tired of encountering horrible customer service. I’ve come across too many people taking advantage of others for the sake of money. We’re in the middle of a pandemic. People have lost jobs and still haven’t received unemployment payments. There’s so much going on. Where is the compassion or care? Why would one think NOW is the time to jack up prices and charge for every possible thing they do to your hair even though just yesterday it was a standard service? It’s wrong on so many levels. On the positive side, I love seeing so many men and women working their side gigs and trying to make money that way.

Taking Charge

Take charge of your life ~ Wellness With Moira

Because of the trend of locticians raising their prices, it’s forcing a lot of women to learn how to self-retie, which to me is a good thing. I find it to be empowering to see so many women taking charge of the care of their hair all while saving money. I’ve decided to join these women by taking charge of the care of my hair. Between myself and my sister-in-law, we’re going to figure this loc thing out. We’re going to take care of my hair and it’s going to continue to grow and thrive. I’m going to give myself the best customer service ever.

Follow Me On YouTube!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiQMY_fkoR4Mr5D4ZtVXlsg?view_as=subscriber

You guys! If you follow me here on my blog, PLEASE do me a solid and follow my natural hair and DIY organic body and hair YouTube channel! I’m trying to get my subscribers up, and right now it’s pretty pitiful, LOL!

I have plenty of content regarding natural hair and locs and other things so please check it out, and hit that subscribe button! If you have a YouTube channel, please drop a comment so I can follow you as well!

Thanks!

xoxo

Should I Continue to Vlog?

I’m getting discouraged you guys. A few years back I said I’d never vlog. Then I decided to give it a try, and I started Its Sonya on YouTube. Guess what? I like it! Vlogging is basically putting words you’d usually have for your blog into a video. Hence the term vlog. I’ve always said that I express myself better in writing than in words, and I still feel that is true of me. There is an art that comes with being able to express yourself verbally and I don’t feel you’re ever too old to try to improve that technique.

Why I’m Discouraged

The whole purpose of this blog and my vlog on YouTube is to help people, black women and girls in particular, to navigate going natural and embrace their natural hair. I want to inspire and encourage people, and the main way you can do this is to speak honestly from your own experiences. To me, one of the most important things you must do is be yourself. I’ve watched thousands of YouTube videos and the personalities are all across the board. There are those who are bubbly and have a lot of energy, there are those who have a lot of personality and are over the top. And there are those who are laid back or, dare I say it – boring. People want to see personality, they want to be entertained. I get that. But that’s not my lane. My lane is to help, educate, inform, encourage, and be a source or information all while keeping things lighthearted. My content mostly contains a lot of helpful information.

Being myself, which is oftentimes laid back and chill, may be hurting me and I get that. Maybe I could or should put some more energy into my videos. I probably put people to sleep because I’m too laid back, LOL! But at the end of the day, when I’m speaking on a specific topic, I hope that’s what they are tuning in for – the information and not a show because I’m not there to put on show.

Declining Subscribers

My numbers have declined, and I have a few theories on that. For one, I no longer have sisterlocks. I’ve combined my locs and now I have what would be deemed microlocs or just plain locs. They aren’t traditional locs yet because they are still too small to be traditional locs. I knew I’d lose subscribers based on that because my journey no longer fits those who followed me because of having sisterlocks.

Second, as I go through my loc journey I continue to discover things about my hair, about how I care for my hair or how others I pay care for my hair. There’s so many unwritten rules about loc care like you should use conditioner on your locs or you shouldn’t because it causes build up, and other things you should or shouldn’t use on your locs. I’ve come to realize that no matter what you put on your hair you are going to experience build up. Also, I’ve come to realize that not everyone is going to agree with your opinions or decisions, and that’s fine. So if someone stops following me because I said something they don’t agree with, that’s perfectly fine by me. I know I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.

Third, I always preach natural remedies first before anything else. I’ve been making my own aloe vera moisturizing spritz/conditioner and using that on my locs. However, since coloring my locs I’ve realized that I needed more than aloe to moisturize and condition my locs. That’s why I used the conditioner I already had in my house and watered it down and then used it on my locs. (This was before I found and purchased Keracare conditioner that is specifically made for color treated hair.) There may be those who feel I’ve been hypocritical when I change my thinking or outlook on things and stop following me based on that. But isn’t that what happens when you learn and grow? You change. Never have I said that no products are good or should be used. There are some good products out there that is worth your coins, but for me, I try to use natural remedies as much as possible. Especially since I have locs now.

My point is not everyone is going to like what you have to say or understand when you’ve had a change of heart about something.

Do I Need To Do More How To Videos?

I’ve never been one to show people how to do things in my videos. I’ve tried a few times but it’s never been something I felt comfortable doing. For one I need better equipment – camera, lighting, tripod, etc. (If that sounded like an excuse it’s because it is an excuse, lol!) A lot of people want or need to see how to make something or do something. They are visual learners and I get that. The most I’ll do in my videos is show you the products I’ve purchased and will use and then I will tell you how to make it or I’ll direct you to where you can go to learn how to make something.

Lately I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone – even though I still don’t have the proper equipment – and I’ve done a few videos on how to make your own hair growth oils. I don’t have exact measurements, but I show you how I make mine. To be honest I really enjoyed doing that because its something that I’m passionate about. I love DIY projects, especially when it comes to making healthy, organic things that can be used on your hair and on your skin. I may do more of these simple videos in the future. That’s another thing – I keep my how to videos as simple as possible because I like simple DIY videos myself.

I’m Not Going to Quit

I’m not going to quit because I realize that my videos may help someone someday. It may not be today, tomorrow, next week or next year. YouTube videos are there forever until you take them down yourself if you were the creator. I’m just in my feelings right now, licking my wounds, lol! I also know that there are things that one must do to get more subscribers or to make your videos stand out more.

For instance:

*Hair and makeup looking good at all times. This is a problem for me because I’m not one who styles my locs or fuss with my locs. 99% of the time I wear my locs down. I don’t do twist outs or braid outs for curly or wavy locs. They hang the way they hang. I don’t like styling my locs because I don’t want unnecessary tension on them. As far as makeup goes – it’s summer time right now. Actually, even during the winter months you won’t see me with the “beat face” because you just won’t. If the mood hits me to put on makeup I will. If not, you need to get into my natural vibes, LOL!

*Having various beautiful location shots or backgrounds. My favorite place to shoot my videos is my kitchen. You may not realize it because for most of my videos done at home I’m sitting in front of a white wall. Just recently I started sitting in a new location…in front of my fridge, LMBO!!! I’m just lazy y’all. My kitchen is where I get the best light, the most privacy, and it’s just a much easier set up.

*Dressing up. I’ll admit that this is an area I could improve in. When I was working outside of the home before COVID hit, this was an easy thing to do because I had to dress up for work. I would simply keep on my work clothes and my makeup and make my videos. But on the weekends…that’s when I go back to bare face and t-shirts! Again, I know I can improve in this area and I will.

Honestly, I will try to improve in some of the areas. I love makeup, so I’ll try to wear it whenever I decide to film. One thing I will not change is being myself. I can’t put on this character that isn’t me just for followers and likes. I need to learn how to market my channel and my content better. I also need to look at the videos I’ve done that got a lot of response (views and likes) and do more videos like those. I basically made a post complaining about something I can change but am too lazy to do some of the things that I can change. Yup, that about sums up this blog post!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

31 Change Quotes That Will Shift Your Perspective | Spirit Button

What a difference a month makes! Changes have been made, y’all. As you know, life changes all the time, and it’s no different with your relationship with your hair or the person caring for your hair.

I found a new loctician. Here’s why.

Why I Switched it Up

I wasn’t comfortable with the constant pulling and tugging taking place on my hair. To me that showed her lack of experience. There shouldn’t be any pulling or tugging taking place, and one should know when to use a larger loc tool for larger locs or when to stop trying to do rotations. There is a such thing as too tight reties and too many rotations! I also wasn’t comfortable with the fact that masks were optional for her clients, and she didn’t wear one either. And she’s an essential worker at her day job. Lastly, I don’t like feeling fleeced when your prices go up $15 out of the blue. Two things about me: I’m loyal, and I will pay whatever you charge as long as it’s reasonable, and I tip! I no longer have sisterlocks, but I understand why the price for a retie with sisterlocks costs so much. Time and labor. I get it. But make it clear to your customers what your price differences are between sisterlocks, traditional locs, or microlocs.

At the end of the day, my safety and the care of my hair were my main motivating factors for seeking out someone else. I urge anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable for any reason to do the same. I will always preach this. Anyhoo, I took action, asked for recommendations and I contacted two out of the three and one called me back, asked me to come in for a FREE consultation (you don’t find free consultations these days, y’all!) and scheduled an appointment for my first retie that same week.

The New Loctician

My new loctician has been doing locs since she was 19. She is now 41. She started out doing sisterlocks but can install and maintain any type of locs. Experience is huge to me. We vibed very well when we messaged each other, when I met her during my consultation, and during my first appointment with her. She is also the first loctician that I’ve been to who offers a shampoo and style with her services. Another huge plus.

But one of the main things I was impressed with was her methods and techniques. For instance, as soon as I walked into the shop, I was asked to wash my hands. (Because…COVID) As soon as I was done with that, she took me to the shampoo bowl and washed my hair. After shampooing my locs twice she wrapped a towl around my hair took me to her chair and she began to retie my hair. My hair was not dripping wet, but it was wet. I’ve heard from other locticians that reties should not be done on dry hair because of the breakage it can cause. It makes total sense. The other thing I was pleasantly surprised to see was she used a crochet hook instead of the usual loc tools. I asked her why and she said she hated those tools and liked the crochet hook better. She worked seamlessly with it and there was no pulling or tugging happening with my hair. I loved it!

Overall I was very pleased with my visit. She was done with my hair in under two hours. (Side note: The night before I had my oldest daughter count my locs in sets of 10. I would plait up those 10 locs and when she was done we counted them. Since combining my locs I now have 177 locs. So I went from 376 – give or take – to 177 (I never had 400 locs y’all). When I combine them again, which will be further down the road, I want to have 87 or 88 locs.) When she was done with my retie she asked if I use oils on my scalp, to which I answered ‘yes’, and then she asked if I minded if she added a little oil to my scalp. I told her I didn’t mind at all and she massaged a little oil on my scalp. Another extra step that I never got from any of my past locticians.

Do What You Have to Do

At the end of the day you have to do what’s best for you. I made a huge change and I’m glad I did because I was truly afraid of damage being done to my hair with all the pulling and tugging and too tight reties. Prior to this change, I asked my old loctician straight out what her fees were for me now that I no longer have sisterlocks. Her response was “You do still have sisterlocks, they are just a little bigger.” Y’all should have seen my face. I said “No…I no longer have sisterlocks and I definitely no longer have the sisterlocks grid. I have microlocs or regular locs now that I have combined my sisterlocks.” That’s when I realized that she needed a reason to justify her continuing to charge me sisterlocks rates when she knew I no longer had sisterlocks. That really disappointed me. Especially when you constantly say that you do all locs and you’ve told me before that your prices are different for traditional locs.

Not everyone will have your best interest at heart, even during a pandemic. Many are worried about money, jobs, and are hustling to keep some type of income coming into their home. I get it. But don’t do it at the expense of others. All I want is someone to help take care of and maintain my locs. That’s it. Do right by me and my hair. Help it thrive and grow, and most importantly stay healthy. I don’t think that’s asking for too much especially when I pay what you ask and provide a tip. In the end I know I made the right decision and I feel very good about the change I made.

My Views on Locs Have Changed…And it’s A Good Thing!

Transitioning from sisterlocks to micro or traditional locs has me thinking a lot about the care and upkeep of my locs going forward. I’m no longer tied to getting reties every six to seven weeks. I no longer have to worry about using or not using certain things on my hair. But I do have a whole new perspective on the care of my locs and here’s why.

Cutting back on reties

Now that I’m free from the sisterlocks rules, I have been researching how to care for my locs going forward. My biggest fear is traction alopecia or losing hair for any reason to be honest. Traction alopecia can happen due to tight hair styles, too tight reties and getting reties too often. There are a lot of women in the loc community who unfortunately suffer from traction alopecia because of those very reasons I listed. I don’t believe in getting reties at the sight of the least little bit of new growth. Do you know what this reminds me of? When I was getting relaxers back in the day and the minute my new growth started to show I was on the phone making an appointment to get my kinky natural roots straightened or “relaxed” again. We must get out of that mindset – even with locs.

The damage we can cause to our follicles by having reties too often is real and it can be permanent. Right now I’m scheduled to have my next retie in seven weeks which puts me at the first weekend in July. Today is June 11, and the only new growth I have is the hair that grows outside of my locs because my last retie was done entirely too tight. By the time July 4th comes, I won’t have nearly enough new growth to warrant a retie which is why I plan on canceling that appointment and pushing it out further.

A new outlook on caring for My locs

Thinking Meme - Roll Safe Meme - Thinking Meme

Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time researching how to care for my newly combined locs. I’ve been following and watching video after video of Youtuber Yannie The Locologist and I really like her approach and views on loc care and maintenance. She’s so informative and honest and truly cares about the health of people’s hair. Yannie is a firm believer in zero products being used on locs, products like gels, twisting pomades, conditioners, or anything that is not natural. I am totally on board with that. Her reasoning is products cause build up and build up causes your locs to feel heavy and locs should never feel heavy.

She also does not believe in frequent reties. She believes in having your locs retied every three months if not longer. I’m totally on board with that, especially since I no longer have sisterlocks. I think it should be pointed out that Yannie is also Rasta, meaning she does not follow the Rastafarian religious beliefs, but follows the Rasta beliefs when it comes to locs. In a nutshell, she believes that time, patience and diet plays a huge part in the health of your locs. Therefore, the less you do, the better off your locs will be. This means no shampoo, no conditioner, no products that weren’t grown on a tree or out the ground should be used on your locs.

Coloring my locs

SHOULD I DYE MY LOCS? (With images) | Dyed dreads, Locs hairstyles ...

I’m also rethinking how to color my locs and what is the safest way to do so. From watching Yannie’s videos, she highly recommended Shea Moisture’s line of hair color because it doesn’t dry out your hair (Supposedly. Everybody’s hair is different and their reaction to hair coloring is different). She also recommended, at the suggestion of her client who is allergic to shea butter, olive oil and coconut oil, Herbatint. It’s a permanent herbal hair coloring gel that is gentle on your hair. I looked it up on Amazon and it’s pretty reasonable – about $11.99 and up depending on the color you want. FYI – the blonde color costs more. I’m guessing because it’s such a popular color. The good thing is Herbatint has a wide range of colors to choose from.

I know nothing about coloring my hair, I only know the colors that I like. I will continue to do research and reach out to my friends who are hair stylists and colorists who can give me much needed guidance.

I’m excited!

My plan for the next

My loc journey continues to evolve and I’m so excited about this! Why? Because I’m no longer tied to a strict regimen that sisterlocks demanded. Also, I’m in the process of figuring out how I want to care for my locs going forward, taking the less is more approach. I’m going to test out if I can wait three months before getting my next retie. And I also have to figure out if I want to continue to interlocking or if I want to palm roll or twist.

My research is opening my eyes to things that I never thought about before, like the importance of not using products on my locs, washing my locs less, and using as little manipulation and tension on my locs as possible. In a future post I will share why doing these things are important. Stay tuned!

Are Y’all Okay? How Y’all Doin?

Hey friend, how are you doing? (With images) | How are you images ...

Like most of you, my family and I have been trying to adjust and make sense of being under quarantine and getting used to our ‘new normal.’ It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog and I’ve missed you guys. Are y’all okay? How are y’all doin? I’ve been vlogging more on Youtube hence my absence here. I’m sorry. Vlogging really helped me work through some issues, and I’m going to share them.

No Access to salons or loc consultants?

COVID19 threw a monkey wrench in a lot of our hair care needs, especially if you have sisterlocks or traditional locs and don’t know how to do your own reties. I hadn’t had a retie since January. My newgrowth was out of control so by mid to late April I had to do something. I had to take action. With sisterlocks it is imperative that you stay on schedule with your reties because you are dealing with tiny locs that can weaken and break off if not maintained regularly. The more newgrowth you have, the more your chances increase for thinning and breakage to take place. I saw the thinning happening and I had to combine several locs to save them. Not having access to salons (if your consultant works out of a salon) or your consultant pushed me into action.

Combining my locs

For me, there could only be two outcomes: 1. losing locs or 2. combining all of my locs. Combining my locs is something I’ve been contemplating for a while. Before the coronavirus hit I was 96% sure that this was the route I was going to take. After coronavirus hit and I realized how long everything would be on lockdown, I was 110% sure that combining my locs was the best route for me. So I enlisted the help of my sister in law and she combined my locs using the two strand twist method. This resulted in a much needed retie because she was able to gather all the loose hair and newgrowth when she combined my locs. It was very neat, and she even made sure they were done in even box parts.

What about those new in their loc journey?

My heart goes out to those who are new in their loc journey and are lost and worried about how to care for their hair. You’d be amazed at how many posts I’ve seen on Instagram and on my Youtube page from those desperate for help and answers. What I found to be disturbing and concerning is the lack of direction these women were getting from their consultants. I think there should be a level of concern and followup from consultants to their newly locked or not so newly locked clients as to how they should care for their locs during the locdown. Unfortunately that has not been happening. There were a few consultants offering virtual classes to teach their clients how to self retie. Then Sisterlocks rolled out their classes offering virtual self retie classes, with the cost starting at $325. Insert side eye here at Sisterlocks.

First of all, during a global pandemic, your solution to helping women care for their sisterlocks is to charge an insane amount of money to teach them how to self retie? Nevermind the fact that many have lost their jobs and are trying to save their money, many have had to take pay cuts (including a lot of my friends who work in the corporate world). But you’re banking on how desperate women with sisterlocks will be to get their hair done and therefore shell out the money to take your extremely expensive virtual retie class. This is disgusting and it’s totally taking advantage of those who are in unfortunate situations.

My saving grace has been the fact that I’ve been on my loc journey for a year and a half now and I’ve done a ton of research and know my options. I tried to self retie, but I had so much new-growth that I found myself making more mistakes than I was helping my hair, so I stopped and combined them instead. On my Youtube channel I encourage women to take action by combining their weak, thin locs and don’t risk or continue to lose locs because of trying to wait things out. So many women complained of losing locs or having thinning locs that are hanging on by a thread and didn’t know that they could and should combine those locs with a stronger loc next to it by simply two strand twisting them together. These simple solutions should be coming from their consultantssalons and business have just started opening, but we still have to be very careful. No matter what the current president says or what your local government says, we must continue to quarantine and use our better judgment before venturing out.

Precautions to take at salons or private homes

Salons must adhere to CDC guidelines and federal/local government guidelines before reopening. Before making an appointment with your consultant, please be sure that their establishment is following those guidelines. Before booking an appointment ask your consultant questions as to the protective measures they have in place. Even if they provide masks free or for a small fee, bring your own mask and hand sanitizer. If your consultant isn’t wearing a mask (even though must will because it’s required), politely ask them to. If they refuse, walk out. Do not risk your life.

If your consultant works out of their home and informs you that they are taking appointments again, ask questions before you book your appointment. Ask them what protective measures they have in place, how many clients are they seeing in a week, does she enforce wearing masks, does she wipe down and disinfect everything other clients have touched? If you feel comfortable with their answers go for it. If not, don’t risk it.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I recently had a retie over the weekend. This was my first time being at anyone else’s house besides my own since the first week of March, and yes I had some hesitation and fear. My consultant had Clorox wipes, a huge bottle of hand sanitizer, and disposable masks. She was prepared, but one thing I didn’t like was that she said wearing masks was “optional.” Huh? Why?? Why would anyone be okay with people that isn’t immediate family come into their homes without wearing a mask?? I had on my masks (I wear two at a time) and I keep hand sanitizer in the car. Also, I didn’t bring a purse or anything extra to her house because I didn’t want to bring in any germs or take any back with me. I didn’t even bring any food, only my coffee that I had to finish drinking and then disposed of the cup. All of pertinent things I needed to carry with me like i.d., credit card and cash were in my phone case that also doubles as a wallet, and it’s small enough to still fit in my back pocket and that’s where I kept it.

There’s no such thing as being too safe during a pandemic

I do not subscribe to the thought of being too safe, especially during a pandemic. All of us must do our part to keep ourselves and our families safe. To be completely honest, I still feel some type of way about having my retie over the weekend. I think I should have waited it out a little longer, and honestly I could have waited a little longer. But because I wanted her to look at my locs and reassure me that they were still doing and looking well since my sister in law combined them, I went ahead with the appointment. Hindsight is always 20/20, and the last thing I want to do is be outside my house more than necessary.

I hope you and your families have been well and are staying safe. I wish everyone would take this virus more serious so it can slow down. Don’t be hoodwinked. No matter what federal or local governments say about being outside and opening things back up, the coronavirus is still out there, and it’s going strong. Please keep that in mind. Stay safe. Keep your families safe. Check on your elderly loved ones and friends. Be kind and continue to social distance.