Friday, 31 July 2009

Dr C & the Online SL Community to the Rescue! -- UPDATED

Thanks again to Anthia-Ofo, my old consultant and LaLoced for their speedy and sensitive advice about my hair loss!

Around the same time I wrote this post I raised the question on the 'Sisterlocked and Lovin it' message board on Facebook - Dr J Cornwell herself responded - as did a myriad of other sisters who all had good advice as well as suggestions as to what is causing my problem - yay Online Communities!!!

I have posted responses here :) -- (will add the others once the originators approve)

Dr Cornwell:
"Hello , Dr. C here. You can do some self-analysis that will help you determine the cause of the breakage at your hairline:

  1. Does it look like there are fewer hair strands at the scalp? If so, this is an indication that the hair growth pattern has been interrupted. This can be due to stress, medication or something that is affecting your body chemistry.
  2. OR: When a lock breaks, is the original humber of hair strands still coming out at the scalp? This is an indication that there has been some physical cause for breakage. (ie. headbands, glasses, clips, etc.) This type of breakage can also be caused by someting internal, though. If, for example, you have several locks in different spots breaking at exactly the same location along the lock, this would be an indication of some kind of internal 'episode'.

If the thinning/breakage is permanent, there is nothing more to do but combine locks. Be careful though. Combining doesn't necessarily mean just grabbing up 2 locks to make them into 1! Your Consultant has been taught techniques for properly combining locks. She can always call the Home Office for coaching if she is unsure.

If the thinning/breakage is NOT permanent, combining locks is not the solution - at least if you want to keep the refined look of your Sisterlocks. "Hairline Locking" appointments with your Consultant will probably do the trick. Again, have them call if they are unclear about what to do."
Tameka DeVoil Stigers
I'm a trainee in St. Louis (submitted certification June 2009) and have been
locked for 2 years, now. I had the same thinning, breaking of locs around the
hairline in the first few months of being locked. I, too, learned that it was
from hormonal changes...I was breastfeeding my newborn. My consultant just added
the new growing hair from the broken locs into the nearest one....oh how wrong
of a thing was that!My hairline was looking horrible.

Since taking the training (Nov 2008)and learning more about SL, I recently took out 4 locks from my hairline and replaced them with 10 NEW LOCKS. The locks that I took out were fat and way to large. I truly believe this obstacle was placed in front of me to help better able to advise my growing client base. I've learned first hand the
...what to do and what NOT to do. My advice to those who are in this predicament...If your locks have broken due to stress, hormonal changes or diet DON'T act so quickly. Let that hair grow back by fixing whatever the cause. You may have some "quirky-looking" days ahead, but your hairline will appreciate it in the long run. Once the hair is long enough, (shouldn't take a super long time) your consultant should be able to put some "baby" locs in and you MUST baby them and nurture them into full, mature locks.Dr. C has already given advice on keeping up the hairline and bypassing more breakage in the future.

Isn't it great that when we're stuck for answers, one (or two) shouts into virtual space can result in an outpouring of support and advice to help you through?
So does anyone know what a "Hairline Locking Appointment" is?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Aaaaaaaaaaagh! WTH????

OK, I need to take a chill pill but this is really really really upsetting me. I have mentioned on several posts my battle with thinning, fragile locks around my hairline (front and temples) and I am sure you're probably tired of hearing me moaning but hear me out one more time.

Below you will see a couple of shots with 'good' locks and fragile locks side by side. Judge for yourself. I found a couple of these fragile locks recently (while separating the roots after a wash) and needless to say I started to really freak out. I have not included photos of the VERY bad ones because I am scared to touch them in case I break them off at the root (they're only hanging on by a couple of hairs).

Anxiously, I showed my husband who - upon inspection - gave me such a look of concern I burst into tears. After blubbering about my fears of ending up looking like the Predator (bald forehead, dreads hanging from the back) he offered some words of wisdom: "if it gets that bad we'll just cut it off and wear it short again" -- (of course at this point I thought of Solange and Amber Rose...) -

I know he was just trying to tell me that it's only hair... but I'm just so frustrated cos I shaved my head in 2007 and it's taken 2 yrs to get the 9-10 inches I had for installation and while I loved the boyish (close shaven) look, I absolutely hated the in-between mini afro look (before it was long enough to twist or style) and I'd hate to go back to that - which would mean I'd wear the boy head forever if I cut again! Grrrrrrrrrrr! PLUS - there were so many ppl calling me crazy for locking my 'good' hair blah blah blah - they said my hair would break or fall out and I don't want them to be RIGHT!

Anyhoo... I keep sharing this stuff cos I hope that someone somewhere has experienced this or something similar and knows what I can do to keep my locks from falling off... I'm do for a retightening in 2 days and with all the new growth at the temples - the locks at the front look like bamboo shoots (or weeds) sprouting from a thatch of moss! If I could turn my scalp back to front I would lol. So on the bright side - the 'bald' areas at my temples have filled in (see earlier posts for original photos) but it really does seem as though more hair is breaking off from my existing locks. *sigh*

ADDENDUM: I contacted my original consultant by mail and asked if she knew what was happening to my hair and she offered the advice below:

It's called telogen effluvium and usually occurs in the first year after birth because of hormone changes in the body. It usually is more apparent at the hair line especially at the temples. I have seen it with all my pregnant clients and it usually takes 6 - 8 months before full recovery. Continue avoiding too much manipulation, there is nothing else really you can do until your body settles back to normal".
I guess half the battle is knowing what you're up against! Maybe I should have waited until my son was a year old before locking my hair.

Oh well, I soldier on.... but I am not happy. *sigh*

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Shaved Heads - A call to Natural hair or a fashion Fad?

Lately, I've noticed a couple of female American celebrities sporting shaved heads - not the partially shaved reinvented Salt n Pepa look, the real all off coconut/bald head. And some of them are receiving a lotta negative publicity for it.

In my experience, when a woman shaves her head it's usually part of the Big Chop (BC), she's had enough of relaxers or perms or weaves and has decided to try something new.. or boldy enter the world of natural Afro hair.

So.. is Solange going natural because she is 'going natural' or is it (as her critics say) an 'attention seeking act', a 'fashion faux pas' or 'an attempt at copying Amber'? I'd like to think she just felt like going natural (temporarily or permanently) and I think that people who say her head looks like a 'dirty tennis ball' are just being mean!

Solange has allegedly stated on Twitter that it wasn't a publicity stunt, she just wanted to.

I'm all for it... I think she should grow it out and get SisterLocks! Yay!

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Black Hair - White House

First of all, lemme say that I do not have any issue with Michelle Obama's straight hair.... in fact I have been too busy watching what she does with her daughters' hair (braids, twists and blow dried straight then set with curls) to give much thought to what she does with her own.
However, I stumbled across this article recently and thought I would post it to see what you think.

Could Michelle be in the White House with kinky twists? head ties (a la Eryka Badu), braids or dread locks? I mean - of course she COULD... but would she still be respected? Would people's perceptions of her change? I'm not sure 'the world' is ready for a 'dread' in the White House but that doesn't mean i think she is not 'Black enough' cos she is plenty black enough for me!And what do men think about this?

Excerpts from article:
"... One of my favorite inaugural moments was the Rev. Joe Lowery invoking that crude but accurate black folk saying about the hierarchy of skin color: If you're white, you're all right; if you're brown, stick around; if you're black, get back. A parallel saying for hair gradations would be something like: If you're straight, you're great; if you got curl, you got a pearl; if you're nappy, you're unhappy. Lowery was voicing that sentiment in order to bury it, but he was also admitting that it still has great power. Weaves and relaxers have become de rigueur for black women past the age of 13. The unprocessed black woman is assumed to be a vegan, a rebel, a Rasta, a nationalist, an artist, or some combination of the above. And for a black woman to wear her hair "out" -- that is, to wear it in its natural state with minimal moderations -- well, she must be so far out on the fringe that everyday presentation doesn't matter. Most likely she's an entertainer -- Erykah Badu, Diana Ross or Rufus-era Chaka Khan. But in the real world that Michelle Obama represents and that most of us inhabit, there is no black equivalent for the wash-and-wear "out" style that white women wear all the time, and have worn for 30 years..."

"...Hair is a very complicated piece of that model, historically speaking, as brutal a demarcation of worthiness as skin color. Hair texture and skin color work in tandem: The darker you are, the harder you have to offset it with "good" hair in order to be considered attractive or acceptable. If Michelle weren't dark-skinned with classic black features, she might not be so wedded to super-straight locks. Of course, this is also about class and station -- most professional black women of a certain pay scale adopt the relaxed look as part of the overall look of success....

Monday, 13 July 2009

Floatie - Post Mortem Photo

For those of you who wanted to know what Floatie looked like, we too a picture before we put him away.
If you click on the photo is should enlarge so you can read my comments.

And this is the one who ripped Floatie from my head. Yup - my son. CJ

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Anyone been to the Sisterlocks website lately?


Anyone been to lately? Well I was passing by when I noticed the Boutique link, so I clicked on it - as you do when feeling a bit nosey....

I admired the credit card holder and hair ties and jewellery and was about to click away (since I didn't really like anything enough to buy it) when I noticed they are selling... that's right: HAIR MISTS!

Water in a spray bottle with added essential oils... the kind of thing that Kay Equisite, Gigglz and Miss Full Roller etc have been blogging about (having made their own).

The Lavender and Peppermint mists are for 'Fresh Hair' and they have a separate one for 'Dry Scalp and Dandruff' which contains Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint, Tea Tree and Ylang Ylang. Now I don't live in the USA so I probably won't be buying them but if any of my North American sisters happen to get yourself a bottle (or two) - do let me know how it goes!

The link is here:

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Random Hairstyles from June

Here are a couple of pics taken the few times I've decided to curl my hair (usually for a special event).

Bendy Roller set (too curly for my liking - what do you think?) You can see my temples filling in a bit in the 2nd pic.

Large Perm rod set (looser smoother type of curl - which I like much better).

Yes, I know I look tired, this was taken at the end of a looooooooooooooooooong night.

Same rods, different day...
after Floatie died, I dared to wear my hair up, but had to be careful not to stress the weaker lockies at the hairline.
Oh and this is a picture of the rods (I used brown and black) for those who were interested.

and the bendy rollers (but mine are red, yellow and grey)

3 Hairstyles from May

So, I am slowly but surely catching up with publishing all these draft posts.
In May I was still in Barbados so I experimented a bit with 'wet sets', knowing that my hair would be dry within minutes (literally! It was soooo hot!)

My head was still pretty sore (from the over tightening during install - see other posts) so I didn't want to touch my hair too much and definitely couldn't /didn't pull it tight when coiling it around the bendy rods. Also included is a pic of me wearing rolled newspaper - a nice 'old time' trick my niece did for me :) Results below of course.


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