Wednesday, 16 September 2009

First D-I-Y! - ta-da!

So, after reading all about Gigglz and Kay Exquisite taking their retightening classes and starting the D-i-Y leg of their hair journeys.... and after listening to my sisterlocked friend insist on how 'simple' it was and how she was sure I was ready - I finally picked up my 'tool' and set to work this evening. (Funny that - because I am seeing my new consultant tomorrow morning!)

At Ofo's advice I bought a plastic yarn needle last month (89p for 2) and cut it down to size. I didn't bother widening the eye or anything because my starter locs are so thin they fit easily. I read through Bajan-American (yes I had to mention the Bajan bit!) Nubian Locked Princess' post on interlocking patterns one more time (well more like 10 more times) and then brought out the mirror. Ps - Ofo is great for advice .

I separated my hair into four quadrants and began with the lowest row on the front right side. The first 2 were the hardest, I thought I'll just do a couple of rows so that my retight session won't take too long tomorrow (new consultant charges by the hour) and before I knew it I'd finished the first half of my head.

I guess it must have taken 3 hours because I watched about 3 long programmes with my daughter while I was doing it -  good thing she was around too because I accidentally combined 2 adjacent locks a couple of times but when I showed her where she was able to reverse them so everything is still cool...  well except one that for the life of me I couldn't figure out how to untangle to I took one loc down in order to save them both. Hopefully, my new consultant will re-'start' it for me, otherwise I'll just have to twist or braid it and leave it. Not bothered really.

I also left all the 'dodgy' (fragile) locs for the consultant to review, repair and retighten as necessary. I'm not an expert and I prefer to be able to blame the experts if they cock it up (not my own silly self!). PLUS most of the 'undone' or slipped locs are at the back - I need a professional to fix those.

I have oodles of new growth at the temples... it looks like a patch of heather or peat with long grass growing above it (the grass would be the locs that remain heheh). My last consultant had said there wasn't much she could do with the fuzzy patches because they were like baby hair, so it's like having a small soft curly afro at the front. (Must post a picture when I find what I did with the camera). I'd be surprised if the new consultant locs them into anything.

So what have I learned?

  1. It is easier to reverse accidentally combined locs than I would have imagined. If you catch yourself quickly enough, it's a doddle to undo.
  2. Using the yarn needle isn't as difficult as I thought it would be. I kept wondering how I would thread my curly bendy end through the peeny eye, but of course if you fold the loc in half, the bowed end is sturdier and slides through easily - now what's so hard about that? Chah! I was also scared that the loc would just keep slipping out but I've managed to devise a technique of holding it while threading it through the new growth which doesn't hurt my fingers.
  3. My wrists, arms. fingers etc do NOT ache after those couple of hours doing it myself. If I wasn't sleepy I might have attempted the back. I figure, I could do the front one evening and the back another evening and be done in 2 days.
  4. Remembering your pattern is a doddle once you've started. Mine is a 3 point rotation and I managed to do 2-3 full rotations on each loc (it's been about 2 months since my last retighten). Once you get the hang of which direction you need to interlock in and when - you can really fly through them!
I liked the freedom with doing my own hair. It's been ages since I felt like I didn't really have to depend on anyone to fix my hair - yes, I do my own washing and styling but relying on someone else to retighten felt disempowering to me. At least now I am one step closer to getting my groove back :)

Yay me!

ps - Thanks to my sisterLocked friends online and in the flesh who have continually inspired me to do more! God bless you!


The Woman Inside said...

Congrats!! Good for you girl. How are your fragile locks doing, the ones you posted pics of a few months ago? You are encouraging me bc I am nervous about when and if I should DIY. Thank you for sharing.

Bajan Lily said...

Aah my dodgy (fragile) locs... they're hanging on still. I'm writing about them in the next post - stay tuned!

DIY 'seems' scarier than it actually is - I didn't think I could do it - until I actually tried it - and then it really wasn't so bad!

anthia-ofo said...

Well done!!! You've joined the ranks of DIY. Like they say - it isn't rocket science. Quite frankly you did better than me on my 1st DIY. I made more mistakes. Most could be corrected.

Gigglz said...

Congratulations Bajan!!! I'm proud of you, because I know you were nervous about doing them. You see how simple it is. Do you think you will continue to do them yourself?

Also with your locks, now you can monitor the fragile ones a bit better going forward.

Bajan Lily said...

Good to have you back online G!
I do think I'll continue doing them myself - except the fragile ones. They're just too complicated - I had a hairline appointment and am happy to leave that to the professionals for the time being :)

Gigglz said...

Thanks I missed you all too :-)!

Go on with your DIY self'er (is that word)? How much did your tool cost?

Whats a hairline apt?

Bajan Lily said...

Hi Gigglz,

Apologies for the delayed response.
My 'tool' as pictured above cost me about 50p (including p & p).

A Hairline appointment (as I understand it from my experience) is a 'session' where you consultant pays careful attention to the locs and new growth at the hair line, tending them like baby shoots, ensuring that they are not pulled too tightly, restoring parts, splitting/combining as necessary in order to strengthen and protect the hair at this point.

Someone else said to me it was a locking/retightening appt where special attention is paid to the hairline esp for people with sift hair that keeps walking out.

Someone else told me to "tell your consultant to call the Home Office if they don't know what a hairline appt is"..


Gigglz said...

LOL - now what is P&P?

And too funny on if the consultant doesn't know what the hairline appt is!! Hmm..I was never offered one of those.

Anonymous said...

Help! I have lost my nappylock tool and although I have the sisterlock tool, I find it sngs most of my locks ans is very difficult to attach to some of my fat locked ends. I am in London and would like to know where you brought your yarn needles please

Bajan Lily said...

@ Gigglz: P&P is packaging and posting.

@Anonymous: Try any local sewing shop, or eBay... e.g.


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