Friday, 10 December 2010

Thank You

Hey everyone, 

It has took me an awfully long time to comment on this post - because it was soooooooooooo painful.  At the same time I found it strangely cathartic and healing for me. So here I am to say Thank you all for your very kind words and your continued support (especially since there aren't many locs to show at the moment but hopefully it'll grow back someday). 

  • @BajanPoet - those were the words I needed to hear - especially from you. Thank you. 
  • @Nai - I love you, big sis, you're always there encouraging me from across the M25 (lol)
  • @Kittylocks - "where there is life there is hope" - how awesome a quote is that? Thanks for sharing it.
  • @anthia-ofo - another sister, thank you. It's hard with clients sometimes but they have so far been understanding.
  • @Gigglz - thank you, I considered you one of my SL loc buddies because we started out around the same time. I will continue to follow your journey (with envy now lol) 
  • @Yahvinah - my girl, how are those babies doing? Me? An inspiration? Aint those some apples hehe. Thank you. I will be watching for when your 'areas' fill in - your hair has been looking fantastic lately.
  • @Nubian1 - I wore the hair replacement unit for about 2 weeks but I hated it. I felt like a big fat FRAUD. I have a post about it - just havent published it yet hahaha 'too shame!'
  • @CaribSun - thanks for the 'inner light', sometimes it feels all but extinguished... comments like yours remind me that the way I see myself (UGLY and BALD) isnt always the way others see me.
  • @MsFullRoller - Madame 'Shake those locs' (yes, I still remember that video), thanks for the hugs, I will hold my head up high.
  • @Madame Hercules - Welcome to my blog and thank you for your prayers. I appreciate them.
  • @Euphoria - thank you also for your prayers. I have seen SEVERAL dermatologists. The prognosis isn't good. Ho Hum.
  • @V - I tried to tell ya (lol)... I wouldn't wish this on anyone. Thanks for your admiration and ongoing encouragement (from pregnancy til now); it was nice to have someone who understood what I was going through. Respect.
  • @Mrs Mac - girl I am leaning like the Tower of Pisa!!! I've decided to BE the sunshine - thanks for seeding the thought - and for being YOU!
  • @The Woman Inside - thank you sweetie, how's that pregnancy progressing? Is baby here yet? I don't feel as strong as people say I look but if it fools them I might fool myself lol.
  • @Denise - thanks girl, has your hair issue fully resolved itself then? I hope so :)
  • @Shari - Welcome to my blog and thanks a million for your comments. They lifted me when I was feeling a bit grubby. Thank you.
  • @Kristina my sister - you can keep the positive vibes, send me the hair hahahhaah (just kidding)! Nuff Love gal.
  • @Thandi - the speed of it shocked me too. Hair today , gone tomorrow (hahahah - bad joke I know but I gotta laff at myself).  I haven't said this before but your blog is a source of education and encouragement. God bless you.
  • @Trinita (Anonymous) - the iron and ferratin levels were low... I'm up to 16 now but need to reach 70 for optimum hair growth. Bring on the supplements!
  • @Spicylocks - good to see you again, haven't seen you for a while (or maybe you were silently lurking heheh. Thanks for the encouragement
  • @those who commented via FaceBook: Alice, Akima, Ardith, Wayne, Lola, Pam, Miranda, Ricki, Brenda, Lucy, Laurelle, Cherie, Kraig, Karen S, Safiya, Kerry, Natasha and Claire (apologies to anyone I missed) - I love you all and am privileged to have your love and support.
  • @Ms KS - I put myself out there because noone likes to be alone or suffer alone. If there is someone else somewhere out there suffering from something similar I would want them to know they are not alone, don't give up hope. Your hairloss may be permanent or your hair might grow back - but you are more than your hair: don't give up on life and don't give up on yourself. Make the most of whatever you have.
That's all for today :)

Peace xx

WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Bald Like Me

I found this image on Karen's blog (Naturally Beautiful Hair). 
It gave me some inspiration (although I don't have freckles).

WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

3 Months of Healthy New Growth - Phil

Here's another of my clients. This gentleman had over three months of new growth and has lovely thick hair which grows like a weed!

Before we began

After the 1st row (There is some product build-up and lint visible here but I can assure you the hair is clean)

Contrast between newly rolled locs and new growth
More Roots


Lots of lovely locs!

4 sept

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Then and Now - Progressive Images

Today is not a good day for me so I'm not going to say that much.
I just wanted to share these images. I took them to document the advance of this 'condition' whatever it is.
When I started charting this, I never for one moment truly believed that I would lose all my hair. Not all of it.
Oh well.

If you need to catch up, here's a list of related posts:
1st patch, June 23rd
July 2nd

Another week later
2 weeks after the above photo

Extensive thinning at the front

2 months after the 1st patch appeared - this was the hardest period 

back (diffuse thinning)

 Original patch significantly larger
I really struggled through this period of my life. It all happened so fast. The feeling of helplessness and frustration were so overwhelming. Through it all I thank God for my husband and my children who gave me reasons to keep getting outta bed every morning and who never once laughed at me despite how horrific I looked.

And this is me now four months after the first patch appeared.
I did not need to shave my head - my hair left of its own accord.
(If you are reading this on facebook you may need to click through to the actual blog site to see all of the images)

I feel fragile and vulnerable but I am STILL alive.
The game isn't over yet.
"And still like air... I rise!

WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

First Sisterlock Installation

Hey family!

I know I still owe y'all a couple of posts e.g. the one about my experience with the hair replacement people... the progression shots of my rampant hair loss and one about the Consultants' class (at least those are the ones I can remember) but I am so excited about this that I had to switch stuff around.

Ladies and gentlemen, I have just completed my first FULL SisterlocksTM installation (cue: cheers!) With my working hours synchronised with school and nursery timetables - it took me about 3 days. My lovely client is a seasoned professional, owner of her own organic skin and hair care company and had 9 inches of soft Black hair. (Just like me when I started!)

This lady waited patiently for over a year for me to take the class, and I am so glad that I didn't attempt an install beforehand because I was able to offer her a much better service based on what I learned.  Seriously people, don't settle for step-sisterlocks [please note - I am not talking about tiny locks you've done yourself, (hats off to you if you can do this) or microlocs you've had installed by a reputable loctician: I am referring to locks installed by someone who saw it on Youtube or watched over a Consultant's shoulder and figured they could 'copy that' lol :) ]

If you can afford it - treat yourself to the full experience.  (Let me take a moment to emphasise that I really admire ladies like Yahvinah and Thandi who installed their own (micro)locs and rock them like LOC-STARS! (cue: more cheers!). The initial expense of Sisterlocks can be prohibitive for some (in which case rock on wid ya badself and do yo' ting!) and of course Sisterlocks are not for everyone - traditional comb coiled or palm rolled locks are just as HOT! (So don't start a war on my page ok?) Just beware of paying SL prices for something that is NOT Sisterlocks... cos that just sucks.

Anyway - I've digressed enough. This is my first client - to respect her privacy her face has been omitted. I just wanted to share a sample of my work, and let y'all know I aint playing around here lol.

Although this was a time intensive (often exhausting) 'thing', one of the best parts of this experience was at the end - when she surprised me with two bags full of gifts!!! Now who was expecting that?

I received a selection of books and an incredible Himalayan Salt crystal lamp - which is supposed to help remove negative energy and promote healing. (She is aware of my hair loss and ongoing health battle). (Read more about them here).
Her generosity and thoughtfulness brought me to tears. I really hope my hair grows back soon. Sectioning locks for her hair really made me miss my own that much more. Oh well - on with the show.

Have a good weekend xxx

WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Length Check

Having 'unpicked' (taken down) this lock in order to remedy some bunching (and just to see if it was actually locked yet) I decided to do a quick length check to see just how much my hair had grown since installation.
Given that the hair in this area of my head originally reached my nose I think that's pretty good for a year. Nice to know.
I decided to leave this one loose just to see whether in 12 months it would be the same length as or longer/shorter than the locks near to it.

*NOTE: This was in June 2010, 4 months later I am completely bald so really I will never know whether it would have been longer or not. WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Sisterlocks UK Trainees - Class of 2010

Yup, that's me (in the black hat)!
I did it!

I am now an official Sisterlocks Consultant in training. Woo hoo!

They only hold training classes once a year in the U.K. and I couldn't attend last year's session because it started on the same day I was due to return to work (from maternity leave).

Needless to say it nearly killed me to wait twelve months for the schedule to come round again - but I did it!  I've done two consultations so far and hope that soon I will be on my way to full certification.

One of the unfortunate things is the topic of my hairloss. I have been asked by a few of my potential clients:

'How can you be a Sisterlock consultant if you're bald?'

That is a painful question, but I am open and honest with them. Having no hair doesn't affect my ability to do locks, but it does mean I can no longer be a walking advertisement for my craft. Oh well - I guess that's something I'm going to have to get used to. These photos are the last pictures of me with my locks so it makes me kinda sad to look at them, cos I do miss my locs but que cera cera. Much bigger things to worry about in this world these days. ON WITH THE SHOW! WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Back to School Hair!

As mentioned before, I still have loads of pics from this summer's shenanigans that I can share with you despite my current hairless state.

These are a few of my favourites from a 'Back To School' event in Barbados. I went with my sisters, nieces and cousins (who else?) I really liked how full my hair was at this point, I think it was the most hair I'd ever had since childhood and seeing those ponytails again makes me laugh.  I sure had fun.

I just love the versatility of Sisterlocks.


 My super sister

 My Steve Urkel look.
 OK, this is clearly not me but her locs were soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo nice I had to ask for a pic!
 Nutty Niece and her crazy friend 'Sheldon'

 Two tone locs on Edwin
 Family WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Monday, 25 October 2010

The Late Rt Hon. Prime Minister David Thompson

"Barbados has been plunged into mourning with the death of Right Honourable Prime Minister David Thompson. 

Prime Minister Thompson passed away at 2:10 a.m. on the morning of Saturday October 23rd, at his home in Mapps, St Philip with his family by his side.

Thompson served as Prime Minister of Barbados from January 2008 when the Democratic Labour Party won the government. 

It was during May that Thompson, accompanied by his personal physician Dr Richard Ishmael, announced to Barbadians that he was not well and was seeking medical attention.  He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September.

On September 30 Thompson gave his last address to the nation, where he also announced a Cabinet reshuffle.

Thompson, 48, leaves to mourn his mother, his wife Mara and three daughters."

This is rather 'close to home' for me. Growing up in St. Philip, the areas of Mapps and Sandford might as well have been one.  Although the combined land area was large, there weren't that many houses, so the 'Neighbourhood Watch' residents association covered them both.

The late Prime Minister was my neighbour. He attended neighbourhood events and always had a welcoming smile - he never made us feel like 'stupid children' or 'lesser mortals' because of he was a 'big-up politician'. My brother and I used to ride our BMXs up and down his incredibly long and smooth driveway (when we thought he wasn't home) and he never once scolded us for being a public nuisance (can't believe I did that!!!)  Whenever he passed us in his blue jeep, we would shout our greetings and he would 'beep' in response. He came across as a humble jovial man and I genuinely liked him.

His passing reminds me of how fragile life is and how tomorrow is never promised today. Only two years ago he became Prime Minister - having waited in the wings for what felt to me like forever! Only this May did the rumours of his poor health begin spreading like wild fires - he asked us to pray... the nation responded.... Only last month did they confirm it was pancreatic cancer... only last month.... and now... he is with us no more.  Take nothing for granted.

This really hits home with me, only in May did I really get into the groove of these locks and start experimenting with some serious curling and styling; only in June did I first notice a small bald patch at the back of my head... now in October - only four short months later - I am completely bald. Who would have thought?

As my doctors continue to hypothesise and search for a cause or definitive explanation for my sudden and complete hairloss, (and thus the most appropriate form of treatment) I am reminded once again to be thankful for what I do have.

I am still here with my family.
The Thompsons have David no more.

R.I.P WELCOME TO THE TAPESTRY OF ME.... These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'! My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs.

Friday, 22 October 2010

You don't Say?

I'm posting this video - not because I am going to visit 'Sabrina the dreadlock extension Queen' (although maybe I should????) but because it'll give you an idea as to what my hair/head looked like before all of the loccies dived off.

I wonder if those 'new' locs broke off at the root after a month or whether they are still attached (to what little hair was left on the lady's scalp). Hmmmmm.

@Anthia & Anonymous - the wonderfully friendly lady you both recommended to me is currently quite ill, please remember her in your prayers. I'll do a post on her and that experience later. 
These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'!  My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs. 

Monday, 18 October 2010

1 day and 30 locs

Heads are rather funny shaped things. You don't really notice until they are devoid of hair... and I mean ALL hair because with SOME hair (like a TWA or even the tennis ball fuzz) you still have some sort of moulding and shape diffusion going on.  With a bald head - everything is laid .. well.. bare.

Today I lost 30 locs.
The first two or three loosened and fell in solitude.
I leaned over to put something in my bag - and picked one out of the bag on my way back up;
I lifted another from my collar when I turned to talk to someone... the third dropped onto my desk as I wrote in my notebook.
Disturbing but 'dealable' (ie I could deal with it).

The other 27 left my head like they were the Israelites following Moses... or maybe they were running the London Marathon and some announcer somewhere unbeknownst to me had just said:
"on your mark, get set, GO!"  
Maybe it's some new form of bungee jumping:
                         "Hey locs and loose hairs, on the count of three, everybody jump off... ready? 1-2....!"

I dunno ...

but they all left.

It took me 3 years to grow my hair (1 year to grow a set of locks I was actually rather fond of) and onlyy 4 months to lose it all. What is this - a casino? I feel like a gambler who amassed a small fortune and then blew it all during a whimsical trip to Vegas.

Some people think I am exaggerating. Well I'm not (see pictures below post).

I think my husband thinks I am having an affair with my GP (doctor). I see him every 2 weeks.

He looks at my head with a magnifying glass and insists that he can see new growth.  Personally this growth must be microscopic cos I can't see it - or maybe you just need an infrared light to shine on it first... (or maybe he's just lying). Anyhoo - he tries to convince me all hope is not lost and I give him my "do I look like I am buying this?" look and he tells me to come back in two weeks and we'll see he was right.... only for me to come back, snatch my hat off and say: "the only thing that's growing is this bald spot..." Honestly, I think I just go there for some comic relief these days cos it's just ridiculous. That said he is cute so I might as well enjoy the view while I'm there. Additionally - he is balding himself and for some sad mean reason - I find that consolatory. I suppose 'misery really does love company!'

My friend Joratio (clearly not her real name, but she thinks she's the female version of CSI Miami's Horatio) - well she likes to drop cheesy one liners (like Horatio). She says I should look in the mirror and just be beautiful. I pointed out that I don't like to look in the mirror anymore because all I see is FACE. Honestly... face and HEAD. Not my favourite view. If the mirror had a switch I would change the channel. lol. I don't need to see my teeth to brush them - let's just hope I'm not walking around with last night's cabbage stuck between them!

Frequently, people ask me what caused my hair loss. Well I don't think Sherlock Holmes, Magnum P.I or Grissom, Mac and H together could figure this one out (although I wouldn't mind being interrogated by Detective Flack or that scrumptious Hill Harper bloke - hey bald headed women have to have fun somehow!).  The lead suspects thus far are :

  • post partum shedding aka telogen effluvium (severity increased due to me having two babies back to back with little recovery time in between)
  • post partum thyroiditis (an autoimmune condition of unknown cause)
  • hypothyroidism
  • alopecia areata (an autoimmune condition of unknown cause)
  • post partum hair loss caused by prolonged vitamin and mineral deficiencies due to malabsorption during pregnancy (caused by hyperemis gravidarum) and/or insufficient time to allow for accumulation of said minerals and vitamins between pregnancies.
  • because I am female/short/Bajan/British/Black/
  • for no reason at all

Seriously, I am not convinced I will ever know why and these days I don't even care. I'm currently staying in a hotel and far more annoying that looking at my bald reflection in the mirror is the annoying kiddie music coming from the room next door.... listen kiddies, it is WAAAAAAAAAY past your bed time - don't you have school tomorrow? No? Well I do... think you could let me sleep?

Anyway - since I'm weird like this - this post is dedicated to the 30 locs who jumped off my head today.

Why you jumped we may never know... but you will not be forgotten, no, I'll remember you and shake my head because things must really be bad up there if you'd rather lie on the cold cold floor than on my warm (un)round head.

Hasta La Vista babies.

NB: click on photos for credit (except the photos of the locs which are mine so clicking on them will only make them bigger.) 
These are my words and this is my journey, from 'there to hair'!  My life, the lessons learned in and through love and loves ones; and my hair affairs. 


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