Sunday, December 26, 2010

Here are some pics of some of the styles I've been wearing to manage the frizz. I let my babies breath when I'm at home. Special thanks to my hubby for being an impromptu photographer. We're still working on lighting, I'm not dressed-up nor is my face done. It's just me chillin' at home on a Sunday!

Locs covered with knotted scarf. Check out my frizzy babies!  

Here's the knotted style I wrote about here.
Two skinny bands with flowers added and another view of the frizz.

Side view of the bands. Lots of loose hair at the edges.

Looking forward to my re-twist!

- kareen

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sixteen days loc'ing and I'm fully engaged! My hair is frizzy beyond belief but I'm loving it. There's something heady about letting go and trusting my hair to do its thang!

While I'm enjoying my babies and their messiness, I still need a pulled together look for work. I'm still rocking scarves and have added headbands and flowers. Nothing complicated but helps for work. I'll post pics this weekend of the looks. Like I said, nothing complicated :)

One of the scarf looks was inspired by quotidianlight on Youtube. The scarf tutorial I used starts at 11:43 but the entire video has great ideas. I just don't have the hair length to try the other suggestions yet!

In other news, still no itching!! Feeling blessed be this development. The witch hazel remains on stand-by. Just hoping to make it to my next appointment which I scheduled this week! Mid-January I'll be making the 3.5 hour trek for a wash and re-twist. So excited! I just love the energy in the salon and it's always nice to take a 'me' day.

Thanks for the feedback on the water spritzes. I added water to my hair oil and haven't regretted the move. I experience major shrinkage and I think the moisture contributed to the frizzies but that's part of the journey!

Just a brief update. Sending everyone blessed holiday wishes!

- kareen

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

First, I would like to thank (and welcome!) all of my subscribers! I appreciate your comments, advice and support!

Soooo, I'm happily celebrating a week of loc'ing. Nothing appears to be happening other than flat hair. I find myself yearning for the frizzy stage just so I can enjoy some fullness. Wonder if I'll look back at that statement in a month and wonder if I was crazy. LOL! To help give the illusion of fullness, I've been rocking scarves to work.

I have been sticking to the recommended hair care maintenance regimen but my mind is wandering. Do you think I could add water to my oil mixture or even just spritz my hair with water alone? Locs thrive with water and perhaps the water will encourage my babies to fatten and frizz up! What do you think?

I'm also pleased to report NO ITCHING! *doing a little jig* I have the witch hazel on standby and am going to purchase the dry shampoo soon. I'll likely use that this week. I think keeping the locs covered when outdoors has helped. I'm thankful for my itching status because I have no desire to wash my own hair for fear of unraveling the starters. That'll have to wait for my next appointment in a couple of weeks.

So, should I water spritz or just let nature take its course?
- kareen

Sunday, December 12, 2010

So it's been four days and the loc babies are still holding up. I'm trying to remember that they're not actually babies, LOL! I'm so scared that I'm going to do something wrong. These feelings should pass soon...right?

The good thing is that I'm not playing in my hair; mostly wearing wraps. I haven't counted them yet because I'm hesitant to find out. I'm going through the occasional minor pangs of buyer's remorse. Perhaps they're too big? What if I don't like them as they mature? I quickly push those thoughts out of my head. I'm just curious to see how they develop.

Onto maintenance, when I left the salon, China gave me only two instructions to follow: wrap my hair at night with something non-cotton and to spritz with hair oil every other day or as my scalps needs.

Here are my essential items for this first (relatively easy and stress-free) phase of maintenance.

I wear a hanky at night to secure the locs. I also wear one when I'm hanging out at home.
This is the large head tie I use over the hanky at night. My locs aren't going anywhere!

I'm spritzing with Africa's Best hair oil. You can get it at Wal-mart for 1.99. For the ingredients included, they're giving this stuff away!
And that's it! I can handle these steps until my next appointment in a month.

Lastly here are some pics of my day 4 loc babies.

Lots of loose hairs!
The locs at the nape are frizzing up.

Big loc babies!
Thanks for reading!

- kareen

p.s. My sweet hubby just counted my locs and I have between 55 and 60. Not as worried about the size but it seems like most people are around 80+. I know. I know. I can't measure myself against others. And I'm not. It's just an observation. We'll see where this journey ends!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I had my locs installed today AND I LOVE them, my babies. I never truly understood why people called their starter locs "babies" but as my loctitian was finishing up, I realized that if I want loczurious locs, I have to treat these starters with care. They are the foundation for the next 5, 10, 15 years!

Let's start from the beginning.

I scheduled the appointment last week and was a bucket of nerves until I walked through the salon door today. In the days leading up to the appointment, I was a Youtube junkie watching hours and hours of loc videos. If you remember, I found my salon of choice, Rare Essence, in July. One of the deciding factors was their commitment to customer service. Four months later, that dedication to customer service remains intact. From scheduling to the end of the appointment, I was 200% pleased with the service I received. Nothing over-the-top; simply caring and respecting their clients.

My July consult was with Vela but she was booked today so the appointment was made with another loctitian. I won't lie, I was disappointed but December 9th was the only date in what's left of 2010 that I have free. Waiting until 2011 was out of the question; I wanted to start my journey NOW!

I wasn't sure who my loctitian would be until I sat in the chair. You can imagine my surprise when she introduced herself as China. Talk about my lucky day! Essence China Farmer is the owner of the salon and a celebrated loctitian. Besides that she is a leader in the natural haircare movement in Arizona and likely well-known across the country. Her story is inspiring and she shared it with me today. In short, she launched a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for the rights of natural hair stylists and won! You should read China's story.

So, in the end, I decided to start my locs with comb coils. I like the look and it's a sentimental - - comb coils were my wedding hairstyle five years ago. China asked what size locs I would like. Of course, I had my laptop ready with pics. Both my hubby and I like the look of thick locs. Not so thick that I can't style them but definitely not thin.

I mention my husband because he's part of the journey, too. He watches Youtube videos with me and he's been engaged in the process. I was sorry he couldn't join me today.

Regarding partings, China and I had corresponded via telephone in July when she answered some lingering questions I had. China reassured me that the salon only uses bricklayering. So today after confirming the loc size, there was nothing else to discuss and she began the process. Well, there was one request I had but didn't verbalize. I wanted diamond-shaped partings as well but no need to worry, China did that automatically. I didn't even have to ask! The joys of working with a professional.

Here we are just starting.

The installation took just over an hour and then I sat under the dryer. In all, it was a two hour visit. The cost? Not nearly as much as I predicted and that made the whole day even sweeter.

I'm done!

Here's a view of the back. . . love the parts!

Extreme close-up of the comb coils and another back shot.

The flat look will definitely take some getting used to. I'm going to enjoy this stage but I am looking forward to the fattening up of my babies. I just have to remember I'm beautiful no matter what's going on with my hair!

So, the trip to the salon is a trek: six hours round trip. Yes, I questioned my sanity. It's not only this trip either; I will return for maintenance. So, why not start them myself? Or have a friend start them?

Well, China answered those questions for me. When she finished, she handed me a mirror and said "Make sure you like the parts. Once your hair locs, those parts are forever."

And that's why I drove six hours today.

I probably could have muddled my way through the parts or walked a friend through a process but why? Loctitians are professionals and I respect their talent. The parts are important because they affect how the locs lay as they mature and they can make or break a style. More importantly, they determine the thickness of the locs. I didn't want to mess with that, ya know? So, I will drive three hours in another month for maintenance. One day I will transition to self-maintenance but until then I'll travel and I'm fine with that.

Here I am with China!

(On a side note, this picture highlights that my weight loss journey is not over. To read about that, check out my other blog here.)

Here I am with Vela!

I left with only a couple of instructions to follow. That's a good thing. I'll discuss them in another update. For now, I'm exhausted!

Thank you to the Rare Essence staff. It was a wonderful experience and in case you couldn't guess, I highly recommend their services!

Loc'ing and loving it,

- kareen

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