Saturday, December 17, 2011

I'm so ready to get my second set of locs. I've spent the past couple of weeks re-watching YouTube vids for loc inspiration, especially those featuring starters on short hair. I was especially inspired by Kim at I Rock Locs. Be sure to check out her vids if you haven't already. That's probably the length my hair will be when I start.

Here's my current length without any product and combed out.
Can you tell? I've finally lost some weight! 

My regimen is simple. I wash my hair 2x/week with Burt's Bees Super Shiny. I wet my hair daily and while I will miss the ease of short hair, I'm looking forward to starting my loc journey.

I use Africa's Best Herbal Oil to add moisture after washing. For styling I alternate between Eco Styler, Oyin Handmade's Burnt Sugar Pomade or their Shine and Define.

I'm going to call the two loctitians that were recommended to me next week to make appointments in January. Hopefully I vibe with one of them but I'm ready to keep going until I find the right person that's not too far. 

Happy, safe and blessed holidays to you and your family!

- kareen

Sunday, October 23, 2011

With a second set of locs on my mind thoughts of "what will I do differently?" are swirling around. The list isn't long since I only had my last set for five months! BUT there are things I would change.

1. Smaller locs
I had about 55 with my first set. I love thick locs so I don't want to go much thinner but with such thick locs, styling was proving to be difficult - braidouts were impossible! Maybe 75 to 95 will work better? Who knows but it's definitely something I will discuss with my future loctitian.

2. Less product
I washed my hair thoroughly and used products sparingly. When I cut my locs, I was surprised by the amount of build-up. Once I start maintaining my own locs, I will try re-twisting with water and stick to oil for moisturizing on wet hair.

3. Starting on even hair
Last time I started with hair that needed a cut. The back was significantly longer than the front and I wish I had trimmed first. Also a hassle for styling! The hair at the nape will grow quicker, I understand, but I'm going to give the front a fighting chance to keep up!

4. Find a loctitian that is closer
I loved my last loctitian, Essence Farmer and her salon Rare Essence Studio. Unfortunately they were 3.5 hours away from where I lived in Arizona making the round trip eight hours long. To make matters worse, I relocated to Southern California and didn't make the time to find one due to a busy schedule. I have a couple of excellent recommendations that are not too far from where I am. I look forward to meeting each of them.

If you could get new locs or if you started a new set, what would you change or did you change?

- kareen

Sunday, October 16, 2011

It's been a minute but a much needed one. My 3rd big chop was in May after a particularly difficult transition into my new position. I reverted to what I new and where I felt comfortable. I have enjoyed my TWA but I'm ready to head back into locdom.

I've been mulling the idea for the past couple of months but finally made the decision two weeks ago. I canceled my "buzz" cut appointment in late September. I have about 1/4" of growth and my goal is 1" before starting again. I wanted to wait until longer but after a twitter conversation with @locdglory (aka Quotidianlight on Youtube) where she pointed out that her third set loc'd the quickest and that was when she had started them at the shortest length. I'm anxious to get this set started so I'm ready to try at 1".

My first goal is finding a local loctitian. Fortunately I'm surrounded my several loc'd beauties and I have several referrals which I will be checking out.

That's it for now. I'm excited to get back on the road!

- kareen

Monday, July 11, 2011

Thanks to Tasha from Naturaleza for the feature on her blog. I count her a friend and was honoured at her request. Take a minute to check it out and let me know what you think!

On a side note, I have some ideas for keeping this blog alive so I thank you all for standing by!

- kareen

Sunday, May 29, 2011

The pic kinda says it all. Three weeks ago I gave into my desire to go short - - super short. My decision to end my loc journey wasn't about a lack of patience or not enjoying the locs. Rather the decision to big chop was based on the fact that I like the way I look with this cut. I'm a short hair kinda girl!

At this point, I don't have plans to re-start but I never say never. I hate to close this blog so for now it will remain alive but I'm not sure of the direction as there's not much to discuss with short hair like mine :)

Thank you to everyone for your support and allowing me to join the loc community. I plan to still give my encouragement to those of you still on the journey.

All the best!

- kareen 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Check out part 2 of Naturaleza's series on health and hair. We welcome your comments!

Health Naturally - Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Hope to hear from you!

- kareen

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I was pleasantly surprised and honoured when Tasha from Naturaleza approached me about collaborating on a series about the benefits of a healthy diet on hair health.

Please check out part one of Health Naturally - Water, Rejuvenate You! We both look forward to your feedback either here or on Tasha's blog.

Hope you're all doing well!

- kareen

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wow! It's been a minute. I've missed blogging and reading blogs. Work is on the downswing - at least a little bit so I'm hoping to be back to posting. Also, welcome to my new readers. . .I still can't believe I have more than one subscriber :)

Even though I didn't blog about it on the day or even close to the day, I celebrated month 4 with a wash and re-twist. I still have very frustrating days when I just want to chop them off but I'm holding on. I was really hoping to see a loctitian but haven't had the time to make an appointment. One of my friends has recommended someone so hopefully month 6 will find me in a salon chair!

These pics are from 04/08 and 04/09 (my actual lociversary). I finally mixed the Oyin Handmade Burnt Sugar and Shine & Define. I didn't measure so I don't have specifics but the two products blended together well. I was happy with the hold three weeks later.

Again, I apologize for the picture quality. This time around I used my Flip camcorder. Haven't gotten around to unpacking and finding the battery charger for my camera. 

Not too much change from month 3. I'm trusting the process. Month 5 is just a week away!

Thanks everyone for being patient with me. I look forward to catching up on all of your blogs.

- kareen

Sunday, April 3, 2011

First, I would like to welcome my new subscribers! I very much appreciate all of you taking the time to read my musings on loc'ing.

The coils came down this past Monday morning. While the 'do worked for the weekend, it was not work appropriate. Perhaps if I had kept them in longer, the curls would have been more well-formed. I apologize for the poor picture quality; it's a cell cam. Still trying to locate the camera after the move.

Here is the result!

How I wore it to work
The waves completely dropped by Wednesday. I will definitely try the style again but maybe when I can leave them in for a longer period of time.

Heading into four months next weekend!

- kareen

Sunday, March 27, 2011

So, if you're at all on Youtube you will have noticed the latest loc style rage: coiled locs. What's great about the style is that it actually works for short, medium and long locs! I took one look (okay, I watched about five vids) and knew I had to try it.

The loc tut originated with Fauryn78:

I like the way the style turned out and my hubby loved it, too. I know it looks a little different because I have less locs but I like it! I used Oyin Handmade Shine and Define and Burnt Sugar. Loved the shine!

I slept with the hairpins and this morning those coils stayed intact after I removed the pins. We'll see how long I can stretch the style. I'm looking forward to the curls!

- kareen

Saturday, March 19, 2011

March 9th marked my three month lociversary! Month three was uneventful for my hair unfortunately. I didn't care for my babies as I normally would so they didn't get their moisture. In addition, life is chaotic and I'm sure all that cortisol running through my system didn't help either.

I was hoping to get on a three-week wash and retwist cycle but my new job is kicking my butt. You can read about a little more about all of that here. So I didn't get a chance to wash my locs until this past Thursday evening and I won't lie, my re-twist was half-baked :) I was so tired and just wanted to finish, I didn't let them dry enough. Truthfully I'm just happy to have clean hair!

Even with the lack of loving care this month, I was happy to see fuller locs even with stagnant length. Shrinkage, maybe? Am I imagining the change?

On a side note, I wanted to encourage everyone out there concerned about starting locs while job searching. It's possible! I not only got a new job but also a promotion within one month. That's the short version of the story but know that your intelligence, experience, interview skills and appropriate overall grooming play a major role in a job offer. Keep your head up and go get those locs :)

- kareen

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Finally! I was able to give my locs some TLC yesterday. A thorough wash followed by a re-twist using Nubian Kinks Loc Pomade. From start to finish, the process took about 90 minutes but I wasn't taking pictures in between like I did the first time around. Also, as I've mentioned before, I don't have a hair dryer so my locs air dried. I was pleased that many locs stayed intact but there were some that basically completely unraveled. Just another reminder that my locs are babies still.

NK Loc Pomade doesn't look the greatest; it's a light, muddy brown colour which I wasn't expecting but what it lacks in visual appearance (for me) it makes up for in scent. The pomade has a light but pleasant fragrance which reminds me of a Caribbean vacation.

As with any loc re-twisting gel/pomade, application was easy and I had no difficulty re-twisting. I was concerned about not having a blow dryer or hair dryer but no worries at all. When I removed the clips, my handiwork remained intact and there was no product build-up.

The only difference I noticed between the Joie MyGel and NK Loc Pomade is that this morning the locs that normally unravel overnight are still intact. The ones at my nape and by my ears held on surprisingly well! We'll see what this week holds. I will write a full review of the products I've used to so far in a separate post.

Happy Sunday!

- kareen

Saturday, February 19, 2011

In only 12 business days my package from Nubian Kinks arrived! That's not too bad at all. Maybe their service is improving.

Now the dilemma - what should I use for my next re-twist? Oyin Handmade or Nubian Kinks. I'll have to make that decision by tomorrow. I'm starting my new job on Monday so it's going to be a wash and re-twist kinda Sunday...I hope! I'm in the middle of moving from AZ to CA for that job so we'll see what tomorrow brings.

Which products should I try?

- kareen

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Okay, I'm not really becoming a PJ. I'm definitely in the less is more camp with loc maintenance but after spending the last year and a half watching every possible Youtube video on locs, it's only natural for my interest to be piqued in what's available on the market, right? Right? Truthfully I'm surprised that I don't already have a cabinet full of products!

After I made it through my first self-wash and re-twist unscathed, my desire to try some products went into high gear. Well, three products in particular: Oyin Handmade's Burnt Sugar Pomade and Shine & Define; and Nubian Kinks' Locing Pomade. 

I received the Oyin products about a week after placing my order. The fragrance for both products is divine. Even my husband commented that they smelled good enough to eat! I'm excited to wash and re-twist my hair just so I can try them out. Crazy, right? 

I bought these two product after watching quotidianlight's Youtube review on the great re-twisting results she experienced by mixing them together. Definitely worth a watch!

While I know of Nubian Kink's shipping issues, I couldn't resist purchasing their Locing Pomade. Even with the reports of poor customer service, no one can knock their product so I have to try it. I'm not in a rush. I placed my order on January 30th. I received an initial email confirming my order and this week I received a second email with a tracking number and a message that the product had shipped two days ago. So I think they are making progress on improving their customer service. I'll be sure to update when I receive my package. 

Have a great weekend!

- kareen

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Two posts in one night! I couldn't let midnight pass without acknowledging my two month lociversary! I think my hair is really enjoying this loc'ing thing.

Here's the loc bun I talked about here. As you can see, not having locs that are all the same length makes this low bun difficult to pull off but I'm rocking it.

In new developments, one of my locs has the curl at the end. . . you know, the ones that usually take forever to loc? Now how cool is that? Here it is. . .

Also new is the increase in budding. The locs on the left side of my head have come to life with buds. The buds already in existence have grown to new levels.  Some of my favourite locs. . .

Last but not least are a couple of locs that were not budding before my wash last week but are now starting to show some life.

Living life loc'd!

- kareen

Okay. Finally got the pics off the card and onto the 'puter. Almost had a meltdown when I thought I would never be able to access them.

I digress.

After a couple of weeks of consistent exercise my scalp was screaming for a wash. The problem? I was just too terrified to wash my own hair and to deal with the mess afterwards. I didn't have the time to travel to my loctitian (7.5 hours away) so I knew it was time. Six days shy of my two month lociversary, I took the plunge. . . and LOVED it. Well, at the very least my scalp was thankful!

Here's a pictorial of how it all went down. (p.s. I'm still working on taking self-portraits so I continue to ask for your patience and also thank you for indulging me) 

Before the wash. The locs really held up this month.

Suave Clarifying Shampoo (first time using and had great results) + Joie MyGel + Clips = Re-twist!
The aftermath. I was a little bit overwhelmed at the though of re-twisting.  

During and after the re-twist. Couldn't believe how much more budding developed!
Here we are the next day. Second pic is a little fuzzy but shows all the budding.  Definite thickening up!

More next day pics. Loving my locs!

I was proud (and still am!) of my efforts. Seven days later the locs are crazy fuzzy but that's life. I don't own a hair dryer so I had to let my hair air dry. Maybe that has to do with the quick return of the fuzzies. Who knows.
That's it for now.

- kareen

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thanks to Kim @ iRockLocs and Lockology, I WON (yes, won!) my very first loc jewel! Super-duper excited!!

I won 'River'!

Be sure to check out the other winners. There were six!

- kareen

Monday, February 7, 2011

Well, I took the plunge and washed my loc babies and re-twisted them! Full deets and more pics to come this week.

Half-way through the process!

Hope you had a great weekend!

- kareen

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Someone asked me if I was experiencing hair shrinkage. I immediately answered 'no' and indicated I was patiently waiting for it to hit. 

Well, it's here.

I've been putting my hair into a modified low bun the past couple of weeks. (nothing fancy so I haven't taken any pics) After my re-twist, I was able to fit more hair into the bun and the shorter locs near the front would lay flat on their own. Not too many clips or hairpins needed. Soon I began to notice that the shorter locs were more prone to sticking up and less and less of the locs in the back wanted to cooperate. The last indicator of shrinkage, I am using more pins and clips for the same style. 

While the shrinkage is annoying; it's also exciting! My hair is loc'ing! And that's all I need it to do.

 The number of locs with buds is increasing but really only on the right side of my head. The left side is almost completely bereft of buds :( They are decidedly still very much comb coil in appearance. Anyone else experience this asymmetry? 

So, back to the right side - the buds are getting bigger! Is the size of the bud an indicator of how thick one can expect a loc to become?

Just another 1.5 weeks till two months! I'll of course have pics then. I especially want to introduce you to Sally, my already loc'd buddy. She's an overachiever and I heart her :)

Just a quick update. Hope you're all enjoying a great and safe weekend.

- kareen

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

CONGRATS to fellow loc'er Kim for reaching 200 subscribers on her blog! She's celebrating with a great giveaway! How neat!


Be sure to check her and the contest out: iRockLocs!

- kareen

Monday, January 17, 2011

At the recommendation of Rennae, I found Picnik. It's an easy to use photo editor and so I've been having a little bit of fun with it. Here are a couple of collages of the loc journey so far!

See you in a few!

- kareen

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

So, I'm asking the ultimate newbie question: is this budding? Thought I'd know budding as soon as I saw it but after a re-twist, not sure if they are buds or just bumps formed from manipulation. The 'buds' are not appearing on all locs. No matter what, this process is exciting!

So what do you think?

- kareen

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I think I was more excited for the re-twist than I was for the installation. This could be the reason why - I was ready!

My babies are so fresh and so clean! The long drive to Rare Essence was, again, definitely worth it. China worked her magic: my loose hair has been returned to the appropriate locs; my parts are back; and all marrying locs have been separated (so sorry babies but it wasn't meant to be!). The salon uses Joie My Gel for re-twisting.

Here I am right after the re-twist. Thanks to Vela for taking the cell phone pics.

Looks like I gained some length!
Happy customer
Here are some self-shots taken when I got home. These pics appear more 'scalpy' than on my cell phone pics from the salon. The babies also look a little thinner than when installed but a fresh palm roll can have that affect.

China did a light interlock on the loc right above my ear closet to my hairline to see if  that will help keep it from unraveling.

The loc above the ear closest to my hairline on this side was also lightly interlocked

I took the opportunity to purchase my first loc products! Jane Carter Solution Natural Hold Locking Spray and Joie MyGel.

The holding solution is for when I would like my re-twist to last a little longer in not so ideal situations such as exercising. And although I plan on returning to Rare Essence a couple more times before attempting my own maintenance, I purchased the re-twisting gel for those just in case moments.

While I love the salon, it is a trek and my goal for loc'ing is to be able to take care of my own hair. So I know I will eventually have to wean myself from professional loctitian care. . . sigh.

That's the update!

- kareen

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