Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Loc Splitting: Reducing the size of Locs

 Typically, when splitting a loc, one should "Y"at the one third mark versus at the half mark as pictured above. The reason for this is because you want the base of the loc to support the weight of the loc upon cutting the "Y" apart.   The model pictured really could benefit in an increase in styling options by having smaller locs.
When the "Y's" are next to one another, you have a choice to make three or four smaller locs out of the four branches at the base.  You can combine the two shorter branches of the "Y" into one loc and then keep the outer branches as two separate locs giving you three locs out of four branches.

Why split the locs? Again, smaller locs  can seem to offer more styling options.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Chemotherapy and the Custom Loc Wig

I have mentioned to Chemotherapy patients that they can consider cutting their own hair prior to treatments so that a custom unit can be made with their own hair, but most people refuse to cut their hair and hope for the best.  However, Naptapestry out of Southern California, had a loc client who had to shave off her locs.  So they were able to make a custom loc wig using the client's own locs.  Great work and Good inspiration!

 Naptapestry custom wig - back view.

Naptapestry custom wig - side view.

Naptapestry custom wig - front view.

Since locs are easier to work with than individual hair strands,  I am feeling inspired to work on a loc wig myself.  I will keep you all posted if I give it a try!

The Sisterlocks Horror Stories

Someone stated "It is a rare few that experience bad luck with Sisterlocks consultants."

With resounding laughter, I respond to this individual.  Only someone delusional would make such a statement.

So how many doctors are in the world?  Millions? Billions?  
So why is it so hard to find a doctor that is a good fit for you?

So how many hairstylists are in the world? Millions?  
So why is it so hard to find a hairstylist that is a good fit for you?

So how many registered and/or certified Sisterlocks consultants are in the world?  Thousands?
So why should it be so easy to find a Sisterlocks consultant that is a good fit for you?  It is not easy.

There are probably more bad experiences with Sisterlocks consultants than good experiences because you do not have true state regulatory agencies to track complaints about Sisterlocks consultants.  Many people suffer in silence regarding their Sisterlocks experience.  I have had people internationally share that they had a bad Sisterlocks experience after hearing about my story.

Am I against Sisterlocks? No.  I am against unprofessional people under the Sisterlocks umbrella.

Sisterlocks has a list of registered consultants who have taken the Sisterlocks training course, and they have a list of certified consultants who have completed documented qualification steps to be put on that list.

I am a registered consultant with Sisterlocks.  I have patronized three Sisterlocks consultants on the certified list.   My first certified Sisterlocks consultant overcharged, under-delivered, and made me feel like I was scammed.   My second certified Sisterlocks consultant overtightened my Sisterlocks, then told me to wait longer next time before coming back for tightening.  She could have told me at the start of the session that four weeks was too soon.  Then my third certified Sisterlocks consultant went through my whole head  ripping my ends off because she said my ends should be loose.  I lost one and two inches of length partly because it was relaxed hair that had matted and gave away from the consultant ripping away at my Sisterlocks.

All three consultants were from the certified Sisterlocks consultants list on the website.  So what are the chances that someone new is going to have a bad experience with Sisterlocks?  I am going to say that there is a 50/50 chance that you are going to have a good experience with Sisterlocks.

As a salon owner, a full time cosmetologist, a hair blog writer, and I had a horrible experience with Sisterlocks consultants; then how is it rare that others will not have a horrible experience?  Wake up and smell the coffee.

Sisterlocks,  if done in accordance with Sisterlocks guidelines, should cost more because the package includes a free retightening session (i.e. a second service without charge) in addition to the initial locking session.  The Sisterlocks package should include a Sisterlocks starter kit that includes a postcard to send off for your Sisterlocks birth certificate.  If it does not include this Sisterlocks literature to submit to Sisterlocks headquarters, then your starter kit may be a fraud. (i.e. something the consultant made up as a replacement for the real Sisterlocks starter kit)

Articles like this may make people uncomfortable with even considering Sisterlocks services, but it takes articles like this to stop unprofessional Sisterlocks consultants from continuing to scam consumers.

It only takes "one bad apple to ruin the whole bunch."  If we can keep consumers informed that the Sisterlocks umbrella is a group of independent consultants and  that they are each in a practice where everyone has to find a consultant that is a good fit, then consumers will know to tackle finding a Sisterlocks consultant is like finding a doctor or a hairstylist.  Referrals and interviews are important.  The Sisterlocks consultant options in any one city/town/state may not be plentiful enough to find a good fit.  If you relocate to a new area, you may or may not have any Sisterlocks options.  People need to make educated decisions about their hair.

I salute all the outstanding Sisterlocks consultants in the world.  I have definitely met some that I would happily refer.  So Sisterlocks can be a beautiful thing.  I am thankful to Dr. Cornwell for pioneering this modern feminine twist on the dreadlock concept.  I already had conceived in my mind "micro locks" before stumbling upon the Sisterlocks solution.  Once I saw the Sisterlocks website, I knew that it matched my concept that I had already envisioned.  I am not disappointed in having my hair locked, but I suffered a lot of stress and trauma surrounding Sisterlocks.  I do not wish anyone else to suffer at any locticians' hands when you are paying over $400 USD for a locking service.

Knowledge is power.  Hair is a powerful thing too.  Choose wisely.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Promised Land: Two years and Eight Months

 Can you believe it?  I made it to my Sisterlocks "Promised Land!"   It took two years and eight months, but I am finally there.  I was literally the only Black woman wearing my own hair in my last hair class that I attended.  The other four Black female hairstylists all had some sort of weave or extensions.  I was in the 20 percentile.  Can you believe how extension hair is ruling?  Amazing.

So what is the "Promised Land of Sisterlocks?"  

The moment when your Sisterlocks stop feeling like a "bad haircut" that is taking FOREVER to recover from. Laughing out loud.  

It is also the moment when you never have a bad hair day. In addition, for me, my Promised Land was to get well past chin level whether I am wet or dry.  So that moment is finally here.

I keep making heads turn.  I even tightened up my hairline before this quick mini-photo shoot for this special posting.  I can even get my Sisterlocks to sway when I rock my head some.  Yeah, my wait is over; I foresee sunny forecasts in my future even if it is raining outside.

So enough about me!  I need to dismiss some more myths about Sisterlocks.

Myth #1:  Sisterlocks ends are supposed to be loose.
Once you get your hair Sisterlocked, your ends do NOT have to be left open.  If your hairtype buds at the ends, do not allow anyone to cut the buds off or pull the buds off unless you want them removed.  If you remember one of my blog posts about the third certified Sisterlocks consultant that I went to, she went through ripping as many buds off my ends as she could before she started the tightening process.  I lost some length from that session because some of my relaxed hair gave away one and two inches deep.  I recently read on a Sisterlocks forum that some consultants believe that the ends must be loose for them to be Sisterlocks.  Apparently, I ran into one of those consultants.  Consumers are so vulnerable when they put their trust in the listing. I look back, and I wonder where would I be if there was no list.  Anyway, consumers should be aware if consultants try to force them to conform to one set of rules.

Myth #2: You can not put any type of oils or creams or serums on your Sisterlocks.
If your hair needs additional hydration then make sure that the product does not cause the hair to unlock or unravel.  If it does not interfere with the locs' integrity, then you have a right to use the product.

Sisterlocks founder Dr. Cornwell's hair according to her training video, is "short and shallow."  This means her natural oils flow more easily down her hair shaft which is why additional hydration of her locs may not have been necessary for her hair type, but the regimen that worked for Dr. Cornwell, may not work for everyone especially if their hair is deeper and more resistant than Dr. Cornwell.

If you are wanting to try a new product before your Sisterlocks consultant says that your Sisterlocks are settled, then just experiment with the product on a few Sisterlocks at a time to make sure that there is no slippage before tackling the whole head.

Myth #3:  You can not call your locs Sisterlocks if you don't follow the Sisterlocks rules.
If you paid for Sisterlocks, and you have your Sisterlocks "birth certificate," then you have Sisterlocks.  Now, if you become "parting challenged," then that does not mean that you do not have Sisterlocks, but it does mean that some Sisterlocks consultants may not want to accept you as a client if they see a lot of problems with your locs. Or they may not be familiar with your hairtype, and they may not want to be liable for working on your head of Sisterlocks.  Even if your Sisterlocks consultant did not follow the rules for your Sisterlocks locking session, your Sisterlocks birth certificate still stands.

Myth #4:  Interlocs and Sisterlocks are the same.
Some Interlocs and Sisterlocks can look exactly the same especially if the Sisterlocks consultant did not follow the Sisterlocks sizing grid.  However, without that Sisterlocks birth certificate, I would say that you do not have Sisterlocks. Sisterlocks is a trademark.  It is a special type of Interlocking process. Consumers pay extra for the name, and the perks that come along with it.

The bottom line is this:
Sisterlocks rules are made for the consultants not the consumer.

Happy Sisterlocks "Promised Land" to me!!!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Defining Normal Hair: The Bigger Picture

This video discusses
  • "ultra curly hair" terminology
  • the "good hair" debate
  • Sisterlocks Horror Experience (brief reference)
  • Uniformity of Locs
  • Relaxed ends versus loose natural ends versus buds on the ends (@ 19 minute mark of video)
  • Using clippies to create volume (@ 23 minute mark of video)
  • Liquid Beeswax cocktail for loc repair (an update at 24 minute mark of the video)