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.

Total Pageviews

Monday, May 14, 2012

Texture Talk: SisterLocks Consideration

I decided NOT to perform a relaxer touch-up, but I want to give people what they want to know: So how is my hair doing? LOL! So I am pouring it all out in this article.

First of all, most hairstylists do NOT have my kinky, wiry type of hair. So they typically do not know how to handle this type of hair. Can you see my line of demarcation? My last relaxer touch-up was about five months ago. You can see the thicker density of hair at the roots and about two inches out. Then it is thinner density where the relaxed hair starts. (I have another picture later to explain this better.) Also, I actually think that the front quadrant of my hair is type 4b, the back above my occupital bone is type 4c, and my nape area below my occiptial bone is a type 4a. Three different textures, but back to my initial point . . .

So secondly, I have purchased a "cruise ship" worth of products over twenty years without regard to price, and I am convinced that the 2 million product lines on the market have no idea how to work with my type of hair. I literally have to eat a meal and do body stretches before I start to tackle my hair. When "sistas" feel that they want to just "cut it all off" - I know exactly how they feel. (and I am an active licensed cosmetologist in three states and feel the exact same way.) Unfortunately, my huge forehead and fat jaws are not going to pull off a "crew cut." Also, the products on the market are still not for kinky, wiry hair.
My sideview: So almost an hour later, I have my hair flat twisted. Those relaxed ends gave me "hell." I did not condition because the shampoo seemed to soften and detangle enough. I shampooed with Bee Mine Botanical Moisturizing Shampoo as my final shampoo. I had to use Paul Mitchel Shampoo one and KeraCare First Lather Sulfate-free shampoos initially to get all the extra hairdressing washed out. Then I used Design Essentials Defining Creme Gel to twist. These twists are still wet. The texture between the new growth and the relaxed hair looks about the same. Now, I have to sit under the dryer for at least another hour . . .
My Backview. I have not captured the backview in awhile. Remember, my hair is wet in this picture. I still have to go under the dryer.
Okay, look closely here! My flat twists are now dry. Can you see the new growth clearer now? Honestly, the relaxed ends are still the core hair that is still twisted. The relaxed hair did NOT want to dry. Because there is such a big difference between my relaxed hair and my new growth, I really need two different setting agents. The Creme gel really is too heavy to dry my relaxed hair, and if I used a lighterweight product, then it would not be heavy enough for my new growth. Remember I mentioned "SisterLocks" in my subject? Well, SisterLocks do NOT require you to cut off your relaxed hair. They can start sisterlocking one and a half inches at the roots and leave the relaxed hair alone. So my protective styling has got me to another milestone to do something different. Yay!!!
So about three hours later, my finished style with transitional hair. Way too much work . . . way too much time . . . and I had to make it into this style. So why not relax it? I have been really meditating on this. I have had quite a few setbacks in my life: Ionic Flat irons -HUGE SETBACK! Permanent haircolor - my type of hair does not need two permanent chemicals in it! Relaxing too often - I have seen too much scalp damage out there! So for those of us who can not get a comb through our hair at the five week mark - what do you do? Okay, those with "finer" strands but same curl pattern will find that mild relaxers will straighten their hair to their content. However, medium to coarse hair need a stronger strength to straighten the hair strand, but stronger relaxer strengths are NOT good for the scalp. So people say do not put in on the scalp. With curl patterns that coil back on itself, the scalp is going to get relaxer on it. For those whose hair grows away from the scalp, thank your Higher power. Your hair is easier to part and to comb through.
So as you can see another backview, you can not see my scalp- right? Well, I will say that I am not looking forward to sisterlocks because I will be forever tied to a SisterLock technician. However, I am over 40 years old now, and I really feel that relaxers and my scalp have come to the crossroads. I can not continue to subject my scalp to damage then wait for it to recover. One day it is not going to recover. I have seen enough pictures and images in my head to know the future if I continue in my same path.

In the days of Madame C J Walker, the beauty industry was offering the "hair growers" showcasing fair-skinned Black women. Our kinky head sisters were afraid of those "relaxers" back then and that is why the "press and curl" and the "Walker hair cosmetics" were embraced. The art of press and curl is getting lost. The pressing combs are made differently now. Even the high end pressing combs by Kizure and Golden Supreme all are made differently. Please see my other articles on pressing combs. I would consider going to a press and curl, but my natural hair is resistant to heat straightening, and I do not want it burnt out. It has been about twenty years since I met a hairstylist that knew the art of press and curling without the heaviness and the right amount of heat to temporary straighten the hair without damaging it. I do not remember her name, but she was close to the Clemson, Easley, South Carolina area. After 20 years, who knows where she is now.

So in conclusion, I desire to keep a European professional look for the corporate setting. So I want a straighter look without a relaxer, the Sisterlocks are smaller than dreadlocks. I have seen a lot of pictures of SisterLocks. Please note that sisters with slightly looser textures get sisterlocks and they look absolutely fabulous. For those of us with kinky, wiry textures, our Sisterlocks may have a little more frizz as they mature, but you still will have more freedom of style without the chemicals. Also, sisterlocks do not require any pomades. They use a tool to lock the hair.

Well, you may ask whether or not, I will become a Sisterlock technician? I do not plan to. I really feel like most women in the Carolinas do not want to pay for the SisterLock service. The initial investment is steep and time consuming and if you are starting your hair over, it will be short in length.

Most women will rather pay $500 on a few long sew-ins weave services before they spend that much money for a short, kinky hairdo. Patience is key. It takes two years to start enjoying the length of sisterlocks, but at least you can keep your relaxed ends while the roots are growing out. They will look like invisible braids, but it will be your own hair.

I will keep your posted. For now, I am going to continue playing around with my wigs until I find a certified Sisterlock technician that is not going to kill my tenderhead!


  1. By the way, I decided against a blowdry service and curling iron because with the amount of new growth that I have ... the style would not last very long. Back to plaits I go . . .

  2. My sister had sisterlocks, but she stopped going and bc'd because she couldn't afford it after awhile. Not to mention we were in Massachusetts and Connecticut isn't considered far, but she couldn't afford to commute just for hair styling, either. Your twist out looks so full. I often think about getting a press n curl also, but I really don't ever see any of the stylists doing it anymore. My stylist uses flat irons, she'd probably laugh at me if I told her I've considered transitioning. She hardly wants me to wait past 6 weeks to relax.

  3. LaQT/Ty, thanks for sharing. From what I read, it will cost $60 about every six weeks, but I will have "blow in the wind" hair/locs for six weeks at a time. The freedom to swim, sweat, and still have sexy hair sounds fabulous to me. I currently spend about $40 every other week on protective styling (i.e. wig); so I am spending about $120 in six weeks. So SisterLocks will be half price. LOL! Our area seems to have several SisterLock certified professional so the commute should be reasonable for me. I believe that I have two or three SisterLock referrals given to me so far. I will interview each one of them and decide on who to begin my journey with.

    As far as the flat ironing, you know I am scared of those things. With coarse hair, several passes of the flat iron on the hair sometimes was necessary to get coarse hair straight. However, I have found every flat iron pass can be damaging to the hair and scalp. Every hairstylist has their own belief system. It can change as one sees something is not working.

    As far as press and curls, my coarse hair reverts to an afro too quick. If excessive heat is used, it may hold straight but I do not want to subject my hair to that much heat. I am tickled that you like my coarse hair. It has been a "bear" to deal with for most of my life. I love it, but I never let it define me. For some people, their hair defines them. With sisterlocks, I believe that I will gain control without straighening. I am excited about them.

    As for my clientele, I got a feeling that I will attract more "SisterLock" clientele, thereby eventually, forcing me to get certified in it. We will see. I am open to change. Thanks for sharing!!!!