Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Dreadlocks: Lessons Learned in 2013
Honey (as explained in my last article on this blog) is doing really well to keep my locks coiled. Overall, they are not untwisting. I did have a few instances where the honey made my neck sticky because I was sweating and the leftover honey on my scalp started sliding down. (What a visual? Right? LOL!)
Anyway, I just took a wet paper towel and wiped my perimeters and neck off. Surprisingly, I have spoken with more and more people who use honey to avoid skin breakouts from other "lock products." So those with sensitive skin will love honey for tightening their hair.
The honey works like a heavy moisturizer. I must admit my satin bonnet and pillow cases all look "greasy" but I have not attracted any ants nor bugs. I will happily use the honey again and keep the wetness of my hair consistent before applying the honey if it starts to dry out as I am working my way through my hair.
In hindsight, I realized that I gained weight from the stress of coping with Sisterlocks and the "starter dreadlocks." I even was laid off from my corporate hairdressing position within two weeks of initial Sisterlocks locking session. My manager was African American, but obviously needed diversity training. I have a few other choice names to call this manager, but it would be inappropriate to post that here. So I digress.
The founder of Sisterlocks' purpose was to empower women, but I found MY Sisterlocks journey to be a quick route through "hell" and back. I made the best of it, and I am now back on track for happier days with my new approach to dreadlocks. Thank God that I now see clearer skies, and I am on track to becoming more empowered as my locks gain length withOUT thinning out my hair density. More on hair density later in this article.
Anyway, the younger you can start your little girls out with dreadlocks the better to cope with the peer pressure. The dreadlocks or Sisterlocks need at least two years before they get to the length that most people start to really love them. So starting at age 12 means by high school, the locks should be easy to style, and the girls should have some workable length.
I had so much relaxed hair that I do not know if she really knew what she was looking at. My relaxed hair was never silky straight because of my natural texture. I digress again. ( I am trying to stay upbeat. Smile.)
Anyway, please do NOT pay to get your relaxed ends Sisterlocked. They will either matte and lock on its own depending on your natural texture or NOT. Either way, you will probably end up cutting them off at some point in time.
For Christ's sake, if your hair is thinning out within months of starting locks, then something is NOT right. Either your hair is the type that really does need some shea butter, olive oil or some sort of moisturizer OR the interlock/Sisterlock technique is NOT a good fit for your hairtype. It could be the Sisterlock technician's error in her interlocking technique.
Regardless, stop the madness! If the doubled up strand is larger than the root area, then you are going to rip your hair out from the scalp trying to pass the "fat ends" through. If you understand the interlocking process, then you know what I am explaining here. If you do not understand the interlocking process, I encourage you to watch youtube tutorials on "interlocking dreadlocks."
Most of the length in this picture is still stemming from my relaxed ends that had not rolled up and knotted. (i.e. my length above is from the relaxed hair that was put into Sisterlocks framework)
I kept asking the new consultant how is she sooo much faster than my last consultant. Her answer was "age difference?"
No, in hindsight, my hair was being ripped out. The Sisterlocks consultants seem to like getting those Sisterlocks premium dollars, but they do not care if you are going bald in the process. They just want to get paid without owning up to the fact that the interlocking technique or even the frequency of tightenings may not be working for you. There are some exceptions . . . so yes, not all Sisterlock consultants are bad. But definitely, do NOT trust that sisterlocks.com certified consultant list either as far as finding a caring, professional consultant. I digress. (I swear - writing this article is taking me through an emotional roller coaster. It is amazing what I have been through on this lock journey.)
Also, if your Sisterlocks consultant is yanking your sisterlocks apart if they start to grow together, then I do not recommend this action. Shears should be used to carefully cut the cross hair(s) if they can not be massaged apart. Yanking on dreadlocks/Sisterlocks is what amateur locticians do; not professional locticians. Yanking stresses the locks.
As you can see, I have learned a lot about dreadlocks over the year. As for me and my dreadlocks, the best thing is for me was to do like so many other women with beautiful locks are doing - just do it myself and go to a loctician for updos, steam treatments, or other specialty options. I do not want to risk too much lock doubling or combining. I want to keep my locks as feminine as possible.
Thank God that I have found a loctician that I hope will work out. Our consultation went the best out of the three locticians I visited a few months ago.
I hope that this article helps others considering the lock journey for their children or for themselves. Locks are a serious thing. It's still hair and breakage still can happen. Some sistahs with straight hair take sistahs with locked hair for granted. I assure you that a sistah with long, beautiful locks are just as picky about her locks as any straight haired sistah is about her blow-out. So don't get it twisted!