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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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Dreadlocks: Lessons Learned in 2013

 This is my August 2013 picture.  My last time having my hair "sisterlocked" was March 2013.  Five months Sisterlocks-free!  Same parting sizes.  Just new SELF-tightening technique!

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.

Well, this picture is from January 2013.  I really suggest children start their dreadlocks between 10 and 12 years old.  Some people are born with "perfect shaped head and face" that they can look glamourous with a bald head.  And some of us, like me, need hair length to balance our distinguished features.  I found it difficult in my age 40's working in a corporate setting to start growing out Sisterlocks and/or dreadlocks.  I hated to feel forced to wear a wig to fit in with the workplace and also cause stress to my new $800.00 hairdo.  I really did not have a real support system.  People would say  "it looked great, but it was not for me. "  "My (their) husband would not go for it." Oh, "look at those little things.  Is that your 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.

This picture above shows the relaxed hair that is still hanging on my hair ends versus my matured lock.  My relaxed hair rolled up on the ends and formed knots while in the Sisterlocks' framework.  The Sisterlocks consultant really did me a disservice by locking my relaxed hair.  I honestly do not know if I had enough new growth to start Sisterlocks anyway. (Visit my July 2012 articles for my start of Sisterlocks.)

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.
 Okay, my Sisterlocks consultant had started doubling up my locks within the first 3 months of getting Sisterlocks started.  She did not tell me.  I found this doubled up lock, and I was upset.  For those who do not understand the big picture, doubling up locks means your hair density is thinning.

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."

By all means, watch your hair density.  In my December 2012 picture above, my second Sisterlocks consultant was twice as fast at tightening, but I believe that she was also causing me breakage and thinning.

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 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!


  1. Honestly I cringe every time I hear your sisterlock experience. That is why I totally believe that I be the best fit to install my daughter sisterlocks. I'm would love to have my consultant do it, but the cost would be the same if I just went and did the consultant class myself. The age you mention is when I decided that I would love to install my daughter hair with sisterlocks. I want her to be able to style and appreciate her hair at first before I install sisterlocks on her though.

    Also are you are a sisterlocks trainee? Do you install sisterlocks?

    By the way...your locks are maturing nicely :)

    1. Hi Kreyola! I am a registered Sisterlocks trainee in Huntersville, NC (metro Charlotte). I believe that I have another year to complete full certification, but I think that I am too traumatized by my Sisterlocks experience to go forward without an apology from the company. I want to remain a Sisterlocks reference for people to call and let me evaluate their partings, grid, and health of their Sisterlocks in case they want to sue their consultant. When the sheriff starts showing up at more consultants' doors of their home based business, then the Sisterlocks consultants will be less reckless in their handling of new clients. People work too hard for their pay these days. Any quote over $360 should be a guaranteed happy customer. In my Boston class, there were many mothers there only to learn to install for their own children. I guess, they were thinking like you. Trained moms can sister lock or interlock over a course of weeks and decide on Sisterlocks grids or even a little larger. And thank you for my compliments and support. The honey is a little messy, but I think my hair and my scalp likes it. LOL!