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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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Microlocks: Lost a Lock

When I was perm rodding my locks a few weeks ago, I found this lock in my perm rod case.  I suppose it snapped off of an end of a still existing lock or maybe it snapped from the scalp.  I am not sure, but my locks overall seem to still be forming fine even with two different locking methods going.

There is still relaxed hair hanging on at the last third of this microlock.  The rest of the lock that is not chemically processed is half interlocked and half finger twisted.  I really do not see a line of demarcation between the two locking methods.  I do see the line of demarcation between the chemically processed areas and the chemical free area.

So I will have to be careful with removal of my perm rods from my microlocks.  I do not want to lose anymore locks from being too heavy handed.  I may try to connect the broken lock to another lock to see if some of the lock repair methods on youtube work.  Smile.  I foresee more experimentation in my future!

Lock Buds: Remove Them or Not?

Some locticians remove these buds that sometimes form at the end of locks. The buds are actually welcomed by others because they mean the hair is not going to unravel out of the locking framework. Sometimes lock clients will remove these buds without the loctician's permission because they (the client) don't like them.

Pictured are some of the buds that I saved from my lock tightening with my third Sisterlocks certified consultant. She went through ripping as many of the buds off of my locks as she could.  I did not request this type of lock grooming, but she insisted that the buds are not supposed to be there.  I lost some length because of her ripping them off with her hands.  In hindsight, I realized that she should have just went through with shears and snipped what she wanted removed.

Now, jumping forward to present day, most of my locks have coiled back up and formed buds again.  Why?  I believe that it is my hair's natural behavior to "roll up and park."  So removing the buds at the end of locks where the client's hair naturally coils into itself is a waste of time and money.  

There are exceptions.  If the buds are too large to feed through the root of the lock without ripping the whole lock out of the head during an interlock tightening then the bud needs to be trimmed or reshaped to maintain the integrity of the lock.

Lock grooming is usually a separate session from the tightening session.

Also, I think the budding at the end of the locks are more synonymous with the interlocking method versus the twisting of locks.  The interlocking method actually uncoils the hair allowing the shedded strands to drop down the locking framework of the lock and rest at the ends.

As for me, I am okay with my buds at my ends.  Some may fall off on their own.  If not, it is all good with me!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Head massages by Massage Therapists

Massages are a part of wellness and stress relief; however, when a scalp or head massage is included,  it can cause some uneasiness especially if the client has hair extensions, wigs, or hairpieces.

Also, if one's next stop after the massage is a business meeting, one may not want their hairstyling manipulated too much.  In addition, one may wonder if the massage oil may be too heavy especially if one does not have a hair appointment scheduled for a few more days.

For those who are a little past due for a relaxer touch-up, would you worry about the therapist feeling your new growth or kinky roots?

The benefits of the head massage is to promote blood circulation, hair growth, and to relieve stress.

Head and scalp massages should be discussed prior to the start of each body massage.  Most therapists are in tuned to know whether to stop at the neck versus massaging the whole head.

With dreadlocks, head massages are more welcomed because there is less concern about restyling the hair.

Any hairstyle that is free of commercial enhancement opens one up for the ultimate freedom of a scalp massage.

Most pampering hair salons will include a scalp massage during the shampoo service. So even if someone has hair extensions, their hairstylist can develop a scalp massage to work around their hair extensions.

Please also note that there are some massage therapists that insist on head to toe manipulation and are less flexible in their routine.  Communication and recommendations always come in handy when choosing your wellness solutions.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Scandal's Olivia Pope: Back updo Side bob

Photo by Richard Cartwright.  ABC's Scandal television drama is scheduled to air this formal look on next Thursday.  I saw it in the sneak preview last night, and I was in awe.  This side bob is actually an updo in the back.  Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope is absolutely gorgeous in this dress with a fresh, sassy updo.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

My 15 months Microlocks Check-in

I hope you all love my curls!  I had to perm rod it wet and then pin curl/bundle overnight without the rods.  I used the Jamaican Mango and Lime Lock and Set Styling Lotion for hold.  I sat under the dryer for an hour and a half and my ends were not dry from the perm rods.  So I am now convinced that my hair is too long to  perm rod set on small rods and actually expect them to dry in any reasonable amount of time.

I used the "Lily of the Desert" 99% aloe vera Gelly for my 3.5 retightening session this go around.  It is thicker than the Trader Joes' 99% pure Aloe vera Gel.  So far, I think I like it better because of the thicker consistency.  Both are moisturizing.

I have learned a few more lock lessons this month.

1) MicroLocks will double up on their own if they start to thin, so a loctician should NOT need to double my locks up intentionally.

2) Freshly twisted locks can be bundled up before swimming or any other wet recreational activities.

It is true that if the locks are interlocked then the bundling may not be necessary for mature locks, but I am still really content with not interlocking.

I also love my hair clips to give more volume in my top!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Mohawk Clipper Cutting Cited

 The stylist did an excellent job customizing this mohawk to the little boy's headshape.  If he is going to sport a mohawk, then this is the best time before he starts to interview for a job.  His dad oversaw the process.

Sebastian Cellophanes Color Reformulation

Yes, Sebastian changed their Cellophones color names as well as their ingredients, and guess what?  The new stuff NO longer performs on resistant gray hair.  My only guess is because they removed the wheat protein from the ingredients list.

The Expresso Brown version of the Sebastian Cellophanes seems to be the same color as the Deep Brunette, and the consistency of the product seemed about the same.  The actual deposit of color on gray hair on the same day as relaxer services is a HUGE difference.

I am really looking for another brand of same day  as relaxers semi-permanent color because literally, I had one of my clients ask me did I switch color lines.  Sadly and honestly, I revealed to her that Sebastian had reformulated their color line and apparently it does not deliver the same gray coverage that the old formula  (Deep Brunette) did.

What a dissappointment!  25 minutes processing and no adequate coverage.  Situations like this complicates my business.  Sebastian has officially lost a customer (me).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Legal Perspective on Natural Hair

One of my clients who is an attorney had a candid conversation with me on the topic of being discriminated against because of natural kinky hair.  This article is based on that discussion and is not meant to be legal advice.  I wanted to make that disclaimer.

As you all know, Carolinas Healthcare System laid me off within two weeks of my completion of getting Sisterlocks despite my seven years of seniority and no write-ups.  Their reasoning was that they wanted a consistent business model between their two nursing homes immediately.  Go Figure?

I asked my legal client that if the administration did not like my hair, then why not pull me to the side and say "that look" is not going to work here.  My client says that scenario would have definitely opened the company up to a lawsuit.  So apparently, it is in the company's best interest to just find some reason to lay you off or terminate you besides "your hair is too kinky."  And might I remind you that the states that have "employment-at-will" laws do not have to give any reason at all.

So,  for all the natural sistahs out there thinking that "the company has to accept you as you are," I would think again if you really want to keep your job.  If your clothes and hair do not fit in with the majority of your co-workers, then I suggest that you re-consider your image.

Interested in hearing more?  Human Resources professionals are scheduled to talk about natural hair as it relates to interviewing as well as in the work place at the next event below (Saturday, November 2, 2013).

Please go to the to buy a ticket!  I will be speaking on the topic of locks at this event as well!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Halloween Hair for Automobiles

Pictures say a thousand words . . . Halloween is almost here!  I really had to laugh out loud!

I wonder if remy hair was used in this Halloween prop to withstand the rain and inclement weather?

You wonder why there's a shortage on  premium hair? LOL!

And if this car parks in the wrong neighborhood, that Halloween hair might "get gone!"

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lightweight Hair and Scalp Moisturizing Options

With cold weather on its way, those who are prone to drier skin and scalp may need some extra moisturizing.

KeraCare has a high sheen glossifier and a Dry and Itchy Scalp Glossifier.  The latter has salicylic acid as well as sulfur in it which may be perfect for natural hair clients.

Reminder for Relaxer clients:  Be cautious of using products with sulfur in them near relaxer time.

I typically steer my relaxer clients away from any products with sulfur in them to avoid any timing limitations as to when a relaxer is safe to apply.

Design Essentials has Herbal Complex 4 Hair and Scalp Treatment which is also a lightweight pomade compared to Vaseline.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Ethnic hair in Commercial Ads

H and M is coming to Northlake Mall very soon!  Their supersized print ad included one African American woman whose hair was medium length and reflective of everyday society - not polished.

I had mixed emotions about this look as well as all the more recent commercials with so many textured styling for the African American models.

I suppose this is the trend for now.  We just have to see where it all goes.

Corrective Relaxing: Activating the Underprocessed Areas

As stated in a previous blog article, if underprocessed areas or bands along the midshaft are causing extra work to keep straight, then a corrective relaxer may be needed.  By using the Luster's Scurl Texturizer Stylin' Spray, it activates the hair by moisturizing it and allowing one to see where to apply additional relaxer along the mid-shaft at the end of the touch-up service.

This Stylin' Spray also activates new growth for those who always keep their hair extremely straight.

You just spray throughout the hair and comb through.  Allow a minute for the product to expand the new growth or underprocessed areas, then prepare to relax.

Sally Beauty Supply sells this spray.  It has a lot of glycerin in it which is good.  It can be used as needed to moisturize hair especially after taking out a full sew-in.  Overall, it's a great moisturizer!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Brow Hair: Eyebrow Kits

 To achieve eyebrow perfection without hair removal, you can use Eyebrow kits!  I use the following:

1) Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow Kit in color 963 Ash Brown sold at Rite Aid drug stores.
2) Nuance color 100 Brown sold in CVS drug stores.
3) Ardell Soft Black sold in Sally's Beauty Supply.

The Nuance and Wet n Wild Brow kits both have a wax included in the trio.  The Nuance brow kit has a  highlighting creme included as well.

Another blogger posted a video on eyebrow makeup application.  It was great!!!! She mentioned that the tail of the brow should be darker than the start of the brow.  The Wet n Wild Ultimate Brow kit was a great recommendation from her.  I had to search 4 stores to discover it only in Rite Aid Drugs store.

I use a combination of all three brow kits for my brows.  It definitely adds another 5 or 10 times on to my total cosmetic makeup application process.  Therefore, the brow makeup will continue to be for special occasions only.

I am attaching the eyebrow video tutorial here:

Lock Extensions Introduction

 There are a probably three or four different methods to apply lock extensions.  For this lock client and for the sake of time, we chosed to use the 3 strand twist to plait "afro kinky" braiding hair to the last 1.5 inches of her existing locks.
The Beverly Johnson Afro braiding hair had a very rough texture.  I had to use Aloe Vera Moisturing Gel from the CVS Pharmacy to soften the braiding hair enough to get it braided around the client's locks.  I also used the AlterEgo Garlic Mask conditioner to soften the human hair lock extensions.  The conditioning treatment was rinsed out after 15 minutes and left the lock extensions very soft, but in tact.

This gel worked great for the lock extensions human hair, and it is affordable.

I was asked would I add lock extensions to my own microlocks.  I without a doubt would NOT add them to my my locks at my current stage.  I am over 14 months into my lock journey, and prayerfully past the baby locks stage. The human hair extensions are lighter in weight than synthetic fibers, but I am not going to spend the time nor money to enhance my styling options when the time to have considered it was from day one, but the Sisterlocks organization does not condone lock extensions.  (Sorry for the run-on sentence here.)

My question for the future is this - if a person's face does not support the baby locks phase and they work in a corporate office, is wearing a wig during the baby dreadlock phase better than lock extensions?  In my opinion, the wigs cause temporary traction thinning around the perimeter of the head where the wig is resting.  I would recommend the human hair lock extensions over the wig.  That's just my personal opinion. Of course, my yarn unit worked during the cold months.

Another blogger at also started her beautiful locks with lock extensions, but I believe a different type of hair was used to extend her locks.  Learn more from her video here:

Interlocking Dreadlocks and Use of Permanent Haircolor

 Pictures are worth a thousand words.  This is not my client, but the two pictures of this model are probably  2.5 years apart.  They are small dreadlocks - maybe Sisterlocks? maybe not.  The haircolor appears to be permanent haircolor.  The model could possibly be coloring regularly to cover gray hair or maybe not.  She is simply beautiful.  Her dreadlock journey resembles my initial Sisterlocks journey, but I decided to abandon that path after seven months.  I have no doubt that had I continued with Sisterlocks with the limited consultants that I had to choose from in my area that my journey would result in the same look that this model has.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Hair Extensions: Wefting your own Hair

 I met Ms. Alix Moore at the Bronner Brothers Atlanta Hair Show in August 2013.  She had a ($200??) DVD that showed you how to weft your own hair among other things.  She also can get poeple started as human hair extensions distributors.  She can host Indian Travel tours to identify your hair supplier.

She sparked some business ideas in my head- like what if cancer patients cut their hair off and wefted it before starting chemotheraphy?  That way, they can wear a wig or a hairpiece made out of hair from their own head?

How about all of those who do a BIG Chop?  What if you could make a track out of your own hair from a "big chop?"

Any feedback? Anyone willing to sell their hair as long as it's five inches or more for me to experiment with different colors and chemicals?  I may be interested in buying cut hair if it's bundled and stored in a clean storage bag. Let me know!

Partial MicroLock Updo using Hair Clips

I'm back!  I took a week or so break.  I forgot that I updated my blog backdrop to be more modern and bright before I took my brief haitus.  So I still have to get used to the new blog look, but on a separate note, I identified some Beverly Hills, California locations to consider for hair salon expansion.  I also reached out to a few relaxer companies.  No solid developments, but life is good!  

I bought some little hair clips, and I have been enjoying twisting my front side locks up and anchoring them with a matching hair clip creating a partial updo.

 The weather is cooling off as well so I have been spending more time on makeup application.  My hair seems to naturally flip up some in the back just from sleeping on it.

 My length seems to have grown into a full bob in the back finally.  My nape area stays covered with ease. I am about 4 weeks since my last root tightening.

 You can see my front hair clips are black that are holding both sides up.  I am still gaining length at 14.5 months into my lock journey.  I am comfortable with my hair density considering the front of my hair is up.  My back density seems to be able to support itself without me looking too scalpy.  I am also convinced that the flash on the camera draws a lot of attention to lighter colored areas.  Overall, this is a good check-in.