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, March 31, 2015

Grey Hair is the new 2015 Hair Trend

photo credit:

photo credit: pinterest

The platform artist has Grey/Gray Braid extensions.  (Long Beach, CA 2015)

Grey natural hair - East Coast 2015
This model said she started out with blue hair, and it faded to grey. She says she still gets compliments!

Thinking about going grey, gray, or metallic grey?  2015 is the year!!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wet Loc Length Check at 32 months

Fresh wash in preparation of a braidout.

Two years and 8 months / 32 months loc journey 

Enjoying whipping my hair (I mean locs)!

No, it is not Don King this time!  It is me!  Shock value add! I took this picture with me bent to the floor.  Gravity took over my locs, and I took the picture from the ground level.  I will call it my roller coaster or deep sea diving look without the adventure. Laughing out loud.

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.

Pictured is a "Y" that is about 3 inches long and ready to be split.

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)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

BraidLocking: What is it?

 Before I dive into braidlocking, I had to post my straight look with my makeup done.  I had washed most of it off my face in my last article.  Also, remember - I still have relaxed ends so the thinner ends curve into my face giving me a razor cut look.  I love my length so far.  My maintenance is getting less and less.  Yayyy!

 Above is my side view with my relaxed ends hanging on.  Nope, I do not plan to cut the relaxed ends off.  I like them.  Those who want uniform locs/Sisterlocks can cut whatever one wants off.  Uniformity is NOT something that I strive for.

I believe that if you have larger locs, then uniformity is more important, but for my hair type and loc sizing, no one can tell the difference. This uniformity or lack thereof leads into the topic of braidlocking.

I have mentioned before that people interchange locking methods between twisting and interlocking without any uniformity challenges.  Well, I have also met people who have started locs as three strand twists (i.e. plaits or braidlocks) because they had challenges with traditional locs settling in.  I believe within three years the plaited portion (braidlocking) begins to blend with the rest of the interlocked portion.  They only use the plaits to get their locs started.

In the picture above, a woman is Sisterlocked, but her ends are really loose.  This is another time when braidlocking the ends may be a great solution for the right person.  If the links from the interlocking are slipping down, then the retightening sessions go longer because there is more root area to interlock and re-interlock.  Also, the styling of the locs may be more difficult with a lot of loose un-relaxed  (natural) ends.

I personally had one of my clients to braidlock her ends of her own Interlocs that I had started. I suggested to her that she completed this at her own pace.  I started her locs, but her ends were damaged from smoothing treatments, etc.  Her ends were not compressing as the months went by, and her links kept moving too much too settle down.

The braidlocking of her ends was done gradually over months to see if she liked the look, and she did. She found when the locs were wet set that no one knew the difference.  We both know that eventually the interloc methods and the braidlock methods will produce the same look.  If it is does not, then eventually, the braidlocks can be trimmed away.

Braidlocs or braidlocking should not be dismissed as a viable option for people who want their locs to settle down.  I only recommend braidlocking when interlocking or twisting is slipping too much.  Even if you braidlock, the hair still could possibly unravel.  Braidlocking is just an option; not a necessity.

I have to emphasize this because everyone has an opinion, and I believe that everyone should be given all of their options to make informed decisions about their own hair.

This article was inspired by a discussion that was on a hair forum that I participate in.  One of my comments, I believe, was deleted by the administrator because she did not know that I was registered with Sisterlocks.  Although, people give loc advice all the time that may not have even taken a Sisterlocks refresher course in five years, but anyway, it amazes me that some locticians are always trying to make people conform to a set of rules.  I am sorry, but every one's hair is different, everyones' preferences are different, every one's lifestyles are different.  Why conform when everyone is unique?

Once you have completed payment for your Sisterlocks or other locs, sometimes people have to consider self maintenance because they may relocate to an area where there are no Sisterlocks practitioners or a Sisterlocks practitioner may leave the area.  Your hair is ultimately your hair.  Listen to it and partner with it.  No chemicals mean no rules.  Also, keep a volume shampoo around to strip "buildup" from out of the locs if you experiment with a lot of creams.

Okay, I am off my soapbox.  I have had some deep discussions today.  I needed to vent.  Laughing out loud. Make it a fantastic day!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Wash Day Status: No Locs Lost

Believe it or not, my hair is dry in this picture.  I was trying to showcase my length without it being fully saturated in water.  There is no water in this straight loc look, but there is still some shrinkage. Oh well, it will have to do for now.

On a separate note, I have three locs in my problem area that I mentioned in a previous blog article that had thinned because the locs were too large to support the curl behavior and curl diameter of that area.  This is one of the first times that I realized how beneficial the small Sisterlocks that I had asked for originally would have been if my Sisterlocks were done in accordance with the Sisterlocks grid.

Before the wash - my loc styling still looked good right?  The Tropical Roots foam really holds my wet sets.  I love it!

 After my wash, I used the Mizani Supreme Oil Conditioner as a leave-in conditioner.  It is usually a rinse-out conditioner, but one of my natural clients started using it as a leave-in so I figured that I would try it too!  I had to work it into my locs, but it dried without a film.  I know that some people worry about "build-up" but I am ready to start treating my locs like natural loose hair.  This wash and go look is going to be my new "straight look" option.  I am also thinking about cornrowing my locs and getting crochet braids to give a new "non-dreadlock" look.  I am ready to have some more unrestricted fun!

Oh yeah, the one loc that I used the liquid beeswax on has been wonderful and well behaved.  I mentioned this in a previous article on this blog, but I will take an updated picture of that loc in another article coming soon.

And yes, all of my Sisterlocks are still holding on.  I believe that because the three thinner locs that I was worried about are surrounded by other locs that support them, they are going to be fine.  I am going to go into a hydration centered maintenance mode for about a month or so because I want to focus on health versus styling of my locs.

I plan to use my Bath and Body Works hair mist to keep this Mizani Conditioner activated in my locs.  I haven't lost any locs, and I hope that I do not, but I am keeping a close eye on the three locs in the back.  I also want to start about three more baby locs in that same area with the hair that pulled away.  By keeping that area hydrated, it will not fight me as I work to manipulate it into a new coils of hair.  Any new locs that I do get going will be two years and seven months behind the rest of my locs.  I will have to remember they were slow starts versus breakage.  I may or may not update on the progress of my problem area for months from now, but I will do my usual monthly check-in's for my hair as a whole.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Breakage: Problem Areas Will Always Remain Problem Areas

 Let's be clear:  Breakage has to do with losing the midshaft of hair strands leaving just short curled new growth.  Shedding comes from the follicle, and you may not even get any breakage.  One would just visually see a difference in the density of their hair making it look thinner, but it can still have long strands.

I wanted to clarify this definition of breaking versus shedding before I discuss "Habitual problem areas."  Some of us have areas of our hair that decade after decade, we get the same "line of breakage."  It could be seasonal. It could be stress, but I often associate stress with shedding versus breakage.

So for me, my problem area is a vertical line on the right side of the back of my head.  It does NOT shed, but decades after decades, I have grown that back hair out countless times, and one day, countless times, it just break off in a straight line about two inches long in a column. Of course, I had relaxed hair when I had this habitual problem so I assumed that with natural hair that this "problem line" would not be a problem any longer.  Wrong.  Last year and this year about the same timeframe, I feel that I have some breakage where hair has pulled away from the larger locs.

I think that I have narrowed it down to the cold weather and the resistance of the curl pattern in that area.  Some people have cowlicks to form in various odd places in the head.  However, I do not believe that I have a cowlick, but I do believe that my diameter of my curl pattern in that narrow two inch long area is less than an eighth of an inch.  As I stated in a previous article on this blog, locs should be formed in the size of the diameter of the curl pattern for that area unless you make the loc smaller than the diameter of the curl pattern. Smaller is fine, but larger locs force the smaller diameter curl patterns to pull away from the loc.

So can you see the small dots of curls winded up at my scalp?  That is my teeny weeny curl pattern in that problem area.  Not all of my head has this small of a diameter.  I really think that only this small column area on my right side is like this.  I have never lost a loc in this area because I would always nurse hair back into the thinner locs and make them full again.  However, now that I am really seeing what is going on, I think that I am NOT going to continue trying to nurse this area back into fuller locs because it will probably pull away again.  Also, my scalp is more tender in this area.  So my goals is to try to let this small area do what it wants to do by free forming.  The curl diameter by my own self evaluation is too small to be manipulated by any tool.  I do not have any other area of my head like this one.  So the real message to anyone going natural, if you have habitual problem areas that stand out to you during your relaxed hair journey, then those same areas may still raise concern without being chemically processed.

Since the rest of my locs are fine, I may try to oil that area more to assist in the freeform.  I have not lost any actual locs in that area, but I have washed my locs more often  as well as skipped hydration sprays because I wanted to hold my style longer.  Actually, I have been in cloud nine over my waves and volume in my loc styling, but it comes with a price.  As spring and summer is around the corner, I have some ideas about wash and go styling that will showcase my length, but I will have to let it air dry.  So warmer weather is safer to allow hair to airdry without getting sick.

Anyway, initially, I felt like my "problem area" was a minor set back, but now, after really dealing with the reality that I do not have the same curl pattern all over my head, I am okay with it.  It really works to my advantage because my right side has the micro-Sisterlocks sizing in the front anyway, and they easily tuck behind my ear, and I do not have extra bulk in the back behind my ear because that little problem area.  So although, we all want perfection with our hair, we sometimes have to continue thinking outside the box. "Work with the loc" versus "working the loc."

This philosophy works for me and my hair and my loc circumstances.  I will of course apply some of these core principles in my loctician practice.  My findings are designed to assist in self-assessment of one's own hair.  Ultimately, your hair is your hair. Learn it and partner with it.  Until next time . . .

Sunday, March 8, 2015

March 2015 Relaxer Update

As you may remember that Paul Mitchell stopped manufacturing Mild and Super strengths of their relaxer system.  I did not have anyone on the super strength, but I definitely had one client on the mild strength.  The regular strength was just too much for her hair.

Since discontinuing the mild Paul Mitchell especially when most of the Mild strengths that were on the store shelves were expired, I had to try smoothing treatments as well as permanent color to texturize my client's hair for more control.  These alternatives helped, but they had not proven to be a long-term fix so to the "kiddie relaxer" system we went.

I decided on ORS (formerly Organic Root Stimulator brand) Girls version.  It was one strength, and you leave it on as long as you need it to stay on to reach desired straightness. I only needed 10 minutes before rinsing the product out, but it did not cause any damage to the hair despite the permanent color and smoothing treatments already exposed to the hair on previous visits at least two weeks apart.

For ultra coily hair types, the relaxer seems to deliver the most polished look, but not all coily hair is resistant.  Some coily hair is very pliable, and it will chemically straighten very quickly.  Others with the same curl pattern can have resistant curl behavior and a "super" may be an option.

On a separate note, when neutralizing the Paul Mitchell relaxer system, depending on the porosity of the hair and the hair type, I've found that shampooing a couple of times with the Shampoo Two before going to the Lavender Mint Shampoo will strip that extra grease from the base out.  Sometimes I may even finish the shampoo process with a Shampoo one if the hair feels too dry.  I think that each hairstylist will have to adjust the neutralizing shampoo and conditioning steps to custom fit the needs of the client.  I have even on occasions grabbed a neutralizing shampoo from a different brand as a final shampoo. The Nu Expressions 10 in 1 color indicator conditioner helps to let me know if relaxer residue is clinging to the hair as well.

I hope these relaxer tips come in handy. As always, sticking to the manufacturer's instructions is always recommended.  Also, the ORS Girls relaxer has its own neutralizing products included with the kit.  I used the kit as recommended.

Braidless Sew-in Time Saving Tips

Well, obviously having five or more threaded needles is a given "time saving" tip, but bead application is an entirely separate step.  I have found that the threaders from the children's bead packages work great to always have beads ready to apply.  Careful, some brands have "threaders" that are not flexible enough to slip the aluminum beads on.  So I ended up with a few bead packages that I had to just give away because the threaders were too big.

The "Tomorrow Bead Collection" Brand had the most flexible threaders inside the bead packages.  The Chloe brand had threaders that were too large for my micro aluminum beads.  Five or six threaders pre-beaded can save a lot of time along with pre-threaded needles!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

FAQ about my Sisterlocks 2015

No hairspray! No haircolor!

Why does your Sisterlocks always look so manicured even though you self-maintain?
I have tightly coiled, compact hair that is resistant to be being pulled straight.  It is not prone to frizz because it compacts onto itself.  Some people mist water every day to keep their frizz down on the locs, but the nature of my hair is to shrink and stay compact.  So my locs are not WELL manicured, but because of my length at this 2 years 7 months period, most people do not notice the little Afro living at my scalp area.  My curl behavior also delivers more volume than movement when it is in a dry state.

Why are some of your ends thinner?
I never cut my relaxer out so yes, I still have matted relaxed hair at the end of my Sisterlocks. I actually like the thinner ends because it gives me an edgy look for my curly styling. Some people prefer uniform loc consistency down the complete loc, and if one's goal is to wear their locks straight and flowing then uniformity is important. Where I have a problem is when others try to impose their "look" on my locs. There is no hard standard for locs as a whole because there are over 40 hair types and curl diameters. Loc wearers need to adjust their regimen to address their own unique loc needs.

Do you color your Sisterlocks?
No, I do not color my locs.  I have some gray strands curled up and parked along the length of my locs.  Because my gray hair rolls onto itself, it can look like a "piece of lint" until you get close on it.  And no, I am not pulling out any gray hair, and no, I figured out that my "rare" hair type will NOT do well with haircolor.

Do you grease your scalp?
No, I never embraced that tradition.  Luckily, my scalp was always normal.  No flaking. No itching.  Of course, there are exceptions like when I am past due for a shampoo service or I used something that irritated it.

How are you getting your Sisterlocks to hold exotic hairstyling without hairspray?
I use Colorproof Volume shampoo or Pureology Volume shampoo to deep cleanse the locs.  I also skip the conditioner because either I will get some conditioning from the moisturizing shampoo or the leave-in styling agent.  Remember, I do not color my hair so I do not need a reconstructor. My natural curl behavior also helps me stack and build.

Why do you think that you are gaining density, volume, and length?
I do NOT stress my hair with clips nor any type of twisting with or without a hair accessory. I do NOT interloc with tension.  The interlocking technique unwinds the hair, and my hair does NOT want to be straighten by chemical, heat, nor unwinding it too taut. Some people need the tension to control the frizz, but I naturally do not have frizz so I do not need the tension on my locs when I tighten.  Now, if I was to perform permanent hair color on my loose tensioned locs, then I may get breakage because the haircolor may penetrate deep in the loc and trap.  So I am committed to no haircolor for now.  And to all of those with well manicured locs and loc updos, be careful with the tension, but if it is working for you, then don't change a thing.

How do you feel about relaxers now?
Relaxers work for the majority of the worldwide population, but unfortunately, my hair type and curl behavior does NOT fall in the range of the majority of the population.  I really tried all of my life to do what most Black women do for their hair, but it just was NOT working.  Most people probably felt that I had poor hair maintenance, but no, literally, my hair was more difficult to manage than most Black women.  Truth be told, my hair was outright unmanageable in its natural, non-processed , non-locked state.  The "Super" Paul Mitchell relaxer was not even strong enough to relax my hair completely straight, then because the bonds did not complete break, my hair would revert back within weeks. I tried so many brands of relaxers. My hair has traumatized me most of my life because it would not conform to the norms.  Now, in my latter years, my hair has taught me to "work with it" versus "against it."  I do not foresee another "bad hair" day for the rest of my life.  I do caution anyone who wants to start a loc journey - results will vary.  Locs were a natural fit for my curl behavior, but if people do not have my "hair type" then their locs will not look nor behave like mine. 

As a cosmetologist, I have seen many different curl types.  A paid loc consultation with me may save you a headache before you pay hundreds of dollars to start something that may not deliver what you are looking for.  Group speaking engagements are welcomed.

Benita Blocker: Specialized in What?

I am asked all the time what do I specialize in? Or people assume that I do a lot of natural hair because my hair is natural. The crazy thing is that hairstylists often conform to the demands of the clients coming to them. "When in Rome; do as the Romans."

So before I answer the question as to "what hair services that I specialize in," please allow me to explain

  • Every year,  I am taking continuing education classes in haircutting, haircoloring, blow-drying, and cosmetic artistry.  I take refresher courses in hair extensions and smoothing treatments as well.
  • There are specialty salons for blow-dry styling only as well as colorists as well as barbershops.
  • I would literally lose my mind if I did the same thing all the time day in and day out.  So in one day, I can tighten locs, roller set relaxed hair, perform a relaxer service, and perform haircoloring to cover gray hair.
  • My salon clientele is built on chemical services. I love my clientele because they are good spirited people.
  • As a business owner, the work of one will always be the "work of one."  I have always been looking to add quality hairstylists to my salon.

So back to the original question, 
I specialize in personalized hair solutions for medium to long hair.  

Even though, my own hair is Sisterlocked in which I self maintain, locs are NOT for everyone's lifestyle.  Also, chemicals are NOT good for every hair types.  I partner with clientele to assist in review of all their hair options based on their curl behavior, lifestyle, and hair type.

I am advanced in haircutting and haircoloring because of the classes that I take, but if someone needs a full head of multi-dimensional foils, then I will have to refer them out because even the best colorists need an assistant to complete certain color services with optimum speed.

I will also mention that I am a classic hairstylist.  Flips, spikes, and other edgy finishing touches are NOT my thing.  

And to the naturalistas:  unless you are "wash and go" or want flat twist, individual twists, loc start-up, or to go into chemicals, then I am at my limit with pressing the hair without chemicals.  Typically, most people with hair that is easy to straighten, then they can "do-it-yourself" at home.  The naturalistas that come to the salon to be straighten, typically require a fine line between movement and hold.  I  often give my best effort, but I usually have no idea with new clients whether the procedure held for more than a week or two.

Also, I do not like micro short haircuts.  I specialize in medium to long haircutting.

I believe in stocking a variety of hair treatments and conditioners as well as keeping luxury shampoos in my arsenal.  I am definitely committed to assisting new clients in seeing a new outlook on their hair if they are ready for a change.

My salon is located in a shopping center with free parking. It's called Applebaum.  Also, our Facebook page is Applebaum's Phenomenal Haircare because it's more about the care of one's hair versus the size of the salon.

I am licensed in California, Georgia, and North Carolina.  I am always accepting new clients.  So Welcome to Applebaum 101!