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 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!

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