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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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The Flipped Mesh Roller Set

Hair by Benita Blocker

Can you tell that it is a wet set?  We used the red mesh rollers, Nairobi Foam and rolled the hair upward to create flatter roots.  The length of the hair falls down  leaving the body in the ends.  My client left with her upside down curls pincurled up, and she styled it the next day at home.

She gets the Paul Mitchell relaxer every 7 to 8 weeks.  She also gets regular trims every few months. She gets limited to NO hot ironing.

My last haircutting class inspired this flip roller set.  The artist used a hot iron in the class, but I had forgotten that I used to offer this wet set some years ago.  I believe that many "blowout" salons start with the flip set then round brush it out.

An old idea, but a great memory refresh!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Star Struck at the 18th Annual World Natural Hair Show

Aevin Dugas is known for having the world's largest afro.

 April from vh1's Sorority Sister TV show came out to support the event.  She was not scheduled for any appearances, but I recognized her walking around, and she graciously agreed to take a picture with me.  I absolutely loved her on the Sorority Sister TV show.  She was the best dressed; had the best hair; smart, lively, theatrical, and one of the classiest divas of the show. I just loved her!!!!

 22" of natural hair weave by Curl Genetics.  Their longest length is 28 inches. The black hair is the model's own natural hair.  The brown color is the weave.  The company's focus is on texture.

Jane Carter Solution

Design Essentials

Taliah Waajid looked awesome in red.  I did not get a picture of her, 
but this was my first show attended of hers and I just loved it!!!!  I also had a lady to recognize me from my youTube liquid Chalk Tutorial.  I felt like a little celebrity.
A great day trip indeed!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Color Addict Alert: New Color Scheme for 2015

 OMG!  I could not wait to color my hair again!  So here's my new custom color look.  
Color placement by Benita Blocker.

Side swept with some Jamaican Mango and Lime Island Oil.
I needed a moderate weight oil to balance all the clarifying shampoo that I used to get the other color out.

 I attempted to pre-blend the liquid chalk colors, but they did not mix well.  So I colored small pieces at a time.

 I got the color bug; however, I am using 
no bleach, no hot irons, no henna, and no relaxers.  
Of course, I am trying to justify why it is okay for me to be a haircolor addict.

Before the new color scheme, I wet set my locs with Design Essentials Honey.  
This is my 33 months loc-versary.
  Will I ever go back to black?

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Update: Liquid Chalk Removal and Wet Length Check-in

I have good and bad news.  The good news is that the L'Oreal Technique Liquid Chalk Intense Hair Makeup last for an average of 2 shampoos according to the "peel back" label.  The bad news is that with coarse, porous hair like mine, it took 7 (seven) back to back clarifying shampoos to get the majority of the liquid chalk out.  As you can see in the picture, I still have some remnants left.  I liked the color so I will probably add it back in.

 I wanted to wear the "pink/magenta" color too,  but I would want a more short term look.  I do not want to work so hard to get that color out of my locs again.

I was excited about learning how many shampoos will the liquid chalk last.  The answer for me seems like the liquid chalk can be almost permanent without use of clarifying shampoos to strip it out.  I also had to towel rub some.  It was quite a bit of work for  a quick 5 minutes of application.

Well, I am three days before my 33 months loc-versary.  This article serves as a wet length check.  I lost a few pieces of relaxed hair from off two of my ends.  I am okay with it.  I was a little rough with my locs trying to rub that liquid chalk out.  It comes with the territory.  I will not be able to mend the pieces back on because they are partly straight.  I believe all the clarifying shampoo lathers made my relaxed ends weak. I did condition a few times.  Once after the third lather and another after the final lather.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Two Other Liquid Chalk Colors Results

L'Oreal Technique Liquid Chalk "Bronze Baby"

 "Bronze Baby" shows up "gold" on my hair.  You can see it pictured right above my finger on one loc.  It is a little too avant garde for me.  The golden color looks like rust and does not enhance my skin tone.  Someone with more yellow undertones will probably like this color better.

L'Oreal Technique Liquid Chalk color "Pink Pop"

The "Pink Pop" color delivers more of a purple, magenta, and some fuchsia coloring on my hair.   I like it enough to do for a full week.

Sally's Beauty Supply stores have these L'Oreal Liquid Chalk color on sale "Buy one get one free" for the month of April 2015.  

Friday, April 17, 2015

Temporary Color: Day two versus Day Four

Day Two versus Day Four

Through three days of rain, the L'Oreal Technique Liquid Chalk is hanging in there.  
No mess.  No dripping.
Still Intense Color!
Lovin' It!!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Sisterlocks Temporary Color: Day Two

 I decided that my temporary highlights will work with every color outfit.  So it is day two for my Liquid Chalk, and I did not have any mess even after I misted it to do a braidout last night.

My tutorial for this Liquid Chalk temporary highlights is on this blog.  I need to get my hands on a few more bottles before the Sally's Beauty Supply store sells out!!!! ($7.99 USD)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Liquid Chalk Highlights on Relaxed Hair

L'Oreal Technique Liquid Chalk Temporary Intense Hair Makeup is quick and beautiful in small sections.   My client was inspired by my temporary highlights on my Sisterlocks as discussed in a previous article on this blog.

 The Color: Better Off Red looks copper on black hair. It took an extra five minutes to transform my client's bangs into a splash of color.  No rinse. No mess.  No reversion.

Pictured is my client before the L'Oreal Liquid Chalk Highlights.  She gets relaxed once every three months.  The liquid chalk spiced up her bang area.  She looks great either way!

Liquid Chalk Hair Makeup on Sisterlocks

Temporary Hair Makeup by L'Oreal Technique Color:  Better Off Red

This 8 minute video is my commitment to sticking with shorter video tutorials.  I hope you enjoy my Sisterlocks hair chalking experiment.

 Liquid Chalk Temporary Intense Hair Makeup

My client told me that this was my "swagger" look.

For a quick three minute highlight solution, I love this color and liquid chalk brand!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

My Sisterlocks Family Feels Like a Sorority

My Sisterlocks Family reminds me of a Sorority.  As many of you know that I am a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.  I am not actively paying dues, but I take pride in wearing my letters as well as connecting with my line sisters that pledged with me in 1989 at Clemson University.

I became a part of the Sisterlocks family in 2012.  I paid "extra"  for the rights to be affliated with the "Sisterlocks" trademark to distinguish my dreadlocks from traditional dreadlocks.  Others can get "Interlocs" completed that look exactly like my Sisterlocks for less money, but I take pride in my Sisterlocks Birth Certificate and my advanced Sisterlocks consultant training.

Let us talk about other points of interest: 

Personality conflicts 
Sororities as a whole have different women with different ideas.  Sometimes compromise is hard when completing sorority projects.

Sisterlocks is no different.  I prefer a more objective approach to caring for Sisterlocks where everyone's maintenance regimen is based on their own scalp and their own hairtype.  However, many Sisterlocks representatives have one set of rules that they believe in for everyone regardless of hair types.  Some of those rules include:
  • Do not use volume shampoo on your Sisterlocks.
  • Do not put oil or grease on your Sisterlocks.
  • Do not braid the ends of your Sisterlocks.
  • Do not use any gels - natural or otherwise on your Sisterlocks.
  • Do not add extensions to your Sisterlocks.
  • No cosmetology is needed in Sisterlocks world.

If you paid $400, $700, $1000.00 or more for your Sisterlocks, you can do what you want with your hair, and you can call your Sisterlocks whatever you want to call them when you want to call them. Once the "Sisterlocks package" is complete.  It is a done deal.  You earned your letters: S-i-s-t-e-r-l-o-c-k-s.

I completely disagree with having one set of hard rules for everyone maintaining Sisterlocks.  Even some of the "die hard Sisterlocks fanatics" who have stuck with the "Sisterlocks rules" have still ended up with lint and buildup in their Sisterlocks as well as being "parts challenged." Go figure.??
Negativity in Sisterlocks
Sometimes Sorors do not get along within a Sorority, but what goes on behind closed doors should stay behind closed doors.

There are many Sisterlocks Horror stories out there as I have mentioned in a previous article on this blog.  However, Sisterlocks headquarters does not make resolving consumer dissatisfaction a corporate priority.

Unfortunately, there will continue to be more and more Sisterlocks Horror stories because when it comes to Sisterlocks, you are ultimately dealing with the complexity of hair, independent contractors,  and "laymen" trained as "Sisterlocks technicians."

On a separate note, rigid rules for maintaining Sisterlocks has caused a lot of tension and stress.  Some hairtypes do benefit from clarifying their Sisterlocks with a volume shampoo.  Some hairtypes do benefit from lightweight oils.  Some people feel more confident in extending their own natural Sisterlocks with microlock extensions for weddings and for corporate workplaces. Why beat up people for "not following Sisterlocks rules" when some rules really do not apply to everyone?

Lifestyle versus Hairstyle
You should make your Sorority great and outstanding.  The Sorority should not make you somebody.  You need to be whole before joining a Sorority.

The same principle applies to Sisterlocks.  You should be whole before Choosing Sisterlocks.  You should have a vision of your own hair in Sisterlocks which will be a unique look independent of all the other beautiful Sisterlocks pictures that you see.  You can not just pick out a Sisterlocks look and expect your hair to be the same exact texture.  You can try to achieve a similar style, but the core hair and "loc print" is unique to its owner.

Someone like me can point out some models from a Sisterlocks calendar that may have hair similar to the potential client's hair texture.  Showing a potential Sisterlocks client what their locs will look like long term can save them time and money in case their vision does not match what their potential reality may be.

Penalized for voicing my Victimization
Similar to how the National Greek organizations banded together to get the "VH1 Sorority Sisters Television show" off the air because they were "airing behavior" allegedly unfitting to the real Sororities' image(s).

I also feel penalized because my name has been removed from the Sisterlocks Registered Trainee List. I have called, Facebooked, and emailed Sisterlocks corporate headquarters, and I have not received a return call nor has my name been added back to the list.  I took my first Sisterlocks four day training class in 2012 in Boston, MA.  I took my last class in 2014.  I assume that Sisterlocks headquarters has a personal problem with me because I am vocal about calling the Sisterlocks situations as I see them.  I try to be respectful in voicing my opinions, but I often do not feel that the favor is being returned.

This is my 1000th article posting!  Thank you for celebrating this milestone with me!!!!

Happy 1000!!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Loc Counts and Loc Counting

My loc client said she bundled her locs into 10-counts and then counted the bundles in order to reach her loc count.  She inspired me to do the same, and I counted . . .

320 Sisterlocks.

So for $750 and 20 hours, I got 320 Sisterlocks . . .  Of course, I was happy that I did get some of my money back now.

Considering others have said that they got
 773 Sisterlocks in 25 hours and
 763 Sisterlocks in 26 hours over a three day period.  
I definitely got the short end of the deal, but God has the Master plan.

Some of the ladies with 700+ Sisterlocks have doubled up their locs for more manageability so my 320 count is still low, but very reasonable for self maintenance.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Balayage Highlighting by Benita Blocker

Hair by Benita Blocker

Hair by Benita Blocker

I was introduced to Balayage hair coloring during my trip to California this past January 2015.  
I also took a second Balayage class a few weeks ago.  
So far, Everyone is loving my Balayage Highlighting!!!

Microlock Extensions Clarified

Pictured are traditional locs.

Sisterlocks founder, Dr. Cornwell made this statement in a recent forum:
 "There is no approved method for adding extensions to Sisterlocks.  Once anything is added to the hair they are no longer Sisterlocks. Call them something else. Also, any deviation to the Sisterlocks name (Sisterlocs, Sistalocks, etc.) is a violation of the trademark."

My interpretation of her statement:
If someone extends their Sisterlocks, then they need to refer to their locs as something other than Sisterlocks.  If the Sisterlocks grid is intact and the extensions are blended, then an unsuspecting Sisterlocks consultant would probably tighten a set of microlock extensions without realizing what they were.

On a separate note, I have said before, the rules are really for the Sisterlocks consultants versus the consumers.  The Sisterlocks consultants apparently can offer microlock extensions services, but they can NOT  offer Sisterlocks extension services.  Consultant can not call locs Sisterlocks if any extensions are attached.

Of course, I also wonder if repairing a Sisterlock by adding a broken loc back onto the loc means that one of your locs is no longer a Sisterlock? Assuming that if most of your locs are Sisterlocks, then you have Sisterlocks, but does anyone really care?

If someone with "bootleg" Sisterlocks (Sisterlocks without a Sisterlocks birth certificate) says they have Sisterlocks, will the "loc police" fly down and write a violation ticket?

A lot of energy was spent on this "play on words" surrounding "microlock extensions."  I am so happy that Dr. Cornwell just laid down the law.  It should make consumers more comfortable with getting extensions if they so choose.  Just be careful that the extensions are done seamlessly, and you stop referencing the Sisterlocks name; at least, until they are cut out or removed.

So folks: that's the deal with loc extensions as it relates to Sisterlocks!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My BraidOut on my Sisterlocks

32 months Sisterlocked; Braid-out styling

32 months Sisterlocked; Braid-out Styling

My starter Sisterlocks - perm rodded

My starter Sisterlocks with mostly relaxed ends.

Many people want immediate gratification.  My loc journey began 32 months ago and continues on.