Monday, November 2, 2009

17 Months

Here are my pics at 17 months:

So my hair has finally grown enough in the front for me to pull off having bangs. :) This is a pretty small milestone, but progress nonetheless considering how short my hair started. Ever since a bad haircut several years ago, along with years of braiding, I have had this bowl look (short in the front, longer in the back). I am slowly but surely growing out of it.

I am still using the starter shampoo and shampooing once a week. I used the Sisterlocks reconstructor conditioner because some of my ends were looking on the dry side. I am experimenting with some hair mists though (more on that later).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Month 16

Here are my pictures at 16 months (close to 17 now). It's still growing at its own pace (slowly but surely).

I tried using soft spikes last week but my curls fell after 2 days. Maybe my hair wasn't wet enough. Anyway, this time I wet my hair thoroughly and used a little crinkles and curls setting lotion. I set it overnight on rods about 4 days ago.






I have been thinking about coloring my hair but I am on the fence about it. I've never really been that into color but I've been seeing a lot of people lately with nice color and have been considering experimenting. I like the color of my hair and the texture. Many clients I have seen with color have experienced a change in hair texture and sometimes breakage, so I think I may just forgo the coloring thing for now. It sure is tempting though.

On the goal front, I have almost accomplished the goals I set out at the beginning of the year. Good thing since I will be thinking of my 2010 goals soon. So far the first one is to become a certified sisterlocks consultant.

At my last swim lesson with a new instructor, I actually swam on my own for the first time! No flotation devices, just me in the water and not drowning :-) I still have a few more lessons, because I still need to work on my breathing and form...but I am happy I was able to do that on my own. It looks like my Egypt trip will definitely be postponed, maybe for a few years, and I still haven't found an Arabic class. I downloaded some stuff from iTunes but haven't listened to all of the lessons yet though I learned a few phrases.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

15 Months! - 2009 Goal Update 6

It's been a minute since I've updated my blog. I am at 15 months now and have been experimenting with different looks. I haven't taken as many pictures lately but I will try to post some more soon. These are my pics after just washing my hair:

I think my hair is maturing OK. A lot of my ends are sealed and some are still open. Some of the puffiness is going away too.

As for my goal updates, I finally got my master's degree in the mail last month and got a frame for it. Feels good, but it is an expensive piece of paper. I still have only taken one swimming lesson but I have one scheduled next week so hopefully I will make more progress. I have been doing retightenings like crazy and am looking forward to doing some new locks pretty soon. Working on different hair textures, lengths and locks at different maturity levels is a learning experience. I am going to start putting together a portfolio soon also.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

13 Months! - 2009 Goal Update 5

So I've made it to 13 months and need to do something with my hair. I plan to curl it tonight, but here are some post-wash pre-style pics:

This month I actually retightened my own hair for the first time (well, at least the front which is the most challenging part since I still have hair growing in between my consultant finished the back the following week). I split one of my locs in the front because somewhere along the line it looked like two got joined together. It is growing slowly and I am in the swelling phase where my locks are plumping up, especially in the back, but I'm happy with my progress. I can feel that several of my ends are fully encased while some of my ends are still open.

I graduated last month so now that I'm done with school, I have time to focus on my other goals. I started working in a salon this week so I have been doing more retightenings. So far so good. My retightening time is down from 5-6 hours to 3-4, so I am getting a little faster. It also depends on the condition of the person's hair of course, but that's my ballpark range.

I am still working out on a regular basis and have recruited some work out buddies along the way. I am addicted to Zumba, which is a group exercise class based on latin/international dance. I have also been doing weight training consistently and it turns out I've gained a pound. I bought Bethenny Frankel's book Naturally Thin and it's a good read. It's helping me not become neurotic and obsessive about losing weight and I like her sarcastic/dry sense of humor (she's the natural chef from Real Housewives of NY). I also need to focus on some key things like reducing/eliminating soy intake, increasing protein which can be challenging since I'm a vegetarian, and reducing my caloric intake. Overall I enjoy working out and I feel healthier so at the end of the day it's all good.

I had my first swimming lesson last week. I am getting some of the techniques down but I am still afraid of drowning because I don't think people float the same way fish do. We'll see how that goes.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Year 1!!!

Yesterday marked my official 1st year with sisterlocks! I treated myself to a massage to celebrate. Here are my pics:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

11 Months Sisterlocked! ~ 2009 Goal Update 4

I made it to 11 months on April 19. Nothing much to report, except that I am looking forward to month 12 which will mark my official 1st year sisterlocked! I've been thinking of something to do to celebrate but I have no ideas. I don't want to make too big a deal of it but I do want to acknowledge the day. Maybe I'll take a trip to the spa, or get something for my hair. I don't know, any suggestions?

My 2009 goals are coming along. As of today I FINALLY finished all of my papers, projects, and assignments for class. Now the nail biter...waiting for my final grades to get in. I have calculated where I am so far but I don't know my final exam and report grades yet. Hopefully I'll know where I stand by the end of the week.

I have still been going to the gym regularly, although I missed a couple of days. I like the group classes, they are usually an hour and give me a full body workout without having to think about it. I'm focusing more on weight training though to make sure I get it in at least 3 times per week. If I stick to my schedule, I should lose 9 lbs. by July (10 lbs. fat loss, 1 lb. muscle gain).

Since my school work is finished, I am going to sign up for swim lessons. I had an appointment today but I had the time wrong so I have to reschedule. After that I need to plan a vacation...

I have given up on trying to find an Arabic class but I downloaded some lessons from iTunes I have been listening too. Not bad, but it doesn't help with writing the characters. I will have to carve out some time to do self-study with the textbook I have.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

2009 Goal Update 3

OK, so I am having trouble finding an Arabic class around these parts...I may just have to try studying on my own at some point. That's for later this year though.

As for my other goals, here's how it's going so far:

  • School: I am slacking a little on my classes but I'm mostly caught back up. I finished my paper the other day which was a struggle. I'm waiting for it to be graded *crossing fingers* and now I have to focus on my group assignments again. One thing is for sure, I am DONE with college after this! Graduation date is May 16, 2009!!!
  • Sisterlocks: I am looking forward to going to the black hair expo this month to hopefully pass out some brochures for Sisterlocks. Business has been slow but I've been focused on school so it's just as well. At the end of the month when classes are winding down I will concentrate on it more. I am thinking about working in a salon so I don't have to do SLs out of my home.
  • Fitness: As for my vaguely stated goal to get in shape, hanging out with PLMachine-MD and NeesasMom is slowly turning me into a fitness junkie too...or as PLMachine-MD says "the new princess of fitness" lol. My goals aren't as lofty as theirs, I just want to lose 2 inches off my waist (maybe 10 lbs. while I'm at it) and get in shape. Once I'm reasonably "fit" I may take some martial arts classes. I definitely want to do some self-defense training but I'm not into karate, I want something more practical so if I'm in a dark alley alone I can hold my own (not that I hang out in dark alleys). Anyway, I have been touring different gyms in the area and finally joined one this week. I have 14 days to try it out but I may not cancel after all.
  • Swimming: Now that I have Sisterlocks and don't have to worry about my hair looking a hot mess, my new goal is to learn to swim by the end of the year. I did know how to swim at one point, I think, when I was like 4 but I guess like they say if you don't use it, you lose it. So I plan to learn how to swim this year so the next time I go to a beach or get on a boat I don't have to worry about drowning.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reached the 10-month mark!

I made it to 10 months and things are moving along. My hair is progressing nicely and I am noticing some of my ends are fully closed now. Mostly it's still coiled at the ends, but my days of slippage are gone. I am enjoying life wiithout braiding and banding! It takes much less time to wash my hair so I am glad I made it pass that phase! I took some pictures with my digital camera after my retightening:

On an unrelated note, I am moving along with one of my 2009 goals. I got a 93 on my mid-term so hopefully I will make it through the rest of the semester. Wish me luck!

Friday, February 27, 2009

9 Month Pictures

Here are my 9 month pics. I was in a bit of a rut with the freestyle so I tried an updo. I don't have much length but I think it looks OK. I flat twisted the front and the back and did a twist out and pinned up the middle.

Here is a pic that shows my progess from month 1 to month 9:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

9 Months!

I have made it to month 9 of my Sisterlocks journey! At my last retightening I got some good news.


I no longer have to braid and band!!!!!!! I wasn't expecting this so soon but my consultant shampooed my hair without braiding and banding and it held up fine.

I have also started doing some of my own retightening but I've stayed away from the back since I can't see back there. I made a few mistakes that I was able to correct...I retightened two locks into one (not cool) but I was able to get them apart. I am learning to feel my way around but I also just don't have the time to get through it all right now, so I will continue to go to my consultant every 4 weeks.

I am definately going to enjoy shampooing my hair this week...wish me luck!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

2009 Goal Update 2

OK, so I found out after registering and purchasing the text book that the Arabic class I was going to take was cancelled due to low enrollement :( The book has a DVD so I think I will still study on my own, although at this point my other class is kicking my butt. I have to buckle down and get to studying. I stayed up last night to get caught up with my reading as of last week, now I have to start on this week's assignments...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Black Hair Survey Results

OK, so I finally got around to summarizing the results from the survey. Around 50 people responded to my 2008 survey. It revealed some interesting things to me about the reality of our hair versus our perception of our hair and natural beauty in general. I plan to repeat it in 2009 to see if I can get more perspectives on black women's hair care.

State of Hair

Most women who responded to the survey, around 75%, had naturally dark brown hair (in the 1B to 2 range for those accustomed to the braid/weave/track colors) and still have their natural hair color. More than half (about 53%) described their hair as tightly coiled (as opposed to a medium or loose curl pattern).

An overwhelming 92% had a perm at some point in their lives (bless the 8%!), and about 90% have worn braids at some point also. 16% believe natural hair is unattractive but around 60% are happy with their hair texture. A little over half had tried twists, corn rows, or afros. Most respondents had natural hair:
· Natural/Loose Hair: 37.0%
· Perm/Relaxer: 15.2%
· Traditional Locks: 4.3%
· Sisterlocks: 43.5%

Hair Styles & Maintenance

Most ladies who had sisterlocks reported that was their favorite hair style (usually a braid/twist out or freestyle). Only 3 people reported a preference for weaves. Over half did not feel their hair was high maintenance.

Hair Care Problems

Only 12% reported they never had any hair problems (lucky!). ¾ of respondents currently or in the past reported problems with dry, itchy, or flaky scalp and about half previously had hair that was too dry. Nearly 90% experienced a problem with breakage in the past or currently.

These results indicate to me that we do not know how to care for our hair and/or the chemicals and products we have used in the past were not suited to our hair type and texture. Yes, even products with red, black, & green logos have not treated us well.

Almost 60% had previously or currently experienced thinning hair along the hair line. This is probably due to styling (weaves, too tight braids, etc.) and the natural tendency of the hair around the edges to be softer, thinner, or more fragile. The same amount reported issues with their hair tangling. About 40% reported current or previous uneven hair as a problem and 47 percent currently have a problem with their hair shedding.

Hair Length

Only 39% were happy with their hair length and 58% wished their hair was longer. Only 2 people felt their hair was too long. 55% of women said they had short hair while only 12% think they have long hair. 41% report never having had long hair in their lifetime. Despite this, no one believes their hair is unable to grow. This tells me we know we are doing something wrong and may just believe we don’t have the right answer. I know my hair can grow, but I don’t know how to treat it so it will be healthy and grow naturally.

I did not state long or short in inches because I wanted it to be based on our perceptions of length. I may be more specific in a future survey to see what we think is long versus short hair. As a gauge, shorter than shoulder length seems to be considered “short” while anything beyond that is “long.” Shoulder length hair could go either way depending on your perception.

More than half believe men prefer long hair and that they would look better with long hair. Only 14% believe they look better with short hair. This was striking to me because most people don’t believe their hair is long but they think that’s what men prefer. I wonder if that’s true or if that’s what we think. What an effect that can have on our self-esteem. I am almost tempted to do a black men’s survey to see what they think :-)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Latest Styling Attempt/First Retightenting

I was getting tired of the soft spikes since my last attempt at curls only lasted 48 hours. I wanted a tighter curl that lasted longer so I bought some perm rods and some setting lotion (gasp!). I know, I broke the cardinal lock newbie rule of putting something in my hair besides water. My curls lasted for a t least week until I washed it so I'm happy with the results. Next time I'll just use water so the Sisterlocks gods will smile down upon me :) Here are my pics:

On another note, I did my first retightening! It took about 4 hours but I finished retightening Neesa's Mom's hair over the weekend. I also met a potential client while I was getting my blood drawn at the dr's office (guess you can talk about Sisterlocks anywhere) and through a friend of mine. Hopefully I will get my first client soon.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

2009 Goal Update 1

So in my happy new year (2009) post I stated a few things I planned on doing this year. I thought I would give a quick update on what I've done so far since I actually feel like I accomplished some things already :)

  • I signed up for an Arabic class near my house so I will start the class next month. (I already bought the text book!)
  • I registered for the last class required for my master's degree this semester and purchased all my text books.
  • I completed the sisterlocks training class

Seems like I'm moving at warp speed so I'm going to have to slow down. Of course I realize the initial burst of energy will drain, so hopefully I can stay consistent with completing my goals. That's always the hard part.

Month 8 Pictures

Here are my pictures from my 8th month being sisterlocked. I set my hair with soft spike curlers and slept in them overnight. They didn't last that long and were fairly loose. As my hair settles in more I'll be able to use setting lotion so maybe the curls will last longer. For now I'm just using water.

Monday, January 19, 2009

8 months!

Today I have officially been sisterlocked for 8 months. I just got my hair retightened and it feels good to have parts again. I had a lot of hair growing in between my locs. I almost felt like there was a mini fro taking over my locks! Luckily most of that weird growth spurt has been pulled into my existing locks and my parts are visible one again. I will post pics soon.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Sisterlocks Training & Hair Care Survey

Its official, I am signed up to take the sisterlocks training and I can't wait! I admit I made the decision on a whim (an expensive one at that), but I am passionate about sisterlocks and hope the class will help me be able to help others love their natural hair. I know some consultants already that I can hopefully work with to fine tune my skills after the training. And of course I will be my first guinea pig!

I also decided that I should wrap up my hair care survey and post a summary of the results. Some of the responses were quite interesting. I will probably shut it down later this week so this is your last chance if you want to participate (link to the right or look for post labeled black hair survey).

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Happy new year!

I was reflecting on 2008 and realized I had a few firsts this year:

  • I got my first iPod! (I know I'm late)
  • For the first time my two front teeth are even and gap free (long story)
  • I went to my first presidential political rally
  • I went to a spa for the first time
  • I went to my first concert (rock the bells!)
  • I am wisdom tooth free for the first time (got the last 3 pulled, what fun!)
  • I got my first bike since I was like 8 years old
  • I discovered the joys of butternut squash
  • I started my first blog

    And most importantly...
  • I got sisterlocks!

In 2009 I plan to take a class to brush up on my Arabic skills that I seem to have left on the campus of Howard University, plan a trip to Egypt for this year or 2010, take the sisterlocks training class, and finally finish my masters degree (one more class).

I don't make new years resolutions, but suffice it to say I know I am out of shape and need to get back to exercising (don't we all).

Happy new year!