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.