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Hair Story – Happy 1st Year Lockaversary To Me

September 30th, 2011 · 29 Brilliant Opinions · Random Things That Make Me Smile

A year ago, I made the decision to loc my hair.  My Sisterlocks™ were installed at  Sabine’s Hallway Natural Hair Salon in Brooklyn, New York.

Sabine of Sabine's Hallway

I am not  part of the  natural hair mafia.  I don’t believe “natural” is for everyone and I am loathe to preach about it to others.  On the other hand, what a great journey for  me and my hair.  After years of pressing, dyeing, relaxing, weaving, pulling, teasing, blow drying and largely torturing my fine, thin, curly hair …. now with Sisterlocks…shush….I think I just heard my hair say “THANK YOU.”

The most difficult part of my own hair journey was sharing my decision to get Sisterlocks™  with Big P.  I didn’t tell him until the day before my  installation.  He has generally been supportive of my hair choices but like many African-American men, he likes long, straight hair. I don’t blame him, we are all conditioned to believe that long, straight hair  is better.

Frankly, my head looked a bit scary right after the installation.   I was advised to braid and curl my hair to camoflauge the  scalpy, “plucked” chicken appearance.  My hair did fill out over the first week and the locks themselves have swelled to about 3x their original size.  During the first few months of being locked, I noticed some thinning in my crown and the back of my head.  I saw a dermatologist who recommended I be monitored every six months but did not think that my hair loss was severe enough to warrant a scalp biopsy. (This thinning was present prior to  getting Sisterlocks™ but became more noticeable due to the grid pattern of the partings used.)

Over the last year I have ditched most hair products (new Sisterlocks™ can not have conditioner or oils applied).  This has been my hair care regimen over the last year.

1.  Shampoo weekly with Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention Shampoo. This shampoo is very rich and has a lot of slip, so I usually dilute a small portion for  immediate use.

2.  If my hair is matted  in the mornings or feeling a little dry I mist with Shea Moisture Organic Yucca & Baobab Thickening Moisture Mist or water.

3.  Once my locks started to mature, I got permission from my lockitician to do a monthly deep condition.  I use Carol’s Daughter Tui Hair Smoothie.

4.  Although Sisterlocks™ can be styled with curling irons and flat irons – I have not used any direct heat (including blow dryers) on my hair.

5.  I usually curl my Sisterlocks™ with either  sponge rollers,  Loc-Loops or Caruso Steam Curlers.  When using sponge rollers or Loc-Loops, I section my hair and apply Jane Carter Solution Wrap and Roll.

6.  I  take Biotin 5 mg  and a multivitamin every morning.  I am not sure if this is promoting any hair growth, but I have noticed that my nails are not as brittle.

7.  I am in the gym 3-4 times a week and drink about 2 liters of water a day.

8.  I use no pomades on my hair.  On occasion if my hair feels dry, I will jump into my steam shower at home and then apply a dime sized amount of coconut oil to my ends.

9.  If I am traveling I tie my hair down with a silk or satin scarf.  I don’t do this at home because Big P says he feels like he is sleeping with Aunt Jemima. (Yep, he said that.)

If there is one thing I hate about Sisterlocks™  it is getting my hair retightened  (the process of adding new hair growth to the lock).  My retightenings take an average of 4-6 hours every five weeks. Most folks with sisterlocks have retightenings that take 3 hours. My longer sessions are  largely due to the  soft, loose, texture of my hair which is prone to slippage (unraveling).  When I reached the  9 month mark, I took a Sisterlocks retightening course.  I have no intention of doing my  hair myself but wanted to be able to do my  freshen up my hairline between salon visits.

What  do I love about Sisterlocks™ ?  – having versatile, water-friendly, low maintenance, neat, and  travel-friendly hair.  When I travel, I pack a small spray bottle and some sponge rollers. I usually don’t even use the rollers and just do a braid-out.    Even Big P, who has been a fan of the perfectly coiffed Mrs. Obama has started to love my hair and ahem…has his hands in it all the time.

Below is my 12 month Sisterlocks™ journey in pictures.  Click on the photos to enlarge for viewing.

Sisterlocks at 2 months

Sisterlocks at 5 months

Sisterlocks at 6 months

Sisterlocks at 7 months

Sisterlocks at 8 months

Sisterlocks at 11 months

 

Sisterlocks at 12 months

 

I’m spending less time on my hair, and more time enjoying my life.  I would love to hear about your stories of  personal transformation. Sharing is caring!


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29 Comments so far ↓

  • Diva Goddess

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  • Ann

    Oh my… a compliment from the one and only Diva Goddess. Thank You! Made my day.

  • Terez

    Wow! I’m a huge Sisterlocks fan, and yours look gorgeous.

  • Ann

    Terez – thanks for stopping by my blog. I have a great consultant and while its been painful to give up my “products” (cue sad thrombone) … I really love the freedom of sisterlocks!

  • Natasha

    Love the hair and the product recommendations. I am a “product” lover as well.

  • Ann

    Thanks. I’m weaning myself off the products. My go to product now is water. With Sisterlocks, less is definitely more.

  • Mary

    As the year end you also get the chance of ending a year with happy thoughts which was brought by your hair style. It sounds like you had a year full of beautiful and affable moments as you had your hair fixed in the way you wanted it.
    Mary recently posted..products for hair loss

  • Ann

    After torturing my hair over so many years – I’m very happy to still have some on my head. Thanks for your comment Mary.

  • nishka

    i am considering locking my hair also, i have very think and kinky type of hair(looks similar to yours) my concern is with the appropriate width.

  • Ann

    Nishka – If you want to self-maintain your locks … you may want to consider going with medium or large sized sisterlocks. One suggestion, at your consultation have your stylist place a few of each size so you have any idea of how they will look. Also keep in mind that they will “plump” up quite a bit.

    P.S. My hair is kinky but fine and thin (womp.womp)

  • Melodie K.

    Anne,

    Am totally on board with all that you say about the beauty of Sisterlocks. They definitely make traveling anywhere, anytime sooo much easier! Sabine put mine in as well – just over 3 years ago. She rocks!

  • Ann

    Melodie- Sabine is the bomb! Because of her great skills – not only has my hair grown but I she noted some mild hair loss which prompted a medical evaluation that revealed some vitamin and mineral deficiencies. I’m under a dermatologist’s care and it looks like things are slowly gettng better.

  • Patricia

    Thanks for your posts… one of the most and informative that I have seen. I want Sisterlocks badly, but I also have thin hair and I’m afraid of the “plucked chicken” look. How did you get around that in a professional settings – plucked chicken in a business suit, does not sound like a good look. Btw – I am currently a weave queen – and I work with people that have no idea about afro hair… it will be a dramatic change that will need lots of explaining.

  • Ann

    Hi Patricia – I have very fine thin hair and recently got diagnosed with androgenetic alopecia. I’m the thin hair poster girl! The plucked chicken look lasted about 2 weeks. I did consider wearing a wig but I did not own any. I felt self-conscious but the locktician advised me to braid my sisterlocks and then set them on sponge rollers. This gave them a fuller look. Some folks asked me about my hair and I explained the process as best I could. I am a physician and I also work with people who don’t understand a lot about our hair. Most thought they were extensions or a weave. My approach was to politely answer any questions … I even allowed touching. I figured the more people understand about African American hair – the more accepting they will be. I’m at the 18 month mark and get a ton of compliments from non-blacks.
    My only regret is not locking my hair sooner. I did a lot of damage to my hair while thinking about getting sisterlocks. One last thing, be careful with the weaves … I’m seeing a ton of women with traction alopecia. Thanks for reading my blog!

  • Nytasha

    Hi,

    I just scheduled my appointment with Sabine yesterday. Question… how long was your hair when you had your install? Also, have you cut or trimmed them since?

  • Ann

    Hi Nytasha – My hair was fully natural and I believe 6 or 7 inches. I have trimmed of a few ends of my locks to even it up in the back but no major haircuts since my install. Sabine is fantastic and I know you will love your sisterlocks. Feel free to contact me at ann@waterwinetravel.com if you have any additional questions.

  • Linda

    Hi, I am new to this site. Actually I do not usually answer to make a comment; but I find myself so encouraged by your story.

    I recently, just last week met a young woman with sisterlocks and I stared at her so intensely that I had to call to her and speak to her about her hair. I have just taken out my knicky twist extensions, and have bee natural for over 4 years.

    Now after touching her hair and seeing the locks and gaining information online this weekend, I am ALMOST sold on getting my hair in lock. My hair is about your length when you put yours in.

    You look so pretty!…thanks for sharing…I am looking for a consultant for more information…
    Interested, Linda
    Linda recently posted..A Letter to My 24 Year Old Self

  • Ann

    Linda – go for it. Give it a year… If you don’t love them you can always cut them off. Thanks for your comment.

  • Linda

    Thanks for responding…..I talked to my sisters and my niece last night about sisterlocks….my niece called tonight with information about a salon right in our neighborhood, or at least not 5 miles from my home…….the consultant invited me to stop by and I plan to today………your information and photos help me to have confidence in knowing something about the style…so I will ask all the questions I can to try to ensure that the stylist knows he stuff…..I’ll keep you posted…………thanks again, Ann,…Linda

  • Ann

    Good for you Linda. Keep in mind that no two heads of sisterlocks look alike. Your sisterlocks will be unique based on your hair texture. I have no regrets… wish I had done it sooner.

  • Linda

    Hello Ann,
    I went to the salon i heard about where a consultant stated to my niece she does sisterlocks and it would take 3 days. She was not at work, the other stylist tried giving me information about the other woman, including that she did not work there more that a few days a week, and that she herself had not seen any evidence of photos, etc. that helped to prove i was getting true information.

    I left my number anyway, this was Thursday, and I have not heard from the shop, so I feel uneasy already; maybe she is very busy elsewhere, or is not so interested in seeing me. At any rate I will continue to seek other consultants…..Linda

    p/s: my husband asked me if I was sure about this, and I am; he is very supportive!
    Linda recently posted..A Letter to My 24 Year Old Self

  • Ann

    Linda – you should look for consultants in your area at the sisterlocks.com website. Also if you are a Facebook user, there is a page Sisterlocked and Loving it where you can get a lot of informations from both clients and consultants. Please send me a photo once you get your install (ann@waterwinetravel.com)

  • trish

    About to get sister locs after may years of contemplation, very nervous but your testimony is very empowering, calming my nerves
    Thankis

  • Theo

    I just wanted to say that your sisterlocks are beautiful. I am planning on getting mine installed later this year after about 2yrs. of serious contemplating and forever admiring other’s locs of all kinds. I am excited about the freedom and versatility sisterlocks seem to offer……thanks for the encouragement

  • Ann

    Thank you!

  • Lorraine

    Your sisterlocks are lovely. I am contemplating on getting mine soon. It would be nice if you posted an update.

  • Ann

    Thank you for your kind words. I’ve been struggling with alopecia, but will do an update soon.

  • Ann

    No worries. It is just hair. You can cut it if you don’t like it.

  • Jenna

    Lovely hair,lovely share. I wear mni-micro twists, no extensions. Natural for about 5 years now. I had sisterlocks installed in just the back of my head to see if I would like them. It’s been about 1 month. My test drive is to help me choose a size. I like smallocks. Your size is beautiful and looks very versatile. How much in diameter did the overall size increase? Are yours considered small, micro, medium? Any recent pics? Thanks for sharing your journey. Very inspiring especially the part about big Picture.

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