Nine Months…amongst other things

Good news everyone! My locs have been holding it down for their ninth month – no, no, no, applaud all you want! – and with this month comes new surprises and challenges! Recently, I visited my loctitian (actually, it was more like, last night) and got my hair styled after three months of trying to take care of it myself. And I learned a few truths while sitting in the cushy, pumpy chair – well, actually it was partially the pumpy chair, and partially the chair you hang out in while you’re getting your hair dried, but I digress.  Allow me to enlighten you.

1) There is nothing like having someone else "do" your hair. The scrubby shampoo…sitting under the dryer worrying about nothing but flipping the page to find out more about how stars are "just like us"…having someone else who can see your entire head fix your entire head…it’s wonderful.

Seriously, when I used to have my hair relaxed, I would usually have been feeling growing anxiety. Would I be able to comb my hair into a suitable style? If I get it wet on more time, is it going to poof out on me? What was Lisa going to say to me about all the ways I’d messed up my hair this time? I would sit down in the chair, feel the familiar fingers basting my scalp, and sigh with relief. It was all going to be okay now…now that I was in the chair. When I sit down in the expert’s chair, there’s still a feeling of relief. Like I’ve made it to home base in a game of nuclear tag.

Now, I don’t feel that much anxiety about my hair…well, I hadn’t been feeling that much anxiety about my hair until recently…which leads me to truth #2

2) "Teenage" locs are rebellious. I’d read about bad hair days, people being upset with their locs, wanting to take them down because they just wouldn’t "do" right, and I scoffed at them. OPENLY SCOFFED! And then, about a week ago, I began to realize that my locs which had been so well behaved, were being…stubborn. Headband or no, retwist be damned, these little babies were sticking out all over my head in an unflattering manner. It’s not that I don’t like nappy hair, or that I have a problem with my hair sticking up, I was quite happy during those stages…but this stage was… Well, it’s just long enough to be annoying, but not long enough to really be able to do anything to it. You know? It’s just…You Know?!

3) Because of my attempts to make my locs behave, they’d thinned out way too much.  ("Every other week is way too often!" my loctitian exclaimed woefully.  "You were right to cut back."  It seemed like the wrong time to use the "but the internet said" argument I used in point number 4…) At this last visit,my locs had to get married…and I didn’t really want that. Okay, I’m not big on how big or how small someone’s locs are. In fact, I usually like the look of thicker, cultivated locs. The thin ones…well…I don’t mean to hate…but some of the really thin ones remind me of jheri curls. And I’m afraid of jheri curls. Yeah. I just don’t want to go down that road. And the flat ones…well, I like nature, but I don’t like stuff to be too natural. I’m the type of kid who likes nature trails and walking a little bit off the beaten path out in the woods. But try to stick me in a tent and suggest I hunt or fish for my own food and I’m out. Screw the ticks, I’m going home. So yeah, I knew that cultivated locs were for me. I’d been wondering, recently, if mine were too thin – thinning at the roots, too thin to be cool. So, imagine my surprise when I asked my loctitian if she thought they were too thin and she responded by, as my hands later discovered, marrying some of my favorite locs together. Locs I’d named! (I’d like to say that it hadn’t gone that far, but it had…) I separated a few of them once I got home…I wanted thicker locs, but I didn’t want to get rid of the ones I had! Ridiculous, I know, but there none-the-less.

4) I reluctantly told my loctitian about my home experiments – the avocado experiment…the Carol’s Daughter usage – despite the ingredients list including beeswax…the bit of red yarn that might still be stuck in my hair – and she chuckled. "Oh dear," she said, when I told her about the mayonnaise and avocado conditioner. "You did what with the avocado? I don’t know about that…" she said.

"But I saw it on the internet and…" I began to protest. Then I realized how inane that sounded. "Okay, but the ACV rinses, I mean, I read about those in the same place that I read about the conditioner and…" A lame excuse, I knew. Also, in the midst of this, another woman getting her hair done came to my defense saying that she’d heard about this too.

Another thing that was awesome about the visit to the loctitian: I overheard her talking to another client about buildup. Fearing for my own hair, I listened in. Yes, apparently this client had been using too much loc butter, and was now having to use the ACV rinse to clean out her locs. Loc Butter! It smells so good..and feels great…but alas, it has been leaving some gunk.  In fact, I’ve got some gunk right now in this little basket weave type of ‘do I’ve been wearing today.  But I didn’t feel too bad about it, because several of the women waiting to get their hair done blamed Carol’s Daughter for buildup of one type or another.

So, with these truths realized, hopefully I’ll make it to the next three months without murdering my hair.
All except you…you loc…you know which one you are.

Oh!  And yeah, truth #5: my loctitian won’t hate me if I take a detour off the natural train and dye my hair.  "No, I like color," she said, "I just don’t do color.  I don’t use chemicals of any kind.  I’ve never done it on my own hair, but if I had, I think I’d dye my hair your color, it’s so pretty!"  Well…doesn’t that make me feel a little…nurgh…for wanting a change…gah, she’s so sweet!   Sometimes, I hate that! (Just joking…but not really…but really…kinda…)

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About alburnet

New mom, new natural, and..for the last year...still a new teacher!

Posted on March 20, 2010, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. I was right!
    You’re hair looks really cute as it has for the last 9 months (and before too, I just don’t remember that far back). I have to say I told you so about the avocado though.

  2. 2. Your locs are lookin’ damn good! They look uber mature. My dreads are almost a year old and they still stick up everywhere. Every time I read someone saying, “Oh my gah, my locs are mature at 3 months!” I kinda just scratch my head in confusion.
    3. I lost count of how many locs I’ve “married” in the past year. Even having freeform locs I still have issues with thinning roots, especially in the front where braids strained the area in the past. I ended up conjoining a lot of my favorite locs as well just because they were too thin to save. I made the decision that I’d rather have one healthy loc, than two locs that break off because they were too weak alone.
    4. Ooooh, I shall stay away from avocado now! I always wondered about that. I do an ACV rinse(I usuallly add sea salt, baking soda, tea tree oil, and lemon to the mix) now about every 3 months. I don’t have product build up, but I can vouch for the fact that it’s excellent for getting out excess dirt and dandruff. I tend to have super oil hair and scalp so I don’t condition… but my Mum has been putting organic coconut oil in her locs which she swears by. It holds in a lot of moisture, but doesn’t cause too much buildup because it runs out with hot water.
    5. I’ve heard good things about pure henna as a natural dye, but it sounds like a really messy process. There are a couple of good posts about it in the memories section of the community. Actually, there are several good posts in their memories section that I’ve found to be exceedingly helpful. The community isn’t specifically for African American hair, but it’s updated extremely regularly, and the memories section is well organized and always informative. It’s like a dreadlock bible.

    • Yeah…get_up_dread_up…didn’t really seem that helpful – for specifically black hair problems – other than the memories section, which featured a pretty interesting LJ fight about product and whether or not its use was necessary.
      I dunno how I feel about that. I wanna be like “man…white people gotta take that too?” – but then I think about all the years I spent making my nappy hair look more like white hair and I get over it. :-p
      And as for the avocado…okay, I have a post about that – I think it’s called “Avocado and Locs” – and the only REAL problem I had was that the avocado chunks didn’t really want to wash out…that and the fact that the mayonnaise added plenty of protein, so my hairs were shiny, but not too much moister…so my hairs were stil dry. BUT I have super dry hair…so yeah…
      I’m going to see how the hairs stand up to salt water pretty soon – hitting the beach! – so I’m kind of excited about the ACV rinse you’ve suggested. :-p
      Thanks for commenting! I’ve really enjoyed checking out your freeform locs – I think I’d love to that, if I weren’t so afraid of losing control over my head. Your hair is truly awesome!

      • Hmmm… I don’t think I’ve ever really thought too much about the black people white people dreads thing. It’s an argument I’ve never really wanted to get into. As long as I’m happy with my hair, everything is cool. I’ve been thinking about it more though recently because my current boy thing has been wanting dreads for a while and even though he’s white, he has super wavy Jewish hair. Parts of it are starting to dread on its own without help. One part of me is like, “Oooo, I should probably just take care of that and help him dread up the rest.” and another part of me is like, “NOOOOOO!!! Only I can have dreads. WAAAAAAAH!!!” And there’s another part of me that just likes playing in his loose hair. But, I digress.
        I forgot to mention that you probably don’t want to go by my ACV recipe that I use if you have a normal to dry hair type. It can be a bit drying and I know some people are allergic to tea tree oil. Everyone’s hair is so different I’ve had to be really careful about what information I go by and what information I give out.

      • I totally feel you on the “Hey! This is my thing!” part – although if he already has naturally curly hair, it would probably work out well.
        Thanks for the advice!

  3. Your locs are lovely.
    I can’t offer much help here. I’m only 2 months into my loc journey and I still go in every 2 weeks for maintenance and I don’t do much of anything at home. I sleep with a silk scarf and I have hair oil that I use every few days to keep my scalp from drying out and getting flaky. I used to watch all the youtube videos for maintenance and product ideas but it got to be very overwhelming and confusing. Now I just watch for style ideas.

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