Sisterlocks-Look I am a beautiful butterfly

I have been in a natural hair cocoon for seven years. I started this blog to chronicle the life and times of my sisterlocks. And from time to time any other random thing that suites my fancy or draws my ever so curious mind. You are welcomed to drop me a comment anytime and feel free to link to this blog. ***Please do not copy my photos without my expressed permission***

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My hair's journey

I decided to take a trip down memory lane ,that and I just got a scanner. Anywho, as I looked over some of my old pictures I had to laugh at where my hair has been. (Honestly, I am just grateful to still have some hair on my head!)

There is a picture of my Jeri Curl below, it was sooo dry (yes I am wearing fruit covered shorts!) I am surprised I was allowed to walk out of the looks like it could catch fire at any time! O-kay take a look at the Prom picture (there is one where I am wearing a blue dress and one wear I am wearing a green one) Will you look at the hair, people? I was extremely fond of hard updos..however on the day of my senior prom (the green dress that I still have) my hair dresser informed me that she could not do hard updos! What??? I almost passed out. So she finger waved my whole head. Yes, you heard me right, finger waved my whole head and then picked it out at the top. Needless to say this is how my bride of Frankenstein look occurred.

One of my favorite pictures is of me in Louisiana, my mama's hometown. I am actually in New Orleans in July 2005 (Just before the destruction of Katrina) I was there as always for the Essence Festival. I am in a door frame and in the picture I have "sistertwists" that is a story in and of it self. There is a picture below that was taken at a convention in ATL, I was trying the wash and curl look...hmmmm, enough said. ( A very mean man called me a Chiapet in downtown ATL, a Chiapet?...I am not certain what else to say) It was an ignorant and quite unnecessary comment. I was way too busy having a ball to care about his nasty tail! What are you doing to do...but go to Glady's Knights and get your groove back with a fried chicken omelette:)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My mama came to visit me!

In the previous post I mentioned my Mother. Well she came to visit me! I decided to do a brief post about her. My mother is creole from Louisiana. In the late 1950's her mother followed my grandfather north. But, my grandmother never really adjusted to the "climate." And upon her wishes she was flown back to Shreveport when she passed. Talking to my mother you really get a great idea of how it felt growing up and being different. Blonde hair and fair skin were very rare traits among my mothers friends in the North (back home she fit in like a glove). I think we all go through that stage where we are trying to find who we truly are. Needless to say there are plenty of pictures with her hair dyed black or brown to tone down the blonde. After years of hiding her natural color she accepted her hair for what it was, uniquely hers. She went to my first sister-locks consultation with me and loved my consultant and the process...let's keep our fingers crossed:)

I inherited a cross between both my parents hair and skin. My mothers hair is naturally blond and very course. Her afro's were beautiful and full. I remember her being very afro-centric and proud as I grew up, she helped foster this characteristic in me. My fathers hair is dark, soft and fine (like most daddy's in the seventies he rocked the huge side burns) The picture above is the two of them at senior prom.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I am not my hair?

This is a subject that has been on my heart and I felt that I had to post about it. I find it extremely divisive to debate the true and right-way to wear our natural hair. I recently read a post that discussed cultured dreads vs. manicured locks. This debate, to me harkens back to the light vs. dark skinned mess. Did we forget "Willie Lynch??? Willie Lynch Letter
At it core is the assertion that one is better than the other. As a creole woman born in Louisiana my mother has told me stories of brown paper bag parties and the things done to her friends to make them feel less than because of hair texture, completion or just the wrong pedigree or the way children and families were pitted against one another on the basis of outward appearance ( including hair texture, type, appearance etc)....I do not think we are naive enough to believe that these type of things do not still happen but, one would hope that in our community at least we could just accept the differences that make us beautiful...o-Kay I will get off my soap box:) Below is the post I wrote:

I am actually a sisterlocked sista and I have to say that I am a bit disappointed in discussions that have a premise around the “right way” to wear our hair. As a proud woman of African decent I have chosen a route that I deemed best for my hair. I would like to think that each of use has the right to choose what works well for our lives. I am not looking to win the “most” authentic title. I did not choose my hairstyle for the approval of anyone except myself. This discussion on hair seems to be as divisive as discussions of light skinned verses dark skinned in our community. What is this? Instead of being so critical about our natural hair choices it would seem to me that we would try to embrace one another. “Dread-yankee?” How is this label helpful? What purpose does it serve?

There are hundreds of women/men who have finally found a way to embrace their God given beauty. Who have struggled through and jumped over 400 years of brainwashing and negative self-imagery. There are more women/men who are looking in the mirror today and loving the beautiful black cloud that grows from there roots…who are we to tell them how to love it?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Give me a brake?

I decided to try a rod set once again. On October 24 when my SL's were initially installed, my consultant styled my hair much like the pictures posted here. The only difference is that she used "Crinkles and Curls" and I used water. After my hard work I really liked the initial look however, after sleeping on my hair I awoke the next day and much to my horror and dismay, my hair did not remotely look the same. The rod set did not hold as long as my consultants', meaning that my curls were no longer spirals they were evolving into...not a good look, i.e., a hot mess. I think that I need a little "C and C." But, I have decided that I will be patient and wait to start using any products on my hair until told further. So ladies and gentlemen I have decided to slow down on the "heavy" styling. Yup, you heard me right. As hard as it is to keep my hands out of my head...I feel that I need to give them a little more time to "mature."

Monday, November 13, 2006

"The Bluest Eye"

Today I saw the Toni Morrison's, "The Bluest Eye" performed at a local theatre in DC. I really did not know what to expect. Toni Morrison is by far my favorite writer and I have read this book more times than I would like to admit...needless to say my expectations were very high. I have to say the performance was excellent! I was blown away by this powerful performance. I was throughly impressed and surprised at how true the performance was to the book. Next stop for the show is NYC for an off Broadway run. I think tickets are selling out quickly...

P.S...note to production manager: two hours is a wee-bit long to sit with no intermission. I am just saying...

The pictures are as follows:
1. Me on the way to the theatre ( I am still free-styling my SL's and loving every moment)
2. "The Bluest Eye" set...(at the end the eyes light up blue, it is very eery)
3. H Street Playhouse marquis
4. I love D.C. architecture...this is a shot of the theatre entrance...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Dump 'em

Much like Brunsli...I had a bit of a stressful week....

But, while going through the ritual of washing my hair. My eyes caught sight of several former products lying aimlessly around my bathroom. (You know how ex's are...they show out just as soon as you have moved on) I started to examine the litany of ingredients listed in these products and decided…I was done! When has yellow dye #5 ever been a necessary additive? Do not get me started!

I digress. If you ever have a stressful day, this is what you do. Get a glass of wine (fruit juice for those non-partakers) play some nice music and rounded up the suckers.

You know, the shampoos, glazes, straighters, curling crème, conditioner, the do-grow, won't grow, can't grow and what- not. We are talking about the junky ones…you know with the blah, blah, blah and then thirty lines and a serious migraine later you get to the 6% tea tree oil or something of that nature.

I dumped all of the products... I was like a little mad scientist in my bathroom. (Take it from me, as a woman who worked in the clinical laboratory for seven years I was formally in character, wooo-hooo-ha ha!!!) To end my night proper, I used the empty containers to play horse. (My shot is a little off)

Not to worry, cause I am an environmentally friendly kinda gal; I recycled all of the containers. If I had to take a guess I would say that I trashed over $200.00 bucks worth of product. Two hundred smackers! Do you know what I could do with two hundred dollars? I detest wasting money...think I can get a refund?

My "check up"...

I went for my two-week check up with my consultant Sharonne Jackson-Little. She was very proud of her work. She explained that my hair was exactly as it should be and that I was doing what was needed. She did retighten my nap (i.e., soft spot, it is the only place on my head that does not curl) Anywho, I have posted some pictures about my "wash, wrap, and wear" routine. I do what most of the veterans do. I did in fact have to stop using the SL's starter shampoo. My hair started to become, itchy all over...We no likey.

1) I braid and band
2) I wash gently using a zig-zag motion (per my consultant instructions)
3) I dry with my.... Aquis hair towel (thanks Brunsli this works great)
4) I tie my head with the LB soc and off I go too beddy-bye.

The end is in sight!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Blogger Snob!!!

Ya'll I would like to offer my sincerest apologies. On Saturday I decided I wanted to learn more about the blogging world. What did I do? Well a lot, I was playing with everything...I mean so many of ya'll have beautiful blogs how could I resist! I ended up changing my comment settings to have me moderate all know like a Blogger Big Brother. I am so sorry for those of you who left comments and could not see them until now. One of my girlfriends call me today and said she could not see her comments...M'excuser (seven long years of French and that's all I got people)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The tale of two heads...

O-kay. I decided to take a closer look at what is happening to my hair. In the first picture you will is my hair freestyled. I got up this morning gave it a quick mist with water. (this is sooo easy I am loving this) However, because of years of pressin', I have altered the composition on the nap of neck. This is the area where I have had the minor slipage. As you can see from the back picture, my hair is in spike rollers. The pieces in the back stick straight out. Before sisterlocks my nap was longer, my sides came to my jawline and the crown was almost even with the back. Now, no curl or anything at the nap...darn press! Has this happened to anyone else?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Oh heck naw!

I have always had a problem with over production of oil on my face and scalp. With my skin I have struggled with acne and finally in my late 20's I got that issue taken care of however, my scalp is another issue. There have been one or two times out of nowhere when I had what looked like cradle cap. (Seborrheic Dandruff as diagnosed by my dermatologist) Yes, people I said cradle cap. Not a good look for a grown woman. I am being a bit dramatic understand.

This was a worry when I decided to get sisterlocks, because I am one of those women who has to wash her hair once a week. When I first started my research, a consultant in Delaware who had seborrhea dandruff said not too worry, it just met that she has to wash a bit more frequently. My sisterlock consultant and I actually discussed what seborrheic dandruff would mean for the locking process. It was just a question that I brought up, at that point in my consultation there were no issues with my scalp at all.

Today, I took a look in the mirror and yes; the front of my hair was a bit flaky. I no likey! Before sisterlocks I used different shampoo that I loved Phytojojoba. I recently washed my hair with the SL' starter shampoo not too long there a link? What do ya'll think? Maybe not...but I do not have time to play the blame game, I had a crisis on my hands.

Under the circumstances what is a gal to do except, go off protocol? I went to WholeFoods (one of my many favorite spots to shop). After doing a little research, I purchased the following: Rosemary essential oil, tea tree essential oil, witch hazel and jojoba oil. I mixed these ingrediates in a small spray bottle. The sprayed my scalp where the offense was...and volia, no flakes. Besides smelling like a tea tree forest, my scalp is back to normal and I am a happy camper.

From this and other experiences, I have learned that everything has to be in balance. A slight change in diet, sleep, stress or exercise affects me in a major way. The book that I consult most is HealthyHealing. I like the thought of using nutrition to aid my health and well being of my body. I also like the thought of doing what my mommom did, using her innate knowledge to heal her body. (Not counting the one time she called down to Florida to get a recipe to help cure my tonsillitis...for the record I do believe I still have my tonsils...I am just not certain if they function after such an assault. lol.) Everyone gets a bit overzealous on occasion.

Memoirs of a Sisterlocked Geisha...

A soror of mine had a really nice costume/birthday party last night. I dressed up as a Geisha (always fun) Anywho, a few of my girlfriends and I just happen to start discussing natural hair. (In the ladies room mind you) All of us are in different stages of being natural: one girl was pressed, one coiled, one pulled back in a natural Afro puff and I was sisterlocked, under the wig of course. There was so much excitement and energy around natural hair it was unreal. There was an exchange of hair woes and wonders and each woman had a specific moment when she said, enough was enough. We of course discussed sisterlocks and I found myself more dramatic than my normal dramatic self. A friend tried to get me to take off my wig, but that thing was plastered to my hair with over twenty booby pins. (we would need a jack hammer and a few glasses of wine to get it off) As a consequence, I am waiting for a call from her today, she wants to come over and see my hair.... maybe another sisterlocks convert.

Ps. ( For those of you who are concerned my sisterlocks did survive under that nasty wig, resilient little things...these SL's)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I got my very first digital camera today. I am impressed. I purchased a film camera about three years ago, it was a major investment so buckling down and purchasing another piece of equipment was not in the plans. However, I found a great deal at Costco. The purchased a Canon SD550 and printer. After the Weezy Jefferson incident, I did a braid-out. I am learning a lot about this head of mine. First, (like most African-American women) I have several grades of hair in my head. In general my hair is very dense. The crown has a very tight curl pattern, the front is straight, I mean bone straight (I have not had a perm in seven years however, during my "pressin" years my stylist gave me a double press, hot comb followed by flat iron) As I have gotten older the hair at the nap (the kitchen for those of us who know) has changed. It grows very slowly and it is baby soft (for obvious reasons I am not at all pleased this. This is where I have had some minor slippage) I do not have time for the slippage!

Who am I looking down at you ask? Why it is little Li-Li. My 3 year Wheaten Terrier. He wants brotherlocks so badly...unfortunately for him he does not have enough money to pay.