Today was my first day in the new cancer research lab. Studying myeloma, but that is not important. At least not for this post!
I had a wonderful experience! Not only because I enjoyed learning about the research, but because felt like nobody was judging me or was startled to see that I was (1) black (2) female (3) looked very young and (4-my favorite) that I wore a head wrap! I wanted to show them right off that I was going to be my normal unique self! I think they respected that and also respected the fact that I was confident, friendly, scientifically literate, and willing to learn! I hope that every part of me stood out, my look, and my ability to be a positive addition to the lab! There are so many things to worry about when you are pretty much alone (ethnicity and culture) in every aspect of our life, so I have decided to just be me, and worry about one less thing! This time, it went over well, I just hope it stays that way! Or at least continues to get better.
Mature, upbeat, positive message for all women to take seriously! Being real, natural, and free is a beautiful thing!
In a few more months it will be one year since I started my locs. It has been a truly happy to be nappy experience, but let me tell you about these locs. I have gone through several stages. I tried to keep them manicured for a few weeks, by going to get them retwisted every 2-3 weeks, then I did DIY for a while, then I semi-free formed for a while, then they and I went crazy ,and I removed about 2/3 of the locs in the back and sides. I’ll explain each phase in detail and where I am now:
Stage 1: Retwisting Religiously (tongue twister for ya)
- My hair dresser who I mentioned in an older post, agreed to give me a discount for retwisting if I would come in every 2- 3 weeks. That was the catch. I had to come in fairly often and spend $35 each time. Not bad if you are not living right at the poverty line on a grad school grant. That would have been almost like having an extra bill per month totaling up to $70. I can’t even do it!
Stage 2: DIY Ditty
- I was used to fixing my own hair anyway, so I thought that I could wash and twist my new locs myself. This worked somewhat, but I think 2 things happened. (1) I may have twisted in the opposite direction than my hairdresser had started the locs, which is kind of a problem because although the locs would still loc, they would be weak at that point where they had to change direction. Also, the shorter locs didn’t know what to do. I’ll come back to that in stage 4. (2) I could not see what I was doing in the back of my head. My shorter hair would come totally a loose after washing, and I would struggle with getting the parts back straight in the back. So this leads into Stage 3:
Stage 3: Free-form Fail
- Free-forming is letting your hair naturally loc by just washing and going; no combing, no parting, no twisting: (see Bob Marley, Lauryn Hill?) Semi-free-form is doing that for about 1-2 months, then going to get them retwisted (or DIY). A while ago, I noticed that my hair was thin on one side, and at the back (near the nape) of my head. So I thought I would let these areas alone for a while, and let them grow out how they want to. Let them thicken up with new growth, and without me trying to get them tight and right. By this time, my crown, was fully locked and happy. One day after washing my hair, my scalp in those same areas just did not feel right. I was worried that this area would never lock up…I wanted to be a free spirit, and live, look, and feel organic, I also felt that something was not right, especially when it looked like my hair had not grown much in over 6 months!
Stage 4: The break-down-take down
- That same day, I decided to comb through the area that would not lock. I wanted to see how much of my hair was an afro and what I was really working with. I was astonished! It was more than half unlocked! AHHH! OK, OK Calm down. I just could not beleive it. It has been alost 9 months, and more than 1/2 my hair was an afro…BUT that was not my worry. I knew that I would have to wait up to a year AT LEAST to see my hair lock completely. The problem was that the other 1/3 was FULLY LOCKED! Like: shake-dem-dreads-locked! It was crazy. I thought I should shave my head and start over. Or shave it like this:
- I almost did, for real! I contemplated what to do. I wanted to continue to free-form, but I did not want to have to tend to the 2/3 part different than the 1/3 part; and what if they looked vastly different over the next year? I was clueless. I went to get advice from the hair dresser, and she gave me the option of plaiting, and/or interlocking that 2/3. I went with plaits… tight plaits. This was about 2 weeks ago, and I just washed my hair Tuesday. I used a tight stocking cap, Dr. Bonner‘s solid soap, and rinsed really well. It WORKED! Everything stayed twisted and plaited. Finally! So the plaits don’t really need much maintenance. If they start to unravel, then I quickly plait them back, but other than that, I hope the new growth will come in ready to be twisted to RIGHT (I got it going now!)
From now on I will:
Go with the flow
Be happy to be nappy no matter what!
Visit http://www.locdlife.com for the latest in locs.
You’ve transitioned your way from relaxers to a healthier locstyle. You’ve moisturized, eaten right, yet little-by-little your locs start to thin or break off altogether. What to do? Here’s a list of the major causes of hair loss and some solutions…
Traction alopecia. This condition is caused by simply pulling locs back too tightly. Ponytails, too-tight updos, tight braided and other styles where there’s too much tension at the root can cause breakage at the hairline or at the nape. Rest your hair by wearing it down, or wear looser ponytails.
Friction. Friction is a major source of hair loss along the nape or right where your wool coat, turtlenecks or abrasive sweaters meet your locs. Try to wear a scarf over these items to protect them.
Male pattern baldness. Some believe that male pattern baldness is tied to increased testosterone levels. A high-fat, meat-based diet raises testosterone levels, and that may adversely affect hair follicles. Eating low-fat foods may not stop hair loss; but it might help slow down the hair loss.
Anemia. Anemia is a frequent cause of hair loss. Eat plenty of iron-rich foods, like whole grain cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, eggs, dates, and raisins.
Thyroid dysfunction. If hair loss is due to hyper-or hypo-thyroidism, eat more foods rich in vitamin A and iodine. Eat vegetables such as carrots or spinach in unrefined, cold-pressed seed oils such as flax, walnut or pumpkin seed and sea salt. Try turnips, cabbage, mustard, soy beans, peanuts, pine nuts and millet if there is a deficiency of iodine. Beware: too much vitamin A can cause hair loss.
Alopecia. Alopecia is the loss of hair caused by different reasons, including damage to the hair shaft or follicles. Fungal infections can also cause hair loss. There are two main types of alopecia: alopecia areata, when the body’ s immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair to fall out, and androgenetic alopecia, an inherited form of hair loss. With alopecia areata, hair can fall out in patches all over the body. With androgenetic alopecia, hair on the head thins and falls out. Hair loss caused by androgenetic alopecia is permanent.
Another remedy to try: silica. Organic silica added to shampoo was found to help prevent baldness, stimulate healthier hair growth and assure beautiful shine, luster and strength.
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Although I have videos uploaded here on SoNappy, I have not officially featured my own YouTube channel on my blog. Silly me.
Here is it: