Saturday, 18 December 2010

Why I (Sister) Locked My Hair.

This current blog is in response to the many questions I have received recently from various corners, asking me why I Sister locked my hair. Also, to some who wanted to see my before styles. Even though I have shown some pics of my damaged hair, people still say they thought it beautiful (?).  I make it clear that I would rather keep my head full of healthy natural, undamaged, real hair over fake, artificial and flat out ruined relaxed hair. SMH. :)

A Brief Hair History.

As a child from the earliest memories hair equalled pain. So,  I refused to have anything to do with it.  I have had my own children, and a child with a similar sensitivity and understand why.
My youngest son's scalp would develop blood spots when I simply, gently brushed his hair as a baby. For the first time it confirmed to me that I was not simply being oversensitive.

Because of my scalp issue, my hair was not my playing ground, I was quite happy for my mother  to do my hair well into my teen years because it just was not my thing. Fed up one day, my mother talked about 'perming' my hair, I think it was a Dark and Lovely product. I was excited to have it done but had no idea how to care for it after that. I don't remember getting any treatments in those days, I can't quite remember exactly but I am sure that my hair was not in great condition a year later.

I think I was 14 with the first relaxer. A year or so later  the Curly Perm hit the UK and became all the rage. For my 16th birthday I was treated to a new product introduced by my mothers friend, a then hairdresser, a british made curly perm product called A B. From what I remember it was produced by a Greek couple who distributed to local salons in the East London Area.

One week before my 16th birthday, as they washed out that chemical, they washed out my hair, from the scalp.  What did not fall out in the sink, pretty much fell out over the next few weeks. I am sure I do not need to describe the emotion.

From that time on,  braiding became my staple form of hair care for the next few years.
Actually, once the hair grew sufficiently, which did not take too long, I got a genuine curly perm which grew my hair back in ONE year. I actually enjoyed that process, as it was effortless.

I cannot remember the length of time I had that, I think I just stopped doing it and it grew out.

When I had my daughter I went to visit my mother, who then, had moved to Connecticut.
She was not impressed with my natural hair, which, I had not noticed was a problem!
So, she swept me swiftly to her hairdressers before anyone could see me, and voila! I was transformed into a straight haired lovely ...!

I remember struggling a bit with my hair, but had no thought or desire to do anything other than take care of it. I did think about getting locks at the time, one of my best friends LOVED locks (my mum would have had a fit though!) So I would have had the support, at least in the UK. I have to say that throughout my life a lot of my friends and associates had natural hair and no one ever thought anything of it.

However, relaxed virgin hair looks best when freshly done, initially and i loved it, also finding a great salon/stylist is a bonus, I had a great one for a long while. My salon closed, my stylist freelanced at home for me for a while and then she wanted to do other things.

I couldn't face another salon.
I did not trust anyone else with my hair so continued to braid myself or by stylist. I decided to let it grow natural ... again. I did make the mistake of getting it flat ironed for a time and had issues with strands that would remain poker straight even after washing.

Weaves I did for about 2 years, my best was a style with human hair imported from the U.S. where the hair was micro-braided and the curly ends left free. I had style for about 3 months and LOVED it madly. In fact that style reminded me a lot of Sisterlocks (I think the memory of the versatility of those fine braids encouraged me to lock), all I did was wash and go, the hair  was lovely.

As years passed I realised the root of my issue had been related to having the children. As many as I have had, with each I have lost a substantial amount of hair. Except when my hair was natural, I did not seem to lose as much after having my daughter. (my first child)
But by the time child number 4 was about 6 months my hair had significantly thinned, again, I went back to braiding ...

Final J.T.S Sept 2007
After about 2 years I tried Japanese Thermal Straightening (now known as a Brazilian ...?) a permanent treatment as I found regular relaxers harsh ( I could only use mild brands). It worked, but there just was not any body to it. I purchased some of the most expensive products (some of which I still have, e.g Alterna Caviar Shampoo and conditioner.) I found some shampoo unopened in the loft,  which I certainly plan to use! I still have some salon formula sized Nexxus Humectress (which I most def tried on my winter dehydrated locks last week ... ) these products did help but could not change the damage done, and I began to wonder about the future, seriously, as I could not carry on destroying my hair. Then finally one day, I went for a treatment and it did not process fully. That was my way out, and I took it. 
I weaved, braided and twisted my hair until May 2009.

Final weave April 2009

Sister Locks Day 1.


Bajan Lily said...

Love it!
Thanks for sharing your story, for me parts resonate loudly ie thinning/hair loss and babies!
Glad you wrote this: you're such an inspiration :)

Nai said...

Aww Bajan!

Let me tell you words fail me, YOU are a greater inspiration, TRUST me when I say that. I know I would not, could not cope as well as you have. THANK YOU for being soo open, vulnerable and REAL. THANK YOU!
Love You x