A detailed updated look at my journey and routine, why I test and try products and the results and effectiveness of them.
Why So Many products?
Over the last 2 years I have read many posts and emails stating that locking the hair has ended the need for products en masse. Unfortunately, that is not the case for me. We already know that our hair types differ. The biggest difference I am aware of internationally however, is this, the UK has harder water than the US. Therefore, the products work less effectively or we have to use more. Also, we have poor (cold) weather 80% of the time and central heating is quite drying on our skin as well as our hair.
So, as I have all these issues to contend with I try to bring in a balance.
So ... what now?
Nai's Loc's love water the most. I could wash my Locs every day and my hair would flourish, only problem is I would have an afro! I used to use Rosewater and Glycerin but as Bajan Lily pointed out, An excess of Glycerin leaves a 'sticky' residue and your loc's scream out WASH ME NOW!
I have rediscovered the benefits of Pure Coconut oil, which happens to be the base ingredient to most of my fave products (even skin creams).
I have recently had a wonderful reunion with Paul Mitchell AWAPUHI MOISTURE MIST,
I use this to dampen my locs to prep for a braid/twist outs. Lovely results, no need to add anything but a light mist of Natures Shine and I am good to go ...
So in a nutshell, WATER (water based products incude) and COCONUT OIL are my essentials for primary loc care. I also use a thermal heat cap to steam.
My PJ guilt extends far beyond a few bottles of shampoo and conditioner. I have the most extensive collection of body creams, butters, shower gels and bubble baths you can imagine. I could take a picture but the time it would take me to gather them all and put them back is unreasonable. But as I am on holiday, I will be dedicating a day to sorting and relocating them all.
I have only managed to finish 3 shampoos (myself) without help from any of my children. Quite a few others have been passed on to my happy, smiley, grateful friends.
I use so many different things, that if I dont write them down, I FORGET the ones with the best results! gulp! There has been occasions when I have planned what I want to use, get in the shower and forget completely what combination of products I had chosen. I think they call that confusion.
I have an extensive, expensive collection of conditioners. I find however, that no matter what you call 'leave in'. I cannot just leave it in! I blend my leave in condish with melted coconut oil (melted on the windowsil as the weather has improved) and apply steam cap.
Equally, to avoid build up, I try to avoid heavy silicone based products and blend some conditioner with Olive or Coconut oil and apply to damp hair, leave for in while I shower or steam and rinse.
Ingredients I choose to avoid.
Mineral Oil, Liquid Paraffin and Silicone. For more information on why, check out Natural Haven. Based on research and fact finding over the last 2 years, I do not feel these chemicals are beneficial to my hair.
Interesting Choices ...
I purchased this product a long time ago, when I still had to use Tgel to help with the locking stage.
Tgel worked well for my newbies up to about a year (maybe less) I was impatient for a change, could never stand the dry loc look. However, I didnt try the dry hair formula until last week. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my locs moisturised and soft.
Also ... Baby Shampoo, simple and moisturising, love the way my locks smell after.
I regularly wash with BIG by lush, which is very clarifying, so condition/moisture is important. I also find it great for volume, my locks puff up and are fuller and fatter. I couldn't clip my hair up after my locks dried and found braiding and twisting needed nore effort.
I began my journey on Neutrogena Tgel, then progressed to Green Tea by Aubrey Organics, then the odd intermittent testers, like Coconut shampoo (haven't tried that in a while ... hmm)
Olive/Honey shampoo (body shop fave but discontinued)
And for product tests to come ....
Yaaaaay ... hair washing dayyy!
Ok so it may be M n T, Avalon Organics Ylang Ylang, Baby shampers, coconut oil shampoo or simply Tgel for dry. hmmm ... choices, choices. What do YOU think?
Nai at 22.5 weeks locked, loving her locs and this blessed journey.
Friday, 15 April 2011
Sunday, 10 April 2011
I AM IN LOVE!!! Yes !! I am besotted with this liberating journey, so amazing!
NEVER a bad hair day!
Doing my hair is a pleasure and joy, the freedom and versatility I have been longing and praying for has been made possible within the Sisterlock system and I really give thanks for it. In fact I give thanks, appreciation, love and respect for ALL natural and lock types, sister and otherwise! A thanks to all my fellow blogging sisters who provide a valuable resource for me, and not JUST topics about hair!
Personally Sisterlocks has been PERFECT in fulfilling my natural hair desires.
You see my choice of hair maintenance has gone hand in hand with the healing of my skin and in ALL of my years my complexion has only ever been THIS good, BEFORE I had ANY children.
I prayed for a LONG time about my hair care and skin problems, I took a long time realising the answer, but I KNOW that I was not ready before now! No two ways about it, I was STUPID enough to care about the approval of fickle human beings! Thank God for maturity!
In The Mix
My Loc priority is to simply have a head full of build up free, healthy, strong locs.
Originally, colouring my locks was a high priority. I then recalled a time, as a loose natural for approximately 2 years, when I applied colour (professionally) It was the worst thing I could have done. It had a similar effect to a mild relaxer, without the straightening effect, but equally as damaging.
Most people know that I have spent/spend some hard cash on a variety of products, Yes, I get bored, but I also am on a mission to having very strong, healthy hair. As a result of my product junkism, I have finally discovered what I know my locs need!
A GOOD leave in conditioner, which on its own, does not exist, but is a mix of some of the best prods around, and watered down slightly.
Fundamentally, WATER! (moisturising)
.... Coconut oil and Glycerin love my hair and vise versa. The more I wash, the happier my hair. Simple. Coconut oil really does strengthen my hair and has to be applied when my hair is damp.
I mix Giovanni's leave in, Luxtress by Nexus and melted Pure Coconut Oil to damp hair ... then covered with my steam cap. I find the first two prods too thick so dilute to avoid build up. The heat from the steam cap helps melt the products. Do I need to state the obvious results? My locks feel lovely moist and well conditioned.
Another steam mix is Honeysuckle Rose by Aub. Orgs. and Coconut oil. Equally as effective. When dry, my hair is soft and moisturised.
I mostly wear my locks in a braid/twist out. Today though, for the first time, I washed, steamed and twisted my hair before church, I tried at least, but hair was still damp, so ended up freestyle. Very grateful that today was warm and sunny, and locs dried naturally.
A Sisterlocked life
The locked life brings with it attention, almost all, of which is positive for me. There is a lot of love for natural and lock styles out there, and I find myself in the position of influence, directly and indirectly. A few friends are transitioning, and one lady is one month away from her Sisterlock birthday, she is very impatient. ;)
Another aspect is the steady compliments from many friends and associates, love is always good in all its guises!
Even yesterday, as my above mentioned friend Mrs C and I ventured to PAK in North London, Mrs C turned to me and gasped in wonder at the attention of a passing lady who unabashed, stared squarely at me/my locs. (I walk about oblivious tbh never paying attention) I guess she tried to figure what they were.
I know the Bible talks of a woman's hair as her crown and glory, I believe it, not to be worshipped, but I am so aware of how deeply important it is to a HUGE amount of all types of women. I am so thankful to have found a resting place in my natural, God given crown. No matter who says what, I know whom I have believed and found that He is ABLE to keep what I have commited to him, I trust him for even the very minor things that concern me, YES even the hair on my head, after all, He has numbered them!
I plan on updating this post with images of all the products (group photo) I have used and found effective recently. Check back if you can.
I miscalculted the month versary of my previous post, and missed my last one too! I am now half past 22 months Loc'd and am preparing for the big TWO year locversary, if God taries! lol!
Year 2 is an important milestone as I find this a significant stage, especially for my previously lock resistent, fine, loose curl hair.