Wednesday, 20 October 2010

I love my hair and I'm proud

There's a video that has been going around for a while and I'd like to share it with all of you that may have missed it. Enjoy

I posted this a few minutes back coz I only wanted to share the video but after watching the video for like a hundred times, I've decided there's something I'd love to add to the comment from the video. I definitely think it is great when media "accepts" other kinds of beauty other than the traditional forms usually portrayed in movies but do you really think that media should be left responsible to decide whether WE accept OUR form of beauty????

Many people keep complaining about media always portraying light and white skin as more beautiful, but can you really decide what media decides to show as beautiful? I personally think regardless of what is in the movies or what is considered main stream, you should have your own standards that determine what goes and what doesn't. My mother taught me that I am beautiful and that my natural hair (she wasn't into me getting locks but she was ok with me being natural) was the best thing I could rock, and regardless of the fact I grew up with a barbie doll and watching "white" tv, that never changed my mindset or my belief on MY beauty.

All those that may be reading this post and have kids, teach them they are beautiful, just as they are and not to think that they will only be beautiful when they have extensions and relaxers on their hair. Relaxing your hair and wearing extensions is not a sign that you don't think you're beautiful but when you would rather die than be seen with your hair in its natural state then that's madness. Know yourself worth and pass it on to your kids cause even when they get to a hundred, they will always remember what their parents told them.

It's next to impossible to avoid the media nowadays especially in a developped world where media is closer than your relatives but it's about time as adults we took back the power to influence your children. Don't try to be the cool parent that lets their kids live like movie characters, this is real life that requires real advise from parents and relatives, and when most kids don't get that, they check the net. Not everyone on the net is out to harm your children but to tell you the truth as much as I'm honoured by all the readers I would hate it to know that, some kid somewhere reads my blog to find identity that their parents don't help them to find.

Yeah the other excuse is that most people don't appreciate black hair, but hey, how many times does what other people think affect your life. What other people think is none of your business. Work on your self confidence and stop blaming people who should not matter in your life.

The post has turned into a rumbling of sort but I'll stop here and hope you enjoy the video and be proud of who you are coz YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL regardless of your race, religion, gender, age and beliefs.

Monday, 11 October 2010

Starting locks at home


As you may have read on this blog, I had a professional loctician do my locks for the first 2 times then had my mother retwisting them for the next couple of months and by the time I started doing them myself they were already locked. Those who may have read my earlier blog posts may also know about how I started using the hairclips to hold my locks and try and make them look “professionall” whenever I retwisted them myself and this lead to the thinning of some locks and unfortunately loss of some others. Got me scared there for a minute but as my mother says, “It’s just hair, it’ll grow back”.

Well 2 of the locks I lost were at the back of my head, and the back always looked so bad without the 2 locks as they were from the side and were very visible when I hold a pony tail. That wasn’t much of a problem considering when my locks were shorter I let them fall freely, but now they are growing longer; I hold the ponytail and it looks horrible to say the least thus I decided to start the 2 on my own.

I have tried starting the locks before with the usual twist and gel method but considering I suffer from "Hand in Hair syndrome" (nothing serious only that when I'm idle, I prefer having my fingers on my hair), so I always ended up removing the lock before it could lock up. I honestly thought this would be easy but I realized it isn’t hence the post for all those who are in an area with no loctician in sight but definitely want to start locks. The process will take time before they actually hold or even lock but hey, you’ll be a proud owner of DIY locks afterwards.

This is how I did one lock; the other I decided to join to a nearby thin lock. I used the method on short hair so I can’t assure you it will work the same way for long hair but anyone who’s willing to try it out is welcome to share their story with us.

  1. Decide on the size of locks you would like to have thick, thin or medium, choose a size you’ll be able to maintain.
  2. Partition your hair into squares of the size of lock you have decided you would like and braid the hair. In Kenya we call these matuta. Make them neat as you’ll have them for a while.
  3. This step may be done a couple of days later preferably after a wash of the hair. Do NOT re-braid the hair after the very first braid. After the wash; the root will be loose, now you will need to interlock the lock/braid. Interlocking will help tighten the root of the lock ready for locking. Do this repeatedly, every time you wash your hair, interlock the root. Remember to maintain the usual hygiene, wash the hair right and oil it.
  4. After about 4weeks (i.e. after 2 washes depending on your lifestyle), a good length of the root will be interlocked. After the wash you can twist the lock with gel. For the first couple of times you’ll need to gel the whole length of hair. Don’t undo the braid though coz then the hair goes loose, for the next couple of times you can stick to twisting without interlocking.
  5. The missing locks are on the left
  6. If you continue doing this, within 3 to 5months your hair will have locked. I’ll repeat again, maintain your hygiene standards, leaving your hair to accumulate dirt will not fasten your locking process.
The lock I started is now about two and a half inches long. I feel so proud, after 3yrs I'll finally have a lock at the side again.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Removing build up from Locks

Here is a lock with build up in it, not very clear but I hope you get the picture
Build up is a major issue many people have to deal with especially those that twist their hair with gel or shea butter that cause build up in the lock over time. You may wonder why not stop using these things and avoid the build up? That would be a possible solution to the problem, but sometimes you get addicted to the sweet smell of your gel or shea butter (not a great excuse but hey, what to do when you are an addict?). Sometimes the build up is caused by using too many products at the same time, especially chemical products. I advise to use one product at a time but sometimes the impatience (I'm so guilty of impatience), you buy a new product a few days after your last retwist and you can't wait to try it out but waiting another 2weeks will "kill" you so you just use the new product. Well, you do satisfy your curiosity and impatient self but most of the times the chemicals react and they do lead to build up.

So now that we have discovered what causes the problem but we are human and we are still bound to do the same silly thing even after knowing the consequences, how do we solve build up?

The web is full of recipes for it from using Vodka (which I must admit was the most interesting of all) to the usual Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV). What these 2 have in common is alcohol, apparently you can use alcohol to remove the build up, due to its low density it dissolves the residues from your hair faster and easier than water. But you may want to read this article before you decide to use just any alcohol you find on your hair.

What you need:
- Usual shampoo and conditioner
-A cup of vinegar/ alcohol -I used wine vinegar, it doesn't matter what vinegar or alcohol you use just make sure it's nothing that will leave your hair smelling and/or looking worse than before you tried solving your build up problem. If you find this to be too strong for you, you can dilute it with some water to the ratio of 1:1

1. After shampooing your locks and rinsing them thoroughly, take the vinegar and pour it onto your locks. It would help if you had a small bucket to hold the vinegar so that you can pour the vinegar on your locks several times. The first time you pour the vinegar on, it just flows without wetting the lock cause the locks are wet. You could also try drying the hair after shampooing then pouring the vinegar onto your head to make sure your locks are only wet from the vinegar. The smell can be very pungent depending on what kind of vinegar you use.

2. Cover the locks with a shower cap/ polythene bag and leave them for about 20mins

3. Rinse out the locks several times cause of the smell and the acid (though I've come to learn it's not that bad to have it there after all) from the vinegar.

4. Condition your hair, preferably a deep conditioning (DC) cause the acid leaves the locks a bit dry and stiff.

5. Continue with your usual routine.
A lock after being soaked in ACV and rinsed out. Hope you notice the difference from the before picture, this one has no white pieces in it.
I learnt the ACV, also "helps to balance the pH and helps the hair shaft to open up for growth" by Sandy C.

Do you know any other reasons why ACV or any other alcohol or vinegar rinse is helpful to our locks?

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Neglect, Free-form and organic locks, what’s the difference?

Well, many have expressed anger after reading my post on Neglect post arguing my comments were unfair and that not all neglect locks are dirty etc. Let’s start with clearing up the differences before we get angry, shall we?

Neglect locks are exactly just that, they are neglected locks. The owner lets nature do everything and they just watch the hair grow, they don’t wash them, they don’t oil…the hair is neglected and due to this unkempt state, the hair mates up and forms locks. This happens to all kinds of hair, and only the tips hold and the roots are usually straight hair. The hair stinks and is very ugly.

Free form and organic locks are the ones hard to differentiate because many people have their own definitions of the same. These usually look much like any other kind of locks and it would only take the owner to tell whether they are free form or organic.

I asked people on facebook to tell me what they thought the difference between free form and organic locks is; the answer I got was that free form, you only wash and oil but do nothing else but for organic you do all these and on top of that partition the locks.

Here are my personal definitions of both locks, though some people easily interchange these terms (free-form, and organic).

Free-form locks, they are washed, oiled and partitioned, sometimes they are started using other methods e.g. twisting, braiding or two strand twists but after the hair locks, then they are mainly only taken care off but left to do the rest. Any products may be used, natural or chemical it doesn’t matter much.

Organic locks may be any kind of locks started by any method but only organic or natural products are used on these locks i.e. regardless of method used to maintain them, only natural products are used with no chemicals. For example if you have twist locks, instead of using hair gel that’s made mainly of chemicals you use pure honey or natural oils to twist your locks, to dye these kinds of locks you only use natural henna but not the hydrogen peroxide dye or the lab-made henna most people use.

So those are my definitions, what do YOU guys think is the difference?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Bantu knots, how do I do them?

Bantu knots, they look very easy to do and they are but for a beginner it can turn into a very angry session trying to do them. This is a post specially dedicated to Nappy Headed Black Girl who requested a tutorial on how to do Bantu Knots. I hope you'll be able to do them after you read this.

What you need:
wet locks and your hands :D I prefer doing the knots on wet hair so that the curls come out "stronger", on dry hair the curls don't hold too well. The locks don't need to be dripping wet, just enough water to soften them up. You can use a spritz of choice to wet them. (Some homemade spritz recipes will be coming up soon, anyone interested can submit their ideas)

Step 1: Partition the locks and hold them perpendicular to the scalp then twist the group of locks along their length 

Step 2: Bend the twisted locks and this time wind them around the lower half, don't make it too tight cause when the locks dry they contract and the knot becomes tighter and this can be very uncomfortable and painful.

Step 3: Now tuck in the tips at the base of the knot and start with the next. The tucked tips should hold on their own but in case the come out, just tuck them back in it's normal for that to happen.


Head full of Bantu knots, can't wait to rock the curls


And this is what my babies looked like after the Bantu knots were out. Lots of volume, I'm now in love with the new found secret.

Central Florida's first Natural Hair and Beauty Expo

Hallo People,

Here's an invitation to all My Dreadlock readers to the very first Natural Hair and Beauty Expo in Central Florida. Please mark your calendars and pass the info with all your natural friends, family and neighbors to share in this great event. More information about the event can be found at their website.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Dying locks, how to do it right

I have been contemplating coloring my locks for a while now, after seeing so many beautiful colored locks I thought maybe it's time I left my natural jet black hair. It takes time to make the final decision, I have never known any other hair color in my life (apart from my braids that were always a different color) so it was a BIG decision for me, now after about 2yrs...lol....yeah it took me over 2yrs to make the final decision. I tried last christmas to dye it but ended up with the wrong type of color, I wanted red but didn't lift the black first so there was practically no change in my hair color. I bought the dye last month and was ready to dye but I still had to think about it again, and finally today I woke up and decided to do it.

All the products I used
I had checked the internet for tips or instructions on how to do it, considering I did it the wrong way last time, but not many have documented any of it with pics atleast. So here are my steps of lifting the color from my babies from jet black to to blond. I'm aiming at Dark Chilli chocolate, so there'll be a part 2 cause I thought dying twice in one day might be a bit too much.

1. Talked to my loctician about it, I do that a lot just to be safe and to make sure I have professional advice as back up and talking to my loctician ensures I get advice from someone who has worked on my hair before. According to him, it's possible to dye my babies in one sitting from black to red but I have to bleach first.

2. More psychological preparation, had about a week between the talk with the loctician and my d-day. You can use this step to go buy the products you will need for the whole process. I bought my products before the talk with my loctician.....I needed a lot of psychological preparation but I guess you are prepared and ready for it right?

3. Search the net for info, now you have it on my blog so it won't be hard to get all the answers at one place.

4. Most companies advice to take an allergy test before using the products. This is not a problem, 48hrs before the d-day follow the instructions and dye a single lock at the back of your head and see how that works out. If it causes you to itch or get boils or stuff, DO NOT proceed to dying the whole head, this might turn out ugly.

On the d-day,
What you will need:
- Bleaching product, to lift the color out of your hair, you won't need this if your hair is blond only for black and dark brown hair
- Final hair color
- An old Tee and a towel,  you don't mind trashing
- A pair of gloves, some dyes don't come with them in the pack
- Neutralising shampoo ( or if you feel adventurous like myself, toothpaste :), I'l explain)

1. Pray that everything goes well

2. Lay all your products on the table, open the boxes and check if all you need is in there and read the instructions.(Incase you skipped the part on allergy test. I didn't do the test, cause I'm rarely allergic to stuff...I'm only allergic to protein (wierd but yeah that's my only worry))

3. Partition your locks into tiny pony tails and hold them with a rubber bands or tiny hairbands. You could tie them once at the top or twice, top and middle depending on how you like it.

4. Prepare the mixture according to the instructions in the box.

5. Spread the bleach at the tip of one tail and squeeze (till there's the ksh ksh sound)to ensure the bleach gets into the locks. Do this to each tail then leave them on for the instructed time on the box or till you like the color on your locks.

6. Wash the locks till the water is clear, this is where the toothpaste comes in.

The partition of the locks after a couple of minutes with the dye on 
I had a discussion on how dye affects your locks a couple of days back, and I almost decided not to dye my hair when one person complained that his locks thinned and became so weak after he dyed them and had to cut them. Then a professional stylist came up with the reason for the thinning, not neutralising the effect of the dye. Well, a short chemistry lesson for all of us. Dye contains hydrogen peroxide which is an acid (pH less than 7) when it is left in the hair it continues to break down the hair follicle that is made of protein (keratin), to stop the process you need a base (pH larger than 7) to neutralise the reaction and come back to neutral (pH =7). Depending on which city you live in, the water in your tap may range from pH 7,5 to about 8, thus it is possible to neutralize with the water from the tap alone but considering hydrogen peroxide is at pH between 1,0 to 2,0 depending on the mixture of solution, water from the tap may not be enough to neutralize it completely. To cut a long story short, with no neutralizing shampoo, I used toothpaste (it can be used in place of anti acids when you have a heartburn so why not to neutralize your dye?). You might not need this whole explanation or step anyway, I was just too paranoid thinking my locks would fall off if I didn't do it....lol.....I actually washed the locks for almost 2hrs, with plain water, with toothpaste, with normal shampoo then conditioner. Let's see how the babies look after a week to see if it was worth such a long wash.

My Bantu knots after retwisting
When all is done and you're sure the locks are clean and no more dye is left in the locks, you can do a DC (deep conditioning), retwist and finally style your locks to whichever style you please......I decided to try out Bantu knots, lets see if my babies will have curled by Monday when I remove the knots.

PS: I used some organic oil on my babies, meeenn it smells like some herbal medicine.....even tried to drown its smell with Olive oil and it's still smelling arrrggghhh hope it doesn't smell like this the whole week. :)

The Winner is....

Thank you for taking part in the blog giveaway. The winner of this week's My Dreadlocks Giveaway is Smoothsilk. Please send me an email with your details at dreadlockmamasita@gmail.com before Tuesday, failure to do that the prize shall be granted to the next winner.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Giveaway!!!!!!!!!!!!

This week My Dreadlocks will be hosting our very first giveaway sponsored by Uprinting.com an online eco-friendly printing expert. We'll be giving away 250 custom made Die Cut cards to one of the My Dreadlocks readers. Check out their other cool cards. Are you interested in getting one of those cards? Then check out the regulations to winning them.


The regulations for the prize are very easy, 
1. Become a follower of My Dreadlocks, click on follow* ( I just realized that some people are having problems with the follow button. Until it's repaired, you are all allowed to take part without following the blog) 
2. Leave a comment on this post stating the post you like most on My Dreadlocks
3. You have to be above 18yrs old and a US Resident.

The giveaway ends on 17th and the winner will be announced on the 18th. Have fun fishing out the title to your favorite post and I look forward to reading the comments. Let the games begin......

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Gel or wax for your locks, how to make the right choice

I bet this is the most asked question about palm rolled/ twist/ gel locks and not only with newbies but also with those that have had locks for a while and still haven't settled in with any specific kind. The most irritating thing though is the answer to this question. It's usually very ambigous as it is very common that the answer goes something like " the type of gel or wax you choose will be influenced by a couple of things which include your hair type, how often you wash your hair and your preferences". I know most have asked and got that same answer and you think, thanx a lot for NOTHING.

Though it is true that these do affect your choice in a gel or wax, I have tried to compile a small list that will help you out. The list might not give you a specific brand that you'll go pick at the store tomorrow but atleast it will help you choose one more easily and faster.

First things first, what are all these things, there is gel, wax, pomade, mousse, paste and gum? What can you use on your locks and what can't you? What is the difference between them? Well considering we all want our locks held in for at most 2weeks, we'll just cancel out mousse, paste and gum from the list as they are not meant to hold the hair for too long. If you have dry hair, completely stay away from mousse, it contains alcohol that dries hair. Now we're left with gel, pomade and wax. Pomade is wax like, actually for some it means the same thing but according to the Wise Geek, pomade contains wax in it plus other oils and fragrances while wax is pure. Both of these lead to build up in the lock though they do hold much better than gel. I would say pomade is better than wax in that it contains oils that moisturize your hair unlike wax that's just plain wax. Though wax doesn't dry up hair like mousse I do think the extra oils in pomades do make a difference. You have to check what kinds of oils are in the pomade as sometimes they use petroleum based oils which cause more build up than moisture.

Now that all those are solved, we're now left with gel and wax yet again. Which is better?

1. Gel is water based so it can easily be washed out of hair after only shampooing once while wax tends to build up and to avoid the build up you may be required to shampoo more than once.

2. Gel should only be used on wet hair as it tends to set the hair, setting dry hair may cause breakage. Wax on the other hand is very flexible and may be applied even on dry hair with no damage.

3. It's advisable to stay away from alcohol based gels, especially for dry hair.

Lastly, I would insist you always check the ingredients of the gels you use before you take them to the cashier at the department store. If you definitely want a specific gel even with it's unadvisable characteristics, you can always "pimp" it. Check out websites on different homemade recipes to enhance your gel, or wax or pomade.

You may also use honey as a substitute for your usual gel or wax, it doesn't hold as well as either of the two but it gives a very fresh feeling to the scalp, you can read about that at Sweet Locks and Sweet Locks Aftermath. But even with honey it's not advisable to use it throughout your locking journey as it bleaches the hair not unless you already do bleach your hair.

Another school of thought advices to completely stay away from both of the above (wax and gel) and instead use oils while other advice to make your own gel. Shea butter is a no go zone, as adviced by various readers when I revealed I wanted to try it out on my own locks. I hope with this I've brought you closer to a decision on what is best for you. Unfortunately, I still don't really know what is in the gel I have been using for my 3 locked years but I'm still trying to get my loctician to reveal the BIG secret.


Finally just for the fun of it, does anyone
remember this scene on There's Something about Mary when she used the guy's sperm thinking it was hair gel?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Tips to healthy beautiful locks

I was reading Parents Magazine recently and found this article, I pimped it a bit to focus on locks though it was orginally written for "combable" hair. So here it goes

1. Massage your scalp often. You can do this everyday before styling your locks; everytime you oil your locks and when you wash your locks. The massage helps increase blood supply to the scalp ensuring more nutrients needed for hair growth, also massage works as a stress reliever and remember no stress increases hair growth.

2. Avoid products with harmful chemicals that destroy your scalp and/or hair. Rule of thumb, if it's not safe for kids or your skin, then it ain't good enough for your hair.

3. Don't hold your hair too tight, it causes the hair to break. Many website encourage people to use hairclips when they retwist their locks, take it from me, this IS NOT a good idea. I know you want your locks to look like they were done by a professional loctician with all the tiny hairs held in the lock, but those hair clips usually break more hair than they hold. I have lost a couple of locks from this tip on websites, please don't do it.

4. Don't use too many products on your hair simultaneously. Some products are basic others are acidic while others are neutral, if you mix all of them on your hair, they'll be reactions taking place and something will end up burning, stinking and having build up.

5. Rinse out your locks until the water is clear regardless of what you put into your locks. Unlike straight hair, locks are like sponges that suck up everything into them, so squeeze out any residue that maybe left in the lock. And I think I should add wash your locks regularly to avoid stinking locks. They stink coz of sweat from the scalp.

6. Reduce the use of too much heat on your hair, I know most of us think that this rule only applys to straight hair but it doesn't. Always going into the drier to dry your locks ain't such a great idea after all, take a walk under the sun. If you're in Scandinavia where you only see the sun like twice a year, then try and retwist your hair early mornings so that you have the whole day for it to dry. The funniest thing is, most people I know guilty of this are Nairobians who are at the equator and have the sun all year round.

6. Exercise for great blood circulation throughout your body. Good blood circulation ensures that all cells have the required nutrients to function as required, it also helps to transport the waste from your cells for excretion by other organs.

7. Sometimes, as much as you try to avoid build up, it still does occur, so try once in a while not too often to soak you hair in Apple Cider Vinegar for about 15mins in between rinses to take out the build up. Don't do it too often because vinegar is acidic and when you use it too often on your hair it will destroy the hair follicles.

8. Balanced diet, you are what you eat. Nutrients will only be transported by your blood when they are supplied to the body in the first place.

9. My last and "favouritest" tip is don't care too much it's just hair. You changed from relaxed hair to locks to be free from all the rules on relaxers, don't walk in the rain, don't wet your hair, treat it every 2weeks, etc now you're locked and you got even more rules that's not how freedom works. I think the only reason free form locks, grow longer and waaayy healthier than most "modern" locks is cause the free forms only have the basic care, they are clean and oiled the rest is left to the hair.

Hope your locks are now looking lovely and fresh....

Friday, 13 August 2010

Locked swimmer

So you have dreadlocks and wondering if you can swim and if you can then how with the locks down to your waist. I thought I should put this up before summer is over and everyone has found their own solution to it or don't need to swim anymore.

Apparently, chlorine and salt help your locks lock faster, I guess because they dry up the hair follicle (this also applies to dyes). The catch here is not the chlorine nor the salt but the water getting to the locks. If you have hair like mine that is soft and silky when wet and turns into steel wool when dry, then I bet you are also worried that after every swim you have to retwist and this is not very convenient especially if you want to swim more than once a week. So here are a couple of tips to help you out.

1. The easiest, would be to get yourself a swimming cap for the locks which are available online. Sites suggested by acquintances are: My Swimstuff, Aquapride and  XL Swimcaps by Fran. I read a suggestion, that you divide the hair into and stuff each side into a cap then stuff both caps in a larger one, I don't know how that works though.

2. Those with new locks, need lots of rubber bands. Tie one at the root and the other at the tip, this helps to keep the hairs in place.

3. The main reason we wash the hair after swimming is to remove the chlorine stuck in it, a great idea would be to avoid getting any chlorine in in the first place. Wet the hair before getting into the pool, so it won't take up any chlorinated water in it.

4. After the swim, dry the locks completely don't try to tie them up and forget about it. First of all, they will stink (Just like a wet towel). Second of all, they might form mildew in them (the kind that forms on damp clothes).

5. Lastly, enjoy the swim and keep keeping fit, it's healthy.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Interlocking


This weekend I found myself hooked to youtube (instead of reading for my exams (^_^)). I discovered Ms Island Spice. She has some great videos on styling locks and great advice. What I particularly interesting was the one on Interlocking.

If you can remember I had written about Crotcheting sometime ago. Interlocking is more or less the same concept only that with interlocking you don't have a crotchet, some locticians use a specialized hook for the same but if you're doing it at home right before your next retwist as you watch tv, just use your fingers.

Interlocking is very helpful especially for those locks that take too long to lock. You know the locks that usually distangle until you're left with hair at the root and a dangling lock? Those need interlocking. My loctician usually does the same but for him, he braids the root then passes the lock through the bottom of the "braid". With time the braid comes out and the hair locks without the lock falling off. I always thought that was a complex process that only a professional could do, or atleast someone who can see the top of my head. After the video I sat down and interlocked a couple of locks and I feel like I just visited a professional loctician.

Something to remember; if you plan to comb out your locks in the future, interlocking makes it next to impossible because it's like combing out a locked braid. If you plan to keep your locks then keep interlocking but not too often cause it makes them bumpy. I think I'll try and do it about every 3months atleast or until my locks start misbehaving again. I wish I knew about this when I started my locks, I would have saved myself a couple of locks.

I'm trying to start 2 new locks (they aren't really new, they fell off after bad maintenance) using braiding and interlocking, I'll tell you how that goes, hope it works.

In other news,
I'm still waiting to see if the tips I sewed onto my locks have joined to the lock, it doesn't look too hopeful though but I'll keep you updated.
I solved the issue with my email address, you guys can continue emailing. I even found out the email add of the person who hacked the account, apparently they're based in South Africa, I'm definitely disappointed in the person's actions.

Thursday, 29 July 2010

My Account Hacked!!

Hallo Everyone,

My account was hacked sometime last night and an email sent to all those that have ever emailed me at dreadlockmamasita@gmail.com I would like to apologize to all of you for any inconvenience that may have been caused by that email. The email states that I'm in Scotland and require money from you. Please DO NOT SEND ANY MONEY, just delete the email it was a spam.

I have solved the issue and I hope this will not occur again. I thank all of you that emailed to inform me of the spam mail, I appreciate your concern and support.

I'm deeply sorry for that email and hope you will all continue to support My Dreadlocks.

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Moisture and oil for a week

Hello people,

you wouldn't imagine what I just discovered. I have the funniest scalp/hair ever in the world. My scalp dries up so fast I even thought I was sick. After oiling it looks all beautiful and glossy but that lasts a maximum of 3days (If I sock it in oil). I know choosing the correct hair oil is a problem many ladies all around have. Some oils cause dandruffs while others make you itch and the wierd ones make your hair drier. I guess I have only been using the wrong ones that make you itch and your hair drier through out my life.

Last week after my retwist with honey, (nowadays I do the sweet locks a lot, very refreshing) I decided to try something new that I hadn't tried before on my hair, it doesn't hurt to try and anyway, I had used the worst available so nothing new was really going to happen. My mother swear to the power of Glycerine, for the kenyans, remember the glycerine with a bluish purple cover called Ideal that the ladies used to use to "dilute" their Lady Gay, yap that's exactly what I used. After the usual retwist and the locks were dry, I decided to oil my scalp with glycerine. I'm not usually a fan of liquid hair oil but, I know glycerine on it's own when used on rough feet, it moisturizes and makes the feet supple and soft. You can use glycerine on your skin without lotion, or use it to dilute your lotion and you'll see the difference between with and without. I've used glycerine most of my life, I kind of graduated to glycerine after vaseline....lol...and i have the softest skin you'll ever meet, though there are times I thought I'm now a grown up and should try a way other than that my mother taught me and one time I used some lotion ( I won't mention the name to avoid a lawsuit cause I've seen it advertised on CNN and Ebony for years as the solution to black skin). I used it for 2 months and by the end of the 8th week, my skin was soo rough like a sisal bag, and it was soo itchy and painful....I did a glycerine treatment for a week and my skin was back. I think I'll stick to glycerine for my hair also.

I have heard about jojoba oil, coconut oil, aloe gel and shea butter being great for hair, I'm yet to use them but I sure will tell you after I have.

In other news, my babies are officially shoulder length after 29 months.  Did you notice the curls? I tried curling it by braiding and undoing the braids after about 24hrs, but I have to improve the technique.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Wet hair and locking

Hello everyone,

Hope you're all doing great after the looong World Cup break. Did you see all the beautiful locks on the field? You didn't? No worries, I'll be posting some pics for those that are anti-football like myself. Though I must admit, the world cup being hosted in Africa kept drawing me to watch catch a glimps of some the matches and the locked players.....anyway enough of derailing.

Back to the subject at hand, why do people wet their hair during the initial process of locking?  Most people wet their hair during the initial stage of locking only because they wash their hair right before they start locking. Ok that sounds obvious but this is what I think, most people decide the next visit to the salon, I'll do locks instead of relax so when they get to the salon they do the usual wash and after the wash they have a locking instead of relaxing. Others that do it at home do it also in the same fashion, when I undo my braids I'll lock hence after undoing the locks and washing they try and lock the hair.

So should you or shouldn't you? Many people have attended different schools of thought on this issue, but here is my 2cents worth. First of all you should definitely wash your hair before locking, just for hygienic standards and good smell. Secondly, it always depends on the method you want to use to lock your hair, some methods that require friction e.g. the hat method, wouldn't work too well on wet hair. Others like twisting with gel are usually easier on wet hair, remember when you used to use gel on permed hair? The gel was always smeared on wet hair right? Exactly. And if you are doing your hair yourself, and your hair is like mine that is soo springy when dry then wet hair is easier for our to separate and work on.

There is no universal rule on wetting hair before locking, it is a personal decision on whether to do it or not. Some people do advise to stay away from water and washing for a while after you start your locks, but I don't. Locks should be enjoyed and not be a reason for anyone to be ashamed. Locks take approximately 3months to lock fully, can you imagine yourself walking around with unwashed hair for that long? I would personally prefer to delay my locking by 1 or 2 weeks and still keep them clean though I highly doubt washing your locks delays their locking.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Dreadlock loom

I don't understand how looms work, tried to learn during some arts and craft class but I guess that doesn't fall under stuff my brain ever wants to understand. Either way, I find what you can doo with looms very interesting and usually beautiful. Here is one that you can use to make dreadlocks, I ain't sure if you can use it on your head though. (I doubt its practicallity but maybe you can use it to make a cute belt....)

Courtesy of Crotcheted wedding dresses

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Short locks


Hallo People,

Here is a picture from one of the readers who has recently started locking. It's a beautiful picture to show all the My Dreadlocks readers it is possible to start locking even with very short hair. Another thing is how neatly the locks were done, very organized, well spaced and very professional. What matters most when starting your locks is not the length of your hair but the person who does them.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Repairing locks with a crotchet

Incase your have very long hair and some of the hair is lose from the main lock, you can use a crotchet to tighten the lock. Crotcheting has more or less the same function as latching (will post an article about that also) but it's easier to crotchet  that latch on your own (This may vary, others find latching easier, I unfortunately can't do either of them but my loctician always uses latching when  I do my annual loctician visit.)


Pic courtesy of Dreadlock HQ (In german)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

CROTCHETING

All of a sudden, I'm crazy about the whole concept of crotcheting in relation to locking. I love crotcheting funny little stuff like small cell phone bags but now, the bags aside, it's crotcheting locks now. Considering there is a lot about crotcheting in relation to locks I'll do a series like I did back then with the head wraps. Hope you enjoy this as much as I do.
For those who are still looking for a method of starting their locks, crotcheting is also a possibility.
1. Now take one of your sections of hair.  If you have straight hair, this is the point when you start twisting gently but back-combing like mad.  Once you have a nice long puff, continue to the next step.  If you already have naturally coiled (3c, "biracial", Moroccan, tight-Polish spiral-wave) or Afro-kinky hair (4a, 4b), don't worry about the back-combing.  Just mash it together, or twist it mildly until it coils a little loosely.

2. Push the crochetting needle through Twist the hair at least a quarter turn more, and then push the needle through a little more hair at about a 45 degrees angle from the last loop.a small subsection of the loc.  This should only be maybe 10-20 hairs thick.

3.A little further down the loc, twist it until at least the side of the loc that was away from you, is now facing towards you.

4.  Then push the needle through some hair that is at about a 45 degree angle from where your initial loop is.

5. Pull this second loop through the first one.

6.  Twist the hair at least a quarter turn more, and then push the needle through a little more hair at about a 45 degrees angle from the last loop.

7.  Then pull this loop through the last one.
Continue this cycle of twisting and looping until you run out of hair.  Then pull the last loop all the way through until it's loose.

Courtesy of Cornrows

Recycling locks.

Ok before you all think I'm completely gaga with all my "wierd" ideas hear me out. After I wrote about 24hr locks, American made a comment about cutting his locks then reusing them. Funny enough I hadn't thought of it like that when I wrote about the 24hr locks. Guess I looked at it from the outside and only saw buying a stranger's locks and locking with your own especially for the unlocked people.
I had shared about my twist locks thinning and eventually cutting during the early stages of my locking. This was basically caused by inexperience hence tightening my lock a bit too much while I twisted. I got this wierd idea for those who may be going through the same problem I did. The whole process will require a lot of imagination, I only got the idea after I had already separated my locks, but I'll try and add pics of the sewing the tip sometime.

When your lock thins
1. Attach it to a neighbouring lock, after a while the 2 will lock and you will end up with 2 locks with one base.

2. For tidiness sake, just cut off the tip of the parasitic lock. Be very carefull to differentiate between the parasitic lock from the host lock. Don't throw away the tip of the lock you cut, store it well.
The host and parasite take about 2 to 3 washes before they join together and lock but this depends on the magnitude of damage on the parasite lock and also kind of hair It may eventually range from 2 to 3 washes or even 2 to 3 months.

3. Search for the parasitic lock and separate it from the host lock (for those with a lot of hair, but no worries if you do your own locks then your hands will intuitively find them), at this time the tip of the parasitic lock has locked to some level meaning when you wash, the hair won't magically disappear (kinky hair shrinks and scatters on the scalp).

4. The parasitic lock now appears as a small new lock, twist it and give it time to completely lock on its own.

5. When the lock has eventually locked then attach the lock you had cut. You may use thin black thread either by sewing the old lock tip or crotchetting it to the new lock. Attaching the tip only helps to increase the length of the new lock so that it doesn't look too wierd in the midst of the rest.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Combing out locks


Is this really possible? Some say yeah some say no, I guess it's just another case of glass being half full or half empty. I have watched many videos on youtube and read about it on many blogs and magazines so I thought I should also try it and see what happens. Instead of throwing away my last lock that fell off, I decided to comb it out and see what happens.
So question is, is it possible to comb out locks? My answer is yes you can, but before you start trying to comb your locks, I don't think it's worth it. Wait a minute, I don't mean it being worth it in the sense you shouldn't let go of your locks or anything like that. What I mean is, your locks are an entanglement of dirt, hair that cut but didn't fall off and many other tiny little things. If you can look at your lock closely, you will realise it's not like a braid that you can undo and comb out soo simply. Do you remember when you would braid your hair and when you would undo the braids, where the artificial hair had been attached to your hair, there was like an accumulation of oil, drandruff and small bits of hair. Then when you finally finished undoing your hair, it would look soo full then after you comb it out, you end up with a whole ball of hair and the dandruff out of your hair but now on the comb.
When you comb out your locks, it's more or less like that or for me it was. You won't end up bald or anything, but you won't end up with hair as long and beautiful as your locks. Combing out your locks will definitely give you a headstart if you want to grow back your unlocked hair, but it won't maintain the length. Maybe this also depends of the method you use for locking because some of the videos I watched on youtube, it's like combing out a normal braid and the hair remains the same.
I don't know though, has anyone tried combing them out or knows someone who did? Did it work out? How did your/their hair look like after the combing?
All in all, if you are tired of the locks, a change is as good as a rest and instead of starting from bald, you might as well buy a tough comb, get yourself a movie or two and some time to kill then comb out those locks till you got your hair back.
What I would ask for from you would be, a before and after pic and maybe a short summary of the whole experience.

Monday, 1 February 2010

My babies turn 2

I have learnt alot from my locks as they turn 2 today. Here is a list of stuff I learnt.

1. Know the reason why you have locks: people have very many different reasons for having or not having locks. Some for religious reasons, others for beauty, others cause it's the cheapest hairstyle or easiest to maintain while for others it's a sign of the african liberation etc.

2. Realise not everyone has or doesn't have locks for the same reason you do. Just because you think locking is a sign of african liberation doesn't mean everyone who has locks agrees with you. Sometimes there are more "unlocked" people who agree with you than the "locked".

3. Do you want people to respect your reason for locking? Then respect other people's reason for having or not having locks. It saddens me everytime I vist a blog on locks only to find "locked" people cursing and writing trash about all those that are not "locked". For whatever reason you decided to lock, that's great but don't force it down any other person's throat.

4. Your locks are unique and special: Don't try and compare your locks with all the others out there, there are many factors that play a vital role in your hair's texture, colour, weight and even length eg your genes, hormones, climate, hair products you use, age etc. Understand and treat them special they are as unique and special as you are.

5. Too much of anything is poisonous: yes and this applies to all the good remedies you get online too. For anything to work well, it should be used in moderation. Just use enough when you need it but not too much.

6. Excersice patience: It's funny how my locks have taught me how to be patient with other people. I was formerly the most impatient person I knew until I got my locks and I had to wait for 22months before I could hold them in a ponytail and also sit for a little over an hour twisting them myself every fortnight. (All of you, you have locticians, count your blessings)

7. A change is as good as a rest: just because you got "locked" doesn't mean you have to look the same all year round. Change the way you hold your hair once in a while regardless of the length of your locks. If you can braid your locks, even with bought hair ( I aint against enhancing your lock). I have braided my hair twice since I started locking but let me warn you, if you braid your hair after a long time, you scalp will itch like crazy. Maybe for me it was different also cause, I let no one else do my hair so getting "foreign" hands on my head caused the itch.

8. Enjoy every stage of your locking: I guess I was too caught up waiting for my locks to be long enough to hold up and style that I missed their growth. I see pictures of people with short locks well styled and I wonder why didn't I try that when my locks were short?? If any of you is starting their locking or even if you are regrowing your afro, enjoy every single minute of it.

9. Don't use every single product you read about in the blogs, some people are just making money out of you. People do get paid for advertising you know.

10. Keep it simple: stay away from all those compound named chemicals Ammonium lauryl sulphate, dodecahydroxyclohexane, (yes that's one word). Just because it sounds fancy and intelligent doesn't mean it'll help your hair, trust me, I'm a scientist. I use more baby products that adult products. Baby products are usually more expensive, have less intoxicants and contain more pure substances that are less harsh on your skin adult products on the other hand, are usually cheaper than baby products ( to be cheaper it means there is more substitution of pure substances with chemicals) and some can be very harsh on your skin.

11. Locks are just hair don't fuss too much about them: wierd that I'd be the one writing this considering, I call my locks my babies, I take pictures of anything that happens to them and even started a blog for them. Anyway, locks are like any other hairstyle, don't feel guilty for getting tired of having them, it's normal and you are only human. If one day you wake up and want to cut them, feel free to do so. You'll still be welcome at My Dreadlocks. What you feel inside is what matters most, your appearance only enhances but doesn't define the feeling inside.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Threading

I met a guy who is trying to lock his hair but wasn’t sure which style to use to lock. When he visited the loctician, threading was suggested to him.
Threading of locks is done by first subdividing the hair into rectangles (sometimes it's an undescribable shape) and then tying the thread loosely along its whole length to form a lock. Space the thread along the lock length NOT like the raffia locks though (it is quite complex trying to explain this style so I made pictures of the locks, hope they give a better understanding of the technique). It is preferable to use black thread if your hair is black. Later as the hair grows out, you twist the root with hair gel or beeswax.
This method is just a starting method to help make the locks lock faster and equally through the whole length of a lock. This method is usually used on long hair. DO NOT tie the thread too tight cause then the lock will develop with bumps on it. Tie it lightly but firmly enough to hold the lock in place.


Monday, 18 January 2010

More of OUR Beautiful Pictures

This week we feature, Francene's Pictures.

Being glamorous on her birthday. Hope you had a wonderful Birthday Francene. May you have many more birthdays to come and continue enjoying your locking journey. Keep us updated.

If any of the other readers would like to be featured on My Dreadlocks please email me a couple of your pics you would like to share with us at dreadlockmamasita@gmail.com

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Get Locks in less than 24hrs

I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays and are all ready for the New Year. January is the month we all try and recover from the fun we had and lazing we did during the festive season. In some parts of the world, kids are starting their first days in school while other are moving to a class higher than a year before making this one of the most hectic months of the year. We have made resolutions to become better people, parents, friends, parents, employees and bosses.  In the new year and new decade, My dreadlocks will try and help you take care of your "crown" better. We'll help you look more elegant, have less stress being natural and be even more interactive while the page remains easy to navigate.  Happy New Year to all of you and may you all have a prosperous one.

So back to the Quick Locks,

Would you like to move from the lady on the left (short straight hair) to the lady on the right(long beautiful locks) in less than 24hrs?? Amazingly it is possible. I was recently in Nairobi and I was surprised at the number of people with very looong and beautiful locks. The reason for my surprise was not the locks being beautiful, not at all because one of the best locticians I know lives in Nairobi. The reason for my surprise was in less than 2yrs Nairobi had moved from no lock zone to almost everyone is locked and they are all long. My locks are only 23months old and it was only recently that I was able to hold them up in a pony tail. So I decided to investigate how most people in Nairobi moved from short straight hair to very long locks in such a short time.
What happens is, people with long locks cut their locks and sell them. If you decide to lock your hair, you go to the loctician in upmarket salons in Nairobi and buy the locks. As you get your "afro" twisted into locks for the first time, they attach the bought locks to your new ones. The bought locks are natural, i.e. they were growing on someone else's head before they were attached to your hair. They are not synthetic nor are they like the "human hair" weaves you attach to your hair, these means they are not treated in any way.As your new locks grow, they gradually lock with the attached locks.
This method is very fast and hustle free especially when done by a professional. You also don't require too much patience to wait for your locks to grow, (I have been waiting 23months before I could hold my locks in a pony). It only requires about 3months if not less for your hair to lock completely with the attached locks. The method is quite cheap, if you compare it to dread perm that's just as fast. 24hr Locks cost about €60-€80 ($100-$120), according to the living standards in Nairobi that's a lot of money but for a visiting kenyan from the diaspora, it's manageable if you want to hurry your locking.
The only disadvantage would be the use of someone else's hair, and in most cases someone you know nothing about. I think if I had been presented with this option when I wanted to start locking, maybe I would have done it but now I have been with my babies for 23months, I wouldn't exchange them for anything.
What do you guys think? Those that have been locked for a while, if you had to reverse time, would you do it? And those who would like to lock, would you do it if you found a salon that does it?