Daily Care In The Beginning

In my favorite locks group, Hermie recently posted:

I would like to put together a document on the lock-it-up database for sisters who are new to Sisterlocks. With the popularity of Sisterlocks, many of us are going to consultants who are trainees (because they are the only ones in our area), but who lack in-depth information on care for our new locks. I have been searching in vain for 'daily hair care' information to understand what I should do to my sisterlocks. (Lockitup Message #37262)

I think in the beginning it's hard to wrap our minds around the simplicity of care for our new Sisterlocks. "What do you mean no oil? I grew up on grease and now it's bad? Blasphemy!"

But Hermie's project/request did get me reminiscing. I started with 5 - 7 inches of all natural very soft hair. I had a great consultant and for the most part, I followed her instructions:

What I Did: The Good

  • I braided and banded for a year and half. Actually I still braid my hair into four big braids and wash my hair in sections when I shower. It's easier to handle that way.

  • I covered my locks when I slept or did house work. (Still do, although I will alternate between a head covering -- the L.B. Soc -- and a satin pillow case.)

  • I used NO oils or other products. NONE.

What I Did: The Bad

  • I never separated my locks after washing. I still don't. I know that's a big no-no, and I have no excuse except that it just didn't seem all that necessary.

  • I didn't do a lot of freestyling. I suffered from the "plucked chicken" look as you can see in the above photo; lots of spaces. My locks were also a very awkward length. They didn't hang straight or point up, but stuck out. (Think Bozo The Clown.) To compensate I styled on a weekly basis alternating between braid outs, twist outs and Caruso Steam Rollers.

Many folks say the best thing to do in the beginning is to leave your locks alone; minimal styling lest you inhibit or slow down the locking process, and they're right. But I tried to find the happy medium. We all want to look our best, at least to our own eyes. So, I styled to camouflage the spaces. Fake it till you make it.

So, those early days, challenging? Yes. Worth it? Oh yeah!!


Locks In the Act? Sort of

Maryee said...

"Hey Leighann, I was wondering, do you do any standup on your hair? Do you get to "school" folks on Sisterlocks? If so, what do you say and how does the crowd respond? Just curious. Maryee :-)"

Maryee, that's an interesting question so I thought I'd answer it as a post.

I don't talk about my Sisterlocks experience specifically, although on occasion I will mention in passing that I have locks. This has prompted a few fellow SL wearers in the audience to come and talk to me after a show. I also get Sisters who have never seen locks so small. Sisterlocks are still a tiny, but growing, percentage of the dread lock community. Generally, people only get the concept of locks in the broad strokes.

I do however have talk about the drama we all seem to go through when it comes to hair: "People with short hair want long hair; people curly hair want straight hair, people with no hair want Rogaine." Again, in the big picture, everybody's got hair issues and it's in that commonality that I've found the most comedy.

Thanks for asking such a great question!

Locks on Stage

Finally, an easy commute to work! No planes or trains; just hopped in my car and drove out to Bellmore, Long Island to open for Joey Kola at The Brokerage.

As far as the locks go, it's one week after a retightening and I am quasi free styling. Before I went to bed I did several large twists. Posted by Picasa


I'm Back!

Hey Blog Fans,

I know I’ve been gone way too long, but it’s great to be back! Thank you so much for checking up on me with your comments and e-mails. I really appreciate it!

I’ve been really busy since the holidays with work and travel, and a cold that laid me out for several days. Last week, Wednesday - Saturday, was particularly full with multiple shows in multiple climates: Panama, Costa Rica, Colorado and Florida. Thank goodness my Sisterlocks don’t get jet lagged. (This photo was taken of me on Thursday on my way to the airport in Costa Rica.)

By the way, no photos of me from Colorado. It was too damn cold: 13 degrees - real feel one! Surfice it to say, I wasn't feelin' it.

On Saturday, I had the pleasure of opening for Mr. D.L. Hughley (of Hughley's fame and currently Weekends at the DL on Comedy Central) at University of North Florida's Homecoming. I've worked with D.L. once before and he was great as usual. His hair by the way appears to be twists; very, very precise and neat!

I was scheduled to return home on Sunday, but Mother Nature had other plans. The Blizzard of ‘06 has brought an end to our mild winter. With Airports closed and flights to New York cancelled, I stayed an extra day in Jacksonville. I happily spent the day watching African American Lives on PBS and retightening my hair. (This was interruped only by a jaunt to the local Cracker Barrel. I have a dumpling addiction that no 12 step program can cure.)

I don’t normally do my whole head in one sitting, but it was over due. I usually retighten every four weeks, and I was approaching week six! When I can run my hands through my hair and get my fingers caught up in the new growth, it’s time.

I throughly enjoy retightening my own hair and I don’t travel without my tools. They’re one of the first things to get packed in my suitcase. It they ever get on the banned list with scissors, lighters and nail files, I’m gonna be in trouble.