2/21/2006

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!!

26 comments:

Ree-C said...

This was a great post. I am thinking about purchasing the Caruso Steam Rollers.

Goodnapps said...

Good point about the separation of locks. I have to separate daily, hair wet or dry...not kidding. I hate when they matte together.

Leighann said...

Wow! I tbink because I retighten so frequently (every four week and inbetween as needed) that I haven't had a problem with matting. Everybody's hair is so different.

BlaqKofi said...

Leighann, thanks for that post. It helped me to know that there are others who experience the "stuck out" or "puffy" hair as I call it. Like you, my hair doesn't hang, I'd even settle for it pointing up (which is a very cool look) so I feel it's necessasry to style. But if my locks turn out looking half as good as yours, I'll be even more content than I am now. It's also good to know you used the Starter Shampoo for a whole year. I like it much more than the Aloe Shampoo and think I'll go back to it. I just ordered to shampoo and conditioner from Carol's Daughter. I'll let you now how I like them.

Leighann said...

Your very welcome Blaq! For a while it seemed like my locks would never grow and then they just did. :-)

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

Thanks for letting us know we are not alone in our early journey of shoulda, coulda, woulda!!

onyxcherry said...

I am a college student graduating in May2006. I have been growing out my hair for three months and in June I am moving to NY and I plan to get sisterlocks installed then. Who did your installation and would you recommend them to me. I have been looking for someone to care for my locs when i get them but I don't know who to trust. Your sisterlocks look lovely and I'm sure whoever did yours would do a good job on mines also. Thank you.

Tra said...

Great post. I am glad you talked abou the styling thing. Although I am so far into lazy right now and loving the "freestyle" I was a bit concerned about how much styling I was doing over the holidays...one way or another I am sure my locs will be fine (lol)....I still keep telling myself this every other day.

Tra

~ZELLA~ said...

I ENJOY READING YOUR BLOG..YOUR HAIR IS BEAUTIFUL...AND YOU TOO...YOU SEEM TO HAVE A WARM SPIRIT...KEEP THE PICS AND WORD COMING...

brunsli said...

Yeah, I feel a little less guilty about not separating now. But, now my hairdresser wants me to band again -- seems like my progress is going backwards!

Ghana_Girl said...

Leighann,

Thanks so much for this post! If you don't mind, I would like to copy it for the document I hope to put together for us new sisterlockers. This information is VERY helpful. It is also great because so many of us are not 100% happy with our locks at the start. It is great to see that you felt the same way and that you now have beautiful flowing locks!

Cheers,
Hermie

Leighann said...

Thanks for the great responses, ladies. I'm glad this post has been so helpful. Hermie, feel free to use what you need.

onyxcherry said...

Who did your first set of sisterlocks? I would like them to do mine when I move to NY in June.

Leighann said...

Hi Onyx, I tried to reply to you directly but you didn't give me your e-mail address. I've only had (and still do) one set of Sisterlocks that I started in July 2001. My Consultant's name is Khumura and her number is 973-676-4813. Good luck and let me know when you come to NY!

Sister-in-Locks said...

That seperating thing. It's nice to know that I am not alone. I think because my hair is not dense it doesn't cause me a problem.

lisa said...

If my SL's can turn our anything like yours.. I definitely follow your example.. great post!

AFunkyKindaGlow said...

Thanks for visiting me, and the nice post

Love the pictures..

No oil what do you use to moisturise? did I miss something

Joy said...

Hi,
I've been natural for about 2 years and I've been sporting a TWA for about that long. In May, I'll get my TWA turned into Sisterlocks. I'm very excited!
My question has been one on my mind for the past year. How did you find the color that was right for you? Your color looks great.
Joy

Anonymous said...

I'm going to get SLs installed with relaxed ends. Do you think sponge rolers on the ends or a twisting the ends with Jane Carter will be ok during the beginning phase? One of my friends who has SLs, suggested I just leave my hair alone for the first few days, but I am having the locks installed during the week and have to go to work.

Leighann Lord said...

Hey Anonymous,

I started my Sisterlocks with all natural hair so I don't feel qualified to advise on care when you have permed ends.

However, your friend is right. it's very important, especially in the beginning, that you don't over manipulate or use products on your hair as it might (at best) slow down the locking process or (at worst) cause product build up in your locks.

If you decide to use anything, do it very sparringly and only on the permed hair.

I do think twisting maybe a bit gentler on your hair than using sponge rollers. I twisted in the beginning and it did slow down the locking process a bit, but it was going to be slow for me anyway because I have very soft hair. And in the interim I wanted to look presentable.

Good luck and I hope this helps. :-)

Benisha said...

I am two months in and i love my sisterlocks. I was a loose natural for 4 years before I got my babies installed. I have a moisturizing spray that i use daily and I cover my locks with a bonnet at night. Should I put them up in a ponytail or something before I put on the bonnet? I don't style them or manipulate them because i don't want to interrupt the process. I had them washed when I got my reti on 10/12. I want to order the Sisterlock shampoo so I can wash them myself. I am just afraid that I may mess them up..lol..anyway what is banding? Is it okay for me to just put on my bonnet

Leighann Lord said...

Hey Benisha,

Yes, it should be perfectly ok to just wear your bonnet when you sleep. Braiding and banding is a way of protecting your locks from slippage due to over manipulation when you wash your hair. You literally section your locks into four to six sections, braid them and then gently rubber band the ends.

Congrats on your new babies!

MTeezy said...

Hello i just got my SL installed last nite 11/24/13 so this is day 1 of my SL journey... can i wet my hair and just let it air dry? And is there anything specific that i should do to my hair in the beginning stages of my hair

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Anonymous said...

all comments extremely helpful thank you. I have started SL journey with approximately 1inch of hair. Any suggestions for this length and oh my lots of scalp showing from coming out of alopecia. But rocking it with scraves.

Leighann Lord said...

Hi Anonymous! Congrats on starting your Sisterlock journey! I don't have personal experience with that length (I started with five to seven inches) but in general would be careful not to over-manipulate young locks as that could delay the locking process. That said, I too have alopecia and scarves and hats cover a multitude of sins. :-)