Top 10 Reasons to Get Sisterlocks-Almost Year 3

Reason #10 – Time is Money:

The time that I save getting ready every morning for work, church, just to go for a walk, every social outing, every drive past the beauty supply store, every time I don’t have to read a hair product label is time saved. Before locs, I was spending 1.5-3.0 hours in salons weekly for varied services-shampoo and set, color refresh, relaxer retouch, or precision cuts. Every moment that I can just be me, without worrying about my hair, saves me time and ultimately, that extra time saves me money.

Reason #9 – Maintenance is a Breeze:

I shampoo my hair every ten days with a $1 shampoo. I use rose water spritzes every other day to refresh my locs. My retightenings happen, like clock work, every six weeks. My consultant retightens every single loc each time (over 400), and it takes about four hours.

Reason #8 – Product Junkie No Más:

When I was a loose natural, I could have opened a store with all of the products I purchased. It was necessary; I learned so much about my natural curl pattern and the types of products my hair craved, but with Sisterlocks, no extra products are needed.

Reason #7 – Compliments Galore:

No matter where I go, no matter what I do…there is not one day that goes by that someone does not verbally appreciate the look, feel, or patience I must possess to wear my hair loc’ed.

Reason #6 – Money Cometh (Over Time):

The install of Sisterlocks is an investment, and if your hair is dense or long, you’ll drop a pretty coin for the install-anywhere from $350-$1500 depending on the market or region. The six week reti fee is less than what one would pay for six weeks of traditional salon services. Over time, the install investment pays for itself.

Reason #5 – Vacation is Vacation:

Worry-free hair makes vacation time all yours. You can engage in all manner of water, air, and land sports without worrying about your hair – before, during, and after the activity. You still can cover it or shampoo away the residue of a day of fun.

Reason #4 – No “Ugly” Phase: I was anxious to embrace every phase of the evolution of my locs in order to appreciate the growth from start to finish. From the curly worms of baby locs to the length of teen locs, at almost three years in, my locs never went through an “ugly phase” – mentally, I was all in, and I never cared about scalpy retis or what others thought about my hair. It was doing its own thing, and I was 100% vested from the start.

Reason #3 – Sweet Inspiration for Others: For friends, family members, and strangers alike, my locs can inspire others who may be on the edge of deciding whether to take the plunge. Maintaining locs requires patience. If you lack the patience to experience the evolution of your locs, this process may be a challenge for you. Returning to the alternative posed a bigger challenge for me than being patient and allowing my locs to grow, change, and evolve.

Reason #2 – Blogging (Look Like Me): In December 2015 when I big-chopped my relaxed hair, I could find no blogs with black women, who looked like me, with Sisterlocks-from install to growth spurts-so, I was driven to blog about my pre-loc state of being and the entire loc’ed process. I happened upon beautiful blogs of caramel-hued sistas with locs down their backs, but none with the initial starting point. I wanted to know what others with Sisterlocks were feeling, their insecurities, their challenges about their professional image…I wanted to feel a kinship, but also display images of my hair as it evolved weekly, monthly, annually. Blogging gave me a platform to discuss my hair and my newfound hair freedom.

Reason #1 – Styling Freedom: Perhaps the top reason for choosing Sisterlocks, interlocks, microlocks, or traditional locs is the freedom you gain from being able to wear your hair in so many styles-loose, updos, braided, twists, curly, ponytails, Bantu knots…you name it! The versatility is endless, and I can change my look daily if I want to do so.

Here are a few pictures from my final reti (6/2/19) before Year 3:

What a difference a year makes!

I’ll be back in mid to late-July to celebrate the next milestone!

Until then,

Andi D😘

Two Retis Until Year 3 – Growth Spurt!

One of the most noticeable changes in my hair, two years and nine months into this journey, is the obvious growth that accompanies minimal manipulation and “processing” of my hair using heat and commercial products designed to tame, smooth, and moisturize my hair. Less is more with Sisterlocs, and each retightening cycle proves the validity of this truth. For so long now, I didn’t see how the sides of my hair could possibly catch up with the back, but a growth spurt has inspired a definite change. The pictures above and immediately below are from my Good Friday reti, April 19th.

I am still taking one 10,000 mcg of biotin daily and a daily multivitamin for 50+ women (with my evening meal). I continue to spritz my locs with a prepared rose water and glycerin solution by Heritage Store (available on Amazon) every other morning. I give my edges extra attention with the spritz to ensure they are properly moisturized. You may find, like me, that your frontal edges are most delicate and can become dry and brittle without extra care. My theory is the daily face washing with cleansers and makeup application and removal subjects this facial area to more manipulation and drying agents.

During the time between now and my last reti in March, I experimented with a day of shampoo braiding of my hair which gave it a soft wave. The results are below:

Toward the end of the pre-Good Friday reti, I pulled up my hair in a poof. While my edges are not smooth, I still believe that to stay true to my belief that less is more with my hair, my journey will not include smoothing, processing, brushing, gelling, and combing edges to give them the classic smooth look. I’m happy to be nappy (and as it turn out-gray)! It was reti time for sure, but I was ready for work and looking cute! 😍

As I notice more and more wiry gray strands, I contemplate color…but I flinch when I think about how color may change the texture and feel of my hair. Just a thought…to be continued…

I’m going to wear one of my Loc Socs more this reti cycle to see if it makes a difference in taming my frizzies. My locs are still evolving, and most of them are frizzy in the middle of the loc. I’m committed to the ten-day clarifying shampoo cycle still, and I’ll add an apricot and grapeseed loc oil by Tiffany’s Loc Jewels. You can check out her products here: https://tiffanyslocjewels.com/. Makes your locs smell yummy!

The growth spurt continues…as you can see from my latest reti results above. I’ll return with an update after my June 2nd reti to let you know how the Loc Soc and loc oil changed my locs.

Until then, Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Andi D😘

2.75 Years Loc’ed!

Happy New Year, my friends! I know it’s mid-March…it’s been some time since I posted a new entry. I must chalk it up to being busy-acclimating to my new job and returning to work, in general. Having a few months off was great, and now that I’ve returned to the work I love, it seems my hair is thriving, too! Below (camo jacket with Vandy alumni tee) is a pre-reti pic I took nine days before my scheduled retightening in late January.The pictures (above and below) in the red tee are from my January 27th retightening. I asked April to display the parts so that you could see more “scalpy” images to get a sense for how much work it is to maintain your locs properly. She touches every single loc, each time I have my six-week retightening sessions. I prefer to come to her with my hair freshly shampooed (the morning of my reti).As you can see, the locs are varied sizes, lengths, and shapes. They are each evolving in their own way. The pictures below are from my most recent reti, March 9th. I’m noticing that my locs are a little less frizzy and more defined. Now that warm weather is on the horizon, they’ll get an opportunity to be more exposed to the sun and the ends of my hair tend to turn upwards – toward the sun. ☺️

Now that my hair is getting longer, I’m going to experiment more with twist outs and updos over the next few weeks. I can’t wait to share those looks with you!

Be back soon!

Andi D😘

50 Years Old and Two and a Half Years Loc’ed

Happy New Year!

November 1st ushered in a milestone birthday for me: Welcome, Andi, to that Half-Centenarian Life! I can go on and on and on…and on about the hormonal changes, the metabolic changes, the mindset shifts, and the many ways that I am choosing to embrace being 50, and I’m here for ALL of it! Thank God that I’m in relatively good health (no chronic or debilitating illnesses), but I could stand to lose some weight and make time for consistent exercise. While I’m also feeling a need to accept some things about my body, how it responds to foods I love, and how much more important it is for me to balance comfort as the primary reason for fashion, I realize at this age, I really do think less of what people think about me – not because that’s naturally who I am, but because the energy I must expend to please others is just too exhausting. “Keeping up with the Joneses” by making sure I have the latest fashion accessories, highest-heeled shoes, expensive make-up palettes, spa-like body treatments, and trend-setting clothes is way low on my priority list. I’m pretty happy with extensive comfort and a self-care regimen that is consistent, scheduled, and centered on my hair, hands, feet, and skin.

My “crown of glory” continues to reign supreme among my self-care priorities. I remain on a retightening schedule of every six weeks, although my consultant and I are noticing a “growth spurt” over the past several months. I stopped taking biotin supplements for about six months and recently restarted taking one 10,000 mcg daily, so this may explain the spurt. I’m also lessening my sugar intake, so that may also factor into my overall healthy hair benefits.

Below are pictures of my November 4th retightening session. I asked April to take more “scalpy” shots to show how each loc is sectioned. My hair is still evolving; the frizzy, fuzzy strands of this teen stage lessens each shampoo.

I’m still amazed by the growth I’ve seen within just a three month calendar span:

Below are pictures of my December 16th retightening session.

I can see the “hangtime” for real now, and I’m thankful that the versatility of Sisterlocks means that my thick hair is not hot and heavy. These hot flashes ain’t no joke!

Turning 50 and recognizing how blessed I am to still be here, happy, healthy, and among my good friends and loving family, means I get to do a few things I’ve always wanted to do. When I was 16, I had a left ear cartilage piercing that I allowed to close because it was taking so long to heal. Well, I revisited that piercing a few days ago and opted for a double piercing (both ears). Here’s the video of my right ear being pierced:

And the left…I’m telling my cousin, Randy, “It hurts, but it’s tolerable.” I plan to have many more experiences like this in 2019. After all, YOLO!

January 2019 will bring new opportunities within my career as well. I’m beginning a new role, and I’m so fortunate to do what I love as I continue to grow and stretch as a K-12 instructional leader. What lies ahead of me is so much greater than what I leave behind. I truly feel that in my spirit.

Here’s to an awesome beginning to 2019 for you, my friends! God’s peace and blessings to you and yours!

Andi D 😘

Summertime Loc Down!

Finally! It’s getting hot outside, and as much as I enjoy the freedom of locs, I must admit, the longer they get, the more I’m wondering if this southern heat will cause me to explore some different styles this summer. Or will I remain locked inside, hiding from the miserable heat…on loc down. Without a doubt, Summer 2018 promises to be a busy one for me. I’ll do a bit of traveling, for business and for pleasure, but the majority of my time will be spent in Tennessee and Arkansas where the day (and much of it heated sunlight) illuminates no less than 14 hours.

I recently traveled to Newark, NJ and Brooklyn, NY to visit two high schools, both Uncommon Schools, and learn about some of their routines and procedures – really to see if I could “borrow” any school wide routines to share with the staff and students at my own school. Interestingly, I couldn’t help but notice, since overwhelmingly the students were brown and black, that many of the young ladies wore weaves, wigs, and colorful hair pieces which seemed in stark contrast to the natural and unprocessed hair styles worn by my high school students in Arkansas. I couldn’t gauge whether the differences spoke to accessibility, economics, or some heightened sense of beauty, self-awareness, or individuality. I specifically remember one girl’s very long and very pink hair (weave) and thought to myself, “That would never fly at my school.” But, it made me think more deeply about why, exactly, it might not “fly.” Was it a distraction? Was it unnatural? Was it unprofessional? Was it a violation of the student dress code policy? Yes…to all questions, but yet, this young lady proudly walked the halls of her school, oblivious to the fact that a stranger, yes I, was judging her: her college-readiness, her professionalism, her upbringing, her home life, her future goals and aspirations…because of her pink hair. It was a “Prom ‘do,” I was told, and I suspect it won’t last to see graduation day. It’s instinctive; people judge others, based on their appearance. It’s not right, it’s not fair. It just is.

In the midst of my hair-watch patrol, I had a great time in Newark! My locs enjoyed the early morning and evening eastern breezes. This picture (mauve tee) was taken while I was in Newark, about eight days after my last retightening.Textures! That’s what I most appreciate about my locs in this “teen stage.” They continue to evolve, and the frizziness is becoming less and less as each loc becomes more compact and stiff, especially on the ends. In the picture above, I’m twisting on my locs, as I often do, waiting on my Frank to finish pumping gas and thinking about my vacation with my mom to St. Louis this week.

The photos below show my latest retightening results. My last reti was May 20th, which was at seven weeks because we’ve had to adjust my summer retis to accommodate my school leader training in Chicago. My consultant, April, displays my scalp so that you can see her work, but also you can see how healthy my hair and scalp are. I don’t have a flaky or itchy scalp, and my only maintenance between retis is my ten-day at-home shampoo using Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Pure-Castile Soap (diluted liquid). I dry my hair using a black towel (squeeze, squeeze, scrunch), and allow it to air dry on its own. I typically shampoo my hair 2-3 hours before bedtime, and I sleep with the ceiling fan on just to make sure air continues to circulate around my head/hair since all of my locs may not be completely dry. So far, this drying strategy has worked well for my length. I may have to use a cool dryer by year’s end.One of the things I’m noticing about my locs at this stage is that a few of them, especially around my sides of my head (my sleep sides) are weakening and are thinning in the middle of the loc. Because I have such thick hair, it’s not noticeable to the average person, but I see them and wonder if I should just let them be. I’ve pointed out one or two to April and she joins them when they become weakened.

The photo above is a pre-reti photo that I took for an ID badge-looks better than my driver’s license photo…which, by the way, was taken six years ago with a fresh post-wedding relaxer. Things have certainly changed! Ain’t no lye – about that!

Until next time,

Andi D😘

Retightening Day is a “Good Friday”

Before my next retightening, which is in 10 days, my locs are in need of some love. It was wash day on Sunday night, 3/18:

My locs are a bit drier than normal on wash day and the following day, but by day two (post wash day), my hair looks and feels the way it normally does. At month 21, my locs are still evolving.

Today is Good Friday, and my retightening is done!

The back of my hair is filling out nicely; it looks as if it is layered, and people ask me about my haircut all the time. My hair has never been cut. When I had my TWA, my hair was in a tapered cut, and my locs have grown out in that same cut from install. April’s work is immaculate! She touches EVERY SINGLE LOC. You know the deal…no real makeup on reti day. 😘 I was poking around all morning. Now that my reti is done, I can enjoy the rest of my Spring Holiday. I’m looking forward to enjoying a long weekend with my family. Tomorrow is our 6th wedding anniversary. Yes, that hair was fried and laid to the side!

Today, on Good Friday, we celebrate My Frank’s grandmother’s 99th birthday. She is such a wonderful soul; as the matriarch of the family, we are so blessed to have her here with us.

My next retightening is scheduled for six weeks. I’ll be back with a little more length and definitely more pictures to chronicle my locs.

Until then,

Andi D. 😘