Week Two has been much like Week One, not many changes with my hair except two very subtle ones: there is a natural, healthy sheen without the use of oils, sprays, or glosses and my baby locs have volume despite the length. My natural hair color is a reddish, dark brown, and while standing in the sun or a well-illuminated spot, this is most evident to onlookers. While maintenance is just a breeze; literally, I fluff my hair with my fingers and go, this journey leads me to another question: What is slippage?
I scheduled an appointment with my consultant for Friday, August 5th so that she could take a peek at a couple of areas where I suspect slippage has occurred. I’ll admit; it’s difficult to keep my hands out of my hair. It feels so good! I hope that obsession will end soon, but I think it’s quite natural. It made me wonder if my daily touches, by myself and others, may contribute to slippage and what, exactly, is the difference between slippage and unraveling? Considering the length of my locs, they are essentially one and the same. Unraveling occurs when your baby locs start to come undone and lose their pattern at the ends of your hair (because the ends are too immature to lock). Slippage, on the other hand, happens when the hair at the root begins to slip and lose its pattern at the base of the “lock.”
Below are some updated pictures of the back of my head. I took these photos on Thursday, August 4th. I’ll take more after my visit with my consultant.
From the photos, it’s difficult to tell where slippage may have occurred.
The photo below is a closeup of the back of my head, closest to my nape. My baby locs look like woven curls (they remind me of shiny worms) when I inspect the photos.
After my appointment on Friday, August 5th, my consultant retightened a few of my baby locs, and I was out the door within 10-15 minutes. It might be more advantageous for me to wait a month between posts so that you can see more drastic changes with my locs, but when I was searching for images and bloggers that posted weekly photos, with commentary that helped me understand the phases, I simply could not find anyone willing to be “frequently transparent” about the growth of their Sisterlocks from infancy. My blog is an effort to fill that void.
From the pictures below, you won’t be able to tell much difference from my Week One pictures, but my curl pattern seems more evident and the baby locs are thinner than they were the first week. As I touch them, I can definitely feel their thinness. This phase will subside, according to my consultant.
Most were in the very back of my head, with two or three being on the sides.
I’m acutely aware of the many textures that are evident with just one head of hair. My hair may be a different texture than yours, but the progression of growth and maturity of our locs may be similar.
When my friends, family members, or strangers tell me, “I like your hair,” I cannot help but beam the response, “Thank you! So do I! Freedom!” This past summer, I’ve taken on the “hobby” of thrifting, usually on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. During my Saturday visit to a local store, I came across a black woman around my age, who looked to be in her late 40’s, early 50’s. She approached me and said, “I love your hair,” and began touching her own. I noticed that she had very short hair, with wide square parts, and it looked as if she had two-strand twists. After thanking her, I asked her if she was locking her hair. It was evident to me that her hair was not sisterlocked, but I did not know if she was simply styling her hair for a temporary look or committing to a lifestyle change of maintaining locs. She explained that she was a cancer survivor and that her hair had undergone many changes over the course of a year, especially in the resultant texture. She was disappointed with the look of her two-strand twists and told me that her stylist would re-do the twists in a couple of weeks. She wanted to lock her hair, but she wasn’t sure if her hair would lock. She went on to talk about the thinness of her newly textured, post-treatment hair, and that her hair used to be coarse, but would never be as full and as thick as mine. I did not know what to say to comfort her…or even that she was seeking any encouragement from me. I stood there, watching her as she reflected on the transformation that survivorship has meant for her. Finally, I told her that Sisterlocks may be a way for her to embrace her freedom from cancer and celebrate her naturalness in the process. I walked away knowing that I would think of her often and pray for her strength to live her best life, cancer-free.