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😘

After Year One…What’s Next?

One of the things I didn’t think about along this journey is the real possibility of changing hair consultants. After year one, you may find yourself reflecting over the course of your installment and months of retightenings…and you may just determine that you need to change the dynamics of your hair care. 

In May 2016, I decided to research the maintenance and cost of establishing microlocks as a natural hair transitional style. I had only been natural since December 2015, but I knew my TWA (teeny weeny Afro) would soon require more effort to style unless I chose to cut it. My research led me to Sisterlocks, Interlocks, and Microlocks as viable alternatives for my growing TWA. Deciding that the versatility of Sisterlocks was the choice for me, I contacted two local consultants, paid for a consultation with one, and decided to install my locks under her knowledgeable care as a 17+ year veteran. The relationship between my consultant and me evolved over the course of the year, and around the fourth retightening session, some idiosyncrasies began to surface. By the time my 10-month Sisterlocks anniversary occurred, I began to seriously think about severing the client-consultant relationship. At my last retightening session, which also marked the one year anniversary of my Sisterlocks, I knew I would not return to her. There were just too many personality quirks that made me uncomfortable and eroded the trust factor for me.

While the change in consultants was well thought out and calculated on my part, I truly am grateful to the consultant who began this hair care journey with me. My hair has evolved so much in just one year, and as it continues to mature, I have begun to form a relationship with a new consultant which will allow my locs to continue to thrive and develop.

One Week Before August 30th Retightening-my locks are maturing and the grays along my temple area assert their presence daily:

Finished Retightening-my grid is clearly back to life and each lock has been touched, examined, and retightened by my new consultant, April:

The grays look like shiny lint in these pictures, but up close and personal, the grays aren’t as noticeable. 

Post Retightening: Sorority Meeting Flow, Saturday, September 2nd

So, friends and followers, I’ve learned that natural hair care and maintenance can be an emotional experience. I walked this same tightrope in 2012 when I changed hair stylists after 20 years of relaxed hair care. The costly installation of my Sisterlocks was a very personal decision for me; however, once I made the leap from relaxed to natural, I have not looked back or second-guessed my choice to lock my hair. Predictability in the cost of retightening services, honest and open communication, honoring the timing of appointments, and scheduling private, one-on-one appointments are all hair care non-negotiables that matter to me. The maintenance of Sisterlocks won’t break your purse if you are committed to professionally caring for your hair, in general; it averages to be about the same as any relaxed/permed hair care regimen. The time it takes to retighten my hair, however, is the motivating factor and the one that makes me appreciate Sisterlocks. I hated spending hours in the salon…waiting. You know the drill-wait to get in the chair, wait to shampoo and condition, wait to rinse, wait to dry, wait to style…you spend more time waiting than receiving services. I’m not knocking what people choose to do with their hair; it’s a personal choice. As much as I hated sitting in salons, I can understand and appreciate the working mother who savored those hours of wait time-time away from the family to herself and for herself. 

What’s next? I want to enjoy Year Two of sharing my hair chronicles with you through this blog. More important, I need to build a strong and trusting relationship with my new consultant, April, as we balance my hair care maintenance and an open line of communication. I’m feeling fortunate to have met her through a friend and fellow naturalista, Marsha. April’s energy, consummate attention to detail, and kind spirit are exactly what I need in Year Two. 

Peace (without the hair grease), 😘

Andi D.

My Sisterlocks – One Year Anniversary

Monday, July 24, 2017 marked the one year anniversary of my Sisterlocks install. I am so excited about the look, feel, and ease of my hair at this one year anniversary, and I cannot imagine NOT having the freedom that comes with locs for the rest of my days. 

Before Sisterlocks:

Day 1 of Sisterlocks Install: My hair and scalp were cleansed with a clarifying shampoo and there was no product whatsoever on my scalp or in my hair on the dual-day Install.

Day 2 of Sisterlocks Install: The finished product. My hair was pretty short, but healthy.


One Year of Sisterlocks Freedom: I lost some weight during this year and worried about the overall condition of my locs for about three months, but they survived the transformation of diet and exercise. 

Make-Up Free works well with Sisterlocks (below):

My locs continue to evolve. The grays continue to show up.

Year One Retightening – Wednesday, July 26, 2017: Prepping before bedtime. I must massage my scalp more and manipulate my locs. My retis leave me feeling “tender-headed” and hating the peripheral Retightening process. I cringe…literally, every single reti. 

I’m not sure why these next two photos were filtered like this, but the length and fullness are still apparent.

My hairline (edges) remain intact a year later 😌…not much can be obscured with my broad forehead though. It is what it is…so, I embrace it. 

My consultant will do some targeted “grooming” of my locs-either over my next couple of retis or from an appointment made for that purpose. The grooming will help tame my “frizzy fuzzies” and allow her to assess each loc’s strength and health. We combined a few locs in the front that had weakened.

I’m expecting great things during this next Anniversary year, and a loc growth spurt is among them. I continue to take 10,000 mcg of biotin with my evening meal, and from my consultant’s view, the biotin is contributing to incredible new growth. I’ll be experimenting more with my diet over the next year, enjoying more plant-based nutrition, to see if my overall health improves and to customize my lifestyle to include healthier plant-based choices.

Looking forward to sharing with you all – my hair journey and most definitely, the freedom of Sisterlocks! 

Be well!

‘Leven&AHalf Months – Year One Is Near

Am I the only one who perspires uncontrollably?! I was relaxing in an epsom salt soak and reflecting on how profusely I sweat, and I was sweating while thinking about how much I sweat. Whew! Just today, I was talking to two very close friends about how I sweat, abnormally so, when I exercise outdoors. I’m almost embarrassed to walk one of my normal routes because of the vehicular traffic and numerous traffic lights; they’ll definitely see me out there sweating! There is no hiding from the onlookers. This is no normal sweat, y’all. I promise.

To build upon healthy living habits and to maintain my weight loss, at least five days a week, I am walking and/or jogging 3-7 miles (depending on my energy level and the weather) outside, in the elements. I call myself “training.” My long-term goal is to run a half marathon at 50 years of age. Since I still have well over a year before my 50th birthday, I am taking advantage of the beauty of the great outdoors, mild southern temperatures, and honoring my refusal to be tucked away in a germy, expensive gym. I love to be outdoors, in the fresh air and sunshine-especially during the early morning! However, the humidity in Memphis is oppressive in July and August. It’s the devil, y’all.

My hair though…I really wonder if the sweat is damaging to my hair. With all of the benefits of perspiration, could there be benefits to one’s hair?

I don’t feel compelled to shampoo my locs more often, and I suspect that is because I still do not use any oils on my scalp or in my hair which tend to contribute to excessive buildup. Those additives can be smelly over time, combined with perspiration.

My locks continue to be “bleached” by the sun.  It’s ends are reddish-brown. That gray? It’s not going anywhere, and I do not want to cover the gray using harsh chemicals.

At the near end of Year One, my locs continue to be varied in size and density. Frizzy, fuzzy, fat, skinny, wiry, curly, strong…just a few descriptors.

Most of the ends in the back are locked with curlier ends on the top and sides.

I’m actually very proud of the growth over this year, and I’ll chronicle that growth in my next entry.

On any given day, my hair remains thick and full.

At Year One, I will do the ACV rinse I’ve been hearing so much about…and will consider it an annual “birthday gift” to my locs as a gesture of love.

I’m working on me…still. My Sisterlocks are the easiest part of my daily wellness plan. Effortless and uncomplicated. It’s a good thing because I need all of that energy to be dedicated to the internal pep talk I must have to sustain an exercise regimen.



Ultimately, I did a little research to discover the benefits of perspiration and came across this article: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/10-amazing-benefits-sweating-you-didnt-know.html.

One thing’s for sure, I don’t plan to change my living environment, switch to an indoor facility to train, or stop exercising outdoors to live my best life-now or in the future. I’ll be sweating to the oldies, as an oldie…and that’s just fine with me.

Be well! 😘

My 10 Month Journey – Locked For Life

Your hair…its texture, its state, its look, its health, its feel…tells a story. Mine has been deprived of proper hydration over the past few months; now I’m in a re-hydration mode, and over the summer months, I will be trying to replenish all of the water it needs to experience a growth spurt and the sheen I know it should have. 

My grays, especially in my temple areas, have begun to show up and show out…wiry, uncontrollable, and rebellious. They don’t even want to hide within the confines of a locked tress-they just want to do their own thang. My locks continue to change in form during this tenth month. Not a lot of uniformity yet; thinner and longer locks on the top-thicker, plumper ones along the sides and back. 

I’m amazed by the many “looks” I can create, on any given day, although I do not “style” my locks. They are long enough to twist or braid; however, I believe that styling them in this teenaged phase may weaken my edges and cause undue tension in the back, especially along my nape area. I’ve worn enough updos and styles pulled off and out of my face to appreciate the free style of well…no style. This forehead is here to stay. I choose to celebrate it and its broadness-show it every chance I get. It’s a reminder; I really do have a lot going on up there, in this head of mine. 

Over this past month, I’ve stopped sleeping in the Loc Soc. I’m feeling the 48-year-old hormonal change of night sweats and the weight of denser locks confined in a tight space, so I’ve switched to just satin pillowcases, which seems to work well so far. I rotate crimson and cream satin pillowcases (imagine that ❣️), and they have given me a cooler head without much concern about the health of my locks. At my next retightening, I’ll ask my consultant if she notices any lint or buildup from my transition from the covered head to open air. As an extra precaution against lint, I do not wear caps, scarves, or hats on my head.

There is no appreciable difference in what I do to my hair in the morning. I still take a hot/warm towel (sometimes prepped with a squirt of Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint or Citrus Castille Soap) and move my locks to refreshen and “style” them in their free-style way. Most of the time, the humidity of my hot morning showers do the trick. I’ve stopped covering my hair with a plastic shower cap now that it is locked. 🎼🎧🎤 I never knew love like this before…

My hair is not fully locked all over, but coiled enough so that I do not have to fear the rain or getting it wet in the shower. The back is more locked than those stubborn curly top locks, so there are still so many different textures apparent within my hair. 

The picture below (black shirt, gold oval pendant necklace) is a good representation of my “workday hair.” A bit more “fluffed” and contained. Still with a bit of edginess and personality, I love the dynamic attitude of locked hair.

This picture (denim jacket, camo shirt-representing with the silver pendant) represents my “weekend hair,” which is slowly becoming my workday hair now that the school year has ended. I’ll be working much of the summer, and casual Monday through Friday will rule the summer work gear. Some days, I just can’t control the direction of one or two locks. I have stopped trying. 

A year ago, right before I decided to lock and started this blog about my hair journey, I was so preoccupied about my image, as a professional educator, and how locking my hair might impact people’s perceptions of me. While I understand that is somehow a real concern in this competitive world of titles, relationships, and performances, I no longer worry about whether my hair speaks something to others before I even open my mouth. My prayer is that I’ll have an opportunity to speak my own truths before they are assigned to me. However, I’ve spent this year learning, and in some cases, the hard way, that no matter who you are, how you look, what you have to say, and how your story has evolved, some folks will create an image, shape an opinion, write YOUR story, and choose to believe THEIR story of you, no matter its truth or fidelity. 

My hair tells a story, my friends, but it’s only a small part of my story. Such a small part…