Friday, 28 March 2014

My Locitude Locvolution Timeline! - The Journey (Requested)

Hey,

Here's my loc journey in pictures. I wasn't proud of my hair in the beginning so there aren't many pictures of my earlier days :(. Thanks to Facebook you can see baby loc photo, I owe two thirds of the pictures to friends and family who tagged me.

Permed me about 3 yrs before going natural
1 year and a half before I went natural
- Definitely was into weaves at some point.
5months old - The only picture I could find with unformed baby locs.
The 6th month mark - I'm 2nd from the right
The awkward phase.

The 1year mark!!!! Yaaaayi 
1 year 2 months -ish - Rocking a hair band.
1year 6 months - ish - That's me on the far right 
Somewhere between the 1st and 2nd year - Pinned down on one side.
Escaped the awkward phase.
2nd year - I was still slim and sexy and an urbanknit model
2nd year - Passport photograph of Life :)

3rd year - Cousin Ronke and I, rocking the side swoop.
3rd year - Rocking my new growth and Ruby woo lip stick

3rd yr - First attempt at curls -
Took forever to dry and lasted for only half  day.

3rd year - Next day, curls fell really fast.
4th year -
Rocking a mohawk with flat twists on both sides
4th year -
Changing room selfie! A variation of
two strand twist in front and a donut at the back
4th year -
This was the picture that made me realise my hair had grown.... finally.
Had some variation of two strand twist in the front, packed the side up and let the rest fall.
The hair do is inspired by Evelyn King - (Front Pa-te-wo and back)
4th yr -
Rocking a donut and another variation of two strand twists in the front.
4years 4months - Two strand twist variation, packed sides and left the rest to fall
Here's what my looks like right about now.


"Started from the bottom now we here"

So that's the journey so far.... and in these past four years I have learnt quite a bit on locs, don't forget to check out 7 Locitude Do's and 7 Locitude Don'ts for tips on how to groom your locs healthily. 

Next post  - I'll be attempting to do my loc maintenance my self and getting the pipe cleaner curls, if I succeed you'all see a post on this.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

7 Locitude Do's and Why

I guess a Do post naturally follows a Don't post, hence this post. You all know that "too much of anything is bad", so please don't over dose on the "DO" information else it becomes a don't.

1. Do Use Natural products on your hair only.

A loc sister once told me, if you can't put it in your mouth, don't put it on your hair. Sounds crazy but I use this as a guide for what I put on my hair.

Most of the essential oils I have read /watched video's about are no where to be found in Lagos, so it makes this do a bit difficult to adhere to. You don't have to cut out unnatural product all at once but the more natural you go the better. You can find some of these fantastic natural products in a market or super market here in Nigeria - Ori (Shear butter), Coconut Oil, and Olive oil. I use only shear butter for my twists now, but still use the Jamaican Mango and Lime Shampoo and conditioner which is not 100% natural.

Some loc heads do not use products at all. The claim is that your scalp naturally moisturises your locs. I am not at that point yet but I have learnt to use less and less products over the years. 

2. Do Moisture regularly.

Moisturising with the right products keeps your locs with just the right amount of sheen as well as with a nice soft texture. The sun can be very harsh on kinky hair so you need to put some effort to ensure your hair doesn't burn out. It is not news that dry hair breaks, moisturise regularly.

My number one recommendation for moisturising is coconut oil, you can use it as much as daily. The oil is light and smells good. You can learn more about coconut oil here.

3. Do Sleep in a silk scarf.

Natural hair is prone to loosing moisture, rubbing it in those soft cotton and feathered pillows don't help, they suck the moisture out of your locs. So to retain some moisture you can do your hair a favour and sleep in a silk scalf. Note, a cotton scarf will absorb moisture as so stick to silk.

Sleeping in a scarf also helps to retain hair styles for much longer.

4. Do Twist / Re-twist your hair when damp.

Our kinky hair needs some water to set too. If you've ever permed your hair, the roll when wet + leave to completely dry rule also applies to natural hair. Re-twisting when wet lets your new growth stay in place after it dries. Also twisting dry hair can lead to breakage.

Freshly twisted  and styled locs.


5. Do Let your hair breathe. - Courtesy Damilola Lawal

In the early days of locs everyone experiences that phase where your hair is uncool and in that phase the easiest solution is to hide them in braids, weaves, hats just about anything. Besides the fact that your locs can fall off when you are taking out weaves or braids. It's healthier to let your hair breathe.

You just have to be creative with wearing your hair such that it is presentable and funky at that stage. Just let your hair breathe.

6. Do Wash your locs regularly. 

Your lifestyle and what you get up to should ultimately determine how often you wash your hair. For new starters I would recommend once monthly as unformed locs unravel when you wash. Once your hair is locked I'll say every two weeks should be ideal. Whatever the case maybe don't push it past one month.

Locs are utlimately formed by tangling of your individual hair strands; in that process your hair is likely to pick up all kinds of stuff. Washing regularly helps to keep your scalp clean and remove excess and stale oils that you have naturally produced. Washing also helps your hair grow better. Note that you don't have to re-twist every time your wash if your locs are already formed. I personally prefer the look of my locs with untwisted new growth.

Like I said wash regularly and according to your lifestyle. 

7. Do document your loc journey - Courtesy Bronze Goddess

I wasn't proud of my hair in the beginning, I wish I was, it would have been nice to have some more pictures to look at now and at least laugh at the awkward phase. Documenting your locs can also help to encourage you on those days when you feel, your hair hasn't grown in the past six months. At least a selfie every week will be worth the shots years down the line.

The feedback from 7 Locitude Don'ts and Why was awesome :), hope you take one or two tips from this and remember to rock those locs with an attitude.

Next Post - My Locitude Journey in Pictures.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

7 Locitude Don'ts and Why

In this post I have gathered the worst 7 things I have done to my hair that I will try to never do again.

A bit of background, I don't do my loc maintenance myself; never did, always used a salon. The fact is that most Nigerian hairdressers* really don't know a damn thing about locs. I couldn't control a lot of the Don'ts I mention below because I didn't know better. So hope you can take one or two tips away from this.

1. Do NOT use foam* (Mattress block) on your hair.

Run from a Hairdresser that uses foam on your hair! I'm serious run very far because the consequences last the life time of your locs. For some weird reason, many hairdressers in Nigeria use a block of foam to aggressively rub your head especially in the early months of locs. The ideas is that it makes your hair loc faster. The truth is it makes your hair break faster.

Particles from the foam block fall into your strands, they remain there forever and literally form a road block that discontinues your hair growth then your strands eventually fall from points that gathered the most foam particles.

If you don't want unequal length of locs like in the picture below, run from foam.  
Loc Don'ts
My hair looks all nice and dandy when styled,
but some of the mistakes here have caused quite a number of
my locs to fall off. :(
Additionally, I don't imagine anyone still sleeps on a naked mattress, well if you somehow do please make sure it's covered to ensure foam particles don't get stuck on your strands.

2. Do NOT trim the Frizzy hair off your loc strands.

Everyone wants neat locs, yes  but please don't trim your strands, they will eventually loc as you twist them overtime. Palm rolling is a solution that almost everyone recommends for frizzy locs and it works over time. 

Your hair only grows from the roots, you can't regrow your loose hair when your trim them out, all you are doing is thinning out your strands. This can lead to them falling off eventually.

Don't let any hair dressers come near your hair with a pair of scissors. I was a victim of this for two years :(, imagine how much volume I would have had.



3. Do NOT use raw wax on your hair.

There's no need to say much here, you'll see the effect immediately. Use raw wax on your hair, put your fingers in it and I'll give you 10 Naira if your fingers come out without hair on them. Not proud to say this but yes some crazy dude in a small salon in Ikeja* put raw wax on my locs in the early days.

Please don't do this.

Note that Bee's wax is different from the wax I have referred to above. Will do some research to help clarify the differences and why it may be ok to use bee's wax on your hair.

4. Do NOT use any products containing Petroleum on your locs.

I got this tip from a good friend who has been natural since forever. Let me explain this to you with an illustration; Petroleum is that thing that makes grimmy engines work, why do you want to put it on your hair? It shouldn't even come close to your skin. This is putting petrol on your hair which in turn clogs your locs.

Petroleum products make permed hair shinny and silky quiet alright, remember permed hair is processed, using processed petroleum may be fine. So if you've decided to keep it natural with locs, try to use natural products on your hair only. Got it?

5. Do NOT over twist or Interlock your locs.

There's a stage where all you want your hair to do is loc for heaven's sake. At that stage you will assist it all day and all time, your fingers will never leave your hair. I know this very well cause I did it. The truth is that  all that finger twisting is sweet/feels good.

Over twisting will cause your locs to thin out which may lead to eventual breakage or cause you to join some locs together. Just try to keep your fingers out. It's hard but try.

Interlocking is a technique where a crochet like pin is used to intertwine locs. It keeps new growth neat and in place for much longer than palm rolling or comb twisting. The effect is very similar to a plait or braid. You can go for as long as 8 weeks without re-twisting and go for a swim without bothering about your locs unravelling but there's a big price to pay in the end.

Your locs are likely to fall out from the point you interlock as your strands become significantly thinner at those points. Though interlocking has a few benefits it is best to stay away. Let your locs form gradually and as naturally as possible.

6. Do NOT use tight rubber bands on your locs.

Every now and again you need a rubber band here or there to keep your locs in place but don't over do it. When you find a hair style you like you'll repeat it over and over again, if you use rubber bands they tend to strain your locs continuously at the same spot and can cause eventual breakage.

Rubber bands are essential, for styling especially but be warned that uptight look can cost you some hair loss.

7. Do NOT be discouraged.

Deciding to keep locs is a journey, usually one you agree with yourself to make. It doesn't matter what your reason for having locs is; there will be bad hair days and good hair days; you will love your hair and hate it very much at some point. You will even be convinced that there's no reason to keeping going. Occasionally you will be jealous of the girl next door rocking her Brazilian weave or Bohemian curls. 

Trust me down the line you'll see it's all been worth it. The compliments will keep flowing and flowing in. You'll save tons of money not buying extensions. Once your hair is locked it is low maintenance, beautiful and eccentric. Many won't believe it's your hair, you'll hear the "can I touch it" over and over again. You will love your hair and maybe start your own blog, youtube channel or loc community.

Please do not be discouraged. Patience is key.

So that's all folks. Remember to rock those locs with an attitude.


Notes:

This is a 100% opinionated article based on my personal experience with my hair.

I have used terms that are more popular in Nigeria and here's what they mean.
Hairdresser - In this cause I really mean "Loctician".
Foam - A cut portion from a sleeping mattress 
Ikeja - A city in Lagos, Nigeria

Monday, 24 March 2014

Welcome!

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the Locitude! 

Yeap, it's going to be all about locs with an attitude :). My inspiration for this blog has come from a few loc heads on youtube. I have decided to start with words and pictures, maybe I'll graduate to video eventually.

My locs are now 4 years 4 months old and I have fallen in love with them all over again, and if you have baby locs trust me "the falling in and out of love" with your hair is the normal process.

The aim of this blog is mainly to provide local (Nigerian) content on what has worked best for my hair and what hasn't, as I have noticed that most of the content online is from loc heads outside Africa and sometimes the oils and accessories recommended are no where near to be found.

My locs at 4years and4 months.
I will try as much as possible to go back into the past to give tips for those just trying to start out their locs and will share styling technics I have learnt so far.

I am hoping this will be fun, interactive and informative.

A post on loc DON'Ts coming soon.

Your Loc Head,

Ade.