Archive for Beauty

I have my Sisterlocks, finally!

Posted in Sisterlocks with tags , , , , on April 19, 2010 by blynsay

I did it!

Yes, April 13, 2010 was my day and I cannot be happier.  I have some pics, that are further down in the post, but I want to give you a blow by blow…

My day really began the night before, as I was instructed to wash my hair, braid and band it, so that it would be comb-able the next day.  (I refused to take a picture of this as I did not want to scare any one.) I rummaged in the dresser and found a scarf to cover the braids and retired for the night.

I awoke for my lock date at 3:30 AM.  Anticipation can be wonderful and dreadful (pardon the pun), and for me it was both.  i just could not wait. My sleeplessness probably also was a combination of  joy and discomfort, as there was thunder and subsequently, my son had taken over my queen-sized bed, and relegated me to the edge.

I tossed and turned for a while and finally went to sleep shortly before the alarm.  Even though my appointment was not until 9:00, I got up at the regular time  and started my day.  All went well, except that son had a sore throat and was remaining at home.  Since I did not have to drop him off, I had a few extra minutes to address some of the things on my to do/go there/pick up for later list.

I got up and dressed and found a hat to wear to the shop and off I went.

I ran most of the errands, treated myself  to a grande, white chocolate half-caf mocha, from Starbucks, and arrived at the shop with 5 minutes to spare.

I had come prepared for a long, long day.  I brought the laptop (with a web-cam, so the folks at home could see the process),  my text book,  juice and vitamin water and some fruit. I expected to be their until the dark of night, because every blog I  read or You tube video I saw communicated the lock process as a 10 to 20 hour job.  Not fun but to me worth the struggle.

Around 9:15 a lady came to the shop.  I and my consultant thought she was there to receive services, but she was a trainee who was coming to shadow my consultant, Ashlee.  What a treat, someone to help in the process.   Then around 9:45, Paulette the shop owner came in and picked up her tool.  I was ecstatic with all the attention and also a little scared.  Was this going to hurt with three people working on my head at the same time?

Let’s face it, I’d  had my hair braided by some of our sisters from across the water, who will employ 2 braiders to get you out of the chair faster.  I have felt they were contesting to see who could pull my hair the hardest and create the biggest migraine.  Talk about pain.  But this experience was totally different.  No pain, pulling, discomfort or anything.  Matter of fact, I was so relaxed that I was able to sleep while they worked.

Yes, I went to sleep in a salon!  It was easy.  One reason I could sleep was because my anticipation had rendered me physically exhausted.  Secondly, and I think the most important reason(s), was the peace, quiet and fragrant atmosphere.  No sound of the blow dryer, no smell of burnt hair or chemicals and most of all I could just relax and enjoy the process.

In the past a salon visit meant you had to stay alert to hold your ear so it would not get burnt, or watch the timer to make sure that the relaxer was washed out before the burn reached the  critical stage. This was totally different.  Just the sound of quiet music, the scent of a fragrant candle, soft diffused natural light illuminating the room; tranquil and soothing.

When I woke up, my head was half done, around 1 PM and we were ready to order in lunch.  My consultant volunteered to pick up the food and we relaxed while she went to get the orders.  (No this is not the kind of salon where the man brings the jerk chicken and you can by a purse, or a boot-leg movie, or tickets to a play, etc.  If you are from Detroit, you know what I mean).

After a light lunch, I set up the web-cam, so the folks at home could see what was going on and the Ashlee and Denise (the trainee) began work again; this time with me reclining so that they could complete the top of my head.  This took another few hours, and around 5:30 PM they completed the last of around 400 teeny, weeny locks.

Ashlee and Denise braided and banded my hair and instructed me on how to wash it and allow it to dry. Because I have permed ends, I will need to braid my hair anytime I come in contact with water until my locks settle in.  This is to prevent slippage (unraveling).  I put my hat on and traveled home to   shampoo my hair for the first time.  I allowed it to dry overnight and then unwound my braids and fluffed out my locks.  The photos below are the results of my first braid-out.

I am loving my hair, and am more and more enamored with it every day.  Over the past week, it has become more and more spring-y and seems to have a life of its own.  I am willing to let it have “its” way, for the first time in my life and just enjoy the journey.

This is really day 2 at the officeUp close and personal

You Cannot Free Everyone!

Posted in Sisterlocks with tags , , , on April 5, 2010 by blynsay

I am eight days away from my lock(loc) date and I could not be happier.  I have become a Sisterlocks poster child. 

One reason is because I am so excited.  I keep envisioning healthy hair, with no dependency on hair products or implements of torture (hot comb, flat-iron, curl wand, blow dryer, etc.).  I see days ahead when I no longer have to choose between working out or sleeping in a little longer.  I have to choose now, because I have to factor in style time, after I have “sweated out” my style on the stationary bike or treadmill.  Believe me, styling has won out over exercise too many times to count.

Another reason I am preaching Sisterlocks is to give rhyme and reason to the state of my napps.  This has been an ordeal, and I want folks to know I am not as crazy as I look.  I have to steel myself to look in the mirror, because my hair is less than cute right now.  I mean!  If I did not have a confirmed lock date (and had paid a non-refundable deposit), I might have succumbed to the lure of the “creamy crack”–relaxer! 

But, I am holding  strong and counting down the days.  I will not lie and tell you that transition has not been a little difficult.  One reason is that the only method of heat styling I am allowed is a blow dryer.  I am using it to the max, and every morning, I saturate the virgin hair with a little water and styling spray and blow dry away.  This straightens the roots for  the day, and gets me out the door.  Now, if  was going to continue the grow out process, as is, I would be concerned, because I find broken ends of relaxed hair around the room every time I use the dryer.  It was scary the first couple of days, but now I comfort myself by remembering that these broken, fried, damaged ends are taking themselves out of the picture and those will be less I have to cut off when my locs are mature and the permed ends go bye-bye.  It is a win-win situation.

You may wonder what this has to do with the title of this post. Well, nothing!  But, I just wanted to have a lemonade moment, and take you guys along for the ride.

Now back to the topic.

On Friday last, I took my son to the salon for a hair cut.  Yes,  I take him to a salon, because  he  is tenderheaded, like his Mama, and has curly hair.  The normal little boy buzzer cut  does not work for him and leaves him with whorls and cowlicks all over his head, so we need someone to cut it that has scissor skills.  He was a walk-in and we had to wait for an available stylist.  He is a regular and there are only a few there who cut his hair.  He played with some little sisters while we waited for a chair.  They had their Easter Sunday hair going on! 

Newly pressed and curled ponytails, bouncing in the breeze.  Now as the holiday was two days away, I envisioned a Saturday for them of rollers and do-rags to keep the style “fresh” and get them to the Sunday School program with straight and managed edges. You know it is only in our community, before a big holiday, that sporting a rag on your head at the supermarket is acceptable.  

When his turn came, I noticed an older lady in the chair next to him.  She had long, thick salt and pepper colored hair.  She and the stylist were having a conversation about cutting out her relaxer.  She had about 5 inches of relaxer, and an equal amount of un-processed hair.  I did not say virgin, because the new growth had been pressed.  I got excited.  I almost starting singing, “Dun, dun, dun-another one bites the dust!”, but held it in and just smiled and told her “Happy BC (big chop) Day”.  She looked at me a little strangely and I took the hint and turned back to my son and my own business.  I thought, this may not be a happy day, especially when you see 5 inches of hair on the salon floor.  I mean there was not hope for a ponytail or a quick bun to tame the hair, at the length that was left.  She was going to have to style her hair every day.  I thought, another one free!  But then I turned back, and low and behold saw not one but two jars of relaxer on the counter.  I wanted to tell the stylist, “Put down the brush and back away from  the head!”  Then I had to get all in the mix, and ask the lady the deal. 

She told me that she had been sick and not able to relax her hair for sometime, and finally her doctor said she could, and she was getting her hair done, so that she could look normal.  She had the old relaxed ends cut off, because they had been “damaged” by pressing, and was starting fresh.  It was then that I closed my lips, nodded and smiled and realized that we cannot all be free.  Some are not ready, some never will be and that is okay.  We all must have a place, within our own psyche, where we can be comfortable.  We all must be able to meet the man/woman in the mirror and like what we see.  For me, I look forward to a day, when I see mature locs, healthy and vibrant.  I look forward to no more burnt ears, no more relaxer burns, to more sleep in the morning, to working out and now worrying if my edges left the gym and went home before me, or my style drooped in the sauna.  

This is my happy place, and even though I am not there in the flesh, I have come to this place in my heart, in the present moment and I will not be moved.  If I could, I would free the world of our dependency on weave and relaxer and such, but this has to come for all in there own time, if it comes at all.  For some it may not, but I am going to love it enough for me and everybody else.

Is Nappy Hair a Crime?

Posted in Well-Being with tags , , , on March 19, 2010 by blynsay

I have always tried to put my best foot forward when it came to appearance.  You know; no chipped nail polish, shined my shoes, pressed my clothes well so that I didn’t have “cat tracks”, and took care of those nappy edges.

Since I am in transition from relaxed hair to a natural hairstyle that last hallmark of good grooming has been abandoned.  I have to rest my hair before it is locked and have been admonished by my loctician (with fire in her eyes), not to heat style my hair.  So consequently, I have a few beady-bs goin’ on.  Some people have remarked on my status, to which I told them my story, and they were fine. 

The ones that I am concerned for are those who either refuse to make eye contact, as if they are witnessing something shameful or those who really want to ask me what the h_ll is going on.  Some have touched my hand and told me in hushed tones, “We all have been there and you will come through”.  I muttered thank you and looked puzzled, and then I realized it was the hair! 

I really did not think it looked “that bad”, not bad at all since this is a plan not an accident or a bad hair experience. Nevertheless, thinking back, this is out of character for the old me.  I had to be sick, depressed or something on those lines to come out of the house with the tresses less than perfect.  I have spent many hours perming, dyeing, cutting and styling, chasing after the illusion of being as my Mama called it—presentable!

That is so sad!  Is presentable the most that a nappy headed child could hope for? Are the adjectives beautiful and lovely reserved only for the sisters with the less tense tresses or for the short period when your press or perm are fresh?  Maybe in another time and place, but today I reclaim my right to be beautiful, nappy hair and all!  I just wish I had done it sooner and gotten my “get out of hair-jail free card” a long time ago.

Therefore, for those who love me and are concerned and those who are nosy but too polite to ask, here is the deal—

  1. I am fine
  2. No, I will not look like this forever, as my lock date is 04/07/10, and I will have a whole new look for you to ponder about
  3. Yes, I intend to walk around like this and am not going to hide under hats and scarves for the duration
  4. No, I am not going to apologize for having nappy hair; I am no longer ashamed; it is what God gave me and I will rock it with pride

Whew, that feels good to get that off my chest! 

I am not trying to be belligerent, but I am standing up for my choice and holding my Nappy head High!  This is a time for me to just—be and not concern myself with presentability or acceptance by the mainstream.

I instead choose to be beautiful!

Do you have Good Hair?

Posted in Sisterlocks with tags , , on March 17, 2010 by blynsay

When the infamous movie came out,  a lot of people had a lot to say.  Some good and some bad.   I saw  it and was glad that I had made the decision to go natural.  Here is what the good people at Sisterlocks.com had to say..

Sisterlock answer to “Good Hair

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