26 April 2012

Week 3: ...and a bit

Time really does fly. Already on day 23 and heading up to the first dreading milestone. The past 7 days have moved very fast and been quite stress-free on the hair front.

Many coils in the upper back and sides started to firm up and they've been thick and springy all over. It was good to rock them for a while. The EVOO and water spritz works a treat so I decided to leave my hair alone for as long as possible. It was actually 13 days before I washed it this afternoon. I think I wanted to wash it because the rain (happy April showers) made it feel "heavy". I used baking soda and witch hazel because I haven't settled on an appropriate shampoo yet. There was very little buildup so I'll have to find something gentler to wash my hair.

I'm very happy with the growth and fuzzy thickness and glad I was able to wait it out in the hopes of them knitting together and little better but unfortunately I am still suffering from severe post-wash unravelling which I suspect is due to the short length. 

From now on I'll have to wash with a stocking cap and push each wash date to once a fortnight to prevent a total re-do every time.

So yeah, I was absolutely loving my hair this week, the thickness and low maintanence felt like a win-win situation. Nonetheless I was truely disappointed after washing and not in the mood for the 2 hour re-twist ahead, I will admit the infamous  Q. "why am I doing this?" A. "Cheaper than a perm!" was all I could think of . . .

I was planning on a visit to the salon for my one month mark next week but as my hair was cleaned and freshly re-twisted today I may hold off until the next wash is due and I have more to work with.

  1. Choose a dread washing product
  2. Continue re-twisting with olive oil
  3. Choose a natural oil that smells nice to add to my spritz
  4. Check in at the salon sometime in May
  5. RELAX!
Photos from the past 7 days:

on a trip to North Wales


**Photography ownership is held with the blog account holder, DO NOT use without permission,**

17 April 2012

Locs Love Water

Who doesn't love a good humoured YT vid? What if it also came with a good hearted dread care message?

Water really does help locs to mature quicker. Get a water bottle and do it now!


**I DONOT posses video ownership or creator rights. Video ownership or creator rights are held with jirodgreene**

Week 2

Second week in. It's been eventful. The first wash, another re-twist, lots of research into hair care and returning to work with the newbies. . . .

Following the refreshing wash and twist event last Friday, I have really come back to liking my hair. Looking back I feel like the beginning of week two (pre-wash) was a mini 'ugly phase'. It was like every part of the journey was unravelling (excuse the pun) but once I'd returned to a clean scalp, things really improved. The fuzzies are under control at the moment and the coils are pretty established.

PRODUCTS: The only "products" I'm using now are extra virgin olive oil and water, only two! All natural! After all these permed and processed years how brilliant is that?! I spray most days and I must say, comparing the tea tree with EV olive oil, the latter has proved highly successful. Now that I think about it the last three days have been flake free, itching is virtually nonexistent and my hair actually feels soft, like, really soft, you know. Way less re-twisting so far and I feel happier leaving them alone for longer, though the softness makes them so touchable :D

Still on the look out for affordable coconut oil or jojoba oil for the possible future but I am more than happy with the olive oil and water spritz as a permanent moisturiser.

One thing I am doing differently is leaving my hair uncovered in the shower. For the first week I thought damp hair would lead to problems but after a day where I forgot to put on a shower cap I noticed my hair really perked up. I've read so much about water being really good for locs but I didn't think that included moisture from the shower until now. I think it's made a real difference to the look and feel of my hair, in fact I actually don't recall when my hair last felt this soft without conditioner.

So, the holidays have finally come to an end and going back to work I had to make that major decision between uncovered, scarves or hats...

Here's how I had my hair for work:

Yeah I went with the hat, too early for scarves and I love wearing purple (donated by my family at the last minute). Working with children I didn't feel comfortable leaving them uncovered, you know teens can pick up on anything "different".

I liked it a lot, I'm pleased that the satin head scarf fitted underneath. No comments, but it did give me a chance to forget about my hair for the evening and it was so good to be effortlessly natural.

Onto week 3 - check it!


**Photography ownership is held with the blog account holder, DO NOT use without permission,**

14 April 2012

Week 1: First Wash

Hurray for the first wash. I decided to wash my hair last night for a few reasons. One, the flaking was showing more and more and moving from the scalp to the hair, two, I'd been to the gym for the second night running and three, my coils just felt plain gross.
I wanted to wait it out for another week at the least and until the end of the month at the most but with the recent perspiration activities and going back to work in a few days I just had to rescue the situation.

12 April 2012

Make it your Hobby: Bracelet

On a non hair related topic I have just finished making my first bracelet after deciding to gather the materials a couple of days ago.

The finished product
using a square knot pattern

Instantly wearable

I used the beads from a necklace I found in a charity shop and then purchased the leather string from a jewellery craft store.

More to come!


**Photography ownership is with the blog account holder, DONOT use without permission,**

11 April 2012

Loc wear: Accessorise or Cover?

Towards the end of the holidays and beginning to think about how to wear my baby locs when I go back to work. I imagine there will still be a lot of scalp on show so a cover job could be in order, though work gets pretty hot most days so maybe just a scarf accessory to let the babies roam free?

Here are a few cute bands I've seen so far...


Found them on Amazon (UK). The last three are quite cool as they have a bendy wire running through the fabric making bows and loops easier to shape.

I think they'll look better when my loc grow out, especially with the fuzzies so I may go for it...but which one??

And as for something to cover them, Beanies? Head scarves? A cap? I don't know. Not seen any hats now that it's april so may have to wait it out.

Dreadlocks are a lifestyle

**I DONOT posses photography ownership or creator rights. Photography ownership or creator rights are held with the person(s) photographed and photographer**

10 April 2012

Week 1

My first week being "loc'd". I've enjoyed it for the most part, adjusting to the curly hair I haven't seen in years, and imagining how it'll look and feel in a month or two. It's be very positive. On the flip side the things I didn't expect in the first week; stray hairs, frizzing after light rain, itching and a heavy urge to wash my hair. Overall  they're considerably high maintenance right now but I do like them, kinda. I think after the first salon wash, re-twist and dryer session they'll feel better.


And for the end of week 1:

Sooo as you can see, a few firm and healthy looking twists here and there in the front but a couple at the crown toward the back looking a bit looser and fuzzier, certainly a "unique" hairdo. After managing a few of them I stopped re-twisting for the rest of the week as they were holding up on their own from day to day even when I run my fingers through, well, except for four in the back which unravel every day but I finger twist them back in with bobby pins (but no products). The back seems slightly softer in texture and sometimes comes loose from the satin scarf at night so they probably won't hold until they get a little longer and get a proper re-twist under the dryer.

finger coil (back right corner)

For now I just need to get through the next 3 weeks with patience and let them firm up.

The almond and tea tree oil & water spray worked quite well when I remembered to use it. The itching did stop once I'd sprayed it and the day after they did feel moisturised, which I assume is due to the water.

On to week 2 . . .


**Photography ownership is held with the blog account holder, DO NOT use without permission,**

6 April 2012

Day 3: Do-over

MAY DAY, MAY DAY quick update: so the more I read and watched youtube vids about how locs turn out when started by two strand twists and braids the more I felt unhappy with the way mine were going to be. I know, I know it hasn't even been a week but something didn't feel right. The collective chaos of tst's, braids, rubber bands and who knows what else were just. . . not right. I didn't know what was going on up there and that would've limited my ability to manage them myself until the next salon visit.


I took each one out, wet with gel and re-twisted it between my fingers - clockwise as it so happens. I held them all in place with bobby pins, makeshift, I know, but they're holding well and I'll being taking them out later to see how they look after the gel has dried over night:

(click pictures to enlarge)

Easier to sleep in than the rubber bands! So here's how they look...

Experimenting wasn't so bad after all. I think these stand a better chance of forming nicely in the future.

So, spray down with tea tree/almond oil/water mix, annnd done! I feel miles better about this and now I know how to twist my own hair and which method was used in which direction. I'll keep using the bobby pins until I can splash out for some shiny new clips when I return to the salon.


**Photography ownership is with the blog account holder, DONOT use without permission,**

5 April 2012

Moisturise your Locs

Day 3 and the scalp dryness and itching is starting up as usual. I'm not sure what to use but since the oil and water spray seem to be a popular choice I guess I should choose an oil.

So, I've gone for tea tree and almond oil (5% tea tree) and found a standard spray bottle to recycle so I'll spray the scalp every few days and see how that goes.

In a 150ml spray bottle I've put a tablespoon of tea tree and almond oil mixture and filled the bottle with water half way (75ml approx.) then will mix vigorously before each application and rub into my scalp.

Oils that seem popular:

Olive oil
Sweet Almond oil
Argan oil
Jojoba oil
Caster oil
Tea tree oil**
Coconut oil
Aloe Vera oil
Lavender oil**

I'll try each one until I find something that works for me. Suggestions???

**Note: Some pure essential oils must not be directly used on skin and hair. Dilute in a carrier oil before application to prevent irritation and damage to skin and hair. Read all product information carefully before use.

Dreadlocks are a lifestyle

**Photography ownership is with the blog account holder, DONOT use without permission,**

Tips: Baby Locs Problem Solved

It's a new and exciting process in the beginning but as the weeks and months pass we come across unexpected problems that can be frustrating and embarrassing to deal with. Adopting basic hair care habits as soon as possible can solve many of the following loc issues.

3 April 2012

Day 1

Current Hair Stats:

Colour: Black, Natural

Big Chop: January 2012

Length: 1" inch

Loc Birthdate: 3rd April 2012

Starting Method: Finger Twists/Braids/TST's/Rubber bands

My journey begins!!

I've come away from the salon with a new do and some concerns. The whole process was nothing like I expected; not a comb coil in sight. There are however, several finger twists, braids, two strand twists and a sprinkling of micro rubber bands.

The hairdresser grabbed random sections of hair and used Organic Root Stimulator Lock & Twist GEL on dry hair. I was sent home to let the gel air dry so I bought a few items on the way (listed below).

As I was only able to inspect my hair when I was home I didn't know what was going on with my hair but I've decided to go with it and trust that this is the best way to start, after all, dreadlocks don't form over night. I will assume that the short length had something to do with why my hair was started this way...

Either way, my babies are born, far from dreadlocks but the journey has truly begun YESSS!

new beginnings

wasn't prepared for the amount of scalp on show

can braids become locs?

is this a vague parting pattern?

I do like them,somewhat.

So for now no washes until the new growth comes in, as advised by the hairdresser and regular twisting as my hair is so short and let's not forget a satin wrap for sleeping in. Daily oil and water spray to "moisturise"??? Maybe.


Starter twists £25
Stay on Satin scarf £2.99
Organic Root Stimulator Lock & Twist GEL £1.99

Let's see how things go . . .


**Photography ownership is held with the blog account holder. DO NOT use without permission**

Before the Journey

In preparation for this journey toward healthy beautiful dreadlocks I've been patiently growing my little afro for just under 3 months. After returning to a local salon we decided that my hair was in an ideal condition for loc'ing and that I had just enough length to begin my journey.

Last night I washed, conditioned and dried my hair ready to be "loc'd" for the foreseeable future! It's a weird feeling knowing this may be the last time I'll comb through my loose hair and I'm more than looking forward to it...I even have plans, hopes and dreams for my future locs.

Dreadlock aspirations:

I have about a year and a half until I start a new life chapter as a university student and at that point I hope to have -
  1. Healthy hair. 
  2. A pony tail . . . of any sort! 
  3. A genuine fondness for my hair. 
  4. A better understanding of locs and how to grow them.

texture closeup

three months growth (picked out)

ready to say goodbye to the fro

This morning marks the beginning of my dreadlocking journey. I'll be having coils installed by professional hands and I must say I'm more than a little excited and all too curious about my eventual reaction. I think I'm generally prepared to adjust to whatever the out come will be. After all they'll grow and change and I just might love them right away.

I'll be reporting on the essential stages I go through with my hair and I'll try to give an honest view of what it really feels like.


**Photography ownership is held with the blog account holder. DO NOT use without permission,**

2 April 2012

Ways to Start Dreadlocks

Before you read any further check out Guide: Start Your Journey.

As far as my research has taken me I have decided on the comb coil method to begin my very own dreadlocks. I chose this method based on the results I have seen on various other people and on my own hair type.

The choice of starter method is predominantly based on how well your hair can hold before the locking process begins and this seems dependent on hair type and length. Thick and tightly curled hair seems most likely to hold the following methods and the thinner and straighter your hair is the fewer options you may have but there IS an option for everyone and many use a combination to achieve the desired results!

If you're planning to start you're own dreadlocks take a look at the common methods used to create them:

back combing
As seen in the picture, back combing is a method where by a fine tooth comb is used to comb sections of hair up toward to root creating tangles that can then be manipulated by either twisting or palm rolling to form a loc. Over time these tangles will matt together and firm knots will form. Rubber bands can be used to keep sections together until the matting process begins as the locs mature. Regular washing will help the process. This method works well on longer hair because more tangles can be formed.

Make sure each section is properly saturated with water and/or a water based dreadlocking product. Manipulating dry hair will cause breakage and hair loss.

twist and rip
Similarly the twist and rip method creates tangles and knots by forcing two or more sections of hair to interlock together. First each section is split in to smaller sub sections and twisted together down from the root a few centimetres at a time. and then the loose hair below the twist is pulled and "ripped" apart in various directs. Each rip begins at different  apoint in the section. Along with back combing this can be a very productive method for those with a looser/straighter hair texture though both methods can prove damaging if not done properly with patience and care.

Be sure to only do this on wet/lubricated hair.

Free-forming and neglect are virtually one and the same. This method requires the least amount of maintenance but the most patience. To begin and maintain this method simply leave clean hair un-manipulated, focusing instead on keeping the hair moisturised and clean. This method requires time to develop and no styling tools such as combs, brushes, clips, bands etc are need if you wish to up hold to the purest sense of free-forming. Hair will eventually mesh and matt together on it's own aided by regular washing. If you wish to control the size of your locs try to separate hair, ONLY WHEN WET, into sections, gently teasing knot and tangles at the root. Note: this method can prove ideal for those with curlier hair textures though anyone who uses this method may not see desired results for several months or even years. It is best to enjoy each stage of this process and not focus on the end result.

two strand twists
Two strand twists can be worn as style that leads to dreadlocks. Simply section hair into the desired widths. Then split each section in half and twist the two parts together from root to tips. Hold with snug (but not tight) rubber bands if needed. Over time these twists will begin to mesh together and many have noted that the two strand twist patterns disappear over time, Once the new growth is sufficient simply take each tst and continue to twist is the same direct.

If you use water and oil before starting each twist they will hold better after they have dried completely.

comb coil/finger coil
In order to start your dreads with coils either grip the section (the hair should be wet) at the root with a fine tooth/barber comb and twist at an angle away front the scalp graduating the comb toward the end or twist the section between your fingers and secure with a band. Make sure all coils go in the same direction.

The current trend is to use oils and/or water based products to lubricate the hair and clip each one in place before drying.

towel rub method
The towel rub method is ideal for those with hair that is less than an inch in length. Starting on clean, damp hair rub a hand towel in firm circular motions all over the head until the hair begins to knot together forming small bumps. Rub regularly to ensure the bumps stay intact and change to any of the other methods mentioned above once the hair gets longer than two inches.

There are also a variety of newer methods such as crocheting and interlocking. Do plenty of research and ask questions to find the method best for you. As a final course of action before you begin, pop into  a reliable loctician* to assess which method will work with your hair type.

*A loctician is a professional hair dresser specifically trained to assess, start, maintain, style, rectify and protect dreadlocks throughout the dreading journey.


**I DONOT posses photography ownership or creator rights. Photography ownership or creator rights are held with the person(s) photographed and photographer**

Why Dreadlocks?

Practically speaking, my Afro-Caribbean hair has been on a lengthy trial; cornrows, hot presses, braids, perms, weaves, accessories, colours, products, hair cut, after hair cut, after hair cut... They all offered the illusion of long-term freedom and flexibility that never quite came to fruition. Each hairstyle, in it's own right, reaped initial benefits; compliments, fashion-ability, creativity, but non survived.

I have always wanted my hair to visually express who I am, to make that opening statement to world that encompasses the essence of my personality. I wanted a hairstyle that was feminine and vibrant but also practical, low maintenance and inexpensive. Most of all I wanted hair confidence.

The Story...

One day I just fell in love with the appearance of dreadlocks and my desire blossomed in a relatively short time. I'm fortunate that my lifestyle gives me the freedom to express myself in a variety of ways and my hiatus from student life gave me the perfect opportunity to explore. So I decided I wanted dreadlocks.

I researched for several months whilst "transitioning" with loc extensions. My transition was really a bi-product of needing to find an out of the way hairstyle for a new job whilst simultaneously venturing back into the world of hair colour. I wore deep red kinky hair extensions for around two months and at that point I had given little thought towards cutting my hair or loc'ing it up for real. I just enjoyed the instant new look for what it was.

After a couple of months of loc research, loc thoughts, and a heap of loc pros and cons, I came to recognise that a dreadlock journey could embody many of the lifestyle principles I wished to uphold in the future; understated, economical, individual and creative. Overall I believe wanting to grow dreadlocks was a response to my decision to end the up hill struggle with social fads and approach life with a less is more attitude because I'd suddenly realised that for almost a decade my hair had been unjustifiably time consuming, expensive and unnecessary.

So with the new year, came the desire to be drastic and on the second week of 2012 I arranged a salon appointment and under went my big chop.

I started my loc journey on the 3rd April 2012 and I'm using this blog to document the goings on along the way - check it out.


Dread Love

I love dreadlocks. I mean they're certainly not dull.

Talking to a loc wearer is often an enlightened. Their hairstyle of choice is so often interwoven with their personality. Like almost any other natural form of expression dreadlocks take confidence. They require love and time. Dreadlocks aren't controlled they are nurtured and whenever I see a person with a healthy head of dreads I feel a rising combination of admiration and excitement. Whether their locs were created that day or almost as mature as the person sporting them, they have entered into something extraordinarily cool!

The thing about dreadlocks is that they require acceptance, personal acceptance that is. To change something about yourself that is exposed to the world everyday takes personal strength.

Once again with the nurturing perspective, we do have to tend to our hair, guiding it to health and prosperity but in the end when the dreads have begun their journey, secure and strong on their own, they do it by themselves and for themselves and it's hard not to want to share in that liberation.

Every now and then dreadlocks find their way to modern day fame, which increases their popularity.. I'm always influenced my music and it was only natural to be inspired by the select artists that have proudly joined the dreadlock nation:

Dreads grow with a person, maturing over time and I love how every loc is different, every person wears their locs differently and there appears to be a unique understanding between loc wearers.

Dreadlocks seem to free their owners in a way that allows them to live life with who hearted conviction. Amongst other things, woman with dreadlocks show gentleness, femininity and individuality.

I can say once again that I love dreadlocks!


**I DONOT posses photography ownership or creator rights. Photography ownership or creator rights are held with the artist and photographer**