31 August 2012

Week 21: It's Naturalocs' Birthday Today!

Nautralocs turns 22.

 Today I had a party for one at 11am dancing to music from the 80's, 90's and 00's, opened my family birthday cards, had my own personal home photo shoot, travelled across town, did some window shopping, ate lunch, and visited a museum & art gallery. Now I'm off to end the evening with a meal and maybe settle down to a home movie (which was Pretty Woman in the end ♥).

This past year I:
  • got a car
  • bought a folk guitar
  • went natural
  • was accepted into a great Welsh university
  • started dreads
  • coloured my hair
  • worked as a teacher
  • fell in love with the piano all over again
  • rode two - not so scary - roller coasters
  • went to a sauna & steam room for the first time
  • gauged two of my six lobe piercings and sported some tunnels
  • lost 8lbs after deciding to ditch the car, improve my diet and exercise regularly two months ago
  • started riding a bike, again
  • saved almost £100 (holiday next year?)

What are the top three things you have done in the last year? Share below.


**photograph one is available publicly via google. all other photography ownership is held with the blog account holder. DONOT use without permission**

18 August 2012

Week 19: The Sauna Experience

Hey everyone, busy week mid August ending with a womens retreat (my gran, mother and me) where I had my first ever steam and sauna experience and what an experience it was.

Firstly, why did no one tell me how brilliantly awesome H2O really is? I enjoyed myself so much and really took to the luxurious treatment. My gran has been going for over 30 years (and looking as youthful as ever because of it) and yet only now have I taken the plunge.

When we met up with my gran she had three bags. THREE!!! I'd barely thought to bring oil, talc and a swimming costume and was still feeling quite prepared but never could I have imagined to what true depths my grandmother's weekly sauna attendance had in store.

Inside she had; fresh aloe vera leaves, ginger, honey, nectarines (for lunch), tea tree oil, ice water, normal water in a spray bottle (for the sauna) a salt scrub, flip-flops, a shower cap, a face cloth, a towel, a rubber sitting mat, a full body steaming suite, deep conditioner, and serval pairs of exfoliation gloves.

Boy oh boy, prepared or what? And none of it was unnecessary I tell ya. All the while I followed obediently and did as she did minus the hair treatment (I'd re-twisted the day before). She steamed for 1 hour and sauna-ed for 2 more and then it was time to exfoliate, alternating between a hot shower, a cold shower, some more steaming, a deep condition, rinse (and repeat).

My skin has never had it so good. I wince in remorse for the countless hours of my young life spent pacing through various beauty care isles grabbing at the latest "Clinically Proven" miracle to go on sale. My locs reaped equal benefits. besides puffing up and needing a re-twist, they where bea-hooti-fully soft and shiny, and looked as soothed as I felt. I had a micro-panic when I felt my hair  had swollen so I decided to salvage the situation by attempting to re-twist with bantu knots, which would've been quite cute had I not been rushing. Nonetheless it preserved my parts and I didn't mind waiting until I got home.

Inspired, I made a ginger and lemon body scrub that can also be used for a moisturising scalp exfoliator. Follow up with a your favourite shampoo and deep conditioner using a steamer or shower cap and towel:


4 tbsp Brown Sugar

2 tbsp White Caster Sugar

1tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1tsp Pure Coconut Oil

1 tsp Ginger (peeled & ground)

1 ¼ tsp Lemon Juice (from concentrate)


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

3 August 2012

Month 4

Four months, really?!! This month may have been the most complex to date. I previously posted about my Colour: Loc Trial and the experiment ended adequately with two deep conditions and a re-twist. I received my order of L'Oreal HiColor but went off the idea of colouring again until next year.

For the past three weeks I've been hitting the gym regularly and came to a compromise between my hair and exercise regimes. I rinsed my hair most days of week and gave the maintenance a break. My locs were transformed! Most had unravelled and swelled out of control. During this time I decided that I had far too many locs and that I wouldn't mind making them thicker and fewer while they were in this state. Gathering adjacent locs together with rubber bands I planned to twist them at a later date.

After each rinse they seemed to lock tighter feeling moisturised but very firm (what I imagine very mature locs to feel like). Everyday I looked at my hair and wondered if this was true progress. You see my confusion came from a combination of grey hairs and suspected buildup that I couldn't distinguish between. Nonetheless I continued to exercise, rinse and hope for the best.

August 1st arrived and I decided it was time to go through the previously sectioned locs and start my maintenance again. For some reason I suddenly got the over powering urge to inspect my loc'ed ends more closely and cut off one tip! I was shocked, there was buildup, but how? I cut another, again! And another, the trend continued.

buildup at the ends
I cut most of the tips that were hard and each one was soiled. I came to the conclusion that instead of tightly loc'ed hair matting together, I had tightly locked build up matting together. I'd also managed to completely ruin my parts while trying to combine locs so I said enough was enough.

One baking soda, lemon juice and water scrub later I was ready to get to work. I called in on my mother's helping hands and after first conditioning with coconut oil and then with olive oil she set to work re-parting and re-twisting my hair.

I had 107+ at first count. I now have 74 thick twists. Slightly short after their trim but healthy and clean.


What caused the buildup? I can't be certain. At first I thought it was the exercise sweat but surely rinsing had helped. I then wondered if it was the lock & twist gel I had started my locs with. I only used it for a week but it would explain why only the tips were effected. Either way I've discarded the tub and continue to use only oil & water. I will also be washing my hair every two days and exercising without a head wrap so more sweat can evaporate as I cycle home from the gym and it get pretty windy.

Dealing with buildup? Check out Quotidianlight's highly informative video below:

Also take a look at my post: Tips: Baby Locs Problem Solved.

Oh what fun. You thought my journey was sounding too easy? Well there you have it. I was quite deflated to say the least but let's think ahead to month 5 for a length comparison.


**Photography ownership is held with the blog account holder. DO NOT use without permission. Videography material is publicly available on YouTube**