15 August 2013

Loc Spot: Festival Locs (2)

Another summer, another chance to relax, dance and admire those inspiring loc wearers. This year I went to a local Caribbean festival to soak up the atmosphere under the sun.

If you'd like to identify or remove a photograph please send an email request to naturalocs@hotmail.co.uk


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11 August 2013

Update: Locs After Swimming

Hey everyone, I recently responded to a question from a dear pen pal of mine, oceangrins. She wrote:

"So, I gotta ask, how did the sea water treat your hair? Did sand get stuck in your dreads? Was it easy to wash the sand and sea salt out?"

So yeah this month I went swimming in the ocean for the first time with locs. I'm pleased to say I seem to have suffered no adverse effects from the week I spent splashing around. I rinsed my hair after each session and left it in a half basket weave style until I got home.

During the week my hair was feeling particularly soft instead of dry like I'd expected and even the debris I was expecting didn't cause an issue. I imagine this was due to the fact that we only swam near rocky coastlines, avoiding sandy beaches completely, and aside from the water in that region being naturally clear to begin with, I think the lack of conventional products like gels or waxes enabled the residual salt to wash away more easily.

When I got home I decided to give my hair a good deep cleanse just to be safe. After rinsing my hair thoroughly I went on to spray it with a mixture of apple cider vinegar and baking soda (approx. 200ml : 1/4 tsp) and sat with a shower cap for around three hours before washing it all out with Cream of Nature's Kiwi and Citrus Ultra Moisturizing Shampoo. I then decided to re-colour my hair (temporary dye) and condition it with raw virgin coconut oil before letting it air dry.

My scalp and roots felt better immediately though it took a day or two for softness to come back due to the acidity of the apple cider vinegar.

Here I'd just taken out my style some days after getting back from my trip:

Apple cider vinegar and baking soda solution applied:

Quick clip of me washing my locs:

Rinsed thoroughly and shampooed in hot water with Cream of Nature shampoo:

Hair clean and lightly towel dried ready to be re-dyed:

Finished results - I decided to retwist just to get more length after all that shrinkage though I fell asleep in the clips (-__-) and they all ended up swooped to one side:




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3 August 2013

Month 16

Current Hair Stats:

Colour: Dark Red (click here and here for more info)

Big Chop: 5th January 2012

Loc Birthdate: 3rd April 2012

Starting Method: Comb coils

Number of locs: 51

Length: 3-4.3 inches (unstretched)


 Hope you like the new colour. I can't believe I'm writing to you, celebrating sixteen months of loc'dom from right here in Marseille. Locs are pretty popular amongst the masses here too.

I was still washing my hair on average twice a week but as I've just recoloured it (faded colour in previous post) I don't want to wash it that often. When I do wash it it's in cool-cold water, that way the colour doesn't run.

I'm also still trying to palm-rub my locs more often because they're still pretty fuzzy. Other than that though my tips have completely sealed and they're looking very healthy. I think they've condensed a even further this month as I can hardly describe them as "puffy" anymore. They're of course much easier to manage than they were twelve months ago and I haven't had to anything to them all on this trip, though I imagine the 40˚C heat will take it's toll eventually.

Since I'm really attached to washing my hair a lot, and short, thick locs don't stay twisted for very long I've been using a different maintenance technique to help my new growth form. I've been crocheting for around four months or so and I think I've improved on my technique enough to share it with you.

Compared with conventional retwisting I've found that crocheting:

- allows you to wash your hair more frequently without new growth unravelling
- lasts longer/indefinately
- controls loose hair, especially around the hair line
- causes less tension on the scalp
- can allow for a less groomed appearance, if that's your thing
- allows you to manipulate your hair immediately afterwards, without unravelling
- requires no product(s)
- is best done after washing on completely dry hair
- shouldn't be done immediately before washing otherwise it'll come undone to some extent
- can take longer to complete but easy to do over a couple of days as and when you have time
- doesn't require clips so can be slept on straight away
- is harder to master

When I first tried it I didn't really know what I was hoping for I was just tired of unravelling. After a few goes with a micro crochet needle (not a crochet hook), I learnt that the best results come from light and infrequent crocheting that way locs don't become stiff and rigid. If you crochet just enough to form the beginning shape they'll still have a soft spongy feel being pretty hollow in the middle but they thicken up and fill in over time. Also I've learnt that there is such a thing as 'over crocheting' which can lead to hair loss. Each section of hair should only be crocheted once; so each time you do it you should only crochet loose new growth. The most important lesson I've learnt was to never crochet to the root/scalp. I like to differentiate between "roots" and "new growth" just for my own clarity on this method. I think of "roots" as being the first 1 inch section from the scalp and the "new growth" as being the loose hair from that inch to where the loc has already formed.

I tried to find related videos for use of the crochet technique on afro/black hair but I could only find one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nOZqBWwkng

frizz after several days of swimming in the ocean


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Update: My Locs in July

 Early/Mid July:
retwisted after new colour

frizz pre-palm-rubbing

Late July:
post palm-rubbing

this pic captured truest colour in natural light


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