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


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


  1. Hair is looking good! I'm still debating about coloring my hair. I kinda miss my orange hair (literally, it was bright orange-red) ;_; If I find a good picture, I'll share =P

    Oh, and to help with the red, try a red tinted shampoo/conditioner. Though, I'll admit, it can sometimes be a wee-bit much for the hair. So, try to find a hair SPF lotion or spray. My fav is Aveda's Sun Care. Its a bit on the expensive side but it lasts quite a while. Mine lasted about 3-4 months, spraying once a day.

  2. Thanks, I'd say colouring later rather than sooner is better. You'll get to enjoy growing locs with your natural colour so you're less likely to miss it if you do take that step.

    When I regain some funds I might look into something to prolong the red, so far I'm colouring twice a month :/

  3. Marseille... One day... I came for these pictures ;) and i'm not disappointed. Woohoo!!!

    The blue of the water and the sky, omg, just beautiful... the perfect backdrop to your red dreads! :D Seriously loveeee the red dreads on you. Can't believe how long they've grown. I think I keep saying that, oops, but seriously, they're growing. hahaha

    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? All the time I had dreads, I was afraid to go into the water.

    1. The thing about Marseille is that it's so much bigger than people think. I stayed in a hostel and met a number of people there who felt bored and disappointed with what they'd seen but I don't think they experienced things the way I did with my sister, in fact she herself hadn't been to half the placed I'd shown her due to working all year. I don't know I guess coming from the canada/states they've seen it all.

      And I do love the red, just wish they'd look that red all the time but I'm happy to keep with temp dye.

      Ocean debris was my concern too. I rinsed it each time I swam though I've yet to shampoo and deep cleanse (hopefully today). From what I can tell my locs felt very soft and smoothes for some unknown reason. I avoided any sandy beach and only swam in rocky areas which I think minimised much of the debri. As for sea salt I haven't noted a distinct problem but I won't know more until I wash it. I'm planning to use ACV and a shower cap for peace of mind. Since my shampoo in deep moisturing I think I'll clarify first then shampoo. Then re-colour and steam with coconut oil.

      My locs are quite dense and thick what with crocheting so I'd be surprised if any larger particles got in. Overall my hair feels the same as before but I'll keep you posted!


    2. Hmmh... i guess not every traveler is the same. I've traveled to small, medium and large sized cities. And I've found that all have their own charm.

      There are small cities/towns here in the US too where you won't find many clubs, museums, restaurants, and etc. The pace is usually much slower. But they offer things you normally can't find in big cities like quiet-healing-rest, forests, valleys and valleys of wild flowers, hiking trails, river rafting, (clear sky) star gazing, mountain climbing, horseback riding through actual wilderness... Stuff like that. I'm sure Marseille has its own unique fun.

      I guess traveling experiences depend a lot on how much you've traveled before, how mature you are, what kind of character you've developed, and why you're traveling in the first place.

      Anyway, glad you enjoyed yourself. :)

      And thanks again for the recent post on beach sand and dreads.

  4. All those things certainly play a part in any traveller's experience. The people that had that opinion were very young and some had done so much consecutive travelling that it's not surprising they hadn't taken it all in. I only realised the magnitude of what I'd seen and done once I'd gotten home and had the chance to scroll through all the memories. Also unlike others I hadn't come for any history/architecture/culture but instead specifically wanted to see natural landscapes. Having just won the Capital of Culture award, central Marseille had become very commercial, tourist-wise, which took away from it's individuality and I assume that's why it didn't score as highly with those few travellers who probably had come for the culture. Nonetheless it's a city worth visiting :)

  5. Hmmh... just learned something new. Had no idea they won such an award. Cool! I guess the idea of culture is relative. I'm still waiting for my opportunity to go. :)

    I briefly met a family from Bordeaux monday while eating breakfast and it was interesting. I spent a lot of time observing them and trying to understand their french. Now that I'm older, I admit, I take more pleasure in just sitting and observing people from different cultures. Hmmh... maybe it's a sign that i'm getting OLD like the grey hair creeping up on my head. ;)

    1. I hope OLD is short for 'Obviously Lovely Diva' because there's nothing old about you Violeta. I too have greys which even dye struggles to cover sometimes. Idk, I guess being grey since childhood I quickly understood that hair colour can't dictate your internal age anymore than candles on a cake can :D