15 October 2013

Update Continued: Budding

Did I guesstimate that budding would begin in a couple of months? Well I think it's started already! I could be wrong but they look an awful lot like my first set of buds, starting at pretty much the same time, I've just noted, so I'm going with it. I was quite unsure sure at first because I didn't retwist after shampooing my hair but I re-coloured recently and noticed several buds when I went through my hair. Most of them seem to have formed where the new growth meets the two strand twist which I first thought was just unravelling but I tried to pull a twist apart and it didn't budge.

Buds: From what I can tell a bud is a swollen bulge that feels somewhat thicker and firmer (but still spongy) than the rest of the loc. They can start at different points in the loc but most commonly towards the middle. Towards the end is common if your locs are particularly short to start out with. They usually form between month 2 and 6.

Now close-ups of locs and buds in particular aren't easy to photograph but I tried to capture a few of them for you:

this is what I hope is a bud on one of my 18 month old locs.
I say hope because my new growth is
now over an inch (as seen by the black roots)
and it hasn't started loc'ing yet.

this is a bud just barely forming. It's not visible
but if you were here you'd feel where it will grow in
(the frizz near the centre)

and my twists are now irreversible from the root

they appear quite distinctly in silhouette here

So far, in almost six weeks I've experienced:




And currently all three are happening at the same time i.e. shrinkage started before budding but shrinkage hasn't stopped even though budding has begun and of course frizz will be with us throughout.

For some reason the developing (^macro) stages of baby locs are much clearer to see in these two strand twists than they seemed to be in my comb coils. I'm sure it's due to a number of differing factors including the additional length, and being more informed/prepared and, possibly the starting method too.


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10 October 2013

Update/Tips: Two Strand Twists, Frizz & Baby Locs

Just a quick update on how my two strand twists are developing. After shampooing for a second time they are really starting to frizz and knit together. I wouldn't say the two strand twist pattern is fading it's just becoming less obvious under the frizz.

I haven't started palm-rolling my two strand twists yet but I will once they develop some more as I already palm-roll my locs.

They've got a long way to go but I trust they'll form nicely. I have an inkling that budding will be starting in the next couple of months. I'm intrigued to see/feel how they develop in two strand twists compared with comb coils.


Experiencing frizz is a brilliant stage to reach for anyone new to the journey and wondering how to deal with their newly developing fuzzies. It can happen in as little as two weeks after installation depending on your hair texture and is usually induced by frequent washing.

From what I can deduce, shrinkage and frizz are the first steps towards developing baby locs and with two strand twists frizz is even more desirable as it will progressively transform the visual appearance of two strand twists into dreadlocks.

Frizz isn't the same as loose hairs but can occur simultaneously, especially with comb coils. Loose hairs are often found coming from the roots and in between the locs themselves. Frizz forms across the shaft of the loc and those hairs will interweave over several months whilst hairs on the inside combine to thicken the loc and solidify it's structure.

To form neater locs you can start palm rolling your frizz, training it to form cylindrically, to your liking. I recommend starting no sooner than three months in or when your locs start to firm up (when you can't reverse the two strand twist).

(Week 5)


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3 October 2013

Month 18

So my last post was pretty full and really deserved to be a topic all on its own so I reserve this one for my eighteen month old locs. Not a lot to report. They're thick and becoming less unruly all the time (aside from the bottom rows that remains curled and crooked). I see the length in my ponytails but I still can't wait for them all too reach my neck/jaw. Getting a lot of loose hair (about 2" long) at the nape line, is that normal?

Really enjoying this colour, especially as the roots have grown in properly. If you want to colour your I really recommend semi-permanent, no ammonia, no alcohol, hair dyes as I personally vouch for how low risk and non-damaging they are even if used three times a month.

I'm back to retwisting twice a month for now and my hair is in great condition in the cooler more humid weather.  I have a feeling shrinkage has come to end (past the roots), so it'll be length, length, length from here on out.



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1 October 2013

Month 1: Combing out my locs, then, now & what next...

Over the course of three days I combed out half of my locs with a large safety pin and a fine tooth comb and put them in two strand twists. My hair was already clean and moisturised so I just left them for the month of September and what a long month it has been.

I've decided that my loc journey will continue with two strand twists in the front and locs in the back. It had crossed my mind to comb them all out and start fresh but I had not the time nor the heart to go through with it. After all I really like my locs in the back and as the twists will turn into locs anyway, there was no need to fix what wasn't broken.

I've never had two strand twists before so I never recognised them as a wearable style. I remember being so against them as a starter loc method because I was sure they'd be a fuss and bother with only an inch of hair but now that my loose hair is 5 inches long, two strand twists have been ideal.

(reinatallation - week 1)

 WEEK 1: They started to shrink the day after installation and continued to shrink throughout the first week. The pictures above show them at their fullest length after installation. Non of the twists unravelled and my hair was baby soft as I wore my satin scarf/bonnet to protect them.

(week 2)

WEEK 2:  I got caught in the rain so I re-applied a tiny amount of raw coconut oil before they dried. The twists stayed firmly in place but they'd shrunken to almost half their original length. I retwisted the two at the front to get them to lay down better after the shrinkage reached it's peek, as seen in the pictures above.


WEEK 3: I decided to retwist to freshen them up a bit. My scalp is almost due for a shampoo, though I'm hesitant as it'll fade my colour and I don't know if I can re-colour without unravelling these new twists.


WEEK 4: Last week's retwist came undone after a night of dancing. I washed my hair with great success because unlike the very first wash I didn't require an over haul retwist. They feel just that tiny bit more solid and are beginning to knit together so I'm expecting steady progress over the next 6 months.

So did reinstalling my locs solve the problem? I'd say so, they don't look as sparse anymore because I added a loc to each row. I also staggered the parts (brick-lay pattern) after doing some research online. Turns out the grid pattern I originally had in the front made my parts too prominent and as my locs were starting to condense it was clear they'd always be visible whenever I retwisted. All this time and I'm still learning.

My next post will be brief with clearer pictures of my actual locs as they reach one year and six months maturity.

Confusing? Yeah, but it's a journey all the same. Comments welcome below!


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