My crimped locs

Do people even call them that still? Do y’all remember crimp irons? I had one in high school. Which was 99-’03. They were probably so out of style at the time that I had it. Anywhoovers, I kinda dig my locs like this.

And dare I say it, but I loved wearing the braids too. I took them out way too soon. I think they’ll make great protective styles. Yes. Even us loc rockers need styles that force us to keep our hands out of our hair and just let it…be.

The ends are tricky though. A lot of them are straight even though I bended them into a rubberband. I also like my roots aren’t as frizzy and out of control.

Don’t mind the smudged eye liner. It was a super long day. So yes, darlings…that’s that. I went from this

To this…

Will definitely be doing this more often. Woot!

Braided locs (the before)

Sooo this past weekend I washed my hair. It was a great wash indeed. I am finding that I have to use A LOT of shampoo though. For the first time I used Infusium 23 leave-in conditioner. This conditioner comes highly recommended from Toshia from On the Road to Queendom. She’s been using it for years and she says that it’s been great on her color treated hair. I loved it! I added my own essential oils and my hair was softer than usual after a wash.

And then on a whim, I started braided the locs.

I took 3 and 4 at a time and braided as tight as I could. I used aloe vera gel and it look a little over an hour. I made a blend of sweet almond oil,  orange, peppermint and rosemary and ran it through my scalp and braided locs. And I sat under the dryer for a good 20 minutes or so.

Not bad, uh? I actually like how this looks so I’ve been rocking it just like this. Yeah, it looks a little Celie-ish (10 points if you know who that is…ha!). I’ll give it a good 3 days and we’ll see how it turns out. The last time I did my hair like this (it was much shorter) I haaated the outcome. Something tells me I may dig it this time around.

Men Who Love Women With Natural Hair

Um, wow…I don’t think this needs much explanation. I think it’s refreshing and beautiful. Not that we need a man’s approval, but let’s face it…when a man can genuinely and respectfully appreciate your appearance, um…wow.  Hit the screenshot to visit the site.

When I first transitioned and went natural my then boyfriend hated it. He would make comments like, “You were prettier with longer hair.” Kinda messed up, uh? I remember crying over it a few times. I hated that I let him or anyone define my beauty for me.

Have any of y’all ever dated or been with guys that weren’t digging your natural hair?

Locs at 22 months

Almost 2 years, y’all. I really really reallllllly love my locs. At this point, they are more than just a hairstyle. They represent my growth. I started my locs at a difficult time in my life. No one knew it but I was extremely lonely and just…lost. As I look back at my beginning loc photos, I almost tear up because I remember how sad I was at certain lengths.

But as they grow longer, I feel like I am a happier person. One who has purpose and drive and ambition. The length represents my knowledge and wisdom. I mean, yeah…honestly, I started loc’ing thinking they were just…locs. But nope, they are becoming more.

Does that sound loco or do some of y’all feel me? They are at a good place right now. Even after that horrific dye job. Which, like y’all said, I am beginning to embrace. They color isn’t AS bright. It’s still not what I want so I’ll be visiting my loctician (and will never cheat on her again…unless it’s with Felicia Leatherwood or Thierry Baptiste) and tweaking it until I get it right. And after that I’ll be sitting down on the color for a few months. I catch a lot of heat from naturals who tell me that coloring my hair is oh so dangerous and bad for the health of my hair. I beg to differ because in all of my dye jobs, my hair has never reacted negatively. So oh bip potato chip!

I haven’t done any styles in quite some time because I find my scalp to be very sensitive. Why is this? I’ve never been tender headed a day in my life but I find it seems that my scalp is extremely uncomfortable when I’m rockin’ a style for too long. So I stick with pretty bows.

And this is my absolute favorite style…

Keeps the hair out of the face and now that it’s getting cool, the hair on the neck doesn’t bother me as much.

And then there are ponytails. A high and low one.

Remember when I struggled to do a ponytail back in the day? Awww…memories. And let’s do a quick blast from the past using my favorite model, the solider loc.

Yep, we’re growin’. Not that I care. Hair length has never been something that I focused on. In fact, I never really know how long my hair has grown until I do these update photos.

I know everybody loooooves long hair but I feel indifferent about it. We’ll see how long it will be before I chop these kids. Haaaa, I kid, I kid. Maybe.

As far as maintenance, I keep it simple.
-Wash with castile soap once a week or every 2 weeks.
-Spritz daily with a rosewater/peppermint/rosemary blend.
-Olive oil all over locs as needed.
-Retwist when I feel like it. Maybe every 5-7 weeks. Although I do like to maintain the front row of locs every two weeks or so.

I’ll be investing in a leave-in conditioner soon. Due to my most recent dye job and the colder weather, I don’t want my locs to be feeling all crispy and hard. Gotta maintain their softness! And I’ve come to the realization that my locs may always be fuzzy. Because my hair is fuzzy. I’ve always considered myself to have 4B/4C hair type, but looking at the roots of my locs, I may be a 3C/4A. Not that these codes matter but it certainly puts things into perspective. I can’t tame the fuzzies and have gleefully quit doing so!

Tis all, darlings.

Upcoming Natural Hair events in Brooklyn, Houston, Orlando & Memphis

It cracks me up when I get emails from my NYCers that are like, “OMG….there are never any natural hair events for us.”

*double blink blank stare*

Okay, really? It’s NYC. Everything is always happening there. It’s us Southern states that don’t get any love. Looks like everyone is gettin’ some love this season. Check out the upcoming natural hair shows! And remember, even if you aren’t going, pass along the information to friends and families living in those states.

Transcendence Natural Hair Show

Dates: October 23rd-October 24th
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Show highlights: Visit website here for additional information and their Facebook fanpage here.

Nzuri Houston

Dates: November 27th

Location: Houston Texas (Power Center)
Show highlights: Event details here.

Orlando Natural Hair and Beauty Expo

Dates: Oct 30th
Location: Orlando, Florida-Central Florida fairgrounds
Show highlights: Check out event website is here. I’m gonna be there!!

Natural Hair Mingle & Swap

Dates: November 5th
Location: Memphis, Tennessee
Show highlights: One of my favorite natural hair bloggers, All Day Natural is hosting this event. For additional information, shoot her an email at misslycia@alldaynatural.com. 

If you are organizing an event or know about upcoming ones, please let me know!

Sesame Street muppet + Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair

Words can not express how much I LOVE being a hair blogger. There is always something going on natural hair-wise (surprisingly) and I love being able to bring it to y’all.

I know you’ve seen the clip on the brown muppet on Sesame Street, right?

 It made me smile somethin’ serious. Natural hair bloggers posted and praised it. I even sent an email thanking Sesame Street for doing a video like that. Yes, y’all…it’s a beautiful thing. What shocked me (well, not really because folx will fight over anything) are the comments from non-natural ladies. I’m sorry but did this muppet say anything on the lines of “Hey little girls, SCREW perms, tell your Mommy to keep you natural”? No, she did not. But I’ve seen the comments on the video from folx who are pissed over the “be natural” implication. How dare Sesame Street encourage little brown girls to feel beautiful in their twists, braids, locs, curls and afros. Why they didn’t have a muppet with long straight hair singing this song is beyond me. [sarcasm end]

But before that video there was Willow Smith’s “Whip My Hair” song. Which, although is catchy, I refrained from listening to more than once. I have this belief that mainstream music will seep into my brain and kill brain cells so I try not to listen to it often. Yep. I’m so fo real.

Howeveeeer, someone on my Twitter stream posted this collabo and I could not help but watch it a good two five times. How hilariously cute is that?

P.S. Yep, it’s time for my 22 months loc update. I ain’t forgot. 😉 Coming soon!

Natural Heads at Blogalicious

I love that I keep my beauty and hair blog separate. They’re like siblings. Clumps of Mascara is the older and wiser sister and Loc Rocker is the budding younger sister who doesn’t fight for the spotlight but has her own and unique style.

Can’t believe I just humanized my blogs like that but um, yeah…lol, we digress. Aside from the Blogalicious Conference being the hot spot for women of color in social media, entrepreneurial ventures and blogging, it was also Natural Hair City.Twas a beautiful thang. I managed to snap shots of a few of them.

That’s Akilah from Execumama.com. She’s one of my favorite people in the entire world. And that was before I met her in person. I absolutely LOVE her locs.

Lauren from Lola Gets Life is such a sweetheart. She 2-stand twisted her hair and curled them. Later in the conference, she ended up untwisting her hair and had gorgeous curly hair.

Takeyah from Core Connection Lifestyle was my official conference roomie. Her locs gave me life.

That’s Latoicha from Luxe Tips. I’ve been calling her Auntie Luxe for over a year now. Yes, she’s natural. Proof of that would be her fleeing from an outside party because of a good 7 raindrops. HA!!

The ladies behind LA’s Beauty Beat and Afrobella. They’ve got such stunning curly heads.

Luvvie from Awesomely Luvvie rocks her almost year old locs. Sessy pic of the Luv, uh?

Adria Richards is now my Go to Geek. She’s so brilliant that it hurts. Love her curls!

My best friend Sam and her Sisterlocks. They are growing so thick and luscious!

Celebrity make-up artist Tia Dantzler (did a post about her on Clumps here) and her beautiful curls. I love this shot of her and Takeyah.

Loc Rocker in Essence + A Chat with the Pro

For Fall 2010, Essence Magazine has a released a Hot Hair Special Issue.

According to the cover, it features 590 styles for relaxed, natural and braided hair.  Was there a good representation of natural hair styles and products? I think so! I even caught quite a few photos of loc’d hair. And commentary!

Did I know that was coming? Maybe. 🙂 But the point is, natural hair and loc’d hair blogs are being recognized by mainstream publications and I think that’s fantastic. My mentor and blog sister Afrobella wrote some articles and if anyone knows about natural hair, it’s her! Buy the issue today!!! There’s even a question in there asking how to get rid of buildup in locs.

And in other news, guess who I met at the wonderful amazing and life changing Blogalicious Conference this past weekend?

Oh yes, y’all…she is amazing. Felicia is a celebrity natural hair stylist (think Jill Scott…woot!) and hosts Natural Hair Workshops events alllll over the US. She’ll be at the 1st Annual Central Florida Natural Hair and Beauty Expo (another reason for you to come!). Like her on Facebook and join the community of over 4,000 natural ladies. And Felicia will answer ALL questions.

I’ll be featuring her again. We had a good 30 minute conversation about the mess that is my crazy dye job. She gave me some much needed suggestions and advice. Thank you, Felicia!

Thanks for your continued love and support, fam!

Bad Hair Color, Good Attitude

Welp, I’m done pouting. Extended pouting ain’t in me. I’m the oldest of 4 girls and haven’t been babied since I was…gee, I don’t know…5. And I’m a thug. And us thugs don’t stay down for long.

Hahaaaa!!! I’m kidding but really what I mean is, the color isn’t bothering me AS much anymore. I mean, I still don’t like it but you all’s advice was a HUGE help in that. I mean, HUGE! I was thisclose to either bleaching or going darker up top. I am not going to do either right now. I’m going to keep my locs moisturized and in good condition and not do anything for a month. I told my REAL loctician what happened and I could hear the sorrow in her voice. I’ll be seeing her as soon as I get back from the Blogalicious conference. But thank you guys SO much for the confidence and advice. A sista was really down.

In the meantime, to make myself feel better, I did a hair do and wore an obnoxiously big bow.

That bow and bangles are by Quelley Rue Designs. They go hard, uh? If you order from her, tell her B sent you. Me + Supporting Etsy stores=all day.

The style was simple. 2 flat twists and bam….

And is it sheer irony that the world’s best loctician colorist Thierry Baptist just HAPPENED to appear in my Facebook suggestions yesterday? Who knows.

I’m late on responding to emails due to traveling but I see them and I’m on it!

Love y’all!

My BAD Professional Dye Job

Since I’ve been natural (almost 6 years), I’ve dyed my hair over a dozen times. It’s been a way of life for me. Some girls like shoes, others like purses, I like hair color. Now I’m either lucky or know what I’m doing because of ALL of the dye jobs I’ve done, my hair has never thinned, broken off. Not once. I’ve always felt comfortable doing my own dye jobs and a lot of that has to do with me being in control of doing my own hair…and me being cheap. If I can save $100 by doing something myself, then dammit, I’m going to do it.

Welllllssssss, this professional dye job was the pits. I could have done a better job. I know this because I’ve dyed my locs several times with success. While I will not bash the girl or the salon (not publicly, at least), I will never be returning. Even though I told her what I was going for, she went another route. She did something that I abhor when it comes to my hair…

…dyed it darker. I mean, WTF!!!!! I’ve never liked darker hair on me. I always want to go lighter. I thought I made this clear to her. I said,

“I’d like to go lighter all over–just a notch. At the top, I’d like to have highlights of golden brown and red.” Period.

So why then…when I looked in the mirror was my 3/4 of my hair DARKER than my natural hair color? Just tragic.

It was a horrible experience to say the least. She was so ungentle with my hair. I was shocked that several loc’d ladies referred me to her because she didn’t seem to know how to “handle” loc’d hair. My scalp is in pain from the way she washed my hair.

So rough. I hated the products that were used. I had to go home and re-wash my hair with my own organic-y and natural smelling shampoos because that Design Essentials crap that’s used on relaxed hair made me sick to my stomach.

And look at my roots…

Why are some still dark? Just awful. Granted, I kinda dig the top of the head.

It’s not SO bad. Even though I only have a good FIVE red locs. And it’s only on the tips. I wanted the entire loc colored….not just the tips. Why girl, why? But it’s the back that really bothers me. Not that I work in corporate America, but I do have to be professional on the job and this obvious color separation in my hair just looks….unprofessional and tacky. I’ve always disliked the super light hair up top and darker at the bottom.

It’s just bad. And some of y’all are going to say, “B…it doesn’t look THAT bad.” Well, I know I could rock it but that’s not the point. This look is not what I wanted and I’m pissed.

It’s not staying like this. I want to get rid of that dark dye ASAP. My fear is that I will have to pull (bleach) my hair to lighten it. But I don’t have much of a choice because how else can you come from dark color? I’m tempted to do something tonight. I hate the idea of over-processing my locs but I refuse to walk around looking some chick who got a bad color job. Which, uh….that’s what I look like right now.

It’s my fault really. I should have just gone to my primary loctician. Her nonavailability/prices and my eagerness resulted in a bad bad color job. So I blame myself. That’s what I get for trying to be cheap. I wasn’t rude to the stylist. I just told her that I thought we agreed on something. She said that maybe we had a misunderstanding, blah blah blah….I just ran out of there with a wet head.

Oh well, we live and learn. What should I do now, darlings? Maybe I can go bankrupt and beg my loctician to do something by tonight since I’m off to a conference tomorrow. Or maybe I can just lighten it myself. Learn from me–stick with who you know.

Now excuse me while I go pout for the rest of the day.