A rap song about natural hair. Seriously!

Back in the day I used to be in LOVE with Dead Prez. Now that I think about it, I started loving them around the time I went natural. I was going through that pro-Black everything stage and their music fit the stage of my life. Haven’t heard much about them in awhile but I am LOVING this song.

Dead Prez “The Beauty Within” from kinetikcinematix on Vimeo.

I’m pretty sure it won’t be played on the radio. You know because…
Well…you know.
What do y’all think?

McGriff’s Original Lockgroomer: Would you use heat to maintain your locs?

A ton of love to my sis Sabrina who left this on the Loc Rocker facebook page.

I’m not gonna lie…that’s a pretty groovy tool for those who are desirous of manicured locs. And while I’m no heat snob (I sho ’nuff sit under a dryer when using perm rods and pipe cleaners), I think that’s a little TOO much heat for my liking. And he lost me at “waxy oil”. While some loc rockers can use wax on their locs, I can NOT. So no, I’m not a candidate to this type of maintenance, but I think it’s a great addition for those who love super groomed locs.

As much as they used to bother me, I can’t imagine totally eliminating the fuzzies. And the Lockgroomer looks like it does just that.

What do y’all think?

Guest Post: Baby loc’er checkin’ in!

My name is Shayla Defils. I’m from New Iberia, but currently living in Coraopolis, PA.

I started my locs March 25, 2011 and did the big chop in December of 2010. I’m excited about my journey and I’m ready for any and everything. I did all my research before locking.

I been wanting them since 2007 but was scared of what others thought. It’s been the best decision I’ve made! I felt tied down by perms and weaves every month. People expected a different hairdo from me and I am not my hair. I am free!

Got questions for Shayla? Feel free to comment in this post and she will answer.

Pictures of the locs…from the back.

How often do I get pictures of the back of my head? Hardly ever. These made me happy.

Even if you can still see the married locs. And even if the color isn’t distributed evenly. And will you look at that…fuzzies! My locs are over 2-years old and I STILL have fuzzies.

But I so don’t mind. 😉

Curly Nikki comes to Orlando!

And I’m pretty excited about it. I’ve been doing the best I can to promote her visit. If you are in the Orlando area, we’d love to see you.

Details are on Facebook and if you have any questions, email Nikki@CurlyNikki.com. Be sure to RSVP either through Facebook or by emailing Nikki!

Guest Post: Why I Decided to Comb Out My Dreads

Today’s post comes from a college friend of mine, Simone. She was always one of my favorite loc rockers and when I saw that she chopped the locs, I was like, “Wow! Gorgeous!” I wanted to get her hair story to share with the Loc Rocker family. A lot of us may not understand why loc rockers suddenly chop their hair, and while it makes complete sense to me, Simone’s view may provide some perspective.

Why I decided to comb out my dreads
I started dreads about 1 year after going natural. After all of the initial unfavorable criticism, people fell in love with my dreads as they grew, and I did too. I remember when I used to stare at other women with long dreads wondering if and when I’ll ever reach those lengths and I did! I got what I thought that I wanted…Long, healthy, gorgeous dreads. Unfortunately while others grew more in love with them, I slowly fell out of love with them. I think the switch flipped in my brain one morning when I was washing my hair in the shower and realized how tired my poor arms were getting. By this point I was about 4 ½ years into my loc journey. My dreads became a chore to me. They were HEAVY. I had a headache because they were heavy. They took too long to wash. A once-a-week wash wasn’t sufficient anymore. They started getting caught on my purse. I would accidentally lay on them. I had to put them up every day for nursing school, which was not my style. I was too tired to curl them because I was tired from washing them. The list goes on. I got dreads because there were convenient and this was NOT feeling convenient.

My months of thoughts about getting a loc haircut turned into the idea of combing them out, and I decided to make that idea reality. Why not? I could now enjoy all of the wonderful natural hair care products on the market. I could learn to care for and enjoy loose natural hair. Most importantly, I could master the feeling that I am someone beyond my hair, and it is ok to have hair change. Every other race of women enjoy the freedom of growing, colouring, and cutting their hair because it’s just hair so why not me? Why not any black woman?

I thought that I would always have dreads. I became living proof that black women can have long hair. In fact, I took pleasure in telling other women and men “yes they are real.” I became motivation for other women who were either newbies or were thinking of going natural. I’ll admit that I was also a bit flattered by the attention (superficial I know). Other people loved them and I felt guilty for not wanting long dreads anymore, but at the end of the day, you have to be the one to love your hair and yourself. NO hairstyle, even dreads, is meant to last forever in my life. People will ask you “why cut them when you’ll probably get dreads again?” That is perfectly ok. The idea that dreads are forever is outdated. After over 5 years, I closed the chapter of my 1st set of locs. Grow your hair, cut it, grow it again, and be confident about it. Just keep it natural.

My experience with combing out my dreads
I sat down in front of my laptop with a jar of hair cholesterol, a fine tooth comb, a mirror, a mini garbage bag, and a fork (Yes a dinner fork) and literally went to work. I watched youtube videos to pass time and keep my sanity. After 2 1/2 weeks of tediousness, impatience, discomfort, bad hair days, and almost giving up, I cut/combed out my dreads. 

I had to cut them to help with the process because there was just no way that I would have been able to complete this within a somewhat reasonable period of time. Besides, the price tag on doing this professionally was seriously enough to buy a car. Although I wanted to give up, I am now very pleased and I’m enjoying the joys of caring for loose natural kinky whatever-you-want-to-call-it hair. I feel free, confident, and motivating.

 I haven’t seen this but may I suggest a transition process? I’m thinking you could grow your dreads out for about 6 months, keep combing the roots, and then cut them. Maybe that is easier said than done lol. If you are considering combing out your dreads, let me give a few tips:

·         Count how many dreads you have. This way you can make a goal for how many dreads you can undo each day.
·         Get a good condition with a lot of slip. I wasn’t a huge fan of the hair cholesterol I used.
·         Get a spray bottle of water instead of dipping your hair in water. This will save you from making a mess.
·         Don’t be scared to cut them to make it easier on yourself. After undoing the 1st one I grabbed the scissors.
·         Finally, braid your hair as you undo them instead of twisting. This way, your hair will not try to lock itself back. Funny how you master something after you complete it and never ever want to do it again.

Got questions for Simone? Leave them in this post and she will answer. 

Texture shots…

Aside from writing, blogging, traveling, social media, techy stuffs beauty and natural hair (whew), one of my other loves is photography. I recently added another camera to my line-up (hey Nikki!) and found that on a certain setting, this DSLR takes phenomenal texture shots of the locs. It’s reallllly hard to capture texture shots. It took some time, but I finally got some great ones. These pictures show the kinky, bumpy, dyed wonder that are my locs.

Imperfect but beautiful. Just like me. And you. 😉

VOTE for me!! I’m in a Target Beauty’s Biggest Fan contest. You can vote daily.

The World Natural Hair Show 2011

So yes, I went to the World Natural Hair show for the second time and let’s just say…it was an interesting experience. And I don’t mean BAD. After all, I drove and road 6.5 hours up in a fly Expedition with 4 of my friends.

It was a much needed girls weekend out and hangin’ out with such an amazing group of women was definitely the highlight of the trip.

Hit the jump to get the up’s and down’s of the World Natural Hair Show.

This year’s show (like last year’s) was crowded and full of attendees. The show was held at the Atlanta Convention Center.

It’s a great venue as there is plenty of parking with clean restrooms and lots of walkable space. The problem with this year was that there just wasn’t enough space INSIDE the expo. The line to get into the show was awful. Horrible. Horrendous.

Mind you, this is the view OUTSIDE of the show. We stood in line for over an hour. Signage and volunteers were hard to locate. No one knew where Will Call was or where a line started or ended. I ended up giving my $10 entry fee to a gal with a Ziplock bag. And she gave me wristband. But no receipt. Which makes me wonder how they were tracking their purchases. Not that it’s any of my business, but still…

Once inside, you could barely visit vendors because crowds and crowds of folx would be in the way. Walking was difficult and it was hard to find the vendor that you were looking for.

Which brings me to another point. The official event brochure should have had a legend or map that indicated where each vendor was. It took me almost an hour to locate the Huetiful booth. And speaking of vendors…there were too many of the SAME kind. I came across several brothas sellin’ oils. Don’t get me wrong, I love supporting Black owned business, but come on…FIVE brothas selling similar products are just space wasters. Perhaps the show’s committee should be a little more selective about their vendors. I also saw someone selling knockoff MAC Cosmetics products. Okay…really? But aside from that, I enjoyed running into my fellow natural friends and bloggers.

And checking out new brands…

And peepin’ fabulous hair styles…

There were also THREE stages of acts and shows. But with no barriers to separate the noise, it was hard to hear much of anything. The girls and I ended up leaving within 2.5 hours. The crowd continued to grow, vendors were running out of products and our feet had just had enough. As we exited, that horrific line was still alllll the way down the hall. A friend of mine told me her sister stood in line for an hour before she left. Had I not traveled 6.5 hours to come to this show, I would have left too.

Will I go again next year?
Of course. But I hope by then that the show has a press room. As a blogger and writer, I depend on press rooms when I attend huge shows. They give me the opportunity to find a quiet place to interview brands and they give me wifi and seating to do some live blogging/tweeting. Press rooms are an integral part of expos and shows as they benefit not only brands (who get coverage) but also writers (who appeal to their audiences). Not having a press room does a disservice to press. And from a PR perspective, you WANT to appeal to press as they are the ones helping you advertise.

I am glad that show is growing and I hope that with their growth, some changes are made to ensure that visitors have a pleasant experience. I attend several industry (natural hair and beauty) events and so my expectation are a little high. My job when I go to these shows isn’t to just buy a ton of products and goo goo ga ga over hairstyles (although I do that too, lol). I go to network with natural hair care brands, products and fellow editors. And because of the crazy amount of people that were there this year, I didn’t feel like I got a chance to do that.

I’m a business woman first and natural hair enthusiast second so I wasn’t very happy that I didn’t get to do much business-wise at the show.

It wasn’t a complete loss though. I had a great time with the gals and meeting some of you wonderful readers.

Who else went? What were your thoughts about the show?

VOTE for me!! I’m in a Target Beauty’s Biggest Fan contest. You can vote daily.

Natural Hair Expo in Houston, Texas!

I’ve never been to Texas. Which is crazy because I’ve been to over 20 states in the U.S. of A. And Texas isn’t one of them. Had the funds been rollin’ a little bit better, I’d be headed over there for this event. It’s going to be huge!

This event is a part of the Texas Black Expo which looks like it’s going to be a lot of fun. Get details and additional information here. If you go, we sure to report back to us all of your findings.