Locs at 3.5 years

Talk about the jump in updates, uh? I mean, let’s face it….after the first year of growing locs, nothing exciting happens. It’s the first year that is full of new products, methods, styles, emotions and after that – you get set in your ways and life moves on.

Hence why I had very few updates after a year. 2.5 years later and my locs are 100% mature. Ain’t no doubt about it. They are growing, growing and growing. And that’s about it. I haven’t colored my locs in 8 months and for no other reasons than I’m lazy and too cheap to pay anyone to do it.

Of course I WANT color but I’m okay without it right now. Most of my combined locs have become one and I’ve cut off some of the 2-headed dragons.

I kinda regret that because now it makes the locs in the back look super thin. I want the locs to grow out a bit more and then I’ll trim all around so that the thicker part of my combined locs is what stands out.

Maintenance is ridiculously easy. At one point I was washing weekly because of my itchy scalp. The scalp has cleared up some and now I’m washing once every 2-3 weeks and palm rolling every other time. I love that palm rolling has become optional for me. I’m not dependent on it and only do it when I feel like it. Not on a schedule. Which works for me and my lifestyle.

I’ve been meaning to get my annual professional appointment but I don’t have any real reasons. I don’t have any complaints about my locs so why fix what ain’t broken, ya know?

Products-wise I’ve been obsessed with Alaffia Ginger Shampoo. It smells divine, gives the locs moisture and doesn’t weigh them down. I’ve been using that and Jane Carter’s Hydrating Invigorating Shampoo and following up with her Leave-In conditioner. Which will ALWAYS be a staple for me.

Very rarely do I use oils. I find that using them too often just contributes to my itchy scalp. Which sounds backwards, I know. I may run oil through my hair and locs once per wash.

And that’s that. Styling is limited (because I suffer from migraines when I wear updos and tight styles for too long) but I’m okay wearing my hair down or in a mid-ponytail most days. My edges are grateful.

I can’t even believe it’s been almost 4 years. Wooooo!!

Accidental freeformin’…

These are mobile pics and I promise I’ll get you higher-res photos, but I wanted to give y’all a quick peek at my locs as of late.

In the past 3-4 months, I may have retwisted twice. Just out of sheer laziness. In fact, at one point I just HAD to retwist because the new growth was starting to do it’s own weird loc’ing thing. And by weird, I mean they were loc’ing up with each other. Which does nothing but make taking them a part a freaking pain.

Summer time is here and I’ll do even less retwisting because there is something about the summer that makes my scalp insanely itchy. And the only relief I ever get is from washing the hair. And I’m not down for retwisting just to wash a few days later. No ma’am…

So yep. The 3.5 year old locs are still doin’ their thang!

It’s time to dye. Agaiiiin!

Sooooo, I colored my hair again! Weeeee! It’s been a few months since I’ve done some color. I think the last time I did a dye job was in April. That’s almost 6 months ago. Wowsers!

So yeah…it was time.

I battled between doing it myself and going to my loctician but honestly, y’all…I save SO much money doing my own hair. And yeah, a loctician can do it better but whatev…I’m not that bad. Despite not distributing the color as well as I would have liked to, I still think this is by far the best color job I’ve done. My hair was left ridiculously soft and the color took better than I expected.

 Here’s what I used…
I went to Sally’s and scooped up the following:
-Clairol’s Permanente Deep Conditioning color in 8RN (light red-neutral brown)
-A hair dye brush for mixing and application
-Clairol’s Developer in 40
-Proclaim Neutralizing Shampoo
-Clairol’s Jazzing Sheer Hair color in Racing Wine
-Plastic shower cap

I spent less than $30 on everything. The entire process, however, took a good 2 hours. Don’t think that this is something that you can do in an hour or so. You really need to take your time. In fact, I wish I would have taken MORE time when it came to application. Because I didn’t, a few of my roots didn’t get the color. Is is noticeable? Only if you’re realllly up in my scalp. It doesn’t bug me too much but I know that if I would have invested a few more minutes, I would have gotten everything.

Although that bleaching experience scarred me, I am kinda grateful for it. Because my hair is so light at the top, I can deposit color without any problem. Eventually the bleached locs will grow out but for now, I kinda dig ’em.

I did equal parts of the color and developer. I kinda just plopped it all over but I wish I would have been more meticulous with distribution. Kept the color on for a good 40 minutes, rinsed it out and washed with neutralizing shampoo a good 7-8 times.

The biggest hair crime you could ever make would be not rinsing all of the hair dye out. This is especially crucial for us loc rockers. Trapped hair dye can continue coloring/eating away the loc and you’re left with damaged locs that eventually pop up off. And yep…I know this from experience. After 7-8 shampoos and rinsing, my locs were super crunchy. I’ve been testing (and loving) Uncle Funky’s Daughter Rich and Funky moisturizing shampoo and used that to put some moisture back in the locs. This is one dynamic shampoo for color treated hair. It left my locs so soft that I didn’t even feel the need to follow up with a conditioner. Also, I’ve been washing my locs with cold water. A veteran loc rocker told me to give this a try and my locs feel 10x softer than when I wash them with warm water.

I followed up with Jane Carter’s Leave-In Conditioner. Theeeeen I retwisted the roots without product, sat under the dryer for 30 minutes with heat and 10 minutes on cool and was done!

See how I’ve got one spot that’s super brown and the other areas near my edges aren’t AS brown? Poor color distribution. I’ll do better the next time I color. I just had to DO something because the dark roots were driving me nuts. Oh! And as far as the faded pink locs…I only did that to a few of them. I always require some kind of pop and that Racing Wine gave me just that. I want to re-dye those locs again as I don’t think I left the the dye in as long as I should have. The color should have taken a little better. I digs ’em nonetheless.

I’ve come along way with my dye jobs. I’ve learned a lot. Oh another note…I think I’m going to go back to semi-freeforming. I miss the afro roots. A lot. There was something special about these…

I want them back. Back they will come.


Freeform Summer Challenge: Check-In #2

What is this Freeform Summer Challenge I speak of? Click here for details.

In a few days I would have gone 2 months of not twisting my hair. Considering I’m rocking fully fledged afrolocs, I am SO excited about this. I will definitely be doing this next summer and as needed. I mean, it makes perfect sense. Why be so anal about twisting my roots in the summer time with all of the sweating and swimming I do? It’s just so pointless. That and well….I really really like my freeform locs.

As much, if not more than my manicured locs.

Quite frankly, I don’t notice much of a difference between my first check-in and now.

The roots are still super thick with afro goodness. I found myself playing in my roots quite often. It brings back a bit of nostalgia of when I was a loose natural. Not that I miss that. If you knew me then, you knew that I was the laziest “hair do-er” ever. I love that freeforming has allowed me to get back to that “lazy stage” of natural hair. Not that my maintained locs required A LOT of time. But there were days when I didn’t work out after a retwist. And there were moments where if even a bit of afro hair was showing on the edges, I was grabbing some aloe vera gel and retwisting it.

If you’re going through that “I want a new look with my freeform locs”, try curling them or braiding them. I washed my locs, braided them, took them out the next day and had gorgeous curls. Yes, I’ve done this before but they looked beautiful with the afro roots.

My girl Shana and I were talking about heading on over to Track 3 buuuuuut I’m not sure. I’m anxious to get over to my loctician and have her really treat my scalp and locs. I need a good hair detox, a scalp massage and I need her to remove some of the build-up from the locs in the back. I just feel like my locs need some pampering. Oh! And those blue locs come from Milani Cosmetics’ hair mascara. I was shocked that it worked on my locs. It’s a temporary hair tint that I wore for a weekend. Y’all know I’m a rockstar. Blue locs? Right on!

They’ve had a great summer. Freeforming has opened my eyes up and given me such a greater appreciation for my locs. For the first time ever, The Guy said he likes my freeform locs better. Now don’t get me wrong—I don’t need approval from anyone. But hearing something like that from your significant isn’t a bad thing, uh?

Downfalls about freeforming? I don’t think I had any. I enjoyed washing once a week and air drying. I didn’t get any build-up. Not one bit. My roots did get a bit tangled after each wash and pulling them apart wasn’t the best feeling in the world. It wasn’t AWFUL either. I’ll be revisiting freeforming again. Maybe in a few months. Maybe next year. I love not setting rules and making plans for and around my hair. I just go with the flow.

Where are my ladies and gents participating in the Challenge? I know some of you have completed, some are struggling, some are doing well…let us know! I’m not posting the participants this go ’round as I don’t want to shame some of y’all that have dropped out of the challenge. And that’s cool. The challenge wasn’t about “winning” or “losing” but it was an attempt to try out something different with our locs. Freeforming isn’t for everyone.  But honey…I am 100% down with the freeforming lifestyle.

Share your throughts! If you’d like to do a guest post on your freeform locs, shoot me an email (Brittany@LocRocker.com) and I’d love to feature you.

Orange locs in the wind…

Every now and then I like to dress my kids alike.

Y’all do know I refer to my blogs as kids, right? Ha!! Clumps of Mascara had this photo posted over there and I’m posting the same photo over here.

It looks like my red locs (you know, from that rinse I did) have turned orange. I am absolutely in love with them. I want more orange locs! This was a shot of the locs after a few hours of boogie boarding. Surprisingly, my hair didn’t get THAT wet. I had a few wet spots in the back but nothing that warranted a full wash. Then again, I’d say anything to get out of washing my locs.

In random news, I want to take up surfing this summer. Won’t that be cool? I’ll be a loc rockin’ surfer chick. And then I’ll start a blog called BlackGirlsSurf.com. Nah, I’m kidding. I’ve got enough blogs. 🙂

I spy…length!

Yesterday as I was drying my hair, I noticed something…

Length! And just to prove to y’all that I’m not exaggerating, I found a picture of my locs from this time last year.

And then almost TWO years ago…

So to all of you newbie loc’ers out there (shouts out to iRockLocs and my girl, Sheryl!), know that yours locs need only a gallon of love, 2 quarts of patience and just an ounce of manipulation to grow.