CAUGHT UP IN THE LOC...ALL ABOUT HAIR
LOCS! LOCS! LOCS! Sometimes I love 'em, and sometimes I hate 'em. Well, I don't really hate my actual locs, I hate the mistakes I made with my locs which are currently yielding this present result. What result would that be, you may ask? Why would you have issues with your locs Tiffany when they are long and beautiful? What could you possibly see wrong with them?
Well, years I ago I wanted layers, and I was deathly afraid to go to a stylist, any stylist, it didn't matter if you were a loctician, a colorist, one who cuts, or only styles locs, I simply wanted to do it myself, because I trusted myself. And so, my logic was, if I cut it, then only I can be upset with whatever mistakes I make with my locs. And that was true. Definitely! So I set out to self-teach myself how to cut my locs into layers. I was successful in trimming my all-natural hair while it was a 'fro and maintained it beautifully for three and a half years. Rarely did you see any split ends or "dead hair", and my hair was thicker and stronger than ever since I did the big chop back to natural. All in all, I decided to get onto Youtube and search 'how to cut your hair into layers yourself', and studied and studied and studied and studied, until I felt confident enough that I wouldn't screw my own hair up. Well, I remember doing the cutting in parts, starting with the bottom first and then working my way up. It looked good for awhile, until I came to the part where your locs frame your face. One side I managed to cut absolutely perfect, but the other side....well, not so much. I ended up cutting one side across in a straight line by accident instead of a gradual, layered framing. Since that was wrong and looked horrible, I had to cut even more in order to "make it look right", ha ha. At this point you are probably laughing, and well, it is kinda funny. But later on, oh boy, later on, when it grows out, its tough to tweak and watch one side of your locs look more lopsided than the other. Now years later, when I want all my locs one length, its a little harder to achieve and will take much longer.
Because of how I've colored my hair down through the years, the ends would pop off. Some of it is perfectly natural, and some of it is due to color treatments which I also did myself with box dye. Eeww! You hair stylists out there are probably saying right now, and that's right, eeww! Now my hair looks good only when its curly or crinkled. Every time I wear it straight, I like it for the first 24 hours, and then I hate it. I'm patiently waiting for the day when I can wear it all one length.
The lesson learned: please go to a professional, no matter how much you'd like to do it yourself. Spend the money, pay them what they're worth, seek out the best in your area and get referrals. Then go in with a peaceful assurance that you are in good hands. Don't make the mistakes that I did, which has years of consequence. But such is life, isn't it?
I've pulled my hair up to the top of my head, in one of my nifty hairties, and had to learn to art of tucking. Sometimes, I wasn't quite sure what to do with my topknot. Should I make it into a donut bun?Have it swayed off to the side? Leave some out in the front? Some out in the bottom? Decisions?! Decisions?! But what ever I finally decided to do, I had to learn the art of tucking.
I always started with one of my For The Gym Hairties, where I could establish my base creation, if you will. Then after I've constructed some sort of form, I'd start to wrap my locs around in various directions, until finally I had several loose ends (loose locs) sticking out and needed to be tucked. What's so nice about our hair is its versatility and how we don't really need bobby pins and such. If you have a good hairtie, or even if you don't, you can still create a decent style.
So once I've got my hair just as I like it, I'll grab one of my gemstone hairties for the finale'! I'll place it around the front, side or back, and anchor it in such a way that the gems get the most visibility. Usually, I'll double it up, to facilitate the level of tightness I'm looking for. A comfortable accent is just what's needed to finish the look!
Please check out my gemstone hairtie collection and choose which one you'd like.
I'm sure we all love to give our locs special treatment! It's fun to spend time baby-ing our locs with different oils, and all the right conditioners. But going blonde requires even more TLC! This is because you have already stripped the hair of its top layers and caused it to become weaker and more porous. Because of this, manufacturers have created many different products for those who choose to wear color. In this article, I will share what I am currently using and loving, and what I used before I went blonde.
Prior to coloring my hair blonde, I used many different shampoos and conditioners, and didn't really have many that I disliked at all. I used Shea Moisture, TheraNeem Shampoo, Crème of Nature, Alba Botanicals, Fair Trade Organic Black Soap (both liquid and bar soap), a sampling of different organic shampoos/conditioners, and different oils to apply, such as Olive Oil, Castor Oil, and Coconut Oil. I loved to mix a few different kinds together at once. Many times due to the consistency of the traditional shampoos, I tended to water down my shampoos to decrease the level of build up on my locs. I do have to say my staple is black soap in bar format.
Lightening my locs required me to add to this repertoire, so I picked up Redken All Soft Shampoo, and their corresponding Blonde Idol mask conditioners, as well as Matrix Biolage Shampoo. I'm also using what I was asked to buy to prep my locs for the initial color treatment as well, which was Joico Moisture Recovery, and Redken Anti-Snap Leave-in Conditioner. So far I am very pleased with the products and how it is maintaining my hair. To keep my locs moisturized and fresh, I'll use my Natural Hair Mist every morning and evening. My current favorites are Pursuit, Delight and Euphoria. I also keep a bottle in my gym bag and purse to stay fresh and moisturized in this Texas heat.
Photos above were taken directly after the initial color, prior to product application and twisting. Photos below were from a braid out, two weeks later. Bottom two photos were after products were applied, palm-rolling roots, etc.
Till the next post,
I decided to venture back into the land of blondom after being brown, red and natural black for many years and was finally ready for a change. I had previously been blonde when wearing an afro during my time as a naturally curly gal. I had always done my hair myself, and only went to the salon for two-strand twist styles on occasion. I had had a few bad experiences with colorists turning my hair orange, and then going from blond back to natural black (my hair turned out green and other shades, mind you, when it was not fashionable to do so) years later as a loc-wearer.
So what convinced me to going back to a professional? Well, I was looking for more products to lift my color two more levels up, and an Ulta stylist shared that if I planned to go to a lighter shade that it was imperative I look for a salon that uses Olaplex, which prevents further color damage to my hair. She proceeded to tell me of all the horror stories her clients had had coming to her after they had somehow fried their hair, and although I had the confidence that I could once again color my hair blonde, I somehow took this as a warning that I should heed this time. Plus, I had heard so many great things about this "Olaplex", that I was curious to try it for myself and see if was all that it cracked up to be. I searched on Instagram #olaplex, #dallas, to find a salon that might suit me. I stumbled upon Pepperbox Design www.pepperboxdesign.net in Plano, Texas with colorist, Sara Reed. She stated that she had worked on locs before, and even wore locs herself years ago!
Well, for sure, they were right! Olaplex does hold up to its high standard. It prevents the bonds that would break in your hair during the coloring process, not to break. (See photo explaining this below). However, before going to the salon, I must first tell you of the products I was asked to get prior to coming in for the service.
I was asked to get a protein leave-in conditioner, and a moisturizing conditioner, and see if I could do a couple of treatments before going in. I was able to do one or two applications, actually using both products as a leave-in, even though the moisturizer you were to wash out. I figured, what the heck, why not this time, it will wash out in a few days anyways. I bought Redken Extreme Anti-Snap Protein Leave-in and Joico Moisture Recovery. Both left my hair soft and prepared for the service. From start to finish I was pleased with how my hair turned out. I was to return for a follow-up session to remove more of those pesky, lingering red tones and actually lay some color.
Going blonde is a process, and is not easily achieved overnight. If you choose to make this decision, be sure to arm yourself with all of the latest information as to how to make this a smooth, healthy transition. Stay tuned to learn of all the products I sampled, and which products I loved even before going blonde.