Sunday, June 29, 2008

9 months (and why I'm still locking)

As I've said before, I've tried locking numerous times. I've tried locking various ways. And I've always cut them off or taken them apart. This is the longest I've kept locks in (yay me). And I believe that I'll be growing locks for years to come. The following are reasons I feel that I've been successful this time.

1. Locking freeform

I've tried locking a few different ways (coils, braids, twists, and freeform). And locking freeform is me. There's nothing wrong with locking in other ways, and you can have beautiful, healthy locks starting them with many different ways, in my opinion. But, this was the best way for me. I like how my hair looks, I like how it feels. I like not doing much maintenance on my hair (shampoo, condition, oil, separate). I feel unique with my locks.

2. Introspection

Writing regularly in this blog has helped me get out my feelings about my locks. And knowing that I have this blog has helped me think about things more deeply, even when I don't write them down. For example, I have had fleeting thoughts of taking them down (the thoughts never lasted long). But when the thoughts came, I tried to analyze them ("Girl, you know you have a big bump on the side of your face, and you're not feeling cute today. Don't take that out on your locks." lol)

3. Support

I'd like to take this time to thank my online friends (you know who you are). It was good to have people to go through the process with. We understood each other, because we were locking in the same way. Others maybe didn't lock the way I did, but read my blog anyway, and said nice things. Still others offered needed words of advice. Thanks to all of you.

4. Feeling pretty

For me, this can't be underestimated. I've had issues in the past with this. I can't fully analyze why I feel more attractive to myself now, but here are just a couple things that helped:

4a. Having longer hair

First, I should say that since being natural, I've had short hair many many times. I did a big chop in 1999, which left me with about 1-2 inches of hair. And since then I've cut my hair short a number of times. So I'm not afraid of having short hair. I just really think I look better with long hair. Yes, there may be subconscious reasons for this. But I haven't completely figured those out, so I'm going with the long (okay, big) hair. Kudos to those who can lock with short hair, and they look good in it. I just can't.

4b. Tomoka's Twists

I've locked in the past, and always at some point I get bored with my hair. I want to do something with them, dress them up somehow. But, I'm style challenged. Especially with locks. What do you do with them? I'm still trying to figure that out. But anyway, in the past, a few times I've unlocked because of that. And then did a set of cornrows or twists and remember that I really don't want to spend THAT much time on my hair. Soooo, this time, a couple months into locking I blogged about not knowing what to do with my hair to style it, and carmennc came along and shared her website with me. I brought a few of her Tomoka's Twists, and have been in love ever since. They've made a few cameos in my blog here, here, here, and here. I have 6 different Tomoka's Twists, and one Tomoko's Tie. They're simple to use, and so beautiful to me. Some people may think it's silly, and such a little thing, but I'm glad they found me when they did. They helped me get through some days when otherwise I might have thought my hair was ugly. Thanks, carmennc.

5. Stronger sense of self, and knowing I look good

Don't ask me how, or why, but this time around I really have a "take me or leave me" attitude. Accept me as I am, and we'll be ok. Maybe I was just tired of not doing what I wanted to do because I was thinking about other people. Now, though, I'm not concerned about what the people at work think about my hair. I'm professional, I do my work, and my hair has nothing to do with that. When friends or acquaintances have questions about my hair, I answer them matter-of-factly. I don't think, as I did in the past, that they don't like my hair, and are asking questions out of disgust. I realize that it's something that most may not have seen, and are simply curious. When a guy in the grocery store stares at me, I don't automatically think he's looking at my hair. I think he's looking at ME. LOL. When my husband tries to touch my hair, I don't shy away, I let him touch away.

At any rate, I know some people don't come here for my thoughts, ha ha. Here are some pics. The hair's still moving along.


Lumina Star said...

Good for you Angela. I'm in the same boat as you, I took down my first locks when I basically got bored with them. Then I tried locking various way, many different times and always took them out. Now I very short coils, that I started after my second BC. I'm approaching only one month and I already feel anxious because no locking seems to be happening. The blog really is great. I get out my lock feeling daily, and it has, and will keep me going. Soon they'll be a time where I won't be writing nearly as much, and realize my coils have turned into locks while I was preoccupied. Good luck and congrats.

TamCM said...

Angela not long ago our hair didn't look similar. Now look at it. You can tell we started around the same time. Amazing. Either your hair played catch up or mines slowed down but it looks like we are neck to neck in the forming of them. As always, I love your updates, your posts about your experience and your continued support and encouragement in mine as well. Your hair just looks remarkable and I can't wait til the next update. I say that every month because I really mean it :-)

aybee77 said...

@ lumina star

Thanks for visiting my blog. Good luck with locking. Don't be anxious. It may seem to take forever, but your hair will lock eventually.

@ tam

Thanks. :-) lol @ my hair playing catch up. I was doing some major virtual-pouting early on, comparing my hair to yours, but now I'm happy with how my hair's developing. I enjoy looking at your hair and following your progress as well. Why am I already imagining a year? :-)

fromq said...

awesome angela! i am so happy to see you coming into your own :-) maybe, like you said, it was just the methods that you chose in the past that contributed to taking them down...freeforming seems to fit you well.

i can definitely tell your hair is growing...can you? and the Tomoka's Twists are cute. i'd like to try some but,...umm...i don't have anything to twist back yet! lol

aybee77 said...

@ fromq

Don't even talk to me until I see updated pics of your hair. Just kidding (sort of).

Anyway, yeah, I'm happy too. And I can tell it's growing. Actually, when I stretch it out, this is the longest my hair has ever been.

melissa_ellen said...

hey ive been reading your blog and agree with allmost everything you said its like i wrote it myself...but any way im doing dreadlocks the freeform way too and people keep telling me that im doing it all wrong and that i must wash it once a month and that by a month my hair should have been dreaded up allready... i think that if it wasent for reading ur blog i would have probably listend to them...but there are many ways to from dreadlocks and i think that freeform is the best way

aybee77 said...

Thanks, melissa_ellen. Sometimes I wonder if this blog is helpful to anyone.

Anyway, yes, freeforming is something lots of people haven't seen and don't understand. How come people that have never locked their hair try to tell you what's wrong about yours? And also, if you tell them that you can't tell them exactly how it's going to turn out, then it's like you went crazy.

At any rate, keep going strong. I know you can do it, and you'll be satisfied with the outcome.

melissa_ellen said...

thnx i have a question is it normal to have little white dandruff stuff stuck between ur dreads because i really dont want that and how many times per week do i actually have to wash my hair i do it once a week

aybee77 said...

No, that's not normal to have dandruff stuck between your dreads. I can't tell you definitively how often to wash your hair, because it's different for everybody. However, I personally wash about 3 times per week. My scalp feels itchy if I don't wash at least twice a week, but that's just me. Maybe you can experiment with washing more often, and see if that helps. Also, if you're using heavy / too many products, that may be the cause of the dandruff. Not really sure, I'm just guessing on some stuff that has helped with myself and my husband (who also has locks). Another possible option is to use dandruff shampoo.