Friday, January 23, 2009

Inspired by my friend Tam, I did the above style (I hope she doesn't mind me bitin' her, hers looks better than mine). It was pretty easy to do, took less than 5 minutes. And no pins, so by the end of the work day, it was coming apart at the top, lol (and I have no pics of that!). So I really like this style, next time I will take a little more time with it. I need to get a professional photographer to take pics of me, because I loved this in person, but in photos it's blah.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Freeform locks Q & A

Everybody wants to say what they think freeform locks are, so I'll add my opinions to the mix. The following are questions I've been asked about my locks, and some other things I think would be good to know. I'll continue to add more questions as I think of them. Anyone else have questions that I should answer? Leave them in the comments section of this post.

Q: What are freeform locks?

A: Freeform locks, are also known as organic locks, natural dreads, dreads, bongo dreads, natty dreads. They're just locks to me. I just consider it to be locks that aren't meticulously maintained, retwisted, palm rolled, latched, or whatever.

Q: How do you get them?

A: Wash your hair. A lot. They'll come eventually. That is all.

Q: No, really, what do you do to get them?

A: Okay. Wash. Washing or wetting the hair often seems to help it lock up in this way. Early on, I washed my hair every day or two or three, and felt that helped . Condition with conditioner and/or oil and/or juices and berries so that your hair won't become too dry. After time, as the hair starts to lock, if you want to control the width of the locks, separate the hair from each other as it starts locking. You'll know what I mean once you start to see it happening on your head. Be patient. You don't need any gel or wax to hold your hair together, but if you want to do that, go ahead.

Q: How long does it take for your hair to lock in this way?

A: That depends on a lot of things. The length of the hair. The texture of the hair. How much you wash it. How tangly your hair was when loose may be an indicator. For me, I started getting tangled places in my hair at 4 weeks, and around 9 months, I feel my hair was recognizeable as locks. Be patient. Your hair will lock in its own time. In my opinion, twisting or palm rolling the hair doesn't make it lock faster, it just keeps the hair neater and less tangled as it is trying to lock.

Q: If you don't go to the salon, your hair won't turn out right. You have to get your hair twisted every month and wax it every week and don't wash your hair for the first 3 months.

A: Was that a question? Sounded more like an unsolicited comment to me. But anyway, do you even have locks? Where did you get those ideas from? Sure, you could lock your hair in that way. I'd hate to see the gooky mess it would be, but hey, whatever floats your boat. What floats my boat is to have clean, hassle-free, low-maintenance hair.

Q: I want my locks to be perfectly circular / unfrizzy / to lay down / all the same size. Can I do freeform locks?

A: If you want to control your hair exactly, freeform locks are probably not for you. Even locks that are meticulously maintained will do things you don't want them to do at times, but with freeform locks, there tends to be even less control. Also, you can start with twists / coils / braids / backcombing and freeform from there if you want, that can control the size more.

Q: Why would anybody want to do that to their hair?

A: Hmmm. Different people do it for different reasons. Spirituality / religion. Political reasons. Aesthetics / style (some people actually like how it looks, can you believe it). Lifestyle reasons. I personally did freeform locks because I wanted long, very low-maintenance natural hair, and for me, this was the way to do it.

Q: I don't think I could do that. What would my mom / husband / friends / the gardener think? I have to be neat. I have a professional job, I work in an office. I can't look like a bum.

A. LOL. Wow. Try to stop caring so much what other people think. If you're an adult, you can do whatever you want to do. Don't let others control you, make your own decisions. I know it's easier said than done, but it's important. Also, about your job, does your job explicitly say that you can't have locks? Probably not. Did some well-meaning friend, relative, or black coworker tell you you shouldn't do it? Chances are, they don't know what they're talking about, and are just scared for you. If you're confident in your decision, then just ignore them. I know this won't change your mind, but I work in corporate America, and am doing fine. I know of others in different professions who are working as well, without problems about their hair.

Q: Your hair is the "real thing". Those other people that lock their hair have fake locks. Your way is the best / most natural / cleanest / way to do it.

A: Yes, I have actually gotten that comment. And it's funny because I really don't feel that way. To me, there is no lock hierarchy. I chose this method for me, and others can choose their method for them. Yes, there are methods that I don't really agree with, but people have their own reasons for doing things. And I don't get why some people think freeform or organic locks are some kind of gold standard for locks. Ok, actually I do get it, but I don't agree with it. Put a head of organic locks (a la Bob Marley) next to a head of Sisterlocks, and I think both are absolutely beautiful. I wouldn't wear either for my own reasons, but that's not to say that I think other people shouldn't.

Month 16

A very few pics just for you Tam.

I really do like my hair. It's really looking like true locks now. A few dreads in the back get caught in my shirt and annoy me. And I've come a long way from those early days and months. I was looking through pics, and I can now say I don't see how I did it. Some of these pics look kinda crazy to me now. I guess I knew how my hair would look in the end, so I was able to persevere.
A couple pics of my hair at around 5 months.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

I had a wonderful holiday vacation. We went to Florida and saw both my husband's and my families. It was nice to get a few weeks off work, and just chill, laugh, and talk with family. I feel rejuvenated, and ready to go back to work.

I'm having fleeting thoughts again about taking my hair out. I don't really know why, but sometimes when I see individual braids or cornrows in a cute style, I want to replicate it. Of course, I know that I don't like to comb or style my loose hair, so the thoughts go away eventually. When will I be completely satisfied with my hair? I do love my hair now, but I'm just bored, I guess. And it's still so far away from the length that I want. Trying to ride out the feelings, because I've been so proud of myself for sticking to these locks, and it's not like I feel anything's wrong with my hair. No regrets about the way I started and maintain my hair. I wonder if other locked people have these thoughts at all.