Loc Journey Update

October 17, 2015, I started my loc journey.

Perms. Tracks. Braids. Twists. Loc extensions. Full weaves. I am certain  I have worn just about every style available to women.  Today women of all shades, colors, ethnicities can enjoy a plethora of hair styles. Pick whatever style that makes you walk out the door feeling like a million bucks, and it is yours.

On second thought.  That statement isn’t 100% accurate. Although I have the freedom to choose hair style, length, and color, others still do not.   Depending on your profession, your boss and the organization you work for, the conservatives  may  constrict your choice of style.

After my daughter’s employer updated their grooming standards.  She was given this directive.

Do something to your hair or don’t come back to work.

She sports a cool Mohawk. 

  
The style is some what of a coming out for her. She is conservative.  To wear a style that brings attention to her is something  mom does, not her.  Hehe! Finally in her mid twenties, my girl gives authentic living a try and breaks out with a cut she loves.  #happymom  

Within five months, the party is over.  :0(

Been there done that. 

__________________________

Growing up in a small predominately white town, where at age 12 mom sat in the car and I walked into the liquor store to buy her Tanqueray and Pall Malls with no questions asked, wasn’t a town where I saw anyone wearing locs. 

I have racked my brain to remember my first sight of locs. Probably Bob Marley. I doubt that I saw the style  in Ebony Magazine.  

Charlotte, I think, was the first loc wearing sista who I had any kind of relationship with. I met her through a mutual friend. Her locs hung down her back. They are beautiful, I recall thinking.  

Eventually I thought, by the age of 40, my hair would be loc’d.   

My estimate was off by 10 years but finally I started my journey. 

You might be wondering, what was the deciding factor?

Inspiration from my son, my cousin Curtis and my stylist and KinHairitage Salon owner Victoria. While my son is cultivating and exploring his sense of swag, Curtis and Vicky’s funky and brash styles envigorate me.  I can’t wait!!  I tell myself daily, patience girl!   At my high school I see more boys and girls confidently strut the hallways then I have ever seen before. I tell them they inspire me to stay on my journey. They graciously thank me. 

   
 

  

My favorite cousin… He’s so cool! 🙂

Everywhere I turn my head, I see short locs, long locs, red locs, blonde locs, foe locs, and more.  I love it!  Perhaps a more relaxed work environment paved the way for women and men to take the big step. We’ve come a long way, but I still don’t see any news anchors on the major news channels with locs. 

In the early 90’s, a former co-worker, Flo, sued an Atlantic City Casino who denied her the right to wear box braids and won. We scored!!! I wanted to wear braids but they were against company (another casino) policy. The thought of suing never occurred to me. I was happy she won her case. Flo’s win was for all the black women working in the casinos who desperately wanted to wear braids but were paralyzed by fear. Fear of losing ones job.   

Back in October, I walked out of KinHairitage feeling confident and excited about my next hair journey. My Locticican and salon owner, Victoria is my inspiration. Her locs are beautiful. She is beautiful. Her funky, eclectic, and cool sense of style is admirable. Did I mention, she knows her shit!   

 

  

  

After a week of spin class and lifting weights at the gym, my hair looked a hot mess. My best friend’s mom died and I could not bring myself to show up and support her with my frizzed out hair.   

No amount of lipstick, mascara, or eye shadow was going to fix my attitude toward my hair. I looked a hot mess. 

My hair looked bad. I thought I was ready for this part of the journey, but I really wasn’t ready.  

“Hair Heaven” is what we call it.  Another friend hipped me to this beauty supply store. You are greeted at the door with floor to ceiling hair. I am for real! Floor to ceiling hair… All around the store.   

I am NOT a wig person. Hot flashes make it difficult to wear a hat, but desperation will have you do things that you thought you would never do.   

Since that day, I have accumulated three favorite hats… Hahaha! Wigs. Responses to the wigs have been favorable. Even better, my locs hibernate nicely. All I do is moisturize and cover.  

 
My hair is washed retwisted an braided up.    

The back of my hair is shaved but has grown some since this pic. When the weather warms, I will shave the back again.

   The back of my hair. 

  

My first wig!!!

 
After wearing this one for a month, I ventured back to “Hair Heaven.”

 

Never did I think RED hair could work for me. Surprise!!

  

I found these fun shades by shoopbogaboga on Instagram.


  

This day it was COLD out. Pulling a hood over big hair is tricky.

  
 In this picture, I had just level work. I am in my car headed to the gym.  While sitting at a traffic light, I snatched the wig off and put my scarf and hat on.  🙂

I grew comfortable with the vivactious red and went back to the store for another one.  Lol!

   
 

My cousin took this picture during our family Christmas gift exchange. 

Today is 3 months and 13 days that I have my locs.  A week went to see my stylist for loc maintenance.  I am surprised by the growth and they are budding nicely. Allowing my locs to nest under a wig is helping the process.

 
I love my parts.  As my hair grows, the parts will give me greater styling flexibility. 

  

This is the back of my head

 
   
 
Love is in the air!  I’m starting to dig my hair.  My next visit will involve color.  🙂 

Will I wear a wig again?  

Mostly likely but only because, when I work out, I sweat terribly and my hair gets wet and messy looking. 

Don’t get me wrong, I look forward to the freedom of the frizzy and untamed look, but my hair hasn’t completely loc’d yet.  As the summer near, the wigs will disappear.  Yay! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Happy day! Smooches. 🙂

Advertisements

Stop Being Afraid: Just Do It!

It is likely that at some point in your life, fear will prevent you from doing something. That “something” could be returning to school, making a career change, relocating to a new city or state, ending a toxic relationship, starting a fitness program, public speaking, starting your own business, or something else.

“Empowered fear is the mighty immobilizer.  tfc

The thing is, you give fear power by “living in your mind,” and the fear then becomes the biggest roadblock you create for yourself.  Instead of just taking the risk and see where your actions lead, in your mind you concoct absurd conclusions based on what ifs, and make  excuses as to why you cannot move forward,

In my early 30’s, occasionally I would see a sista with locs. At that time, locs weren’t as common and they were not viewed as socially acceptable or professional by employers and close-minded and uneducated people. Even today in a more liberal society, some people remain ignorant and believe the style is dirty, unkempt, and ugly.

Regardless, I have always loved their unique and free-flowing ability. Their lack of uniformity and rebel like style is appealing to me. When I see men, women and children sporting their locs, to me, they symbolize freedom and confidence. I especially love seeing Caucasian men and women workin’ the heck out of their locs and can’t stand when black folk of color take issue with them and act like the style belongs to black folk, but that’s a whole other post.

Why freedom and confidence?  Because of the mass confusion and general lack of knowledge about locs, people are often judged, snubbed, and ridiculed for taking a liking to the style.  Some level of confidence is inherent to comfortably and confidently wear the style.  Ask anyone wearing locs. They can tell you about the ill-mannered questions, statements, and odd looks they receive.

Nearly three years ago, when my son began his Loc journey, a woman thought she needed to correct me about decision to wash–that’s right–wash my son’s hair.  Smh! This black woman was convinced that my son’s’ hair would not loc if I continued to wash it.

Depending on the hair, the process can take months… many months. That notion is foolish and makes no sense because the water, I learned from my son’s professional Loctician, help the hair hair  loc),  Included in my son’s’ loc maintenance is always a good shampoo. His hair Loced with no problem.

As I sit and write this, my heart started beating fast again! Lol!! I am one hour and six minutes aways from a new chapter in my life.

While I am writing about the start of my loc journey,

this post is more about overcoming and conquering fears. 

After months of  serious deliberation and weighing the pros and cons of locing  my hair, I committed to begin my loc journey.  “I am expressing my creativity…” Lauren Hill, I Am Not My Hair.What took me so long?

I was afraid. Yep, there goes that immobilizing word again. FEAR!!!!!!

Afraid that I would not like the style.

Afraid of the early frizzy stage.

Afraid that if I changed careers, the style would beome a barrier.

Afraid that my locs would not be as pretty as my sons, my cousins or others.

Afraid that my busy schedule would not allow me to keep up the appointments.

Afraid of what I would look like with tiny coils in the early stage.

Afraid of not looking attractive.

Afraid of looking my age.

When I read over the list, I think to myself, “girl that is stupid!” Stupid but real.  You feel what you feel.

So how did I get over the hump?

Three weeks before my loc appointment, I decided to do something that I have not done before. Install small two-strand twists and wear them to work.

Th twist were a huge contrast to the big puff I wore all summer. Lol! After twisting my hair, my head looked so flat and small. While I was not convinced the style complimented my facial features, I pushed the thought to the back of mind, added more mascara, puckered for my favorite lip color, and kept it moving.. Lol!! The style definitely changed my appearance and this took some getting use to.

Now for the positive. For two weeks, I did not have to style my hair. With my active lifestyle, this was a bonus. As each day passed, I became more comfy and cared less about what anyone thought. I felt free from the daily grind of styling my natural hair.

During the two weeks before my hair appointment, I continued to gain inspiration and knowledge from bloggers and photos on Instagram and Pinterest. People don’t always realize how much they help others by posting pictures and by sharing their personal journeys.

The bottom line is, I simply made a choice to stay with my theme of living an authentic life and to do exactly what I have been wanting to do without looking back.

Fast Froward…

On Saturday, October 17, 2015, my loc journey officially began.   🙂 
The night before my appointment, I decided to flat twist my hair…  Lol!  Bye-Bye products!!


Drum roll……



My coils are so tiny, but eventually they will expand… I am eager.


The first week has been an emotional roller coaster!!   My locs were installed on Saturday. Sunday I worked out and sweated like a dog.  Monday’s hair wasn’t so bad, but after Wednesday’s spin class, I was feeling uncomfortable with all the frizz.  I felt like my hair was going in every different direction.

On Thursday, I wore a loc sock, but I think it was a big fail.  Lol!! 
All week the natural chica’s in the office were so supportive and encouraging. By Friday, I felt raggedy and needed to do something.

My long time bestie was burrying her mother on Saturday and there was no way I could have showed up with my hair all frizzed up.  I looked a hot mess so Friday after work I found a solution!!

Ta-da!!    

I bought this funky wig!!  Now my locs are happily nesting under my temporary hair. During my loc journey and until my locs begin budding, I think I will bounce back and forth, in and out of my wig; it’s so much fun!!

Whatever it is that you’re thinking about doing, just go ahead an do it!  The outcome will mostly likely be better than you ever expected.

Keep it movin!!  🙂


The Conversation

IMG_1205

Pic taken before a big football game.

My handsome son B’Dazzle is 12 years-old.

IMG_1200

The recent killings of several young black men has been a frightening wake-up call.

My son too can become a victim of driving whilst black, walking whilst black, being in the wrong place at the wrong time, whilst black, being educated, articulate, and confident….whilst black, but be wrongfully profiled as being someone else….

… a drug dealer…a thug…a rapist…a killer..a kid up to no good…or some other derelict deserving of police scrutiny or brutality.

I don’t like it,  but I am just another mother of a black male who must have “the conversations” about how to dress and how to behave on the street, especially in the presence of the police.

Deny it all you want, it’s real! The black and minority men in my family and in my circle have too many stories of harassment by the police.

Take that hood off your head…

..is what I recently told my son.  We were at the mall shopping. His hoodie was tightly covering his head.

My son: Why?

Me: Because black men who wear hoodies on the street are often profiled (by non blacks and sometimes other blacks) in a negative way.

As we walked through the stores, the dialogue continued and he intently listened. He understood my message and quickly snatched his hood off his head.

“The conversation” isn’t new or revolutionary to responsible black/minority parents who are active in their children lives. The conversations have taken place for centuries.

It’s just that more recently there may be more of an urgency to having the talk.

In just a few years, B’Dazzle will be driving and enjoying more independence and is scares the heck out of me. Ignorance about his locs will add another dimension of negativity to the profiling ish!

In my neighborhood, I can count the number of boys on one hand, who look like him. I hope for the best, but realistically know that one day while walking, he could be stopped by the local police…

Am I just another paranoid mother of a black male?  No way!  I’m just another black woman who has hopes, prayers, and dreams for her son to grow up and become a dynamic black man who makes his contribution to society.  His life matters as all should.

“All Lives Matter” is the fundamental message of Nate Parker’s powerful film, #AmeriCAN. The video was created in response to the recent incidents surrounding the death of several black men.

Peace! 🙂


Random Cuteness

IMG_7254B’Dazzle is so handsome and is proudly wearing his first genuine leather men’s coat today!  My baby is growing up!

Saturday this fierce little dude held it down in his position as nose-guard for our township’s Junior Varsity Football Team!  He is lean, well-defined, weighs 86 pounds, and 4’9″ inches tall… And strong as a bull. It takes two and sometimes three football players on the defenders offensive line to stop him.  Saturday’s game was a good one, but his team, the Eagles came out on top with a win of 14-12.  Yay!!!

Who says size matter?  Haha! Athleticism is much to do about heart, will, determination, dedication, and drive….  He’s got all that and then some!

Did I mention that he eats all kinds of veggies, including the one’s most kids love to hate like spinach, zucchini, and asparagus?  When he’s in the kitchen with me, raw onions, garlic, and colored peppers are his favorite snacks.  Is his unusual strength genetics?  I don’t know, but I know that good nutrition in kids matter too.  The earlier you start most kids on veggies, the greater the chances they will eat more of them.

Happy Monday; I hope it was a good one!  🙂

 


Locs update

Five months have passed since my son started his loc journey. All is going well and he continues to enjoy the style. He still makes time to cover his hair at night (without being told to do so), which is amazing for a 10-year-old.  Shucks, I know grown women who struggle with this task, especially when late night fatigue can get the best of anyone.

Last month, we experienced something new; WATER! LOL! The day before his Easter spring break, his school took a field trip to an indoor water park. My son asked if he could get his hair wet. Since his hair is shampooed every 3 – 4 weeks at the salon, his question surprised me. But this smart Kid’s thinking was right on time!

He knew that swimming, would result in his locs swelling and, since his hair is in the “locing stage,” he was concerned.  Anyway with about 10 days away from his next hair appointment, I wasn’t too concerned. He’s a kid and sending him to a water park with stern instructions to avoid getting his hair wet seemed a bit ridiculous to me. To be honest, my “laid back” mommy attitude has evolved over time. These days, I don’t take things too seriously.

So he went to the park and had a blast! His stylist instructed me to get the chlorine out by rinsing his hair. I did and below is the result.

20130407-180236.jpg

Before loc maintenance 4/7/13 KinHairitage

For the past week, this is pretty much how he looked. I am sure folks were looking at us and talking about me, wondering why I allowed my son to walk the streets looking like this.  Because I choose to; that’s why.  🙂

Ha! Ha!!!  I was once one of those folks, but thank heavens, I “get it!”  Dag-on-it!!  He’s a little boy, he doesn’t have to dress and look like he’s ready to strut down a Paris runway. Lol!

I must say, going natural has opened my eyes and my spirit to a new and wonderful world.   Today he visited KinHairitage Salon for loc maintenance and as usual, his stylist, Victoria did a fabulous job!  Isn’t he so handsome?!  Thanks Victoria!

20130407-181432.jpg

Additional Reading

http://www.curlynikki.com/2011/06/misconceptions-of-locs.html

http://www.inspiredlocs.com/care-and-maintenance-of-locs.html


Slept in Later

20130224-172407.jpg

For me, going to the hair salon on a Sunday is a privilege. Other than a morning or afternoon jog, my calendar stays clear and I consider the day to be my day of rest.

That said, today was the second time that I took my son to the salon (KinHairitage) for his loc maintenance on a Sunday. His last appointment was at 10 a.m. and he was super unhappy about having to get up early on “his” day to sleep late. The nerve of him! Like he works a job or somethin’. These kids are a trip. I really do understand the wish to sleep late, but come on, he’s got a good behind life… He can nap anytime he’s home. Lol! Anyway, today’s appointment was at 2 p.m. – he was cool with the pm appointment.

Three months have passed since his baby locs were started and his hair is progressing nicely. What am I most surprised at? He remembers to wear his stocking cap at night. Even on the weekends when he goes to bed later, he still remembers to cover his hair at 12 midnight. Thank goodness!! Although Tailor still tells me that he loves his hair, his actions corroborate his declaration, which pleases this mom BIG time.

Here are a few photos. Oh, one last thought— already I’ve had an interesting chat with someone whose child is growing locs. She pays substantially less for his maintenance than I (and wanted me to know) and feels good about her choice. However, he “doesn’t get his hair washed. You’re not supposed to wash the hair when locing !” Sigh!! Already the debating has begun, but I’m cool with it.

I won’t judge her and feel as confident about my choice for my son’s maintenance routine. Washing of the hair is a natural process to maintaining any healthy style. If it is dirty and it smells, that cannot be healthy. I’m just sayin’. I will only say that, conjectures and myths exist in every cultural, race, and religion. The key is always to educate oneself on whatever it is you choose to get involved in.

Check out my baby, he’s so handsome!

20130224-172416.jpg

20130224-172353.jpg

20130224-172339.jpg

20130224-172316.jpg