Sunday, 28 December 2014

Stop Damaging Your Locs In The Name of Protective Styling

Hello peeps,

A belated Merry Christmas to you all and Happy New Year in advance. I'm currently on holiday in South Africa and today's a lazy rainy Sunday, so I'm not out and about looking for lions or terrifying my guts at the Gold reef City Theme park; instead I'm taking advantage to catch up and put some thought out there. But first a bit of my current hair update/situation; I've jumped in and out of the pool a few times this past week so I'm not rocking any style in particular. It's been mostly rinsing the chlorine water out of my locs and moisturising with coconut oil (The only product I managed to pack from home - don't judge me everything was very last minute).

Damaged locs
Source
So before I deviate too much, I have had the opportunity of helping a good bunch of loc heads in Lagos start their journey/maintain their locs and I have noticed constant damage in the name of protective styling amongst other things. 

What do I mean by protective styling?

For the purpose of this post protective styling means either of the following

1. Braiding your locs with extensions.
2. Fixing weaves on your locs.
3. Threading your locs into a style that you can wear for much longer.
4. Any other styles that leave side effects that I'm about to describe below.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not totally against protective styling however we need to be watchful if it's breaking our locs.

1. The Braid Effect.
When you keep your braids in for too long and then you have disgusting build up that you can never get rid off... Braids are always nice, especially on short locs but that build up like I said is disgusting and it never goes away. If it doesn't break you locs today it will break them some day somewhere down the line. If you are lucky enough your locs might not break but you'll get to always see the gunk every now and then. Yuck Yuck Yuck!!!!

My solution is yes you can braid your locs, but please don't leave them in for too long, 2 weeks maximum is ok if you really want to tame the awkward moments of the loc'd journey. If you see anything that looks like build up, take those braids out. 

2. The Weave Effect.
To the best of my knowledge, weaves are sewn in with a thread and needle. most often a thread that's as close as possible to your hair colour, there by hiding it. The whole concept is fine and dandy until your loctician, sister, mom, brother or boyfriend is not patient enough to find the thread when it's time to take them out. Sometimes it's actually impossible to find, so they are left you no other option but to run the blade through some of your locs. DAMAGE is done, blades have no mercy, sometimes you even loose locs from the root and worse off, along your hair line :'(.

If you are going to do this i.e. fix weaves, ask whoever is loosening them to be very careful also try not to wear them in for too long so that there more chances of finding the thread.

3. The Thread Styling Effect.
I have added this just incase you feel that if you are not adding a weave you are ok, sorry you are wrong. Everything I have mentioned in no. 2 applies once that hair style requires you to thread it into place.

A good locitician would use as little thread as possible. However don't forget not to wear such styles in for too long.

So there, I've said my piece and I'm looking forward to a fabulous 2015... I trust you all are too. if I find pipe cleaners, I may get some curls for the new year, otherwise be sure I'll be keeping it loc'd with an attitude. xoxo.

Your Loc Head
Ade.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

7 Locitude Tips to Keep Locs Healthy During Harmattan.

Hello Folks,

It has been a minute, make that 6 weeks since I last published anything. I won't lie the last few weeks have been incredibly tough in my personal life and procrastination has been my comforter; unfortunately nothing gets done with procrastination. So today I'm breaking out of all my worries and doing one of the things that makes me happy.... As ridiculous as it sounds I really do like blogging about my hair. I would try to get to some of my personal life struggles at the end of this post, but first let me give you what you are really here for, another one of my seven's on what to do with your locs during the dry season.

Me, my locs were about a year +,
Picture by Dolapo James of Urbanknit.com
1. Moisturise, as much as daily.

So I recently found that my ends (of my locs) have been weak, a couple fell out and a few more are threatening. No one likes to see their locs fall. I immediately start thinking of solutions then I realised I have abandoned my moisturise and seal lecture. I have added it back to my daily routine. I spritz my locs down with water, island oil and coconut oil. There's been much improvement this past three days since I restarted it.

Also note that you may want to put in a bit more products (Oils/moisturisers) after a wash, your previous routine quantities may not be enough to combat the dry season.

2. Heard of protective styling?

I'm not a big fan of adding foreign hair /materials to my locs i.e. weaves and braided attachments. So I define my own protective styles as putting my locs into two strand twists, braiding the locs themselves and styling them such that they are not individually easily manipulated.

Protective styles help your locs retain moisture. Think of it in the popular phrase "United we Stand , Divided we fall" The more united your locs are the stronger they are together, and when they are left loose this harmattan season they may fall faster.

3. Deep condition.

Truth be told your locs maybe loosing moisture faster than how much you spritz them down daily, you may need to treat them to some deep conditioning. Depending on how dry they are you can consider using the buttery products, such as Ori (Shea butter) and any thick conditioner out there. I prefer to stick to oils as that way I'm guaranteed not to have build up even if I do it in excess. (Considering a how to Deep Condition your locs post here).

4. Sleep in a Silk scarf/Bonnet.

This one is a bit difficult, even though it sounds easy. Sleeping in a silk scarf every single night requires discipline. If you can discipline yourself well enough you help your locs retain moisture especially during the dry season. Added advantage is that you keep lint out :).

5. You may want to keep your hands out of your locs.

Remember my loc ends that fell off in no. 1 of this post. I lost them to hand in hair syndrome as some of our natural sisters call it. So yes, it's quite a "sweet" feeling twisting your locs all the time but it's one of the Locitude Don'ts, so try not to do it especially during the Harmattan. The reason is simple, your hair will fall out faster if it is dry, the harmattan would likely make your hair dry, so hands in hair syndrome would help your hair fall out. Get it?

6. Avoid the Dust.

Harmattan is defined as A dry dusty wind that blows along the northwest coast of Africa. Dust is not your friend. You already know that with locs whatever gets in stays in, the last thing you want is dusty locs. I don't need to explain why, do I? So if you are out and about get yourself and nice piece of covering to help keep the dust out. Something like the great accessory I found at Max sometime ago would do or try the head wraps that are very trendy these days.

7. Rock them Locs with an Attitude.

No. 7 is a must. :D, rock your locs with pride and a chic attitude, never fails. Remember you'll be taking care of your locs as per tips above and your locs will be healthy, shiny and in wonderful protective styles for the harmattan. So Rock on Fellas...

Wow, this was so refreshing for me, I have almost forgotten about my worries :). Well, I think I've just been in that phrase of life where I have to make a lot of decisions as to the next chapter of who I am. I am also trying to do a lot of things at the same time and all of it can be overwhelming. So I'm learning to be grateful for what I have, who I am and how far I have gotten; as gratitude paves the way for the next big thing. So if anyone out there is having similar experiences just know to stay strong. If there's a will there's a way.

Till later fellas.

Your Loc Head,
Ade.