As you all may already know, I love my locks, but this has not always been the case. Locks go through many stages along the locking process. The first stage for me was with permed ends.
The starter locks were thin and stringy with the 4pt and reverse 4pt pattern showing clearly. (My daughters hair had no perm and she had curly Q's on the ends) The locks easily slipped away and had to be carefully taken care of, especially when washing. As instructed by my consultant, I had to braid and band (B&B) when washing. This is the process of braiding the hair and then putting little rubber bands which came in my sister lock starter kit, on the ends when shampooing or rinsing the hair. This made washing take a little longer but it wasn't too bad. The only problem was that I didn't really feel like my scalp was getting squeaky clean after washing. Sometimes the locks slipped away even with B&B. No product is supposed to be used in the locks during this stage. Sisterlocks starter shampoo was supposed to be used. The first two week of my journey, the 2 rows of locks at the nape of my neck came completely undone and I had a Tiny Weeny Afro (TWA) in the back until I could see my consultant again. She fixed them right back up though. The beginning was a complete struggle and I couldn't imagine my hair ever actually locking. I wore a lot of perm rod sets, straw sets, and braid outs. At the time I didn't think it was cute at all but looking back at some of the pictures, I was doin aight! During this stage my consultant suggested that I use nothing in my hair besides water. No products! Washing was supposed to be done with the sisterlocks starter shampoo. I cheated though, I used different shampoos and oiled my scalp a bit because the "itchies" were killing me.That sisterlocks starter shampoo made my hair and scalp super DRYYYY! I would also use a bit of product when curling against consultant advise such as lot of body setting lotion (diluted) and mango and lime locking wax on my ends when I did a straw set. I guess no harm was done.
The frizzies started after about the first 3-4 months or so. The locks went from stringy, to frizzy. I mean, hair was everywhere, sticking out every which way. It was during this stage that being tame and professional, as some like to call it, was a hard look to achieve. Some days I tried to tame the hair, other days I just said forget it! Shake and go was my routine on a lazy day. Now that was a "hot mess!" Other days I continued to straw set a lot as the frizzies looked appropriate with the straw set in my opinion.
Budding cant be explained with any other word better. The hair actually has little buds on the ends. I will attempt to show a picture of a bud but it really isn't of good quality, sorry. This stage is where, people, rude ones, would walk up to me and pick out the little buds and say "Ooo Chile, you had somin' in you head!" OK, ok...that was a bit of exaggeration but y'all get my drift:) People did actually pick the buds out though, as if they were getting lint out of my head and doing me a favor. The locks during this stage seemed to be getting bigger or fluffier but not longer. My hair was growing out instead of down. The "itchies" settled down.
As the budded locks started to actually lock, the appearance of the buds disappeared. The locks started to settle down and come into their own. This is the stage where I got fed up with the 2 textures and cut off the permed ends. I could see the natural beauty of the locks trying to peak through so I did away with those permed ends on a whim. Snip...snip...snip. It was scary but I was proud of myself after I got used to the very short locks again. The good thing was that styling was not a must anymore. I could now just freestyle. This is also the stage where spritzing became favorable and the use of essential oils (EO). I will address spritzing and EO in a later post. To my surprise, my one year mark came and went while I was still in this stage. I thought surely at my one year lockversary that I would be fully locked, but each individual has a different journey. It just depends o your hair texture. The one year mark is also when I took over my own maintenace. No more consultant. Thank God, I did that because I got a true feeling for what was going on in my head. I could retighten at my own convenience, not rely on someone else's schedule, and the savings were a plus as well.
Tenagers are the stage just after the settling down stage but not quite mature yet. This stage is doable. You can style if you want, but if you don't want, that's cool too. This is the stage where the locks start to condense and they no longer look fluffy. I have noticed that styling in this stage changed. The locks in earlier stages, curled much better and the curls lasted for ever. In the teenage stage, my hair would curl but the curls did not last long, even when I use setting lotion. Cute for one day only. Every stage has its pros and cons.
I believe now that I am 21 months locked, my locks are finally starting to mature. They seem to be hanging better now and I can finally see that they are growing down instead of out. The locks look uniformed and are all sealed on the ends with the exception of about 2 or 3. I cannot image myself with any other hair style at this point other than locks but I am beginning to contemplate combining as I enjoy the versatility of the sisterlocks but have fallen in love with the look of larger locks. Just a thought, nothing is for sure yet. Maybe some color will make me content. Hmm...we will see!
Locks and life follow some what of the same path. Starting as babies and progressing to maturity. Enjoy and embrace each stage as the locks grow up before you know it, just as children do. The difference between locks and life is that with locks you can take many chances and even make mistakes because if you mess up, you can do them over if you choose, but there are no "do overs" in life, so make good choices but live life to the fullest!
Thanks as always for reading and,
Lock on wit yo bad self!