Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Maintaining twists on Soft Hair

"I have tried twisting them myself but I end up so tired and give up halfway. My hair is very soft and sometimes have to use black strings for the locks to form. Help"
by N.W
Twisting your locks without a loctician is not easily and more so if you have lots of soft hair.
First of all, if you have lots of hair I could suggest you get a friend who also has locks and take turns to twist each other's locks ie they do yours and you do theirs that could be either fortnightly or monthly. It's easier to twist someone else's hair that it is twisting your own. The only disadvantage to this is that you become dependent on the other person. You could also try dividing your hair maybe into 4 sections and do one at a time. Rest between twisting each section. It will take long but atleast you won't feel pushed for time. I would suggest you also twist when you have time eg on Weekends because then you don't feel rushed. Twist your locks as you do something else like watching a movie or listening to your favourite music or hanging out with friends, keeps your mind away from the twisting, you won't even realize when you finish ( as long as you don't get carried away and forget about twisting as you tell jokes/dance)

As for the soft hair, you could try and use olive oil/ beeswax/ light gel to hold the newly twisted hair. Don't use petroleum or heavyweight products as they cause build up in the lock. Don't fight to have all the newly grown hair in the lock, or to hold it up. I remember when I started twisting my own, I would get frustrated because I have very soft hair, I would twist and I wasn't able to hold every single hair, so I started twisting with gel and holding them up with a clip till they dried, but I soon realized my locks were thinning and my hair was breaking...Just relax, twist the lock with gel/wax/oilive oil then let them dry on their own, the hair that is not held is probably not ready to join a lock yet, give it time next time maybe it will feel like it.
Hope I helped....

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Maintaining locks between Loctician Visits

"How to keep them neat in between the visits to the kinyozi is my main shida." by Mwasjd
So many of you have been wondering how you will keep your locks looking beautiful, here are a few tips I have learnt during my locking Journey.

1. Wash your hair regularly, stinking hair doesn't look tidy. New locks need to be washed more often than older ones. This is tricky cause everytime you wash you need to retwist or rebackcomb it. Choose a shampoo that moisturizes, you could also use a conditioner but remember to rinse your hair properly to avoid build up.

2. Sleep with a headwrap on. Your hair is not pleasant to look at when it's full of flint from the duvet/blanket/matress.

3.Brush up the tiny hairs on the sides. Don't walk around with "ndengus" (when hair rubs together to form seedlike coverings on your head) on your head. Use a soft bristled brush.

4.Oil your locks. You hair needs oil, don't let your hair cuticles dry up. Keep away from heavyweight and petroleum products, they suffocate your hair. Use more of moisturizing lotions and oils eg Olive oil.

5. Let your hair breathe, don't always hold it up, or cover it. It needs the fresh air and the freedom.

That's all I can remember for now, but I will definitely add more as time goes by.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Sisterlocks/ Brotherlocks

This trademark dreadlocking technique is unique in that this locking system starts from the end of the hair shaft and works up toward the scalp. It is customized for the individual--for YOU--by certified company-trained associates.

Don't forget, whether you're getting Sisterlocks or Brotherlocks this is a lifestyle and may not be suitable for everyone. Only your hairdresser (and you) will know for sure!

Dr. Cornell(founder) mentioned that clients with Caucasian hair types didn't often opt to start dreadlocks with this method but a select few of the certified stylists do have experience working with straighter hair types.

The "Sisterlocks Package" consists of three sessions:

Session #1 is an assessment visit. You and your consultant review your preference for hair styles, your daily activity level, the kind of hair you have and how well it will hold a lock.

Session #2 may take 10-18 hours, depending on the length of your hair and lock size.Many clients end up with over 450 Sister locks which accounts for the amount of time it takes to complete.

A special tool is used to create Sisterlocks, interweaving parted sections together to form new dreadlocks. They can be very thin and much more flexible than the dreadlocks you're used to seeing and can be styled like straight hair!

By the end of this visit, you'll get a Starter Kit which includes bands, shampoo, tip sheets and helpful hints. You'll also schedule your follow-up appointment to make sure your finished locks stay gorgeous.

Session #3 is a refurbishment visit. During this visit, your certified consultant will adjust your locks, tightening and reweaving as necessary. This session lasts 4-6 hours.

It is at this point that you can begin to take your own Sisterlocks (or Brotherlocks) maintenance in hand by enrolling in a certification class to learn how to maintain your dreadlocks yourself. This will help you minimize the cost of future hair care.
I find them really beautiful and very neat. For more information and more pictures you could visit their sisterlock website

All pictures courtesy of Sisterlocks.com

Friday, 17 April 2009


Advantages: You can do it without assistance. It is the easiest method. No special tools or products are needed, just time.

Disadvantages: It takes at least 3 years to start looking like dreads in most hair types. You need to have about 10" of hair for the knots to start forming. The dreads form unevenly, some dreads will be huge and flat, others skinny. People usually get sick of having nasty hair and cut it off long before they get dreads.

Instructions: The neglect method is pretty much just that. You do nothing but keep the hair clean. (Some people don't even do that but not washing your hair is unsanitary and it slows down the dreading process) Just let it grow and in a year or so it may start to knot up or it may take 3 years Hair texture and hair length has a lot to do with how long it takes. You can rip it into dreads and try to combine dreads that are too small with rubberbands if you like, but in the spirit of true neglect most people don't.

I personally don't like this method of locking, because they really look dreadful, untidy and ugly. But it is a free world.

Thursday, 16 April 2009


This is the kind I have, they are a bit messy in the beginning because of the gel, but they look really beautiful. You can either just twist with gel or if your hair is long, you could start with double strand twists.

Advantages: It is all natural. You have control over the size of the dreads and how they form. Many salons are familiar with this method and the cost is usually much lower than a dread perm.

It only works in African textured hair but that doesn't mean salons won't try it on Caucasian hair!
Hair should be sectioned into squares. Square sections make round dreads. Between 1" and 2" squares works well for most people. Smaller sections make thinner dreads.
As you section the hair you can secure each section with a rubberband. When the whole head is sectioned twist each section clockwise using a comb( using your fingers is easier than using the comb) to snag the hair at the ends and twist.
As each section is twisted dread wax/gel should be worked in to hold the twists. Thick waxes without petroleum hold the hair much better when starting the dreads. After the dreads mature thinner waxes can be used to add fragrance and sheen.
Hair should be twisted by hand regularly to help it lock up.
For the twists, I don't recommend using the rubberbands to hold them, or twisting too tight. You might be tempted to hold every single hair on your head but that only cuts/breaks your hair. A professional loctician can hold them easily without breaking, but please don't try it at home. If you twist too tight, the lock thins and falls off and we don't want that do we? Here is how to do it

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Friction/ Rubbing Method

Advantages: The main advantage to the rubbing method is that if you happen to own something wool you can get started right away. It is an all natural method. You can do it yourself.

Disadvantages: It hurts like hell and the dreads that it makes vary greatly in size and do not look very good. Hair will usually need to be cut after trying this method so you will have to grow out your hair again before trying another method.

Take a wool sweater or hat and rub it in circles on your head.
After about 15 min, if your hair is long enough, knots will start to form. As the hair knots together you rip it apart and try to separate it into dreads.
After you rip it apart you resume rubbing for another 15 min or so.
Repeat this process over and over and over until all your hair is knotted.
Lots of loose hair is common with this method and the neglect method, just try to stick them into the nearest dread.
If your hair is shorter, you can use a brush to do it. Rub the soft bristle brush in a clockwise motion. Rub about an inch at a time, you will start to see little sections of balls forming. After you have rubbed your entire head, use a small amount of wax on each little ball. You can use a hair dryer to melt the wax into your new little dreads.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Different Locks

I have gotten many questions on how to maintain locks and I thought I should start with defining the different kinds of locks available, then how to maintain them. The maintenance is pretty much the same though it may differ just a bit.

1. Back Combing

Advantages: Hair looks like dreads the same day and reaches maturity faster than other methods. You can control the size and shape of the dreads, anywhere from thick and smooth to thin and sexy. It is an all natural method. Backcombing will work on all hair lengths 3" and longer.

Disadvantages: The initial dreading takes a few hours and is pretty labor intensive, nothing a good friend or two can't handle. The best way to back comb is to take your time and make the dreads as smooth and tight as possible.

How to do it:

First section the hair into squares. Square sections make round dreads. Between 1" and 2" squares works well for most people. Smaller sections make thinner dreads. The sections can be secured temporarily with rubberbands. After the hair is sectioned use a dread comb to comb the hair backwards.
Start close to the scalp, not more than an inch away.
Comb repeatedly towards the scalp. Eventually hair will start to pack up at the roots. It is not necessary to twist the hair. It is helpful however to roll the hair you are holding between your fingers a little while you are backcombing. Continue backcombing, slowly working towards the ends of the hair, making the dread as tight as possible as you go. When you reach the ends you can secure the dread with a rubberband. Another rubberband on the roots will help the dread stay tight at its base. The rubberbands can be removed after the dread has a chance to mature. After the rubberbands are applied to each dread the dreads should be waxed with a dread wax that does not contain petroleum. A good dread wax will tame loose hairs and help the hair dread much faster.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Last but definitely not least, my favourite the Skintolo aka Gélé

This is a famous Headwrap from Nigeria the names range from Satellite dish, Unicycle, Amina Aminu, Kite, Parachute, Kintele, The London Eye, Eiffel Tower, Gbenuesoun, Hollywood, Fan, Global Warning etc. so the next time you hear a Nigerian speak about one of the above you will know exactly what they are talking about. The naterial used is either Aso-oke, paper gele, abada, Damask or kente.
Here is a video on how to tie it. You will need some practice before you are a "Gélé Master". From the length of the post I guess you might have figured it is one of my best kind of headwraps...Hope you enjoy it.

You could also read these instructions:

1st Type

1.Start by folding the head gear piece to a width of about six inches. This can be achieved by folding the piece in half lengthwise twice or so.

2. Rap the piece around your head with the right extending about one and half of the left side.

3.Push in the left side but keep the ends out while crossing the right side over (on top of the left end); also keep the right-side ends out.

4.Pull both ends as tight as desired. Push the left side while pulling the right side to get the desired comfort.

5.Push in the right side only from where it touches the left side but without pulling it all the way through. This forms a bow.

6.You may now move this bow to the front, side or leave it on the back; the choice is yours.

7.Spread out the two ends to obtain a rose petal look, or pin the two ends to obtain yet another look. The different styles and looks are endless. You'll be surprised what you can achieve by experimenting.

2nd Type

• Fold your headtie into two equal halves, triangular or rectangular, depending on how big or small you want it to look.

• Place the headtie on the forehead, ends of the headtie being equal; take the longest end of the headtie, turn it around to meet the other end. Remember to fold your headtie into two equal halves, then the two wings.

• Take one of the wings at the right end and one of it wings at the left edge, join. And when trying them, make sure it is tight and well- laid in front. Knot twice.

• Straighten the edges of your headtie, starting from behind till you get to the front.
• Then push the headtie backward a bit to fit.

3rd Type

• Fold the headtie into two equal halves, making a rectangular shape, depending on how big or small you want your headtie to look.

• Bring it from behind, use your right hand to take the right wing of the headtie to the left and left wing of the headtie to the right. Then, let the two ends of the wings meet to make a beautiful style and make sure your headtie is properly laid in front and firmly balanced.

• Make a knot out of the two wings, making it tight enough, so that your headtie doesn’t fall off. Then knot the second time.

• Straighten out the edges of the layers of the headtie starting from behind till you get to the front.

• With this style, you are supposed to get a ‘V’ in front of your headtie. If not, it is still all right and it will look gorgeous on you. Then push the headtie backward a bit to fit.

Always keep your head gear piece crisp with a spray starch for better results.

You could also visit the Gélé Masters site it has great music about the Skintolo...hope you enjoy it. Here is a pic of the Master

This marks the end of the Headwrap Series, hope you learnt new ways to tie your wraps. I will definitely continue to research on how Erykah Badu ties hers. Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

I hope you ain't tired yet....

Hope you have enjoyed learning how to tie different headwraps, I'm yet to figure out how Erykah Badu does hers, but I promise to share immediately I do. Here are a few other ways to tie the headwraps.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Another Lockwrap (Turban)

You can do this on your "bad" Hair days, you will still look good without having to trouble yourself with the that much. You can get creative and change a few steps to make it look better.

Instead of wrapping the extra fabrik around your head, you could wrap it around the held back hair. to get something like this