Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Neglect, Free-form and organic locks, what’s the difference?

Well, many have expressed anger after reading my post on Neglect post arguing my comments were unfair and that not all neglect locks are dirty etc. Let’s start with clearing up the differences before we get angry, shall we?

Neglect locks are exactly just that, they are neglected locks. The owner lets nature do everything and they just watch the hair grow, they don’t wash them, they don’t oil…the hair is neglected and due to this unkempt state, the hair mates up and forms locks. This happens to all kinds of hair, and only the tips hold and the roots are usually straight hair. The hair stinks and is very ugly.

Free form and organic locks are the ones hard to differentiate because many people have their own definitions of the same. These usually look much like any other kind of locks and it would only take the owner to tell whether they are free form or organic.

I asked people on facebook to tell me what they thought the difference between free form and organic locks is; the answer I got was that free form, you only wash and oil but do nothing else but for organic you do all these and on top of that partition the locks.

Here are my personal definitions of both locks, though some people easily interchange these terms (free-form, and organic).

Free-form locks, they are washed, oiled and partitioned, sometimes they are started using other methods e.g. twisting, braiding or two strand twists but after the hair locks, then they are mainly only taken care off but left to do the rest. Any products may be used, natural or chemical it doesn’t matter much.

Organic locks may be any kind of locks started by any method but only organic or natural products are used on these locks i.e. regardless of method used to maintain them, only natural products are used with no chemicals. For example if you have twist locks, instead of using hair gel that’s made mainly of chemicals you use pure honey or natural oils to twist your locks, to dye these kinds of locks you only use natural henna but not the hydrogen peroxide dye or the lab-made henna most people use.

So those are my definitions, what do YOU guys think is the difference?

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Bantu knots, how do I do them?

Bantu knots, they look very easy to do and they are but for a beginner it can turn into a very angry session trying to do them. This is a post specially dedicated to Nappy Headed Black Girl who requested a tutorial on how to do Bantu Knots. I hope you'll be able to do them after you read this.

What you need:
wet locks and your hands :D I prefer doing the knots on wet hair so that the curls come out "stronger", on dry hair the curls don't hold too well. The locks don't need to be dripping wet, just enough water to soften them up. You can use a spritz of choice to wet them. (Some homemade spritz recipes will be coming up soon, anyone interested can submit their ideas)

Step 1: Partition the locks and hold them perpendicular to the scalp then twist the group of locks along their length 

Step 2: Bend the twisted locks and this time wind them around the lower half, don't make it too tight cause when the locks dry they contract and the knot becomes tighter and this can be very uncomfortable and painful.

Step 3: Now tuck in the tips at the base of the knot and start with the next. The tucked tips should hold on their own but in case the come out, just tuck them back in it's normal for that to happen.

Head full of Bantu knots, can't wait to rock the curls

And this is what my babies looked like after the Bantu knots were out. Lots of volume, I'm now in love with the new found secret.

Central Florida's first Natural Hair and Beauty Expo

Hallo People,

Here's an invitation to all My Dreadlock readers to the very first Natural Hair and Beauty Expo in Central Florida. Please mark your calendars and pass the info with all your natural friends, family and neighbors to share in this great event. More information about the event can be found at their website.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Dying locks, how to do it right

I have been contemplating coloring my locks for a while now, after seeing so many beautiful colored locks I thought maybe it's time I left my natural jet black hair. It takes time to make the final decision, I have never known any other hair color in my life (apart from my braids that were always a different color) so it was a BIG decision for me, now after about 2yrs...lol....yeah it took me over 2yrs to make the final decision. I tried last christmas to dye it but ended up with the wrong type of color, I wanted red but didn't lift the black first so there was practically no change in my hair color. I bought the dye last month and was ready to dye but I still had to think about it again, and finally today I woke up and decided to do it.

All the products I used
I had checked the internet for tips or instructions on how to do it, considering I did it the wrong way last time, but not many have documented any of it with pics atleast. So here are my steps of lifting the color from my babies from jet black to to blond. I'm aiming at Dark Chilli chocolate, so there'll be a part 2 cause I thought dying twice in one day might be a bit too much.

1. Talked to my loctician about it, I do that a lot just to be safe and to make sure I have professional advice as back up and talking to my loctician ensures I get advice from someone who has worked on my hair before. According to him, it's possible to dye my babies in one sitting from black to red but I have to bleach first.

2. More psychological preparation, had about a week between the talk with the loctician and my d-day. You can use this step to go buy the products you will need for the whole process. I bought my products before the talk with my loctician.....I needed a lot of psychological preparation but I guess you are prepared and ready for it right?

3. Search the net for info, now you have it on my blog so it won't be hard to get all the answers at one place.

4. Most companies advice to take an allergy test before using the products. This is not a problem, 48hrs before the d-day follow the instructions and dye a single lock at the back of your head and see how that works out. If it causes you to itch or get boils or stuff, DO NOT proceed to dying the whole head, this might turn out ugly.

On the d-day,
What you will need:
- Bleaching product, to lift the color out of your hair, you won't need this if your hair is blond only for black and dark brown hair
- Final hair color
- An old Tee and a towel,  you don't mind trashing
- A pair of gloves, some dyes don't come with them in the pack
- Neutralising shampoo ( or if you feel adventurous like myself, toothpaste :), I'l explain)

1. Pray that everything goes well

2. Lay all your products on the table, open the boxes and check if all you need is in there and read the instructions.(Incase you skipped the part on allergy test. I didn't do the test, cause I'm rarely allergic to stuff...I'm only allergic to protein (wierd but yeah that's my only worry))

3. Partition your locks into tiny pony tails and hold them with a rubber bands or tiny hairbands. You could tie them once at the top or twice, top and middle depending on how you like it.

4. Prepare the mixture according to the instructions in the box.

5. Spread the bleach at the tip of one tail and squeeze (till there's the ksh ksh sound)to ensure the bleach gets into the locks. Do this to each tail then leave them on for the instructed time on the box or till you like the color on your locks.

6. Wash the locks till the water is clear, this is where the toothpaste comes in.

The partition of the locks after a couple of minutes with the dye on 
I had a discussion on how dye affects your locks a couple of days back, and I almost decided not to dye my hair when one person complained that his locks thinned and became so weak after he dyed them and had to cut them. Then a professional stylist came up with the reason for the thinning, not neutralising the effect of the dye. Well, a short chemistry lesson for all of us. Dye contains hydrogen peroxide which is an acid (pH less than 7) when it is left in the hair it continues to break down the hair follicle that is made of protein (keratin), to stop the process you need a base (pH larger than 7) to neutralise the reaction and come back to neutral (pH =7). Depending on which city you live in, the water in your tap may range from pH 7,5 to about 8, thus it is possible to neutralize with the water from the tap alone but considering hydrogen peroxide is at pH between 1,0 to 2,0 depending on the mixture of solution, water from the tap may not be enough to neutralize it completely. To cut a long story short, with no neutralizing shampoo, I used toothpaste (it can be used in place of anti acids when you have a heartburn so why not to neutralize your dye?). You might not need this whole explanation or step anyway, I was just too paranoid thinking my locks would fall off if I didn't do it....lol.....I actually washed the locks for almost 2hrs, with plain water, with toothpaste, with normal shampoo then conditioner. Let's see how the babies look after a week to see if it was worth such a long wash.

My Bantu knots after retwisting
When all is done and you're sure the locks are clean and no more dye is left in the locks, you can do a DC (deep conditioning), retwist and finally style your locks to whichever style you please......I decided to try out Bantu knots, lets see if my babies will have curled by Monday when I remove the knots.

PS: I used some organic oil on my babies, meeenn it smells like some herbal medicine.....even tried to drown its smell with Olive oil and it's still smelling arrrggghhh hope it doesn't smell like this the whole week. :)

The Winner is....

Thank you for taking part in the blog giveaway. The winner of this week's My Dreadlocks Giveaway is Smoothsilk. Please send me an email with your details at dreadlockmamasita@gmail.com before Tuesday, failure to do that the prize shall be granted to the next winner.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Monday, 13 September 2010


This week My Dreadlocks will be hosting our very first giveaway sponsored by Uprinting.com an online eco-friendly printing expert. We'll be giving away 250 custom made Die Cut cards to one of the My Dreadlocks readers. Check out their other cool cards. Are you interested in getting one of those cards? Then check out the regulations to winning them.

The regulations for the prize are very easy, 
1. Become a follower of My Dreadlocks, click on follow* ( I just realized that some people are having problems with the follow button. Until it's repaired, you are all allowed to take part without following the blog) 
2. Leave a comment on this post stating the post you like most on My Dreadlocks
3. You have to be above 18yrs old and a US Resident.

The giveaway ends on 17th and the winner will be announced on the 18th. Have fun fishing out the title to your favorite post and I look forward to reading the comments. Let the games begin......

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Gel or wax for your locks, how to make the right choice

I bet this is the most asked question about palm rolled/ twist/ gel locks and not only with newbies but also with those that have had locks for a while and still haven't settled in with any specific kind. The most irritating thing though is the answer to this question. It's usually very ambigous as it is very common that the answer goes something like " the type of gel or wax you choose will be influenced by a couple of things which include your hair type, how often you wash your hair and your preferences". I know most have asked and got that same answer and you think, thanx a lot for NOTHING.

Though it is true that these do affect your choice in a gel or wax, I have tried to compile a small list that will help you out. The list might not give you a specific brand that you'll go pick at the store tomorrow but atleast it will help you choose one more easily and faster.

First things first, what are all these things, there is gel, wax, pomade, mousse, paste and gum? What can you use on your locks and what can't you? What is the difference between them? Well considering we all want our locks held in for at most 2weeks, we'll just cancel out mousse, paste and gum from the list as they are not meant to hold the hair for too long. If you have dry hair, completely stay away from mousse, it contains alcohol that dries hair. Now we're left with gel, pomade and wax. Pomade is wax like, actually for some it means the same thing but according to the Wise Geek, pomade contains wax in it plus other oils and fragrances while wax is pure. Both of these lead to build up in the lock though they do hold much better than gel. I would say pomade is better than wax in that it contains oils that moisturize your hair unlike wax that's just plain wax. Though wax doesn't dry up hair like mousse I do think the extra oils in pomades do make a difference. You have to check what kinds of oils are in the pomade as sometimes they use petroleum based oils which cause more build up than moisture.

Now that all those are solved, we're now left with gel and wax yet again. Which is better?

1. Gel is water based so it can easily be washed out of hair after only shampooing once while wax tends to build up and to avoid the build up you may be required to shampoo more than once.

2. Gel should only be used on wet hair as it tends to set the hair, setting dry hair may cause breakage. Wax on the other hand is very flexible and may be applied even on dry hair with no damage.

3. It's advisable to stay away from alcohol based gels, especially for dry hair.

Lastly, I would insist you always check the ingredients of the gels you use before you take them to the cashier at the department store. If you definitely want a specific gel even with it's unadvisable characteristics, you can always "pimp" it. Check out websites on different homemade recipes to enhance your gel, or wax or pomade.

You may also use honey as a substitute for your usual gel or wax, it doesn't hold as well as either of the two but it gives a very fresh feeling to the scalp, you can read about that at Sweet Locks and Sweet Locks Aftermath. But even with honey it's not advisable to use it throughout your locking journey as it bleaches the hair not unless you already do bleach your hair.

Another school of thought advices to completely stay away from both of the above (wax and gel) and instead use oils while other advice to make your own gel. Shea butter is a no go zone, as adviced by various readers when I revealed I wanted to try it out on my own locks. I hope with this I've brought you closer to a decision on what is best for you. Unfortunately, I still don't really know what is in the gel I have been using for my 3 locked years but I'm still trying to get my loctician to reveal the BIG secret.

Finally just for the fun of it, does anyone
remember this scene on There's Something about Mary when she used the guy's sperm thinking it was hair gel?