This past weekend, I took out my sister loc extensions. Yes.. I survived a whole month!! *pats self on the back* Proud moment. =D Since my hair is currently in mini twists, which under my loc extension, I am going to challenge myself to leave them in until the end of this year! Yes!! That’s right!!! I know, I know, you think my twists will turn to dreads and knots and I’ll have to big chop again. Haha! I understand any concerns and this challenge will require attention and care for me to maintain these twists to prevent them from dreading. I personally do not believe that between now and December I will have dreads, so I am not worried, AT ALL. 🙂
Sister Locs – The Take Down
So this weekend, I washed the twists that were under the locs with my Kinky Curly Come Clean no-sulfate poo and conditioned it with Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Fortifying Conditioner. Taking out my loc extensions before “wash day” was a pretty quick job once I figured out the best way to uninstall them. At first, I would cut the ends and try to unravel them, but as I pulled on the strand it would tighten around my hair and I’d have to cut or loosen it by pulling at it. Then I found the fastest and easiest way soon after where I just pulled down the coil from the root and the Marley hair gathered and slipped off in a perfect coil. Since my hair was still very moisturized from Shea butter, the coils which were already sort of loose from long wear and manipulating styles just slipped off like butter. This removal technique was super easy and super fast. I am not sure if it will work again, but I would sure hope so!
Anyhow, before washing my hair, I wanted to pre-condition and also deep condition. Those two things did not happen. Unfortunately, I only washed and conditioned my hair as if it were a regular wash day. Such a lazy natural I am, sometimes. I suggest that after wearing a protective style for a month or more, one should pre-condition and especially deep condition their natural tresses to restore moisture and strength and combat dryness and fragility.
After washing, I air-dried my hair and while it was damp I did the LOC method to seal in water moisture. So here’s what I did: I don’t always use the LOC method in order, sometimes it’s LOC, LCO or even just LC. I still like the method as a guide and simple reminder of what you need to do to retain moisture in your hair. So I used three leave-in creams first [after Liquid which is water in this case]: Shea Moisture Balancing Conditioner, Curl Junkie’s Smoothing Lotion, and Eden Body Works’ Coconut Shea Leave-in. I squeezed out about a quarter-size of each, mixed them together in the palm of my hand, and applied all over my twists. Then I used coconut oil to seal in the moisture. Here are the results:
The next day, I realized that I had buildup of hair shed, dirt, and other elements near the root of my twists where the beginning of the loc extensions and my hair that was exposed met. I thought I had washed out everything when I washed my hair the first time, but apparently that was not the case. So as much as I didn’t want to, I had to untwisted and finger comb/detangle each twist and retwist them. This process took a long, long time—6 hours. <—-There went my Saturday night. -_- For this process, I sprayed my hair in sections as I went along with water. [It is better to detangle damp hair as opposed to dry hair to prevent breakage]. I also sprayed Lavish Curls Moisturizer from the Curl line at Target. That stuff gives my hair slip, so it was easier to remove the gunk with the combo of that and water. Then, I used raw Shea butter on each twist before retwisting it. This ensured that each twist was totally quenched.
In the end, this process was absolutely worth it and necessary to do so that I avoid any potential for my hair to dread!
Now I know for sure that dreads wont happen. And if I put loc extension back in before December is over, I will be sure to do this again!
Fall – Winter Protective Style Challenge
Now that the weather is getting colder, I am sending my hair into hibernation until next year, hopefully. Knowing that I have HIH [hand in hair syndrome] (lol) this is absolutely going to be a challenge. However, after changing up my hair so much and trying different styles for the past few months in the Spring an Summer time, I am feeling lazy and a little burned out from all the changes. So I am deciding to give it a rest for these two seasons and pick back up when my birthday comes around. Also, these mini twists are very small and it took time to put them in, and it will take time to take them out. I don’t want to have to take them out and then spend more time on trying to tame the beastly afro I will have let loose. That is another reason why I want to maintain these twists. Oh! and my biggest reason of all, is LENGTH RETENTION! I’ve hit a point in my natural hair journey where I feel like my hair growth has stunted or slowed down. More than likely, I’ve probably suffered a bit of breakage from high manipulation and also my eating habits are not the best so I am sure that contributed as well. Going from high manipulation to low or none is one of the best ways to retain length and prevent breakage [when done carefully and in a healthy way]. A combination of things, including drinking lots of water water, eating healthy and cutting out or reducing the intake of not-so-healthy things can also help with the strength of ones’ hair to reduce breakage. So I will make a more conscientious effort to take extra care of my hair for length retention throughout this fall and winter. Once, I make these things good habits, then they will become a normal part of my routine.
As far as styling goes, I plan to maintain these mini twists underneath my handmade wigs. I have two curly wigs that I made last week for the fall and winter. So I will wear one for a month (starting next weekend) and the other for a month. Then for January, I plan to make another wig for the new year. But I digress, January is pretty far away and my hair plans can change LOL so that plan isn’t quite solidified yet. Anyhow, this has been one long update, so thank you for taking the time to read it.