Never before have I (or anyone else for that matter) described my hair as “soft” unless it was pumped full of moisturizing conditioner.
4a/4b, tight coiled, kinky, nappy… those sound much more familiar. But, not soft. Especially not “soft” after a year of forgoing any conditioner!
Anyways, since my second consultation back in January, I thought more about whether or not I wanted that consultant to close up my ends or have my existing consultant cut down my loose ends.
Cutting my hair seemed so risky considering it would be tough to get an even cut. Though, in an act of defiance a couple of weeks ago, I cut the loose ends off of two my locks… just to see how they would do without them. So much for an experiment… I can’t locate those locks anymore (I’m sure I could if I tried harder). I’m assuming they didn’t completely unravel because if they did, the hair would be easy to find.
So, I decided… I’m just going to have that sister lock consultant “repair” my sisterlocks.
Well, that consultant took a while to get back to me, so in the meantime, I called another (a third) consultant. I still wasn’t sure about the decision I was making and needed a second, second opinion.
soft hair and the second 2nd opinion
This third sisterlock consultant was great. She worked out of her home but was very professional. She echoed the second consultant and said my sisterlocks look great. And, that they are doing what it’s going to do because… I have soft hair.
She said that in her experience (she has a lot of experience, including with her own (2nd) set of sisterlocks), people with soft hair (even those like me (and her) with a 4a/b hair pattern) will experience more unraveling than others. It’s best to leave the loose ends alone. She can certainly tighten them up but, more often than not, the hair will unravel to that same point.
a) Said I’m washing my hair too frequently. Water softens the hair; so, washing once a week will slow the locking process. Washing 2x a month (or every other week) is ideal.
b) Recommended Taaliah Waajid’s Moisture Clenz as a dry shampoo. She said I could use it daily if necessary since I work out 3x+ a week.
c) Told me to stop putting my hair into ponytails when I go to the gym. She said that by putting my hair into ponytails, I’m stretching it too much and stretching it while its wet (or soon to get wet) weakens the lock and impacts the locking process. Instead I should let my hair remain loose when I work out and not touch it until it airdries. This whole time I thought I was helping by keeping my hair in the two ponytails… It became my signature gym look.
d) Said that my hair is not ready to forgo banding AND braiding for washes. I’m still a couple of months before I can safely consider not braiding and banding.
All in all… great feedback. I’m purchasing an athletic headband to wear to the gym. I bought the Taalih Waajid’s Moisture Clenz (I hope it gives me a good clean feeling and doesn’t dry out my scalp!). I will limit real shampooing to every other week.
This consultants 2 year old sisterlocks look great but it’s clear that her ends though locked now, took their time locking (slightly thicker than the rest of her sisterlocks). My hair will lock in due time.
washing without banding
Cutting my locks wasn’t the only defiant act I made in the past few weeks. For my lastest wash before my reti, I didn’t braid OR band. I tossed on a thick hair net and shampooed my hair loose (got this idea from the lockitup yahoo group).
I didn’t notice any additional unraveling… Though my hair has major shrinkage from airdrying without braiding or twisting, after a day or 2 my loose ends look more like they are trying to lock up. Instead of a puff or thin, crinkled but not locked ends, the ends are tightly coiled, cylindrical in shape.
See… you can barely see how loose my ends are in this pic.
My sister gave up on braiding and branding two months into her sisterlocks journey (so she says) and her hair looks fine (she also likely has a different hair type than me).
I haven’t decided yet whether I am going to go back to braiding and banding or not…