consultant update, perhaps the beginnings of a new regimen

I spent months 12-20 of being sisterlocked (Jan-Oct 2012 of being sisterlocked) worried that my hair wasn’t settling right and venturing out for second, third, and fourth opinions about my hair. I ultimately did end up trying out a new consultant (the fourth “opinioner”); however, that didn’t last too long (about 2-3 retightenings?) until I found my way back home to my original consultant.

Now, my original consultant is moving out of town and I have found myself on the hunt for a replacement! I didn’t reach out to these other consultants for a couple of reasons- #2: took all day to do retightenings (I don’t have the patience nor the time to sit around in the chair); #3: has enough clients already; and #4 (the fourth “opinoner”): could’ve worked out… but I always felt like she was overwhelmed by the # of locs/thickness of my hair. Bumping up the price on me via email was the last straw.

I took to the sisterlocks registry and started making a few calls/emails. I’ve connected with one sisterlocks consultant who seems like she will be a good match. (Random fact: I’ve actually been to her house the year before of an annual natural hair expo in her backyard– though we’ve never officially met!) We had great rapport; her schedule fit my schedule; her price is in line with what I’m comfortable paying for retis… I’m really hoping this works out, though I know I can’t be sure until one or two retightenings in.

Meanwhile, during my initial visit with her, I was curious to see what feedback she had about my hair. All in all her feedback was positive. The following two items stood out to me:

  1. She echoed what #2 said about washing my hair too often. The washing of my hair once (often more than that!) a week, is keeping my ends from fully locking. I did go 3 weeks without washing my hair once… but that was by accident.

    and

  2. I mentioned I wash my hair often because a) I sweat a ton when I workout and b) I don’t like dull looking hair. Her response was that from what she could see, the dullness maybe be attributed to a dry scalp and/or build-up from the shampoo I’m using. She suggested that I try a) going back to the SL starter shampoo and b) doing ACV rinses every once in a while as a clarifier and to soothe my scalp.

I realized that, for good or bad, I haven’t followed any particular regimen for hair over the past year. I had a lot of starters… but lacked consistent follow through. At least in the beginning of my journey with this new sisterlock consultant, I’m going to try to be a bit more diligent with my hair care. In the short term, I’m committed to trying to go 2 weeks without wet washing my hair and using witch hazel as a wet/dry “shampoo” (and perhaps even the (nearly full) bottle of Taliah Waajid’s Moisture Clenz that I barely used since that first experiment). I need to think more on a long term regimen (that will include re-introducing the ACV + Black Tea rinses) that I can kick off with my first reti with the new consultant.

Advertisements

my natural hair in the workplace

In a comment, a college friend mentioned she is job hunting for the first time since going au naturale and inquired about any go-to work hairstyles. I started to comment back until I realized I never really told much of the “professional/work” experiences with my hair on my blog. My reply comment was getting too long so I decided to write up a blog post instead.

Since my big chop in April 2010, I’ve been hired by three different employers >> I’ve worked at an academic research organization, advertising agency, and currently at a consulting firm. (The fact that I’ve had 3 jobs in a little over 3 years may sound sketchy but it’s been a exciting period of growth and opportunity for me.)

I remember being most nervous when interviewing with the TWA (was my hair going to look “neat” and moisturized? or would it come off too militant?) and short sisterlocks (I can barely style these short little things… how would they feel about locs in the workplace?). However, I’ve come to realize that no one pays as much attention to my hair as I do.  For all the face-to-face job interviews that I’ve had over that period, I was offered the position or was invited to the next round in the hiring process >> If, for whatever silly reason, I feel self conscious about my hair at networking events or interviews, I try to remember that. There is proof that my resume speaks much louder than any real or perceived notions about my natural hair.)

Now, I have gotten questions about my hair at work but it’s usually preempted by a big “change up”– for example, when I left work on a Friday with relaxed hair past my shoulders and returned to work Monday morning with a teeny-weeny afro… or when I went from TWA to sisterlocks… and most recently, going from usually wearing my sisterlocks “straight” to my curly rollersets. For sure, my coworkers have been curious. However, while I do believe there is heighten curiosity about “black” hair, I also acknowledge that any kind of change spurs curiosity about anybody/anything. Even I would be curious.

I love talking about my hair at work. I feel it’s an opportunity to educate people about a hair lifestyle that they aren’t used to seeing and debunk any myths that they may have. (Are those braids or locks? So, wait, they don’t come out? Ooh, I like your hair curly… is that permanent? What do you do to keep your hair locked like that? Why does it looks different than other dreadlocks I’ve seen? Was your hair always like this?)  (Now I don’t go around preaching and I don’t get questions every day… but I do openly answer any questions people may have if they are brave enough to ask me.)

Finally, for “go to” hairstyles… for the most part, I keep it simple, really simple. When I had the TWA, I may pin up part of my hair for a simple style or do braid/twists out for a curly ‘fro. With sisterlocks, for the most part, I just wear it straight– with the occasional braid/twist for a crinkly affect. I’m excited that my hair is growing longer and look forward to being able to pull it into a bun (still a few months away from that).  I love how I look with curly hair so I plan on doing that more often since its finally reached a length where the curls fall just right.

I admire others who wear fun hair accessories and have made it work  in professional settings; however, I’m not much of an accessorizer and have never felt confident pulling it off at work– though I have dabbled a teeny bit in hair accessories for parties and other events.