re-tightening day recap: baking soda wash, ACV rinse, black tea rinse

Last re-ti, I washed my hair with baking soda, followed by an ACV rinse (I believe before the baking soda I may have used shampoo too… I don’t remember). I do remember my hair feeling and looking great after that reti, so I decided to try it again as a pre-retightening routine.

Here’s what I did yesterday morning:

  • Shampoo: 1 TBSP baking soda added to 1 Cup of Water and a lil bit of Shampoo (in this instance DreadHead Shampoo)
  • Rinse: 2 TBSP ACV with 2 Cups of Warm Water… let sit for a few minutes… and then apply 1.5 cups of Black Tea, diluted with 1/2 Cup Water… let sit for a few more minutes.
  • Final Rinse: Cold Water
  • Moisturize: I let my hair air-dry for a few hours and then spritzed lightly with some Greg’s juice.


Nothing magical happened right away. But after the reti my hair felt pleasantly light and soft. My hair is usually light and fluffy after a reti but the softness was a nice bonus. However,  to avoid dry scalp from the baking soda, I may need to rub some light oil directly on it after my hair dries.


Black Tea Rinse
The Black Tea rinse definitely cut the ACV smell. There was no trace of the ACV smell left over at all! So far, my hair doesn’t seem any dark or “healthier” as a result of the black tea rinse. I know it takes time so I’ll continue to use it each wash for a few weeks and see what happens. EDITED TO ADD (9/24): Actually the black tea has enriched the color of my hair. It took a few days for me to notice. I did another black tea rinse the wash after this one. 

The night before, I boiled 4 tea bags in 5-6 cups of water. Then read blogs about how tea makes your hair hard, and ended up using less than half of the brew, diluted with water. I’ll continue to play around with the brew until I get it just right for my hair.

ACV Rinse
I believe the ACV rinse may be the culprit of my “browning” hair. Before yesterday, it has been 6 weeks since my last ACV rinse. Before then, I don’t remember how regularly I’ve done the rinse… maybe every 2-3 weeks? Likely less than that… the point is, I’ve done a few of them this year.

The acidic properties of ACV, in light of the benefits it provides, can lighten and make your hair drier over time. I read a blog recently that said it could be contributing to the frizz… Going forward, will limit ACV and Baking Soda Washes to no more than every 6-8 weeks.

Remember how last time took about 10 hours? Today Mrs. CGS (Sisterlock Consultant #2) only took 5 hours. I was just getting comfortable thinking I was in for a long haul. Seems like she has “learned” my hair and 6 weeks is a good enough time for me to come in for a re-ti for her. Unfortunately, every 6 weeks will stretch my budget since she costs more, so I’m pushing my next re-ti to 7 weeks.




low-cost natural hair treatment: black tea hair rinse

I want to try something new on my hair >> to cover the “brown” in my hair without the hassles of the black rinses I love so much (but am trying to stay away from for now).   There has to be something I could do to enrich my hair without unraveling my sisterlocks, right?

I took to internet/blog stalking and read up about black tea and coffee rinses, which can help in darkening and strengthening (reducing shedding) hair. Low cost, low risk… doesn’t hurt to give it a try.

Here’s what I plan to try before my next re-tightening:

* brew 3-4 tea bags in 4-5 cups of water
* spray over my hair after  rinsing out shampoo and leave on for 10-15 minutes (or whenever I finish washing up in the shower)
* rinse with cold water
* very light oil to the scalp/hair to combat any dryness (some folks say the tea stiffens their hair)

Any one try black tea rinses? Do you recommend a particular brand or application method?

dreadhead dread soap: a review

Since finishing the bottle of VO5 and deciding to hold off on giving this delightfully scented shampoo another bout until my hair has settled some more, I have ordered and received the Dread Head HQ’s  Dread Soap.

This shampoo promises…

“The word is out. Residue free, DreadHead Dread Soap helps your dreads tighten and lock faster while reducing drying time. Washing your dreads with a soap that doesn’t leave residue is one of the most important precautions you can take to avoid sour smelling dreads. This new 8oz size is great for those that have heard about DHHQ Dread Soap and want to give it a try. You’ll instantly feel how much cleaner and happier your dreads are.The 8oz bottle is also under the Post Office limit for 1st class mail allowing you to save on shipping. Once you give this shampoo a try and are hooked on supa clean dreadies, you can save some cheddar and the earth by getting the Jumbo 64oz Enviro-Size.”

The underlined above is my emphasize… not their’s, as “helps your dreads tighten and lock faster while reducing drying time” were the words that appealed the most to me.

Now, at the risk of sounding close-minded, I was a little wary of trying a product that appears to only market itself to white people seeking to lock their hair. I wondered if the product would be too drying for my kinky, coily tresses. I scoured the net and found a few sisterlocks sistas who have positive experiences, and so I decided to give Dread Head Dead Shampoo a try.

My initial reaction:

Dread Head Shampoo has no scent, and is clear– reminiscent of the sisterlock starter shampoo. The texture is slightly heavier and it foams a just a little bit more than the sisterlock shampoo when mixed with water.

Nearly 6 Weeks Later:

For the most part, I’ve diluted the shampoo before use. Before wetting my hair, I sprayed directly on my scalp (in sections) and gave a good rub to my scalp and THEN rinse out in the shower. I sprayed my locs and then did a final rinse.

I do think my locs are getting tighter– a few people commented about this as well! I’ve experienced way less flakes/dry scalp syndrome than I have in the past 18 months of having locs. I’m not sure if it’s due to the shampoo or the process of spraying shampoo directly on my scalp before jumping in the shower to rinse.

Unfortunately, I am finding my hair to be quite dry in appearance–the color seems dull and my ends are still a bit frizzy. I’m not sure if it’s the product or the summer heat.

All in all, I am satisfied enough with this product to continue using it for another 6-8 weeks. In the meantime, I will look for another product or method to combat the dry-ness.

Cost: $13.14 ($7 + shipping)

vO5 tea therapy “vanilla mint” shampoo

For the past 3 months, I’ve ditched the sisterlocks starter shampoo. I was running low and didn’t want to run out while vacationing in Mexico; so, I picked up a $1.50 (or less) bottle of  Alberto VO5 Tea Therapy “Vanilla Mint” Clarifying Shampoo.

From what I’ve read on the LockIt Up yahoo group, clarifying shampoos seems to be the best for new locs (when the starter shampoo is not available). VO5 is inexpensive and smells great, so I thought I would give it a try.

I diluted the shampoo with water (about 1 to 3 or 4) but it has quite a lather. I was a little freaked out at first becuase I became used to the no lather SL starter shampoo. But, I’ve gotten over that and appreciate the deeper clean feeling (that may have a lot to do with the fact that my scalp isn’t as dry as it was it the SL starter shampoo).

My initial reaction: My hair felt softer– not a loose soft, but a nice, bouncy soft.

My concerns: My hair initially looked like it was starting to adopt the cylindrical look but as of late, I can’t seem to tame the frizzies. And, my hair sheds a little bit in the shower… a few, little beady b’s. I didn’t think anything of it until I came across a blog post that reminded me that locked hair really shouldn’t shed– as shed hair is typically caught up in the lock.

Overall: Alberto VO5 Tea Therapy “Vanilla Mint” Clarifying Shampoo smelled so good and seemed to do the trick with getting my hair and scalp clean…  but I’ll have to reserve this shampoo for when my locks are a bit more mature.

In the meantime, I’m not interested in going back to the Sisterlock Starter Shampoo. Instead, I purchased a bottle of Dread Head Soap. Just placed the order so it’s on it’s way. More to come after my first wash with it.

3 weeks and counting…

It’s been 3 weeks… since I washed my hair.


I know. But it’s true.

In my last post, I talked about how a sisterlock consultant described my hair as “soft;” explained that water softens the hair; and, suggested washing weekly may be hindering/delaying the locking process.

So, I ordered Taliah Waajid’s Moisture Clenz and decided to give washing less a try. (Though it wasn’t my intention to go 3 weeks, eek!)

About Taliah Waajid’s Moisture Clenz

 “Use in between shampoos for quick and thorough cleansing for braids, twists, locks and weaves. Directions: Lift and separate the section to be cleaned. Spray the area to be cleansed. Use a  damp towel to rub the area. Repeat until the complete head is finished.”

I couldn’t find an exact ingredient list but I do know that the Moisture Clenz contains alcohol.  The creator says it is  low amount, and defended the use of alcohol by saying that:

  • “alcohol is… known for cleaning and sanitizing immediately upon contact with skin”
  • “We chose to use alcohol in the Moisture Clenz because we did not find another ingredient that cleansed the hair as well as alcohol. Other natural ingredients we tried did not remove odor and did not clean the scalp well enough to sanitize it.
    source: Detailed Product Use and Directions for Use

My experience
Well, there is no substitute for a good shampoo.  I have used it 3-4 times a week. I try to “clean” my scalp/hair with it immediately after a workout.

It has been 3 weeks and my hair/scalp doesn’t smell or itch. Okay, that’s not exactly true… my hair has itched, but as soon as I feel an itch or think I see/feel build up, I would use the Moisture Clenz. The weird thing is after I used it, my scalp would itch like crazy but after a few minutes it settles down and feels fine.  And, of course, my hair smells a lil sweaty after a workout. But the Moisture Clenz seemed to deodorize that away. (My husband just did a sniff test… No foul odor.)

I used the product as directed. Sprayed on scalp, rubbed off with damp cloth. I tried to concentrate on rubbing the scalp only (in the same direction). Row by row, or small section by small section.  It would take me about 30-45 minutes (so it certainly wasn’t quicker than washing my hair.) Then I would do a quick spray all over and my hair  (quick large sections) and carefully press a damp cloth on my hair. Not a rub, just quick presses.

My scalp feels fine. My hair feels fine. I really have no complaints.

Would I recommend Moisture Clenz? YES, definitely for those who are seeking to stretch their washes for whatever reason. It will be nearly 4 weeks before I can wash my hair with water and shampoo. The bottle is pricey (I paid $15– $7.50 + an additional $7.50 for shipping because I couldn’t find it in stores) so my hair better lock soon so I can wash my hair as often as I want… even without braiding and banding.

A Possible Substitute
I did come across a possible substitute– BB Tropical Roots Spray, which is less expensive and available at Sally’s stores. I will give that a try when I run out of the Moisture Clenz.

P.S. I really didn’t intend to go 3 full weeks without a real wash but eh… my hair/scalp has survived!