Friday, October 22, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Product Review Burt's Bees Very Volumizing Pomegranate & Soy Shampoo

I like Burt's Bees chapsticks, lip jars and body lotions so I figured I would try the shampoo.  I like to use more natural based shampoos that are clear in color, the bottle said that it was 97.20 natural. It contains glycerine and honey both of which I like to use on my hair.  The product was reasonably priced at 9.99 for 350 ml and easy to find.  It smells decent-not overpowering.

HOWEVER it left my hair with a strange ultra dry and filmy feeling.  When washing my hair I could barely run my hand through my locs with out a feeling of resistance.  This product was horrible for my locs and I'm very disappointed.

Perhaps the shampoo was not meant for my hair because it is a volumizing formula. Perhaps on straight hair the filmy resistance would result in more body.  I suppose by avoiding making hair feel silky would allow it to have more "poof".

I would NOT recommend this shampoo for loc wearers.

Out of 5 stars I would give this 2 simply for the smell.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Locked hair equals pothead?

There is still a lot of politics around natural hair.  Some members of the black community are against it, claiming that it's "slave hair" or for people stuck in the past, which is totally ridiculous in my opinion, there is nothing wrong with hair that naturally grows out of a scalp.  As far as I see blacks are the ones most likely to alter their hair texture or sew other hair textures on.  I'm not condemning that, because to each her own.

In the last 4 weeks I've had two occasions where someone implied I was a pot head, I can only guess they made that judgement based on two things, my race and my choice of hairstyle.

1. Situation one:  I go out with a white friend, he purchases a pipe, that could be used to smoke weed and the woman who sold it to him assumed that he was buying it for me...huh?  I only helped him pick the colour he carried it to the till and paid for it, yet it must have been a gift for the lock-haired black girl. Just because he paid for my meal doesn't mean that he's buying the pipe for me.

2. Some random idiot riding a bike.  After giving me a lecherous look he then blurted out "Do you know where I can get some weed?"  That kind of bullshit doesn't just happen to lock-haired people.  I remember being out with my family when I was little and one douche bag asked my dad if he knew where he could get some weed. 

These stereotypes are just great, the people asking for it are the ones smoking it probably with friends of their own race, yet they feel that blacks know where it's at.  In my experience no one loves weed like some white folks.  B.C has a reputation for being a "pot place" yet the black population there is tiny. Many non-blacks  smoked weed in high school, smoked it in college, still smoke it now that they are "respectable"citizens and smoke it at rock concerts.  In their experience they may have encountered more than one black weed dealer, but enough to suggest that any random black person is dealing?

Once again people with likely little knowledge of black culture other than Bob Marley, "Jamaica mon", rap videos and rap songs feel entitled to treat what they see as our common reality. The next person who asks me about weed is gonna get a piece of my mind.  I'll give them something to confirm the "angry black woman" stereotype. 

Have any of you been pre-judged for wearing your hair in its natural state?

Whatddya Know Sisterlocks in Edmonton

I ran into another locked lady with sisterlocks today, I was surprised to find out that there is a certified sisterlock installer in Edmonton at a store named Rhema in Edmonton. Her hair was gorgeous and kind of made me wish I hadn't went with traditional locks--oh well.

For those of you that want more info contact the store Rhema, you can find the number on the internet. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Locs - Get the Gunk Out

Build up happens.

If you notice your locks are getting dull this could be a reason why.

The next time you wash your hair, take some time to look in the mirror and take your nails and squeeze them down the lock, if you have a lot of creamy stuff coming out it may be time for clarification.

I like Neutrogena clarifying shampoo.  I wet my hair thoroughly, squeeze some of the water out and use a heavy spraying bottle and put half water and half Neutrogena clarifying shampoo in it.  I shake it up to make it nice and sudsy and then spray my locs with it.  I do it in sections so I can really scrub my hair well, because I want the shampoo to penetrate the loc.  After I've scrubbed my hair really well I keep the suds on my hair for about 10 minutes.  Then I agitate my hair and rinse rinse rinse and then I rinse and rinse and rinse (I'm sure you get the point) Then I check by running my nails over my locs to make sure that no gunk is coming out.  If your hair has a lot of build up you may have to do this process over a few weeks to get it all out.

If my hair is really gunky I rinse it with water, take about 2 tablespoons of baking soda and water and make a runny paste in my hands.  I then rub it all over my hair.  Do not think that adding more baking soda will make your hair cleaner, it will leave turn your hair white and then you will have more rinsing out to do.  After I've lightly coated my hair with baking soda then I spray it with the clarifying shampoo and scrub.

I follow up with an Apple Cider Vinegar rinse.  I use 2 tablespoons per 1 cup of warm water and add about 2 tablespoons of honey and stir it until it dissolves. If you use cold water you will have a harder time dissolving the honey. The honey helps to make my hair shiny.  Then I throw it over my hair.  The Apple Cider Vinegar offers further clarification and adds to the shine of the locs.  I do not rinse it out.  It smells funny but the smell goes away as the hair dries.

I then follow up with a light misting of a mix of olive oil, water, jojoba oil glycerine and leave in conditioner. I like Garnier Fructese it's cheap, smells nice and makes my locs feel soft.

Then Voila! Clean, moisturized, and shiny locs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

So you want to (dread)lock your hair? Or your child's hair?

This is just a hodge podge of things to consider, I am not speaking with regards to those that wear locks for religious reasons, or specifically to organic hair lockers or free-formers.

Some people start locks and "drop out" not because they don't want them but because they didn't know what to expect or what to do. 

Societal considerations:

Will your employer be O.K with it? Will new employers be O.K with it?
Will your school or sports team be O.K with it?
Do you realize that some people may stereotype you as a weedhead, revolutionary or something they perceive as negative?
Are you aware that some people will try and discourage you and start spewing myths like locs are dirty, unprofessional or unattractive?
Are you aware that you may be ridiculed for choosing a style that is not"conventional"?

There are several ways to start locks so do some research... some common ways of starting are microbraiding, twisting and interlocking.

If you are especially active e.g sweat a lot or swim a lot you probably want to consider starting with microbraids or interlock, early phase twists come out pretty easily.

Sisterlocks are a whole different kind that are very very small and usually have to be done by a professional.


Depending on the method you choose and how long you've had your locks,  if you change your mind you may be able to comb them out.  With interlock you most likely not be able to.

If you change your mind you will have to grow your hair out for a bit without retwisting it and cut your locks off.


"good looking" locks don't happen over night.  There will be stages where your hair sticks up, you can't do much with them, they look fuzzy etc. You can embrace the journey, but you may feel frustrated at some point but they will lock and look lovely!

Keep in mind that everyones locks will look different.

Locking hair takes time it can take months even a year and up to get them really locked up, it doesn't mean that they cannot look nice in the main time.

In the initial phase you may not be able to wash your hair for a while, there are "dry shampoos" that will help to keep your hair clean  Filthy hair doesn't have to be a part of the locking process at anytime.

In the initial phases you may experience itchy scalp.  This is somewhat normal and you have to play around to find a product that doesn't irritate your scalp as much.  You may have to massage your scalp at times to reduce the itching and support scalp stimulation since you will no longer be combing or brushing your hair. 

Parts and sizing:

If you think at one point you may want to style your locks pay attention to the part size and placement, part the hair in a neat pattern that suits you.

Make your parts to basically match the thickness of the locks you want.  Keep in mind that as your locks mature they will thicken up a little bit.

If someone is starting them for you ask them specifically how they are going to part your hair, tell them how big you want your locs so they don't just start doing something you don't want. Make them show you and tell them what you want!

There are a lot of beautiful lock styles out there. 


I'm sorry but locks and lint go hand and hand.

Are you willing to cover your hair at night, sleep on a satin pillow or avoid  wooley linty materials?
Are you willing to try and avoid getting them sandy?
Are you willing to commit to washing them and keeping them clean yet keeping them moisturized?
Are you willing to ensure they are dried properly to try and avoid mold..yes mold


Do you know how to do your choosen method of retightening e.g . twisting, palm rolling or interlocking?
Are you willing to learn?
Are you willing to pay to have it done?
How often you retighten is up to you and how your hair grows, but avoid doing it too often it can lead to thinning locks.


It may take a while to find the right products it comes down to trial and error, some people simply twist with oil and water or lemon juice and others use store bought products.

Are you willing to switch to clear shampoos and other things that will not build up in your locks?

Are you willing to at least try and avoid things like mineral oil and petroleum to try and avoid lint and build up?


Take some time search some blogs, join a few forums and check out  Youtube to see what others have to say.  There is a lot of really great information out there.

Research involves those "just in case" scenerios like

What to do if a dreadlock breaks off, you can sew it back on among other things
How to conceal lint?
How to make your locks larger

Monday, May 31, 2010

Sunscreen and vitamin D deficiency

I'm not one to lay out in the sun and I only tend to wear sunscreen on my face, which seems to be a good thing.

Studies have shown that people who always wear sunscreen often suffer from vitamin D deficiency.  Vitamin D is needed for absorption and utilization of calcium and phosphorus in the body -- both also essential to the health of the skeleton.

I was surprised to find that many black people suffer from vitamin D deficiency, but it turns out that black skin produces less vitamin D than light skin.  I'm not sure that it is needed for us to wear head to toe sunscreen all of the time. In this day and age it seems that people are especially concerned with protecting the skin of their children.  If they do not burn easily and will not be out in direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time, it may do them some good to let the go outside with out it, at least from time to time.

I have not heard that sunscreen is harmful, but when I read the ingredients I am pretty weary of covering myself with it, even though I will continue to use it on my face when I go in the sun for long periods of time.

Dark skin: Dark skin produces less vitamin D than light skin. The risk of vitamin D deficiency is especially high in dark-skinned people who live far from the equator. In the U.S., 42% of African American women between 15 and 49 years of age were vitamin D deficient compared to 4% of white women. The problem is more severe in persons of African origin who live in Canada
Vitamin D deficiency can be serious if untreated, because it can lead to a variety of conditions, diseases and disorders. These include rickets, osteomalacia (adult rickets) and osteoporosis. Complications of vitamin D deficiency include bone fractures and disability. Current research suggests that vitamin D deficiency may also be linked to the development of hypertension, depression, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and an increased risk of cancer.