Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dry, Shedding Locks

About six months or more ago I began noticing more than normal shedding when washing my hair. The ends seemed ragged with lots of little balls on the ends. I had gone through the "balls on the end" stage already and didn't know why this was occuring. I thought it was just another part of the locking process.

When I went in for my retightening in April, Gigi said my ends were in bad shape. She suggested that I let her trim them. I agreed.

Here's the shedding after several washes back in March '08.

I also noticed that the highlighted locks were coming undone, the ends apparently damaged. I've since learned that highlighting is very harsh because the locks are bleached. If you'll recall from earlier posts, Gigi isn't a proponent of color or highlights, but I was hard headed. My locks seemed to do well with the initial set of highlights. But my colorist convinced me that I should get them done again before my wedding. Against my better judgement, I listened.

At first I wasn't all that concerned, but I began to see more and more shedding each time I washed or ran my fingers through my hair and it seemed brittle and dry. One evening after washing my hair and being disgusted with the unraveling, unsightly bleached ends, I started cutting them off. I just wanted them out of my head!

At my last retightening, Gigi wasn't so happy with me taking the scissors to my locks. She suggested that I moisturize more and assured me all would be well again in time.

I've used color successfully before and since locking so I really can't attribute all of my hair concerns to the color. I only noticed issues after the bleaching (highlights). Additionally, the last six months have been hectic and stressful with the move, new marriage, new home, new job, new state, new husband, not being able to maintain my locks as consistently as I have because I'm out of state from my consultant and not drinking my wheat grass smoothies. I'm certain all of those things combined have added to the stress not only in my life, but on my tresses as well.

But all's not loss. I've been using the Sisterlocks Moisturizing Treatment, twice a month. I've stopped coloring and I'm using a rinse instead. I'm trying several different natural moisturizers which I'll highlight and share with you in an upcoming post.

My locks already look and feel better and although I'm still shedding, there's noticeably less. I washed, conditioned and moisturized tonight. Here are tonight's shedding results, much less than previously.

I still trimmed some ends that were irritating me.

Here's what some of the ends that I've trimmed look like. I'd much rather have this than the unsightly, damaged highlighted ends. And I have so much hair I can easily hide the cut ends among all the other hair. Or just curl them when I style.

But hey, no worries! My locks overall remain fairly healthy, especially the ones in the back where there were no highlights. I would be doing an injustice to those contemplating locking or newly locked if I only showed pictures of pretty, perfect locks and never talked about the challenges one might encounter. Afterall, this is Natural Awakenings. We learn and grow along with our locks. Besides, I grew them once, I can grow them again. I still LOVE MY SISTERLOCKS!!!

If anyone has suggestions on other products I can try, please feel free to write.

Click on all pictures for greater details.


naturalnicky said...

I'm sorry to hear that your ends are breaking but glad to hear to you are still loving your locks. I know that we sometimes take our hair for granted. I guess our hair starts screaming for attention after a while of us ignoring its needs. I'm sorry that I don't know of any good moisturizers for this condition but I think that getting back to drinking your smoothies will help in giving your hair some of the nutrients that it needs.
Congrats on your recent marriage and the start of a new life. Here's the best wedding gift that I can give you and your husband. I encourage you both to read the book "Love and Respect" by Emmerson Eggerich. It is the absolute best book written to create a successful and blessed marriage. Best wishes to you and your hubby.

Khandi said...

Thank you for sharing your experience. I want to streak my hair but to make the colour take i was thinking of bleaching it first. I know that you said it was a combination of things that contributed to your experience but i think it would make me think twice esp as my babys are only yr old.

I am lookin for a good mosituriser for my locs. A lot of the ones i see ppl mention on their blogs i cannot get in the UK.

Happiest Nappy said...

Hey Blaq,

You really do keep it real with your SL experience. I still am afraid of the coloring process due to past experience when I had chemically processed hair...but, that is a different post.

I HAVE to use a rinse because I can really be GREY without it. I use Wella's Presentation Demi-Permanent Hair Coloring. It is not harsh on my hair. I try to do it maybe every 6 weeks or so because of the grey new growth. I have learned it is the only thing that works for me at this point. I started using it after a bad experience with dye in my permed hair. Using it on my SLs proves beneficial. I take extra time to rinse though to get the residual out.

Okay, also, moisturizing. I have returned to using Nexxus Humectress. It makes THE difference for my SLs being "softer" since my hair is already soft, I use it when I notice dryness & stiffness. Maybe that will help. It smells nice too.

Your SLs are BEAUTIFUL! They just are. Be blessed!

V @ Locks-N-Motion said...

Hey Blaq,
I'm sorry that you are having trouble with some of your locks, I know it will pass. I also want to thank you for sharing this story, because I am anzious to dye my hair, but I will do more research before doing so. As far as conditioner, I think the Fantasia IC Reconstructor is a good product. It doesn't actually say conditioner on the bottle, it's a one-minute intensive hair treatment. However I use it as a conditioner and I'm happy with the results I get.

Wendi aka "Wendosa" said...

Thanx for that update. I am so busy waiting for the day I can color and highlight now I will just be patient. I know I have to rid myself of the dark roots eventually but I will think twice prior to highlighting. I am 6mos into a 2nd set of sisterlocs so I'm not trying to rock the boat at all. I am still waiting for ends to seal etc. I love your blog. Keep doing your thing!

JUST Euphoria said...

Hey Blaq, thanks for such great info I am so thankful for who ever invented blogging, cause had not you posted this very helpful info there would be some hot mess locks floating around. It makes me think twice about bleaching cause I so wanted to bleach bleach!! one has a tendancy to think that natural hair is tougher then boot leather. I haven't made it to the moisture level (3 month locked)so I can't help you on that, I am so shocked at what's happening to your hair but from one newly wed 2 another I know what the added stress can do so I can pray for you on the stress issues.

Anonymous said...

Even though you've had alot of stress, hair loss and cutting has occurred your locks are still as gorgeous as ever!!!

I too need to start conditioning my locks more often. I know many rave about olive oil treatments...

I just love your blog!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with the rest of us. It was so enlightening to know that you overcome the struggle but that you were honest. I was thinking of getting a recolor because of all my new growth in the front but I guess I will not. I'm going to try and use the rinse to cover my front.

KnottyAuthor said...

thanks for sharing, sis...this is a sensitive issue! i am scared of coloring for this reason! every couple of months -afterwards-seems to be regrets when i follow a locker....maybe henna one day...maybe

Chocolata said...

Blaq, thank you so much for this post. I have been vacillating for two of the almost three years I have had my locks over coloring or not. My loctician has beautiful professionally colored locs, and I have always admired your locs and color, but I had a bad experience w/ color in my past which has kept me from going there thus far, and this just solidified it for me. I still think your locs look lovely, but I'm thinking I'd better leave well enough alone.

Thanks again for your honesty and candor.

Docs Locs said...

Thank for sharing and in such great detail. I haven't been by lately and am just getting to this post.

I have this great fear of coloring or at least lightening that requires that my natural color be lifted.

I could be tempted to lighten just a few locs around my face - but not yet - and only after committing to a super-conditioning regimen like yours!

(Loved your follow up post as well - yes, your locs are still gorgeous as ever!)

Blaquegoddess said...

Peace Queen, the issue of color is such a touchy one for us. Herbatint goes 2 shades above the shade you have and is very safe and affordable. Since I to crave color and sassy looking loc's I have found Herbatint the best way to go. You can find the products in Whole Foods Market and most of the top health food stores and check out the wesite for all the product info.
Wowwwwwwww Blaq your life changes sound like mine my son was killed and I sold my house ,moved back north have a new Beau and life is coming back around for me, wishing you and your fam much love and happiness for the new year!

Anonymous said...

Hi BlaqKofi,

I really enjoy reading about you SL experiences. I was considering puting highlights in my hair and am greatful to come accross your blog before doing so. I will stay clear of highlights. Thanks!

As far as products, I have discoverd Carol's Daughter's healthy hair butter. It smells, feels and looks so good on my SLs and they are adequately moisturized too.

-Oluremi (I met you at Gigi's customer appreciation on V-day 2009)

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Unknown said...

I usually take care my hair because i consider we can project a good image specially when we have a meeting with our partner or when you need talking about some busines. Actually i am participatin in costa rica investment opportunities and i need to look very good.

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