Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sisterlocks Class Comes to Charlotte

I attended the SLs retightening class this past Saturday and wow, what an experience!! The energy, the attitudes, the professionalism ... all off the chain! I made some wonderful connections there. Just further testimony to the life-changing power of the Sisterlocks lifestyle. And of course I learned a lot too. Roxanne (pictured directly below) was our instructor and she gave us a lot of SLs tips that went beyond retightening (e.g., general and specific care, coloring, styling). She was so professional, beautiful (these pics really don't do her justice) and real.

I also got to meet Blenna Williams, imho a famed SL certified trainer and consultant. Blenna was leading the SL consultant training class and actually just stopped by to introduce herself to our class. Her personality is so alive and upbeat, she reminds me of my consultant who she happens to know and gave me messages to take back to her. She was also wearing one of our own -- beaut1ful1's -- Tomoka's Twists!! It looked gorgeous on her already gorgeous locks! Well you know I was fit to be tied because I'd been looking for ms. beaut1ful1 from the time I walked into class that morning. For some reason I thought her class was going to join ours for the Retightening segment, but that wasn't the case. I sent word back w/Blenna to be sure to have the sister she knew as "Carmen" come by and see me, which she did but my class was in progress so, other than some quick hugs and peeks at her merchandise, I had to wait until my class was over and she returned from lunch. It was worth the wait to see her though y'all. It was obvious to see how Beaut1ful1 came by her name. She is a truly beautful sistah visually as well as the beauty you can feel from her wonderful, beaming, bubbly, shining spirit (yes, she is all that and then some). Her pictures (below) don't do her justice. I walked her back to class and asked Blenna if we could please have someone take a pic of us before I had to leave. Little did I know that our photo shoot would take place at the front of the class - LOL! In any case, Beaut1ful1 has a better pic of us hugging at the front of the room, which I'm sure she'll post. Actually just meeting her alone made my day!!

So, what else did I learn you ask? I learned that beaut1ful1 and I, to our TOTAL amazement, were the only sistahs there that were aware of LIU!! From what she told me, no one beaut1ful1 had spoken to in her class so far that day knew LIU existed and no one in my class had ever heard of it. How could this be, we wondered? How were they able to start and/or progress through their SLs journey without LIU?!?!?! They'd never heard of some of the names/blogs we threw out at them, the Sisterlocks stars of "our world"??!! Okay, so maybe beaut1ful1 and I have very small worlds, but whatever ... we passed the word on now, so hopefully there will be a deluge of additional LIU members signing up within the next few days.

I also learned that there is no way in the heck, no way, no how that I am ever going to sit down with the intention of retightening my hair. Now don't get me wrong, I was intrigued by the process and very glad to have learned it. Roxanne even told me I'd done a great job with both tools. And to be honest, I'd always known since way before I signed up for the class that my only intention was to gather enough knowledge to perhaps retighten my edges from time to time. Well guess what? N-O-T!! When I got home, I still felt confident about the sectioning, the pattern, everything involved. But watching a movie or not, just finding my center parts took more time than I ever wanted to spend on the entire task. Listen y'all, one of the main reasons I got SLs was to be able to have a beautiful "do" as the result of spending as little time as possible on my hair. Because of weekday and weeknight commitments, my weekends are about the only time I have to play catchup on household and fun things. As it as, the big task for this past Sat night was to braid & band, wash, separate, curl and dry. Yes, we're talking all night already. I just wasn't feeling the idea of adding an attempt at retightening a lock or two to the list. And no, I didn't have time to start earlier that day or any other. And no, I can't crochet or look through a mag while I'm retightening my own hair. So I sat right here in my bedroom Sat night and left word for my consultant to move my 2-week appointment up to this coming week if at all possible. LOL! I don't even feel bad about it. I would have always wanted to know how to do it, and as I said earlier, the sisters I got to meet in addition to the retightening and other SL knowledge I gained, were well worth the investment. Definitely there was nothing wasted. Check out some of my classmates below.

I think my consultant is going to try to fit me in on Wednesday. Hmmmmm, I can't wait to catch her up on my class experience and what's been going on in her life while I crochet, look up at the tv now and again, and relax while I get my locks retightened. Aaaahhhhh ....

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Charlotte SLs Gathering

We had a small but fun meeting here in Charlotte, this past Saturday a.m. Catina and I had Sisterlocks and Tonya had Interlocks. We each had so much to share about: when we first heard of SLs, when we made that VIP decision to get locked, experiences with our consultants, on and on. I love Catina's SLs. Even though they're "just" 3 months old, they look more mature and, as much as I love my own process and my decision to start with permed ends, her locks definitely had me thinking twice about that decision (lol!). They're just so thick and lovely and once again, I marveled at how different and wonderful SLs look on each of us. Tonya gave us a schooling on the entire Interlocks process. Now it could be because I'm still a newbie, but I was hard-pressed to see a visual difference between SLs and Interlocks. Her hair was quite cute and I'm not mad at her for spending a considerable less chunk of change and time in the chair than I did for the installation of her locks . :-) I forgot to ask her, but I hope Tonya will post some info (website link, etc.) on LIU about her locking process. I'm not sure how new this process is, but the web searches I've done don't even come close to describing what she has.

We are all looking forward to our next gathering so that we can see in person the progress we've each made on our journey. We're also hoping for a larger turnout the next time.

Okay, I know you're wondering cuz I would be too -- where are the pics?? Well, in my defense, I DID pack my camera and I DID bring it into the coffeeshop. However, I was so enthralled with the other ladies and their locking experiences, that it wasn't until I was driving away from our meeting spot that I realized I never pulled the darned thing out!! Never fret though, we already know that we will have another Charlotte gathering, hopefully before the end of 2007, and I will definitely not forget to pull out the camera while we're together the next time.

Back to Braiding & Banding (aka B&B)

About 1.5 months ago I was given permission by my consultant to discontinue banding and braiding. At that point my SLs were going on 8 months. The first time I washed without B&B, I panicked because I experienced significant slippage with the locks at the back of my head; the front locks were just fine. So we agreed that the next time I washed, I would B&B, and that the next time I washed, right before my next retightening, I would not B&B. Well that sounded good to me since that was also when I planned to color my hair and we’d already agreed that I should do that only if I could plan it right before my next retightening session (most of you have already read about my coloring debacle, if not, you can check it out right here on my blog). So between the results of my hair coloring experience and the couple of times I washed without B&B, my consultant and I have decided that I need to return to B&B for a while. I am more than happy to do this for a couple of reasons. First, and probably the most obvious, is that I don’t want to experience slippage at any cost. Second, the only time I experienced bunching and/or tangling with my permed ends is when I didn’t B&B. True, B&B takes extra time, but I really don’t mind anymore because I just get much better results with my permed ends and no slippage. In truth, I’d escaped B&B for the first few months because my consultant always washed my hair. So it’s not like I’ve been doing it “forever”. I know one day I’ll be able to enjoy the freedom of no B&B, once my SLs become more settled and then locked. But for now, the extra time is worth what I receive in peace of mind. I don’t know exactly how much longer I’ll need to B&B, but I assume that I’ll continue at least until my consultant gives me the okay to do away with my permed ends.

Lucky for me, several months ago I got a couple of wonderful tips on B&B from Sistalocd's blog. Namely, I use the clips shown below all around my hairline. They do a remarkable job of keeping my most delicate locks from slipping. I also love using the terry cloth bands below. They're much easier to remove than rubber bands and safer for my hair. Another tip that I picked up somewhere along the way is to not braid my hair to the very end. I used to do this in the beginning and it made unbraiding each wet section a real hassle. Now I leave about ½” open at the ends and band it all up.

Oh, one more thing I prefer about B&B is that, while I really detest having to separate my locks after washing, B&B makes it a lot easier for me to do; seems like not as many locks get caught up in each other when I B&B. Here's a picture of one section of my hair taken loose from B&B after washing.