I unlocked…. kind of

Those of you that follow @OohMyHair on Twitter know that a couple of weeks ago, I jumped off the loc wagon. It took some concentration and a half a bottle of: Taliah Waajid- The Great Detangler

There are thousands of videos and blogs on how to do this, so I will get down to the WHY behind my decision.

There’s a piece of me that blames you. ūüôā In this time of sharing what I’ve learned and love about having natural hair I began to miss my hair like crazy. Even the business cards that I’ve been covering the world with have a great big fluffy, perfectly imperfect Afro. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

The versatility of loose natural hair is what made me fall in love in the first place. Even in the in-between stages, there are so many styles, twists and pin-ups that keep you feeling cute and sassy. I felt like I looked like Celie (Color Purple) every single day I woke up. I have very strong Motherland features, so it doesn’t take much to make me look like Addy (American Girl).

The individuality of loose natural hair was another love point. It’s hard to find someone with my “hair style”. Even if we are styled the same, my texture brings in my own flavor. I walked around with my locs, and it seemed like everybody in the world had not just my hair…. but a better version of what I was trying to do. It drove me insane.

Lastly, I had a bad case of Hand in Loc syndrome. I’ve styled and played with my hair ever since I can remember. (There’s a few photos of me at age 4-6 standing on the bathroom counter with my hands in my hair… I’ll try to get Mom to dig them out.) I hate to know what I’m going to look like day in day out. I need to be able to match my mood with not just my outfit, but my hair. It’s hardwired into my DNA, I’m certain.

Great big deal: ¬†most of my outfits were selected with the Fro in mind, so the locs just messed up the lines visually and detracted from the over all Stun factor that I was going for. I spent my excursion in Toronto feeling BLAH. That’s no good.

In all I appreciate what I was able to learn from my 6 months. I had to just deal with my insecurity and own it. I found a way to activate my inner Diva, even though I never felt like the outside matched. I didn’t hide away in the house. I traveled and met new people both things that I used to have a hard time getting comfortable with, believe it or not. My locs made me fearless and for that I’m grateful.

I just needed to have my hair back.

As always, ask questions when it stops making sense. Thanks for staying on the path with me. I’ve had a chance to work on the product line more and my test subjects are in LOVE. Still working out a few kinks ūüėČ but I hope to bring you something that you’re going to absolutely LOVE. Because you deserve it.

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Front Labels vs Back Labels

Shelf Life (Kallisti)

Shelf Life (Kallisti) (Photo credit: Topsy@Waygood)

This post is for everyone on the natural journey. Those of us living the loc life, the beginners and the vets.

We selected our paths and lifestyles in many cases seeking a better way of going about accepting and managing what we were born with. We are a group of people constantly seeking hair truths, the proper products, foods and fabrics that are conducive to our respective journeys.

With that, there are lots of marketing executives that are aware of the trigger words that draw our attention to a product. They grab our attention with blurbs like:

  • “paraben free”
  • “no mineral oil”
  • “olive oil infused”
  • “with Shea butter”

However I challenge you to flip to the back label most mass-produced cosmetics contain preservatives and chemicals that extend the shelf-life. Seek the labels that contain the least unrecognizable names on the back label. Beyond the links to cancer and skin conditions, often these products put your hair in a dependent state, meaning the more you use them, the more you need to use them.

Lanolin for example, creates a soft feel immediately after being applied to the hair, however once fully absorbed the hair and scalp become extremely dry and in need of moisture, which causes you to use more product to alleviate the symptom. Usually this causes you to seek an entire moisture “system” and buy other products within the line to tailored to solve a problem they created.

Be a critical consumer. Know that you should not have to lock in to a “system” to achieve the look and feel you desire, and be aware that some of the “hair-mergencies” are caused by the fine print on the back of the packaging. Read that label!

The team here at OohMyHair.com has a lab/kitchen (a labitchen, since you know we love to make up words), and in this labitchen we hope to find the solution to hair care without any chemicals. We have a product still in the testing phase, but we were working on the labels today, and thought we should let you know what happens behind the scenes. After all, we are here to help.

As usual, ask questions when it stops making sense. Enjoy!

Transition in the mind…

Most of you know I’m on the Loc Journey. This is just about the most difficult hair decision I’ve ever had to make. This, I feel is more permanent than a relaxer. I have committed to one hairstyle, and that’s the first time I’ve ever done that in my entire life. When my hair was natural and FREE, I could have any style that I could imagine, and weave was not an option that the heat took off the table. Now I feel like the rebellious version of a “Side-part Under” (The Game, TV show¬†fans will catch that reference). I am aware that this takes patience and in time I will be able to rock the funky styles and welcome some beautiful indecision onto my head. This however feels like what I’d imagine jail feels like, which is not too hard to imagine since I’ve been in Navy boot camp.

There has to be someone out there that knows what I’m going through and has some advice. And if there is not a versatile loc solution, I may be forced to create one. What’s a Diva to do?

This is also the longest time that I’ve put nothing but Shea in my hair, which hopefully proves beneficial in the long run, but I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t miss the sweet smells of manufactured green products. I’ve been avoiding using products that my Loctician¬†doesn’t provide in an effort to not end up with locs that look dirty and stink. As I get things ready for the set I’m building (small-scale, don’t get too excited) I feel the jealousy welling up in the fact that I can’t PLAY anymore. Trust me ladies, if you’re starting your natural journey and not sure of how to feel, I’d insert lucky, because free hair is so much more fun!

Sorry to rant today, but I felt the need to let you know where I am on my own path. Hopefully you got a little laugh and some motivation. If you’re wondering about other Ooh News, we are working on getting things in place to do demos! It’ll take a while to get all the supplies, but in the meanwhile we will be conducting product reviews. Thanks for keeping up with us, and as always, ask questions when it¬†stops making sense. Enjoy!

Loc Life Thus Far

So I started this blog as a way to give back for the past decade of having natural hair. I’m starting on this journey with locs (sometimes referred to as dreadlocks).¬†I usually¬†am able to manipulate my curl pattern to submit to my will but this new phase in life is proving the exact opposite. I don’t believe there has been a time that I’ve been forced to¬†“deal with” my hair quite as¬†much as now.

Maintenance: Very low, there’s not much to do. My biggest decision in the morning is headband vs no headband. I cover my hair so much more now than ever before.

The Good: My hair is actually being left alone and allowed to grow. I cleanse my hair much more gently than before and I’ve reduced the amount of chemically enhanced¬†shampoo I introduce to¬†my scalp. Conditioner has become my friend. The health of my hair currently has not been matched in any other state. It never feels dry and my ends have a new life as the curly ornaments at the bottom of my locs.

The Bad:¬†I¬†have been a style heavy Fro rocker for years. I honestly miss being able to do a funky¬†pin-up and I’ve¬†acquired a case of ¬†Fro-envy every time I see fun Big hair. I’ve had to take my own advice dished out in “They’re All Going to Laugh At You” and throw on some earrings and go. Trust me I fully understood the difficulty when I wrote that piece.

The Ugly: There are some days that my hair decides that it wants to puff up/ unravel / do “The¬†Watusi” and there’s nothing that I can do. The game doesn’t change because I’m in the loc process, hair will do what it wants sometimes and now that I don’t have heat styling tools and wet setting at my disposal I’m forced to be content with whatever happens up there.

I’ve attached some photos to show my process. Usually this is the part that you ask questions when things stop making sense, but I’d love some support and advice since I’m the newbie in this realm.