Just Checking In

Hi All!

We’ve been so busy around here it sort of slipped under the radar but we are going to take a little time to talk about it in today’s post.  For some of you this is old news but for the newbies we just wanted to briefly touch on a few things.

 

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First I just wanted to highlight the Nappy Locs Quick Start Guide. It’s free to download for those that purchase the tool. It’s a one page guide that demonstrates the 2 pt pattern for tightening up those roots. It has the basic information you need to properly use the tool, so make sure you download the Nappylocs Quick Start Guide to tighten your dreadlocks, Braidlocz TM, Sisterlocks TM,  microlocs, interlocs etc. (Please note there are many patterns to tighten those roots, use the one that works best for you.)

 

The second item we wanted to highlight is painful retightnings-ouch! A long time ago before  we created the Nappylocs Tool TM, I dreaded having my locs retightened. My edges were on fire and I could feel my loctician try and force her tool to try and complete that rotation. Furthermore, sometimes my scalp itched afterwards. Bad News, your scalp should never itch or be sore after a retightening regardless of the tool you are using.  If you are forcing a tool that is wider than the area to be tightened up you may weaken or distort the strands of hair and possibly place undue pressure on the hair follicles themselves.
kareem loop closeup

 

The Nappylocs Tool TM  is thin and comes in multiple sizes to accommodate the multiple part and loc sizes. The correct sized tool is always smaller than your part size but large enough to hold the loc. You can even squeeze the pinch for a tighter hold  and  on occasion we do customize them for larger hands, work specific designs, etc. However for most people- including myself- the standard tool works fine.

 

The third and final item we’d like to briefly address is the importance of keeping those locs moisturized. We prefer to tighten slightly damp hair either after shampooing or spritzing with the DEW when hair is dry. The DEW has extra softening ingredients along with essential oils that help to keep the hair fresh, moisturize as well as seal. Water alone can’t compete. DEW is  also great for a quick cold set and blow dry for anyone with natural hair.

 

So tighten up, but do it painlessly.

Mo’ Hair Gro’ Hair

From our founder:
This morning my mind wandered a bit…

I was sitting in the back of a small car as we, with our faces plastered against the windows, drove through town. I probably looked like a small town country girl on her first visit to the big city. Normally I lead a very quiet life typical of many SAHM’s of that time. Anyway, our cab had come to a stop  and a group of locals lead by a very pregnant, skin glistening with oil, young woman followed the very noisy and joyous celebration of family and friends of the impending new birth.  Our driver in a very thick french accent talked a little about this local custom. That was Abijan, Côte d’Ivoire.
West Africa

West Africa

Then I drifted back to memories like many of you, sitting on the floor and feeling the cool touch of the hair grease and the warmth of my mom’s fingers as she lined my parts. It felt sooo good; right before styling the inevitable scalp massage would follow. First along the temples, the kitchen and eventually the crown. Moms would always end these rituals with a blessing “mo’ hair, gro’ hair and indeed it did.
Interlocked hair before moisturizing

Hair before moisturizing

So this morning while looking in the mirror and reaching for my herbal growth that particular time, it reminded me, some of us (and I’ve been guilty too) don’t take the time out to oil and massage that scalp once locked. Before locked I brushed and combed which essentially stimulated my scalp daily. Not only does it feel good, it helps blood flow to those hair follicles and as well as spreads oils along the shaft.
Moisturized Dreadlocks

Moisturized Nappylocs

You Choose

Here at Nappylocs, we feel that being able to do your own hair is freedom. I can retighten my hair whenever and wherever I feel like it. I also don’t have to budget to go and get my hair done. So we started thinking, what if we invested that money every month instead of getting it relaxed or braided? Being the nerd that I am, I got out a spreadsheet to do the math.

Assuming I spent $50 a month, I would have invested over $3,000 in the last 5 years. Believe me, $50 a month is low estimate; some places where I’ve lived it’s more than $100 a month. So here’s the deal, let’s say instead of going to a salon, I invested that $50 in Microsoft stock. Then it gets even more interesting.

Spent on your hair In your account

Return on investment

2005-2015 6050 9132

51%

2010-2015 3025 4191

39%

 

If I had taken that 50 bucks and invested it starting five years ago I would have had a 39% return on my investment. If I started investing in 2005, I would have made 51%. If I start now and get similar returns over the next 10 years, I could take that $6050 and turn it into $8852. Now I  do on occasion visit salons for special pampering, after all they are professionals. A good quality cut, color, or facial should be done by professionals. If you are unable to install your own locs by all means enlist their help or that of a family member or friend. (My mom has installed mine twice)

But for me, a young mother with small kids my time and my funds are more focused on my kids. Nappylocs allows me the freedom of doing my own hair during nap time, kids movies, and in between soccer classes.

Nappylocs at the Zoo

Flying Kites with Nappylocs

 

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Disclaimer: We are not financial professionals, this is not intended as financial advice, and we are not endorsing Microsoft specifically. Please seek a financial adviser for investment information.

My Kili Trip

We set up the blog to provide tips about what we do with our hair and our products but it can become quite boring for you to read and for us to write if that’s all we discuss. So please bear with us as we attempt to move beyond the hairstyle and encourage you as well as ourselves to embrace our natural beauty while enjoying life. A member of our family recently had the chance to go to Mount Kilimanjaro, and this is what he told us about it.
Hike in Washington State

Hike in Washington State

They said that the best way to prepare for Kili was for me to go hiking; pack my backpack full, strap on my boots and hit the trail. I tried to go somewhere new every weekend, but a hard bike ride or a long run were good substitutes when I didn’t have much time.

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There were 11 of us in total; most of us were a few years out of college, but there was a couple in their 50s, often times leading the charge up the mountain.  We took lots of breaks to snack on some clif bars, drink water and bust out the jolly ranchers if things got really rough.
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During the breaks, some of the porters would try and talk to me in Swahili. I smiled and shook my head, in which they often replied “You speak English? Ahhh Rasta! Peace and love man”.
 We were walking excruciatingly slow and I was still out of breath, it was extremely cold at night, and I had altitude headaches most evenings. But the biggest hurdle was on summit day, after walking for several hours I realized still had miles and miles to go. The peak still looked like a tiny speck in the distance. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done (and possibly ever will do), but the view of the sunrise at the top, and finally reaching the sign at the roof of Africa made it all worth it.

 

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Samurai Bun

We want to start documenting more quick dreadlock styles that we wear as we are out and about.  Owner and founder, Debra is always picking up supplies and shipping orders, but when the weather is nice you can always find her at the local park, and usually this is how she wears her hair.

Samurai Bun 3

To get the look first hold your hair like you are going to start a ponytail at the back of the head ( but high enough to get your locs off your neck). Then fold the hair under creating a simple bun. Lastly she adds a ponytail holder with a big embellishment on it right under the fold.

Samurai Bun 2

The added ponytail holder takes this trail ready look up a notch for where ever we end up after the park!

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My Re-tightening Routine

Wash with Baby Locs

Wash with Baby Locs

 

A lot has been said about loc maintenance and interlocking. Too much even. When retightening your new growth, some people use dread wax or cocoa butter. Others say you should never put anything on your locs or else you’ll never, ever, ever be able to wash it out. Well after 15 years of loving my locs, I can tell you what works for me. I always start with a good clarifying shampoo like Baby Locs, that way my hair is wet, and my locs are soft.

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Little Oil

A Little Oil

After drying them with a towel, I put just a little liquid oil on the ends to seal in the moisture while it’s still wet.My favorite is Sunshine Oil, its light, smells great, and it’s all natural.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add Sunshine Oil

Add Sunshine Oil

I try to remember to start re-tightening in the back. With two toddlers and another still in diapers it’s guaranteed that I’ll have to stop and make a sandwich or run an errand. If I go too long without doing the back those locs can get weak from wearing my hair down most of the time.

When I get back to retightening the front and sides a day or two will have passed. The first thing I do then is spray my locs with the Dew Moisture Spray, and now we have even more options (favorite fragrance is the Crisp). I always want to retighten my hair while it’s damp. If it’s dry I end up snapping hairs, my loops don’t get stacked evenly, and I’ll end up needing to take an Advil when I’m done. Speaking of being tender headed, I try not to retighten all the way down to the scalp. I know some people like to be able to see their scalp after a fresh retightening session, but I find that if it’s too tight, after a while the stress will cause the hairs to shed, and I’ll end up being able to see all the tiny white hair follicles. It makes your locs look dirty and the only solution I’ve found for that is hair color.

 

 

Pipe Cleaner

Pipe Cleaner

Since my hair will be damp when I’m finished, I try and do some quick pipe cleaner curls to change it up a bit. It’s funny I get just as many complements on the “style” with the pipe cleaners in as I do after I take them down.

 

 

 

 

How do you re-tighten your locs? Are there other tips or techniques that have worked for you over the years? Let us know in the comments!

Pipe Cleaner Curls

Pipe Cleaner Curls

Why did we start this business?

I wore natural hair off and on for years. In the fifth or six grade I wanted to wear my hair like Angela Davis. But every Saturday, all day, my mom would take me to see Daisy who would press the fart out of my hair. I would always leave her shop with a tender scalp. Then during the week, I would sweat it out playing kickball or running only to have to go back to see Daisy on Saturday.

 

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Angela Davis emphasized being aware of your own beauty and I was crazy about it. The last time I got it pressed, I turned around and washed it out and tried to wear an Afro. My mom was mad, but she let me try a new style.

 

 

That afternoon we went to the barbershop and had all the damaged hair cut off. Ray was so scared to cut my hair, but not long after that my mom was rocking her own TWA. When I had my daughter I wanted her to know that her hair and features were beautiful, and I wanted her to go out and play without worrying about ruining her hair. I also wanted to pass on the tradition of natural hair. And that’s how Nappylocs started.

mom and nel black n white

My Mom and Daughter with their natural Hair