For the Fathers

For the last six weeks like many of you I’ve been riveted as we watch our nation go through this season of growing pains. I don’t know about you but for me everything is off, I’m behind in my gardening, I missed my Mothers Day post, Memorial Day celebrations have come and gone, and now Father’s Day is upon us. In a way, in this season of change is much like the spring weather here in the midwest. I’ve witness lightening while snowing, snow at easter, extreme heat, tornados, and gentle rains. But here in the MO and particularly in the land of the “big canoe” or  the “show me state” after the storm we are witnessing change and hopefully peace that comes after the storm.

This Memorial Day season I find myself reflecting back on the images I experienced as a little girl riding in the back of my dad’s old cadillac, undulating along those 2 lane highways of southern MO, Memphis, ending in Clarksdale Miss. That was in the early 60’s. I can remember as a small girl listening with my grandma on her radio and hearing the voices of King and Kennedy, but I digress…
I’ve been very fortunate, no blessed by having strong and powerful male influences as a kid. I’m not saying that I’ve arrived, heck no, but I’d just like to take a second and honor my dad. He was the son of a sharecropper, with barely an “8th grade education.” I can remember him going back to night school, working six days a week doing back breaking labor in demolition and in  steel sometimes working two jobs to feed his family. He often told us that he could teach us to work hard with our hands but he wanted us go to school and work hard with our minds. My dad had dirty jobs back in the day, when there was no OSHA. He is a man’s  MAN.
double roll nappylocs double roll nappylocs double roll nappylocs
I know some of you are doing double duty, this is not a slight against you. I’d just like to give props to the dads, the men and the fellas that are holding it down for their love one’s and making the little ones like me “daddy’s girl” or boy, or niece, or nephew, or cousin or friend…..

Wish me luck!

The one question that I see most often on message boards and Facebook groups is whether locs and being active go together. Especially in the summer,  you’re out there running, swimming, playing tennis, you want to wash your hair after a good workout….you know…. get on with life. Nappylocs absolutely works for me.

Back in highschool and college I was on the track team, so after sweating and walking around campus all day, I would head over to practice. I was a thrower, and I loved it! Believe it or not I still hold several records in the shot put and the discus throw. It was during my first season doing the weight throw, I earned the nickname Hercu-lisa.
Weights
Well after three kids, my core is no where near as tight as it once was. This fall will be the first season, in what feels like a long time, that I can buy clothes without worrying about whether or not I can nurse in it, or if it will fit a month later. So in celebration, I am getting back out there. I decided to do the Dirty Girl Mud Run in a few weeks, and to prepare, I’m lifting weights again, dusting off my Zumba DVD’s, and jogging a little bit. And it feels good. Really good. You know that ache you get on the day after you lift  heavy, and every stretch feels like magic? I missed that.
Nappylocs style loc style dreadlock style
Wish me luck!

Be You

There it stood in front of me, one of my favorite trees in our back yard. It was summer and this particular morning I had on my obligatory denim cut off jean and my brand new red gingham blouse. I loved that tree back then; to a kid of about 6 or so it seemed 50 feet tall. Well, I couldn’t stand it any longer so I managed somehow to hoist myself onto that first branch.

Photo Credit: CaseyTrees.org

Photo Credit: CaseyTrees.org

 The bark was sort of black, with grooves and gobs of a thick jelly long the branches. I managed to climb up to a couple of loaded branches. I looked around and surveyed our yard as well as our neighbors’ and it looked pretty cool being taller than everything else for once. But eventually, that deep peachy fragrance and that thick fuzz just called out to me to grab one of those softball sized gems and take a bite. And that I did. Best peach EVER! It was soft juicy, sweet and fuzzy all at the same time. After devouring the first peach I whipped off my pretty new blouse (back then we wore t shirts underneath) placed a few peaches in it, climbed down and went back into the house. Oh, I forgot to mention I was allergic to the peach fuzz and would always itch like crazy. Did it stop me, NO! back then only tom boys or country girls climbed trees. My parents were flexible in some ways about the doing some boy type things but always reinforced positive female images which is the focus of this post images of beauty.
 
Styles and trends in fashion speak volumes to how women feel about themselves. Like some of you, I grew up watching Raquel Welch, Dianne Carroll, Sophia Loren, The Supremes and so forth, but Cicely Tyson (with that little Miles Davis era afro) was gorgeous. Her skin was like a beautiful sculpture with a brilliant megawatt smile. Oh, and the characters she portrayed on the big screen were admirable.

Back then, women in general had a very limited choice and power to influence our images of beauty. Today, TV and the economic power that women posses have changed (in some ways positively) our beauty standards. Beauty comes in all sizes, shapes, colors  and ethnicities. Life is beautiful in all of it’s diversity, so just be you.


On My Soap Box

There is nothing like driving a stick or manual for some of you. I get an absolute rush listening to that engine rev up as your body becomes one; manipulating that metal beast with four wheels. Then the deep guttural noises and at that perfect moment your ear tunes and your foot releases the clutch.

Nappylocs driving

So what does driving a stick have to do with hair? Well dagnabbit I will tell you. Here is my rant. This particular day I was driving my son’s hoopty, which is  so much fun to drive. Well this day, the sun is shinning, I’m wearing my favorite pair of old ray bans when I came to a stop.

Enjoying a summer drive

I noticed a young girl late teens with a crochet weave in her hair.  I love natural hair and I don’t judge weaves or wigs, they do have their place. But I felt a little upset because this tweeny bopper had a 1 inch wide part in her head.  Dang! It shouldn’t look like it hurts and young people especially should not have one inch wide parts. There are numerous people on YouTube demonstrating all types of techniques (braids/locs/weaves), from novices to professionals. BUYER BE WARE. I am seriously seeing techniques that could lead to long term damage to those hair follicles.

If you purchase the Making Dreadlocks kit and decide to let someone else do your hair, you have the knowledge to at least understand what to expect. We also communicate with you after you’ve purchased the kit.  I can’t  tell you the number of times on YouTube where it is obvious the natural hair specialist never consulted with their client before the session. It’s as though the same practices that were criticized about relaxed hair services were simply transferred to the natural hair client.  Only natural products should be used on natural hair. Why? Natural products are both effective and gentle. When used properly there is no build up. 

Natural hair is supposed to give you freedom.  Get a consultation, get some test locs,

test nappylocs

look at their shop or space, are their tools sterile, is their work  station sanitize, do they wash their hands between clients, and look at the ingredients label of items used on your hair. Do you really want to listen to gossip, poor tv choices, bootleg videos, drugs, and alternative religion while you are getting your hair done?

As the consumer it is your responsibility to ask and know what are they putting in and doing to your hair (as well as your brain.) This is an investment. These little kinky coils that we so lovingly cultivate are big business…and I’m not just referring to your  local hair dresser/barber. The big players have entered this arena. As I observe what’s going on I truly hope this natural hair revolution sticks and is for real, that this new crew understands and embraces our own unique beauty. I don’t know guys. It’s hard. Off my soap box ….

nappylocs long

Getting ready for summer

One thing that you might notice after a couple years is that your ends can start to lighten from being in the sun. I know ombre is the trend, but I would like to keep my hair dark. For just a quick change in pace I went and picked some temporary color. I used Clairol Beautiful Collection Moisturizing Color in the past with good results, so I went to Sally’s and purchased three bottles.

Hair Color

 

Locs tend to soak up the color, so buy a little extra. I followed the directions on the bottle, and voila. I only use semi permanent color. I would definitely see a professional stylist if I wanted to go lighter or wanted another color, or highlights. What are you doing to your hair as the weather gets warmer?

Before

Before

After

After

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I sprayed my hair with Dew and put it in bantu knots before bed to get a little body in the after picture 🙂

Nappylocs
Nappylocs

We are pleased to announce!

Starting today in the store we have a new promotion. For a limited time only we are giving away one free 1 ounce shampoo bottle with any purchase. Just choose which one you’d like to try and add it to your basket. This is a great opportunity to experience our sulfate and  paraben free  natural shampoos made with wholesome natural oils like almond, grapeseed, olive, and avocado. We love the way they smell, and since that’s a little harder to describe, try it for free on us!

Babylocs is a grape seed oil based shampoo great for locs that are 6 months or newer. It’s a gentle, tingly cleanser that can help reduce fresh locs slippage. Nappylocs is a coconut oil based clarifying formula for refreshing, deep cleansing, packed with essential oils like tea tree. If your locs are mature try the Softlocs. This is our sunflower oil based shampoo which has the perfect blend of gentle cleansers  and a soft fruity fragrance. And we haven’t forgotten the gents who wear locs. Ladies love our new MAN masculine fragrance.  Hey, our  guidelines are just a suggestion, so see what works for you.

We are confident that you will love these shampoos as much as we do. You can also purchase any of these shampoos in a kit at a great price. We know locs, we love locs, and we believe we make the best products for locs!

57 and workin' it!

57 and workin’ it!

Natural and Back

Today I want to talk about the big chop. Not the one where you cut your relaxer off, the other one. When you decide you like your locs, but after a while (for me it was 8 years), you decide you want a different style.

Long Nappylocs

Long Nappylocs

So in 2009 I cut my locs off. I waited about 4 weeks since my last re-tightening and scheduled the big chop!. I sat in the chair with my eyes closed tight while she did it. I couldn’t believe how light I felt as my locs fell to the floor. I desperately wanted to join the legions of twa’s I was seeing all around me, but when I saw my long locs in a pile on the floor, I couldn’t help but be emotional.  “Please don’t cry, because if you start, then I’ll start crying too!”, she said, and we both laughed. I left the salon and purchased a brush, and some big earrings, excited that I could wear any style I wanted now. Then reality set in. I had to style my hair every…single…day.

Twist-Hawk

Twist-Hawk

I am an engineer and my locs never caused much attention, which I appreciated. Now I get comments everyday on how it was styled different, and how I was so creative, and yes, how pretty it was. Always a compliment, but after a while I felt like it became a distraction. I thought, I’ll fix this so I went and had two strand twists put in. I really liked my twists, but having Nappylocs spoiled me so after about 4 weeks I took them down. Shortly after I started my family when reality set in. I no longer had 6 hours  to spend in the chair only to have to repeat the process every few weeks.  I gave up.

 

It was about that time I started to miss being able to run my fingers through my hair on the way to work and look great. My schedule didn’t slow down because of the new baby . I was busy  as ever- with work and travel. I wanted my time back. I wanted an easy versatile style. So I called my mom and she started my locs over again.

Short Nappylocs

Short Nappylocs

My first set of locs were well over 500 but I just didn’t want to commit that much time to maintenance.So I made them larger with about 200 locs. Great for me because now I can re-tighten my whole head while the kids watch the Jungle Book movie. I honestly prefer them to be short too.One day, I may install less than 100 to see how that looks on me. Then again I think I might try 500 again with the 3 point pattern.

 

I think most people who try locs will have at least two sets. But Nappylocs makes it so easy, it’s hard to imagine myself without locs for more than a little bit. Plus there is sooo much I can do with my locs, styling is the last reason to cut my hair. I’ve worn nice wigs, worn the loc hawk, petals, curls, buns and braids. Even now we are working on something new, we’ll keep you posted!
Wig with locs

Being silly

Nappylocs April 2015

What styles have you tried? Have you cut your locs off before?