My Heart Weeps.... R.I.P. Eboni

I was working on some other posts for you all when my friend called me this morning to tell me that my loctician, Eboni Dodson, was killed last night by a drunk driver. Apparently she was having car trouble and she and a few others were trying to push the car off of the road when a pick-up truck hit her car. The others saw the truck and were able to move out of the way but she was inside the car and was hit.

I've known Eboni for years.... she worked in the same salon as my nail artist and was a mutual friend of a good friend of mine so I've been to social gatherings with her a few times. Eboni started my daughter's locs two years ago, and I myself turned to her just a few months ago to start my new set of locs. I loved her sweet, funny, talkative, outgoing and overall positive nature.... just the type of person who should be cultivating and styling locs. I only had the chance to sit in her chair once, but was looking forward to the day when my locs were finally fully matured and I could return to experience more of her talent. Sadly, now I will never get that chance.

My prayers go out to her young child, her girlfriend, her family and friends. My heart weeps today over the loss of such a beautiful person. Rest in Peace Eboni.... you are loved and missed.


3 Months: Those Unruly Teens

So it's been about 3 months now since I started my second foray into locs, and I must say that I'm very pleased with the progress. A lot of people find themselves frustrated with the "teenage" phase of locs. They're no longer the cute little spirals that they were 2 months ago, but rather, just as the name implies, they are somewhat unruly and have a mind of their own, and are a little harder to control. It is during this phase that "budding" starts to occur and you have a perpetual case of the frizzies. This is the phase that deters most people from locking, especially if you're one of those people who can't stand to have a hair out of place. These are the same folks who will ooooh and aaaaah over your mature locs and tell you how they are "thinking about" locking (with their bone straight perm), but will talk about what a hot mess someone with teenage locs look. Insert your favorite cliche phrase here, but the one that comes to mind is "you can't make wine without crushing some grapes"...... oh, wait..... maybe it's "you can't make omelets without breaking some eggs." But I don't like omelets, or eggs period for that matter, but I do like wine. A lot. So we'll go with that one. In any event, basically shit has to get messy before it's perfect.

I have actually been quite enjoying the teenage phase this time around (I wish I could say the same thing about dealing with my son). My locs are the perfect size such that the ends are perpetual curly-q's, which look a lot like how my un-loc'd hair looked when I put gel in it and shook it out. The curly-q's sort of mask the chaos going on underneath. I'm also enjoying the fullness I get after 1 or 2 days following a re-twist. This is actually the look I was trying to go for when my hair was un-loc'd, but it would never stay that way for very long and was a pain to have to wet and gel all the time. Now I literally get up, take off whatever head covering I had on the night before, put a few drops of Carol's Daughter Lisa's Hair Elixir in my hands and vigorously tousle the fuck out of it. A fluff and a shake and I'm ready to go.

Products.... every natural girl's favorite subject. The most common discussions I read between natural hair ladies is about what products people recommend. And for good reason; the right products can make all the difference between hot and hot mess. Thanks to my very thoughtful beau, I'm currently using Carol's Daugther products in my hair, and I LOVING them. I use Black Vanilla Herbal shampoo (after washing my scalp with some t-gel shampoo cuz my scalp is quite mutinous) and retwist with Loc Butter. The gift set also came with Hair Milk and Black Vanilla Hair Smoothie conditioner, but conditioner on baby/teenage locs is bad (m'kay?) so I use it on my daughter's locs.

I had a bit of hesitation with using the Loc Butter because one of the ingredients is beeswax, which is a naughty no-no for grooming locs due to build up (and attracting dirt and causing stiffness). However, I've found Loc Butter to be satiny smooth, not tacky, and doesn't cause any more build up than Organic Root Stimulator Loc & Twist Gel, if not less. And it smells fantastic. And speaking of smelling fantastic, I am in love with Lisa's Hair Elixir. I wish I could cover my body in it (but then I'd have none left for my hair) because it smells SO good. Though I put it on my daughter's hair one day (because I was feeling generous, but normally I'm a product Scrooge) and she said "Ewww Mommy! Now I smell all herb-y!" I love the smells of patchouli, lemongrass, rosemary, peppermint, sage, and all those other "herb-y" essential oils so it is perfect for me. My hair ends up smelling good, is shiny, and the loc butter gives it just enough hold (I hate skinny overtwisted locs on my head). Bueno.

Oh, and just in case it's not readily apparent, I haven't been back to my loctician since she first started them. I do my own washing, retwisting and styling. I think everyone with locs should at least learn how to do basic loc grooming (wash & retwist). Sadly, a lot don't. I really could do basic loc grooming as a side hustle, but I've already explained the reasons why I don't.

So there we are. Wild, happy, unruly, drama free locs. I love it.

*I would be remiss if I did not once again emphasize the dangers of product addiction. When it comes to locs, less is more. You could cultivate locs with 2 products: Shampoo and a light oil. That's it. All the butters and creams and gels and pomades are just extra grooming products and aren't going to make your locs form any faster. Just remember, the more product you put in your locs, the more product will be (and possibly stay) in your locs. So be easy.