Author Archives: cammiecam

Soooo…..

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It’s been… about three weeks now I think, and for the most part things have been going well, so there isn’t much to report.  I’ve been washing weekly mostly because my scalp starts itching and I can’t go any longer than that.  I also work out daily and sweat alot, so a week is about all I can stand before I feel like I need to cleanse my scalp.  I have experienced some dryness which I’m  attributing to a few things; the change in weather and also what I’ve been using to twist my hair.  I’ve been using the Nubian Kinks Locing Pomade which gives fabulous hold, but it unfortunately a bit drying for my hair.  I also think I need a better, sulfate free shampoo.  Currently using Herbal Essences Hello Hydration, and it’s just ok.  So I’m on the hunt for something new/better and a little more natural.

I just washed my hair Friday and to add some moisture to my hair instead of using the Nubian Kinks Locing Pomade, I used my old standby, Hollywood Beauty Olive Oil Creme, (and I can’t believe it’s been a year to the day that I made that post!) and put my twists/locs into individual bantu knots.  I’ve used it in the past for bantu knots and it offered great hold and moisture. Since I’m not really a fan of wearing this style to work, I’ll leave them in tomorrow since I’m off from work and take them out Tuesday morning.  My uncle’s wedding is Saturday, I’m hoping the bantu knot out will last until then.

Pics…

Last weeks bantu knot out… ( I look so tired in this picture!  Dunno what that’s all about.  But my hair looks good tho!)

This weeks bantu knots.

They actually are less painful than they look.  The smaller ones are easier to sleep on and I didn’t make them tight at all because I knew I’d be leaving them in for a few days.

A bantu knot out  is how I’ve been wearing my hair for the past few weeks.  **shrug** And that’s that.

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Okay! I’m reloaded!

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I am at work right now with an extra large Dunkin Donuts French Vanilla coffee on my desk, hoping that it will have magical powers revive me.  I’m running on about 4 hours of sleep.

I was here at work yesterday minding my own business looking for youtube videos that had styling options for short locs (although technically I’m so not close to being locked yet, but I can still style up these two strand twists).  I came across this video from tbey82. (You’ll have to watch on youtube). 

I LOVED her parts.  They were exactly the size that I had wanted when I rolled into Nubian Kinks on Saturday.  There was actually a young girl working there with roughly the same size parts and when I asked Luna to make my parts like hers, she didn’t want to.  “You don’t want big locs, you want smaller ones” she kept saying.  I kept telling her “Not too small Luna” and honestly she didn’t make them small…  I just wanted them bigger.

One thing I noticed about tbey82’s parts is that she had three rows in the back of her head before the rows that begin over her ears.  (You can see this at about 2:12 into the video).  Luna gave me four rows back there.  **sigh**  That wasn’t what I wanted.  Also Luna’s parts in my hair were rectangles.  I wanted square parts.  I know that in the end it doesn’t REALLY matter, and I had resigned myself to be okay with Luna’s parts, but when I saw tbey82’s video yesterday something hit me.  So, I went home last night, and spend six and a half hours talking down Luna’s twists and creating my own. I didn’t get to sleep until almost 3am and needed to be up for work by 7.  Honestly I did 100% of my twists over completely.  And I LOVE it.  Except for one or two twists in the middle of my head that are bigger than I’d like them to be, (I’ll fix those tonight) I’m totally happy with my hair and can finally begin this process.  FINALLY.

Yes yes yes.  I went to a salon and paid money for something, then four days later took it down and did my own thing anyway.  But I’m KNOW I’m not the only one who has done that.  Don’t act like you haven’t done it!  And I have no regrets.  Well, ok, I have one… I should have done this sooner. 🙂  I think when Irene wouldn’t let me be great and I tried to start my locs myself, I was expecting these huge full delicious thick twists, and when I twisted up a few rows in the back and saw these scalpy pathetic looking twists I figured I wasn’t doing something right and needed to go to a  salon.  But honestly when I left Nubian Kinks, I still had scalpy pathetic looking twists.  That’s just the way my hair is apparently.  Once I realized that no matter what I did or WHO started my locs, scalpy twists were more than likely going to be the end result, it hit me that I didn’t do anything wrong the first time, and that I COULD start my locs on my own. Plus as the months go by, the twists will puff up as they loc and the scalpiness will disappear.

So lessons learned, all a part of the process.  My legs and feet are tired from standing in the bathroom for hours trying to angle my mirrors correctly to see the back of my head.  My arms are tired from all that twisting.  My body is tired from lack of proper sleep.  But it’s all good.  I’m happy.  Pics to come.

Locked and Loaded!

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After a brief moment of panic on Saturday morning when I ran into crazy traffic at the Brooklyn Bridge exit on the FDR Drive and thinking I’d miss my appointment AGAIN, I am officially locked and loaded.

I went to Nubian Kinks in Brooklyn and met with Luna who started my locs for me. She washed my hair, gave me a steam treatment, then started twisting.  I am 80% happy with my parts.  I would have done some things differently and maybe made them a little bigger, but overall I’m ok with them because I know that they will shift and change over time.  I can always combine if I want to, and honestly I *may* readjust some of these parts over the weekend.  We’ll see.  My only complaint was that Luna was quite heavy handed with the oils she put in my hair and when I left the salon my twists were literally DRIPPING with oil.  I mean DRIPPING like I had a jherri curl.  I grabbed some napkins in Starbucks while waiting for my friend to meet me after my hair appointment and used them to squeeze out some of the oils in my hair.  The napkins were soaked with the excess oil.  I didn’t even want to think about leaving all of that in my hair for a week or more, so I came home, bought a wig cap from the nearby beauty supply store and washed my hair…  again.  Then because I wasn’t feeling the flat lifeless look of my starter locs, I did bantu knots for each twists and rocked a bantu knot out for work today, aka The Big Reveal.  I’ll probably wear my hair like this until the coils fall, which will hopefully take me into next weekend.  Overall, I’m happy with my experience at Nubian Kinks and would return there again for another appointment – although next time I’d definitely ask Luna to lighten up on the oil.  For the most part tho I intend to maintain at home.

Here are some pics.  I took these with my phone so they aren’t the best quality.  I PROMISE I’ll have better pics later this week.

This is right after my hair appointment waiting for my friend in Target.  The twists look good but they were greasy to the touch from all of the oil. (You see what aisle I’m in, right?  I’m already looking at hair stuff for my new starter locs!)

This is is a pic from this morning, my bantu knot out.  Scalpy but that’s to be expected.  I’m typing this up at about 11pm, and they’ve already loosed up a little.

I just sleep with a satin bonnet so I don’t flaten it out… and that’s about it.  The waiting game begins.  Not sure if I’m gonna wash weekly or very two weeks.  Guess that’ll depend on how much time I have this coming weekend and how my scalp feels.

Irene wouldn’t let me be great.

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So I’m sitting here with colored hair and a brand new set of yarn twists.  No locs.  Irene just wouldn’t let me be great.  Lemme tell you what happened.

So on Saturday evening Nedjetti texted and canceled on me which was understandable given the impending bad weather.  She said she was available on Sept 4 and 5 and to let her know which one would work for me.  I texted her back within FIVE MINUTES to let her know that the 5th would be ok (and asked was it okay that it was Labor Day).  About an hour later I realized that she hadn’t responded so I texted again.  Still no response.  Later that evening I was on Twitter and I see her there tweeting away, but still hadn’t responded to my text.  Long story short, she didn’t text me back until Monday afternoon and then had the NERVE to add to the text “please respond to this text”.  Really?  I just…  I don’t know.  So basically  it took her so long to respond to two texts that I sent while I’m seeing her on Twitter that same night and the next day, THEN when it was convenient for HER, she responded to my text and basically kinda demanded that I respond to HER text.  I just wasn’t amused.  At all.  Honestly by the time she texted me back on Monday afternoon I’d already written her off, completed 99% of my new yarn twists, and made an appointment at another salon in October.  Folks who want to act like they don’t really need the money don’t get my business.  I should have listened to my instincts initially when it took her so long to return my phone call for the initial appointment.  Plus you wouldn’t believe how much she was charging (and how much stupid me was willing to pay!) for starter locs.

So what’s going on now you ask?  Well I attempted to color my hair on Sunday because I was gonna just go ahead and start my own locs.  The color came out… interesting.  I kinda like it, but it definitely needs some time to tone down and fade out a bit. No one will really get a chance to see it anyway because it’s enclosed in a brand new set of yarn twists.  I attempted to start my own locs but..  it just…  wasn’t working.  My parts looked kinda crazy, I wasn’t sure if I should twist my hair wet or dry or use a product like a gel or not or how big the parts should be.  I did a few rows at the bottom and I’m not sure if it was because my hair at the nape is sooo soft but the twists just looked to straggly and the parts looked all funny and bla bla bla I gave up.  I thought I could do it but I can’t.  😦  I need help.  I need someone to start me off on the right path.  So I made an appointment with Nubian Kinks in Brooklyn in October.  I’ve heard mixed reviews about the services there, but that’s par for the course for any Black salon.  So I’m already going in knowing that it could potentially be a LONG day, but I’ll sacrifice one day just to get my foundation going and then maintain from there.  So basically I’m right back at square one.  The Universe told me it was time… but Irene wouldn’t let me be great.  I’m SUPER bummed, I would have LOVED to have my locs started on Michael Jackson’s birthday, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

The reason I made an appointment for October instead of next week is because I JUST scrambled to put in a new set of yarn twists after taking out my old set when I thought I was gonna start my own locs.  I did these bad boys in RECORD time, so I’m not TRYING to take out another set AGAIN; I just put them in.  Plus I want to give my hair a break after the color.  My plan is to wash the twists every week and moisturize well until my NEXT attempt to start these locs.  **sigh**  I’m kinda over it now.  Super disappointed.  When it happens it happens.  Maybe it was better to just have picked a random day and gotten them done like I did before, that way I wouldn’t be as disappointed as I am now that I picked a special day and wasn’t able to make it happen. Booooo!

Here are some pics of my color and my new set of yarn twists.  Took about seven and a half hours.


Hurricane Irene. Just ruining plans left and right. :/

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This weekend in NYC is a bust.  Hurricane Irene is on its way up the east coast.  Because of Irene, the Brooklyn Loves Michael Jackson 3rd Annual Birthday Celebration that was supposed to take place tomorrow was rescheduled, then canceled/postponed. Because of Irene, bus and subway service in the five boroughs will stop at noon tomorrow.  Because of Irene, NYC is on alert as the hurricane is expected to arrive Sunday afternoon and last into the evening.  And because of Irene my appointment with Nedjetti is up in the air.  I took the day off and everything to start my locs because it had to be this specific day and now I’m not sure it’s gonna happen.  At least not by Nedjetti.  I guess if I won’t be able to meet up with Nedjetti on Monday I have a few options.

1. If I know early enough that she won’t be able to meet with me, I can just start them myself which was the original plan.  But now that I was all geeked up about a professional starting my locs for me, I’m second guessing my skills to do it myself.  The reality is that if I don’t do it myself on Monday, I’ll have wasted a vacation day and won’t have my locs started on a day that means alot to me.  The upside to starting my locs myself is that they’d be started on the day I want, I won’t feel like I’ve wasted a vacation day,  AND I’ll save quite a bit of money by not going to Nedjetti. (Not sure about that $35 deposit if I decide not to reschedule, but hell it’s only $35.  I’ve wasted more money that that buying pairs of shoes I ended up never wearing.)

2. I could reschedule with her next week if possible, but who knows when I’d be able to.  She’s only in the city on Sundays and Mondays and works from her home salon the rest of the week.  Next week I’ll only be in the city on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and am leaving for DC on Thursday morning.  The only “real” time for me to get my hair done would be Tuesday evening after 6:30pm if she’s available.  Which would mean me taking the train to her salon I guess if that’s even an option.  And then getting home somehow.

3. Or I could just pop some yarn twists back into my hair on Monday as soon as I know whether or not she’ll be able to meet with me and then reschedule my appointment for sometime when I get back from DC.

So yeah.  This kinda sucks. I’m leaning towards option 3 because I am allergic to having loose natural hair (of course I don’t mean literally but you know what I mean).  But putting in a new set of yarn braids will definitely take some time and I’ve got my first class of the semester on Monday evening, so I can’t just stay home and finish them in time for work the next day .  If anything I’ll just have to work fast, do enough twists around the perimeter of my head to make a ponytail and go ahead on about my business until I can get home and finish up OR finish up on Tuesday after I get home from work.  Plus there are the pros and cons I listed in #1.  Maybe I can do it myself.  How cool would that be to say I started and nurtured my own locs?  I’d be saving money that’s for sure.  And I’d be able to say a year from now that I started my locs myself on Michael Jackson’s birthday.  Decisions decisions.  And I’ll be stuck in the house all weekend with nothing but time to think about what I’m gonna do.  Thanks Irene.

I know what I said, but…

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Ok so yesterday I was at work minding my own business, perfectly happy with my decision to start my locs myself with three strand twists (although since my last post I’d decided to go back to two strand twists instead, AND was a little worried about the parting, but decided I was gonna do it anyway), and was just trying to figure out when a good time would be to color my hair before I started my locs, when my cell phone rang.  It was Nedjetti from Nedjetti’s House of Peace, a loctician and natural hair stylist in the NYC area that I’d called maybe two weeks prior, asking about an appointment to start my locs.  When I called and didn’t hear from her in a few days, I didn’t stress it, I just figured she didn’t want the business and I was just gonna continue with my plan.

When I answered the phone she immediately apologized for calling be back at such a late date.  Now usually the Bourgie in me does NOT approve of poor customer service, but she was apologetic and said I was the first person on her call-back list which was nice (even if it may not have been true!).  She asked what I was looking to do, and asked if we were Facebook friends so she could see what my hair looked like in its natural state.  Since my hair’s been in twists for months, the only picture I had of my natural hair was some shots of me in London in 2009.  She quoted a price to me based on my picture, and explained her non refundable deposit policy, which I’d already read about on her website.  We had a very nice conversation and seemed to be on the same wavelength as far as products, and her preferred starter method, as well as some other things, so even though it took her a while to return my call, the conversation we had totally made up for it.  She seemed professional and knowledgeable about natural hair.  I’d also read some reviews of her services on some websites and everyone that went to her had positive things to say, especially about the atmosphere that she provides while you’re at her salon.  I am also friends with her on Facebook and she has many pictures of styles she’s done on natural hair including locs.  They looked fabulous!  I had no problems paying the deposit and made my appointment with her for August 29th at 11:00am.  (I forgot to ask about the color, I’ve just texted her, and am waiting for a call or text back).

So yeah, I know what I SAID about starting my locs myself and whatnot, but with all of this extra time to decide on something and change my mind, then decide on something else and change my mind AGAIN before the 29th, this was bound to happen.  But it’s okay.  I want to make sure I do this right because I know I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again to anyone who asks, I will NEVER EVER EVER EVER take down another set of locs.  So since this is gonna be a permanent thing, I want to be pleased with my foundation.  It’s gonna cost me a pretty penny (you don’t even WANNA know how much, and that’s not even including color, which we haven’t spoken about yet), but I’m okay with spending the money, especially since she seemed very nice over the phone and reviews I’ve read online have all been positive.  And truth be told, I actually don’t mind that you have to put up a deposit before your appointment.  It tells me she expects a certain level of respect from her clients and in turn will offer them the same.  At least I hope so.

It’s getting closer!  I’m so excited, and now even more so because I’m hopefully going to have a pleasant experience with this stylist.  Ten days to go!

ETA:  I heard back from Nedjetti, she’s going to color my hair as long as she thinks its healthy.  I think it is, but then again I haven’t really seen it since December, so I guess I’ll have to wait and see and put that extra money aside just in case she says my hair is okay to color.  More pretty pennies I’m going to spend on my hair but it’ll be worth it.  Wooo hooo!

Adjustments To The Plan

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So over the weekend I had a chance to really think some things over. I did some test coils over the weekend just to see how they’d stand up to the humidity, getting wet in the shower and my workouts. If I were grading them, the comb coils would probably receive a C+ for the semester. In theory they are a good way to start locs, that’s how my first set was started, but back then I wasn’t working out regularly like I am now, and I can’t lie, I was less concerned with my appearance back then.  Plus I don’t even think I knew there were other methods to start locs.

Things are different now, so I decided to rethink my starter method. I’ll still have to endure end of summer humidity for a few weeks in addition to my daily workouts as I try to continue to lose weight, so comb/finger coils would not be the best way to go.  So I considered two strand twists. Less unraveling than comb coils initially, but I’ve never been a huge fan of what I like to call the “Miss Celie Look.” At least that’s who I thought I looked like  after trying out two strand twists on myself a few months ago.  They just looked scalpy and scraggly and SO not me.  Now please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t like the look ON ME, I’m not speaking for anyone else. My hair was shorter when I first attempted the style though, and I definitely have more length now.  I do think that two strand twists can look good on other women, just not on me.

Then I remembered there is a variation of the two strand twist: the three strand method.  Three strand twists  are thicker than two strand twists, unravel less and can hide some of that initial scalpiness that comes with all that parting. The technique is a little difficult to master but I did a test twist after checking out this tutorial that does an excellent job at explaining the technique.

I’m pretty good with braiding and twisting, its just a knack I guess, so if I can master this technique and the partings, this is the method I’ll probably be using to start my new set of locs.