25 August 2014

Yarn Locs Wash Day (Without the heavy head!)

So this is the second time I've washed my Yarn Locs since they've been installed and tomorrow will make it 4 weeks since they've been in. The first time I washed these locs I was already vowing I would never wash them again and would wear them until it was time to take them out because they are SO HEAVY WHEN WET. But, since then, I've come up with a way to wash the locs without it feeling like the world was literally on my shoulders. And that is..banding.


It's the same technique used by many a naturalista to stretch their hair without heat and is done by putting scrunchies/ouchless bands/elastic (if they are being put on extensions) at even intervals which elongates the hair. I used the Banding Technique to elongate the hair so only my scalp and where my hair ends in the yarn locs end are cleansed and moisturised, and as such lessened the probability of the entire length of the locs getting wet. Because, Wet Locs = Heavy Locs. I banded the locs at even intervals and left space so I could get to my scalp and individual locs with relative ease. Here's a picture of how I did it:

Now on to my #washdayexperience:

[1] Lifted buildup from my scalp using ACV + Water mix (1:4).

[2] Co-washed (only to the point where my natural hair ends in the Locs) with Alberto VO5 Herbal Escapes Clarifying Conditioner + Warm Water mix and let it sit while I showered.

[3] Rinsed with cold water.

[4] Air dried and T-shirt dried for about 15 minutes.

[5] Put in my DIY Leave-in (again, only to where I thought my natural hair ended).

[6] Wrapped Locs with scarf and kept it on until the next morning.

It still takes a while to dry but majority of the locs weren't wet and as such was not heavy on the head. To avoid that gross feeling of damp extensions on your shoulder or body, just wrap with a scarf and secure it. Ta-da! Wash Day over!


Be well,

The Wash Day Experience

11 August 2014

Yarn Locs: Tips During and After Install & Hair Care (Part 2)

Continuing from Part 1, this post looks at my hair care regimen while my hair is in this Yarn Loc style. I was actually waiting on my first wash day to come around before publishing this post. 

Wash Routine

(Sidenote: If your hair is anything like mine, Co-washing alone will not help - I tried). 

  • Shampoo with any diluted cheapie shampoo OR use ACV + Water mix to lift buildup from scalp.
  • Co-wash with Tressemme Moisture & Water Alberto VO5 Clarifying Conditioner (60% conditioner/40% warm water mix)
  • Rinse with Cold Water. 
  • T-Shirt Dry. I try to wring out the excess water out of the locs because they are heavy when wet. No joke.

Moisture Routine

  • DIY Leave in mix once or twice a week. I fully saturate the Yarn Locs to where I think my hair ends so the mix reaches to my natural hair underneath.

In Between Routine

  • Moisturise the first row of locs I took out (at the back - in 3 chiney bumps/bantu knots) at least once a week. I moisturise with my DIY Leave in mix and my shea butter mix. Here's a picture of the leave out:

  • ACV + Water mix on scalp to "lift" buildup and relieve itching (my hair itches a lot!)
  • Castor Oil or Coconut Oil scalp massages to loosen up any wraps that I might have re-done (for whatever reason - I'm like that). I also use the oil to massage my scalp whenever my hair itches.


Be well,

10 August 2014

Yarn Locs: Tips During and After Install & Hair Care (Part 1)

As promised, I've been compiling some information on Yarn Locs (a.k.a Yarn Wraps/Faux Locs) to do a post on the style since I currently have it in. So here goes: 

Tips: During & After the install 

Yarn Locs, as I said in previous post here, are done by braiding or twisting your own hair with yarn and then wrapping that braid or twist around the loc. 

Tip #1: When doing the braid or twist, take the amount of yarn you need (depends on the thickness of the loc/wrap you are trying to achieve, and ensure the braid/twist is the length you want the wrap to be. I advise that the braid be a little more than how you want it to end up (just in case).

Additionally, When wrapping, ensure the pieces of yarn being used to wrap the braid are longer than the braided/twisted yarn itself. I would say a little more than double the length of the braided/twisted yarn. It is much easier to cut then excess yarn left after wrapping than to be repeatedly adding more yarn while wrapping.

Sidenote: In between the braiding and wrapping of your Yarn Locs, remember to moisturise your natural hair with your LOC/Moisturise & Seal method before you've completed your yarn wrap/loc. As I said in my previous post, this style is like the ultimate protective style i.e., your hair is significantly/completely covered. It's best to lock in that moisture before the wrap is done.

Tip #2: You don't have to, but if you're doing the yarn locs for the first time and you're a beginner, I would advise that you use 3 pieces of yarn to wrap your braided or twisted yarn. Why? 3 pieces of yarn have more coverage that 2 pieces, which make it harder for you to not miss any spaces that weren't covered with 2 pieces. 

Tip #3: After wrapping the braid/twist, make about 2 or 3 knots at the end of the wrap. Ensure the knots are made around the wrap and under the wrap to secure it. Also ensure you seal the wrap/loc by burning it with a lighter or match. 

Tip #4: Yarn Locs have to be wrapped taut to prevent unravelling. But that shouldn't be done tight that you'll have headaches for days. Ensure the person doing the style does not braid or twist the style tight or grip the sectioned hair too tight. It is not necessary as the braid/twist will be covered.

Tip #5: Do not start the wrap at your scalp or too close to your scalp. It is advisable to start at the beginning of the braid or twist. You can also start wrapping the loc a little looser at the scalp, then wrap tighter or taut continuing down the length of the wrap. This will prevent stress on the scalp and when the wrap is completed and sealed, the base and scalp will feel a bit looser.

Tip #6:  For a polished look, dip locs in hot water (as you would if you were doing a braided or twisted extension style). This also aids in softening them up a bit. Also note that the slender the loc/wrap, the more flexible it will be overall.

What To Expect After Install?

There will be some discomfort when sleeping and styling for the first couple of days, especially if your hair care professional did the braids tight and/or started wrapping at the scalp tightly. The wraps will feel stiff after the install. The hot water will loosen the locs up but ultimately, if you're feeling pain after a week, I think you should take out the ones hurting the most and re-do them. That's what I did when my hair was done a little too tight.

Additionally, some locs will unravel. If it happens, just cut the end of the loc, re-do it, knot it and burn the ends (and close to the ends) lightly. Don't sweat it.

In Part 2 I'll be detailing my hair care regimen while my hair is in these Yarn Locs. Stay tuned :).

Be well,

Disclaimer: The abovementioned post are just some helpful hints I picked up before my install (on YouTube), after my install (when some braids started unravelling) and info I used to redo them that I picked up via trial and error and YouTube. I am not a licensed hair practitioner/consultant or hair anybody :). Please enjoy the post.

04 August 2014

Protective Styling It: Yarn Locs/Faux Locs

I've been wearing my TWA out for a little bit and I decided to start moving further towards my hair goals; a major part of that being low (or no) manipulation and/or protective styling. I still haven't gotten the knack of combing/styling my hair this short and I thought it was best to put it up in a medium - long term style before I started damaging my hair. So here we are.

Yarn Wraps

The Yarn Wrap Style is where you use yarn (usually 100% acrylic yarn) to twist or braid your hair and thereafter wrap more yarn around that twist or braid. It is (I think), the ultimate protective style as the entire strand of your hair is covered, leaving only your scalp from showing. It is pretty easy to do (so easy I can do it :)) and there are countless tutorials on YouTube showing how it is done.

How long it will take depends on the length and size of the braids you want to be done but needless to say, it isn't a "quick style"..it is going to take you some hours to do.

About My Yarn Wraps

Colour: Black
Duration: 12 1/2 Hours 
Length: Shoulder - Collar bone length
Thickness of wraps: Medium
Yarn type: Red Heart 100% Acrylic Yarn & Zola 100% Acrylic Yarn
Price: Red Heart (Super Saver) $1,200 JMD & Zola (3 Small packs) @ $70 JMD per pack 
Where I got the yarn: Woolworth

My Yarn Wraps were done last week by a hair braider who was doing this style for the first time, so we were basically going off of what we saw on YouTube. She got the hang of it quickly. The length of my yarn wraps are about collar bone/shoulder length and it took about 10 hours to do majority of it (we ran out of yarn) and I'd say about 2 1/2 hours to do the rest. I did the remaining pieces and re-did some I thought were too tight. Those are mainly at the right side of my head. Here are some pictures of how it turned out (taken today - a week later):

I think they're holding up well considering I don't "care" extensions well and I haven't slept with a satin bonnet (only a satin 'pillowcase' - satin fabric over my pillow) since I got them done. It has been said that as the roots get more fuzzy, it looks even more natural looking. I'm pretty sure I'm on my way there.

When they are just done, you might feel some discomfort for a couple of days because 1) the wraps/braids will be stiff so sleeping well might be an issue for some and 2) some of the wraps/braids need a couple of days to "loosen" a bit. Scalp massages as well aid in this regard. It is advisable that when getting them done to not start wrapping at the root/scalp but at the beginning of the braid or twist..and even then wrap this section taut, but not tight.

I'm hoping to keep these in for 2 months (since they look like they handle well and they took so long to do) ..but I've never kept in a style that long (itchy scalp), so we'll see.

I'll be doing a post on what to expect after getting Yarn Wraps, tips and a hair care routine I've been doing.

Be well,