Honey, it’s locs!

Larry Williams/Corbis

Larry Williams/Corbis

In search of products that care for your locs, there is one natural ingredient out there that can add and retain moisture.

It’s honey.

Vicky Snow

Vicky Snow

All natural honey is one of nature’s best-kept secrets. Some do use it straight to start out their locs (twists) or retwist new growth (Make sure you oil your scalp thoroughly beforehand.). However, it is probably best to use products that contain it as an ingredient, rather than using it straight. Honey does tout great benefits:

  • It’s an antibacterial agent. Honey is a natural antibacterial agent that keeps bacteria at bay. That’s great for your scalp, as some forms of hair loss can be traced to a bacteria buildup.
  • It’s a humectant. Like glycerin, honey draws moisture from the air to moisturize.
  • It’s an antioxidant. Honey contains antioxidants that protect your cells by blocking free radicals—molecules we encounter daily in our environment that can lead to cancer.

Look for honey in your hair care regimen in these products:

Naked-Honey-and-Almond-Conditioner
Naked Honey and Almond Moisture Whip Conditioner by Essations 
This conditioner moisturizes and leaves locs soft and supple. Honey, sweet almond oil, keratin protein and Vitamin B-5 all combine to moisturize each loc without buildup or leaving a “coated” feeling.

1HCSHVCR8oz-2100% Pure Honey & Virgin Coconut Restorative Shampoo This shampoo hydrates with a powerful combination of honey and coconut oil. It also contains aloe vera, rose flower water, glycerin, and vitamin E.

tea-tree-shampoo-lgTea and Honey Blends Tea Tree Shampoo Tea tree stimulates the scalp along with jojoba oil, clove, rosemary and peppermint to combine for a refreshing shampoo.

Honey is a great natural ingredient to look for in your loc care regimen. To moisturize and for other benefits, it is a natural keeper.

Gail Mitchell, Editor Loc'd Life Magazine‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Editor
Loc’d Life Magazine
http://www.locdlife.com

 

 

About these ads

Great news and another great loc shampoo

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I made it. Here I am on graduation day yesterday with (from left to right) Dad Clinton, son Rowan, me, husband Walter, Mom Joyce and Aunt Daphne.

Screen Shot 2014-06-15 at 2.31.42 AMThis is going to be a short post, as I just graduated yesterday from DePaul University with my second masters: a Master of Arts in Educating Adults. I made it! And I will use this degree, not only as a college professor on my day job, but in educating others about how to care for and maintain beautiful locs, and how to show pride in wearing them.

A few weeks ago, I did a poll on loc shampoos and on which brand you use. I will report back on my findings soon, but in the meantime, I will tell you about another great shampoo find: African Black Soap.

The brand I used was RA Cosmetics 100% Black Soap. It is a liquid soap with its ingredients listed as honey (as its first ingredient), shea butter, osun, cocoa pod powder, plantain peel powder, palm kernel oil, coconut oil, water, and aloe vera. The soap lathered quickly, moisturized my locs very well, and rinsed easily. Like liquid castile soap, it is touted as a body care soap. However, as a shampoo, it moisturizes as it cleanses. It has a light texture, leaving the possibility for buildup at a minimum.

African Black Soap is a great loc shampoo. It is all natural, and it gentle enough for cleansing without drying. It is also inexpensive. Keep it in mind when you look for a shampoo.

As for my degree, I will continue to look for ways to educate, elevate, and illuminate, whether it’s locs, design, or on how to make the world a better place for all.

Gail Mitchell, Editor Loc'd Life Magazine‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Editor
Loc’d Life Magazine
http://www.locdlife.com

The Loc Bun Redux

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Photos by Walter S. Mitchell, III

As I walked around on one of the first great weekends of summer, my mid-back length locs felt heavy. I know that there’ll be even hotter days ahead, and I know that I’ll be looking for stylish ways to put my locs up off of my face.

Photo by Walter S. Mitchell, III

Photo by Walter S. Mitchell, III

93D333C5I’ve seen those mesh circles at beauty supply stores, and other places, even at Payless. They come in black, brown, and I’ve seen them in white. For only a $1.00, you, too, can have a stylish bun updo that works for formal occasions, at the office, or for walking around. I wouldn’t use the Velcro-based ones, however, as removing them could do some unnecessary damage. Today, I took the plunge and decided to buy one and write about the art of wearing a bun with one of them. I’ve done this before in an earlier post, and here’s how again:

  • This slideshow requires JavaScript.

    Form a ponytail by placing your locs through the hole in the center of the ring. This could be a high or low ponytail, with high being placed at the crown and low at the base of the neck. Push the mesh ring back to the base of the ponytail to firmly secure it.

  • Once the locs are through the center hole, “flower” the locs by having them sprout through the center and wrap around the top of the mesh, covering it.
  • Beginning at the top of the circle, start twisting the locs over the mesh, covering it, and tucking your locs in (under the mesh) as you go.
  • Continue until the entire mesh is covered and all the locs are neatly tucked in underneath.

That’s it. You have a chic bun that works for those loc days of summer, when you’re screaming “Updo!”

Gail Mitchell, Editor Loc'd Life Magazine‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Editor
Loc’d Life Magazine
http://www.locdlife.com

“Mommy, Daddy, I want locs!”

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Enamul Hoque/Getty Images

How would you respond?

Each week, I write about the joys, trials, and tribulations about having locs. Let’s face it: until recently, wearing locs has been hard. Adults have had to navigate their world all the way, from the family room to the boardroom. Peering questions from family members, such as, “Is that permanent?” to “When are you going to fix your hair?” abound. Some have had to wear wigs to cover up their locs in the corporate world and in Hollywood. Today, we still have our moments where we struggle for acceptance.

For kids, having locs has also been a struggle. In 2010, two students in Mississippi were banned from their school’s homecoming for having locs. In Minnesota, a 12-year-old boy was suspended for refusing to cut his locs. In 2004, a Trinidadian 12-year-old girl was transferred from her school for having locs.

So…back to the original question: How would you respond if your child asked to get locs? Would it be yes or no?

 Here are some tips:

1)    Talk about it. Sit down with your child and discuss what locs are, how they are maintained, and instill positive images about natural hair.

2)    Think about it. Getting locs is a big step and a transformation. Also discuss that locs are somewhat permanent. If your child wants a change later on, he or she will either have to cut them off or go through the arduous process of detangling each loc.

3)    Get a consultation. Bring your loctician into the process and add his or her expertise in the decision-making. You’ll also get the best advice on how to start them depending on their hair type: locstitch, palm-rolling, braids, or two-strand twists.

4)    Keep them maintained. Locs can be high-maintenance. Keep them neat with regular grooming of the new-growth. Kids play hard, so keep your child’s active lifestyle in mind. See last week’s post for sports activities like swimming.

5)    Locs are a journey. As your child grows, so will their locs. Help them mature along with the process, while always affirming your child’s individualism and beauty.

Loc’d Life believes that locs are as individual as the person who wears them. That goes for kids, too! And as adults are free to express themselves with their style, our children need our guidance and love to express themselves beautifully—both inside and out.

Gail Mitchell, Editor Loc'd Life Magazine‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Editor
Loc’d Life Magazine
www.locdlife.com

Loc’d Life’s Swimmers Guide

78001769-1With Memorial Day being the unofficial start of summer, (and a reader request!), I wanted to talk about swimming and locs.

I guarantee that a pool—or some body of water in which to swim—will make an appearance in your summer. Swimming is a great form of exercise, too.

Loc wearers have to be careful when it comes to swimming. Yes, we enjoy the freedoms of wash-and-go hair, but you do need to protect and remove what salty oceans, chlorinated pools, and even the sun’s UV rays can do to locs.

What does it do? Dry locs out within an inch of their lives! A few years ago, I remember talking to a loc’d lifeguard who color treated his tips. He found that one day his locs just started snapping right off! ESPECIALLY if you’re your locs are color-treated, you need to take special care to enjoy your day at the pool. Here’s how:

  1. 17668-2T-259x292-AUTOAdd a protective barrier before your dip. Pre-condition your locs before they get in contact with water. One way is to thoroughly wet your locs with tap water. If they’re wet to begin with, their will be less room for pool water absorption later on. Another way is to use an oil barrier. You can use 100 percent shea butter on your locs, ensuring that you coat every loc from root to tip. You can also mix shea butter oil with olive and coconut oil to coat your locs, again from root to tip. Finally you can get an off-the shelf pre-treatment such as Reflect H20 Pre-Swim & Sun Protecting Gel. Work this gel in your locs beforehand. It is enriched with aloe leaf juice, rosemary, ivy extract, pro vitamin B5, Vitamin E and rice protein.
  1. Wear a swim cap. Most swim caps won’t completely protect your locs from getting wet. You will get some seepage behind the ears and around the edges. But for the most part, it will work. Here’s the challenging part: What will fit over longer, thicker locs? One to try: My Swim Cap in the Diva size (http://myswimstuff.com), sized especially for longer hair. It works with a band that wraps around the base and is secured with Velcro. Another one to dry, made especially for locs is Dreadscapes swim caps. (They also make shower caps, too!) Yet another loc-specific choice is EGGhead Soques’ Swim Soque (http://eggheadsoques.com), made of neoprene and nylon. Whatever your choice, you can place your locs in a high ponytail and place the cap over them, completely folding your locs inside and covering the edges and base of your hair. For silicone caps, be careful with jewelry, sharp nails and other puncturing hazards. If you must be a true diva pool- or ocean-side, you can leave your locs treated (see #1) and uncovered outside the water, then put your cap on just for swimming.
  1. Rinse your locs after your dip. Start with a full-on water rinse and thoroughly rinse to remove as much salt or chlorine as possible. This also removes sweat, sand, and air-borne pollutants as well.
  1. swimmersnorm-shampo16Try a chorine-removing shampoo for your first lathering. There are many on the market that will remove chlorine. Some are more natural than others in doing the job. One to try: Aubrey’s Organics Swimmers Shampoo, which is a naturally-based shampoo that rids locs of chlorine with organic rice extract and conditions and protects with jojoba oil, quinoa protein, and sweet almond oil. Another one to try is TriSwim Shampoo, which removes chlorine, chlorine odor, salt, and the greenish tint some may experience with lighter, color-treated locs. It contains aloe vera and ProVitamins B5 and A. What is unique to note about this shampoo is that it’s sold in large, bulk bottles, which cost $75. If you swim a lot and have long locs, your locs will laugh at a small tube of shampoo! Use it for your first lathering. You can then follow up with your regular shampoo.
  1. Deep condition your locs. You’re almost there! A deep conditioner will do wonders. A hot oil treatment, a hair masque, or your regular deep conditioner will work. Remember, if you don’t regularly deep condition your hair and you swim very often, you will need to do something regularly that penetrates into your locs to restore the drying effects of salt, sweat, and chlorine. An instant conditioner just won’t do.
  1. Air dry your crown. It would be a shame to do all this restorative treatment, only to use a blow dryer to dry your locs out. Try to let your locs air dry, as this is the most gentle way to dry. Make sure that you let them dry thoroughly.
  1. Take it easy on coloring your locs. This may be the season to reconsider how often you color your locs. Chlorine and ammonia (and the other harsh chemicals of hair color) just don’t mix! Wait a little longer between touchups or consider a natural hair color product. There are also home remedies, such as a black coffee rinse for locs to darken them, or a lemon juice rinse to lighten locs. To darken, soak locs in your darkest brew of coffee possible. Let it cool, apply to locs, and let it sit for a while to achieve the desired color. To lighten, apply lemon juice and sit in the sun a while. Even lemon juice can be drying, so read the above about deep conditioning afterwards.
  1. Tell your loctician you are a swimmer. He or she will keep that in mind when doing services such as coloring or conditioning.
  1. Be careful of wearing elaborate styles and swimming. With updos in particular, you will need to take them down to fully rinse and remove salt and chlorine and to fully condition. You can be cute—just remember cute and dry locs don’t work too well!

That’s it—your Loc’d Life Guide to swimming with locs. Have fun in the sun. Just don’t forget about caring for your crown! Also, don’t forget to vote for your loc shampoo. Keep those votes coming!

Gail Mitchell, Editor Loc'd Life Magazine‘Till next time,
Gail Mitchell
Editor
Loc’d Life Magazine
http://www.locdlife.com