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To Lock again or Not? That is the Question!

My red Locs 1992

I’m going through that phase again where I find myself thinking about what I’m going to do with my hair next?  And I seriously considering locking again.  As some of you already know, I’ve had Locs three times before.  My first set of Locs were started in 1988.  I loved them, but I abused them with way too much coloring.  At the time, I was really into having that ‘just so right’, auburn hair color.  And I was like a fiend.  I wanted my hair to grow out of my head that color!   Not to mention, in addition to coloring the roots, I would also color the Locs themselves, over and over again.  That’s a big no, no!  Or shall we say, it’s a great way get your Locs to be dry and brittle.  So they began snapping off (2-4 inches at the tips) making the length very uneven.  So I cut them off around 1992.  The reaction was tremendous, some people acted as if I had cut off  their  Locs, instead of cutting my own.  They said things to me like, ‘I loved your Locs, how could do that’?    It was pretty funny!

Second set of Locs 1997

I started my second set of Locs around 1995.  I knew better than to ruin them with color this go around.  It is my belief that color (particularly permanent color) is not good for your hair or your body organs.  But that’s another story.  I digress!  I colored those Locs sparingly and they were a beautiful set.   But alas, after four years, I was bored again.   I also began to notice that once my Locs reach passed my shoulders, they just felt heavy and I started having neck aches.  They literally became a pain in the neck.  So at first I cut them short, but I wasn’t really feeling that.  So a few weeks later, I just cut them off.

2nd set cut shorter 1998

For my third set of Locs I decided to go with Sister Locks and I began them in 2003.  The only down side about Sister Locks is having to braid them when you shampoo for the first year or so until they actually lock.  Other than that, I really liked them.  I found them to be versatile and easy to style.

Sister Locks w/ blue tips 2005

When I got bored, I colored the tips, just the tips with the semi-permanent color line known as Manic Panic, in one of my favorite colors, turquoise.   That was fun!  This was before EVERYBODY was wearing fun colors.  So having that color turned heads everywhere I went.  Four years into my Sister Locks  I cut them shorter to a Bobb style and wore it that way for a few months before cutting them all off.  I was really ready for something new.

Chubby Twists 2009

It was 2008 when I cut my Sister Locks off.  I felt I needed a change after five years.   I wanted to try a few choice styles like Khamit Kink’s Chubby Twists.

The A-Nu’Fro 2009

After I had the Chubby Twists (a kinky weave) I decided I really wanted to wear my own hair, and I started wearing a style we coined the A-Nu ‘Fro.  I love that style.  It doesn’t take too long to have it done (2-3 hours) it lasts up to three weeks, and it’s easy to maintain.  The only maintenance required was to lift up the roots in the morning using an Afro pick to even it out, after sleeping on it all night.  You then finger comb it into shape, oil the scalp with Anu Essentials hair oil and go.

New cut & style 2011

My hair started getting pretty long so this spring I decided to it short and wear it without having to get a wet-set, which is what the A-Nu ‘Fro is.  Instead, I  just use products that hydrated, moisten my hair and defined its natural curl.  What did I use you asked?  Well, I’ve been testing products for my soon to be launched product line for Anu Essentials.  But I have also used Jane Carter Solutions, Curls and Hair Rules.  They all worked well and I had varying degrees of results with each of them.  It’s been fun playing with my own texture and seeing how many different ways it can look from day to day , product to product.  With this new look though, I’m wetting my hair nearly everyday to achieve my style and I don’t mind that since it’s warm outside.  But you know I’m not going to be wetting my hair everyday once the summer is over.  So what to do next?

In my garden I grow plants the way I grow hair, with love

Honestly, I’ve been thinking about the Sister Locks again.  My only issue is that I want to have Locs when I want them and I want to be able to wear my hair loose when that mood hits me too.  I’ve been thinking there should be a way to do both, but I haven’t figured that one out yet.   In the meantime, I am trying to get myself ready for the fact that I’m probably going to be locking my hair AGAIN!  Life goes in cycles right???  In any event, I know once I lock my hair I’m going to have many days when I wish it was loose again.  That’s why it’s taken me so long to get back to the Sister Locks.  I thought I’d wear my hair loose for about a year, but it’s going on three years and I haven’t made it back to Sister Locks yet!  But lately I find myself thinking about it more and more.  I see sisters with Locs, Sister Locks at the salon and all  around in New York and I start pining for them again.

We’ll see.  I’ll check back in with you in the fall.  Oh yeah, and let me not forget the matter of wearing a hat with loose Afro hair.  That’s a pain!  In the meantime, what would you do?  Would you continue to wear you hair out or would consider locking for a fourth time?

Black Fathers Revealed

We have a history in this country that is often over looked, under played, and ignored.  But  the effects of slavery is still evident in many ways these hundreds of years later.  The random tearing apart of families was something only done in American slavery.  And that is why our experience is so very different from those of our brothers and sisters in the diaspora. Husbands and wives sold to different plantations, children taken from their mothers, siblings separated and we’re simply told, ‘that happened a long time ago, so get over it’!

There are those black families who were able to heal form the devastation and who have generations of nuclear families intact, with dedicated fathers present and accounted for.  There have been black fathers who were not just in the home physically,  but who were totally engaged with their families, emotionally, physically and spiritually available, a bedrock for their wives, children and extended family, loving, providing and sustaining in every way.  These men contribute to society in many ways, not only to their immediate families.  Yet you rarely see images of them, of these loving, supportive black fathers.  They live across the street and next door to you and me.  They are family members and members of many organizations that we admire.  But if you’re looking for signs of their images in America, keep looking.  They are rarely seen, but they are there.

So this is my small tribute to Black Fathers.  I was without my own father from age 8 and it was around my 28th year, that my father came back into my life.  I’m glad he’s back now.  But his absence during those formative years still has its impact, an itch that I can’t seem to scratch despite our relationship today.
Still I swoon at seeing other black men with their children.  It’s like a healing balm for that itchy place in my heart.

Since this is a blog site about hair, you’re probably wondering, ‘What does all this have to do with hair’?  Well, I’d have to go all the way back to slavery and it’s kind of a long and complicated  story to explain that one…  I do remember as a small child my father not wanting my mother to hot-comb (straighten) our hair.  He thought it was best, just the way it was.

Anu Prestonia in ‘The Trove’

Anu Prestonia in ‘The Trove’

Fashion Stylist, Sharon Pendana now pens a popular blog called ‘The Trove’.  I have admired Sharon’s unique and compelling writing style and have been mesmerized by the fabulous people she has featured in her Trove.  So imagine my delight when Sharon asked if she could interview me and have others take a look at my journey to now!

Thank you Sharon!

Is Your Hair Long Enough?

Someone recently asked if I think many people want Locs just so they can have long hair.  I don’t know the answer to that; I think it’s a case-by-case observation.  I do know that long hair has been a standard of beauty in western culture.  It has been mentioned since the beginning of western writings in every form imaginable, including prose, poetry, songs, fiction, nonfiction and even in sacred writings.

The allure of long tresses persists. It haunts those who will never be able to grow their own long hair unless they have Locs.  But what’s considered long is also relative.  I believe that for those with naturally kinky hair, unless your hair is locked (and therefore not being combed) it will only grow as long as your DNA allows. I’ve never seen anyone with loose, kinky hair down to the waist, because tightly coiled hair doesn’t grow as fast as straight hair, or hair with a loose curl.

Advertising of hair products by major companies proliferates on TV and in print ads and on billboards of women with long, flowing hair.  These images are absorbed by the subconscious, especially when we are children.  We see them over and over again, in magazines, on covers of books, hair-dye bottles and hair products of every kind.  Not to mention the long and ‘sexy’ haired models used to sell everything from cars to clothing.  There’s a subtle message being sent that you’re not attractive unless you look like this. Imagine for just a second how it would have been if the reverse were true; if all your life you saw only images of beautiful short, kinky, healthy, hair everywhere?  You can’t even imagine it, can you?  Probably not, because long is the standard for beauty in America and of course long, straight and blond hair is considered the ultimate description of beauty in the western world; an idea that’s spreading globally, which is not a good thing if that’s not your heritage.

Many clients who come to me for consultations mention on their questionnaire that they want their hair to be long, or at least longer.  There’s nothing wrong with that, if you hair has the DNA to grow longer and if it’s not short because it’s damaged, fried, broken off or just not cared for properly.

As a child I dreamed of having long hair. Literally, I used to have dreams that I had long hair.  Then one day in 1977, after sitting for eight hours to have my hair braided with extensions, I had long hair! (It was very well crafted by gifted braider Shay Wafer, a good friend to this day, who taught me to add extensions to hair.)

Finally, I had long hair (kind of).  I must tell you, this was way before most people knew of any type of extensions; men certainly knew nothing about braided extensions or extensions of any kind.  What amazed me was the attention I received, especially from men, because they believed this was my real hair.  It was unbelievable!  But what really surprised me was my reaction to these men.  Instead of being flattered, I felt offended.  I realized it wasn’t me that they were responding to, but it was the long hair.  And the dream, my dream about what long hair would mean to me, fell apart.  I realized I was still who I had always been.  Long hair didn’t make me a better person, a more beautiful person.  I was still me, but with long extensions and now I was seen as so desirable because of this false hair.  That was a real eye-opener and helped me to put a lot of things in perspective around image, self-esteem and self-knowledge.  Hair does not make the woman!

Now, 30 years later, a lot has changed regarding our feelings about our hair.  There has been so much awareness, awakening, discovery and acceptance and acknowledgement!  I feel so blessed to have witnessed most of this firsthand through the many beautiful sisters who have sat in my chair or who have come to Khamit Kinks over the years to transform not only her hair, but also their minds.

What’s wrong with long hair?  Absolutely nothing, if that’s what you want.  It’s not how long your hair is or how you wear it.  Your thoughts are what’s important. Do you love your hair?  Do you accept and appreciate it?  Do demonstrate respect by taking good care of the health of your hair?

How long your hair is, matters not.  What matter is how long your memory is of your ancient ancestors who knew best how to love and treat our hair.  They have images of this on the pyramids and ancient sculptures of our regal kinky crown can be in museums around the world.

So I ask the question again, ‘Is your hair long enough’?  Is would want some advise regarding this matter please visit us at Khamit or give us a call at 718-422-2600.

Summer, Summertime!

As spring draws to an end and things heat up, we naturally look for ways to keep cool.  The layers have come off  and we look to express ourselves like the flowers that are in bloom, we too want to bloom.  Here are some blooming summer options from Khamit Kinks, to keep you looking cool, feeling cool and of course being cool!

Cinnamon Hawk – a weave that is attached down the center of the head for the show stopping, dramatic look.  This style is definitely not for the faint of heart or shy types.

Golden Twisted Cherokee – an original of Senegal, W. African this style puts a spin on the typical braid with a twist and turn in each braid.  This is a way of having a lighter color without dying your own hair for a brighter spring look.

Nubian Locs – When it’s hot, long Locs can feel like a blanket on your neck and back.  Consider this style of multiple Nubian knotted Locs styled up to keep you cool and stylish.

Thank you for checking out our Summer Summertime styles!

Please double click on images at the website to see details on pricing and other considerations.

Natural Bride 2011 Color and Culture Montage