Friday past marked my 6 week anniversary and I am still as much in love with my locks as I was on Day One. They look as lovely as ever. I had my first retightening a week prior. I took pictures before, but not after because they really didn't look that different. Of course, my parts were neater, but my locks didn't appear to be longer or to fall any differently, so it didn't seem like there was anything to document. I do wonder if I will see any changes when I compare my 3 month photos to my Day 1 pics.
In my previous post I wrote about my obsession with lock size. I am still completely happy with my decision. The only thing I thought about was the eventual look I would have when they matured. I didn't even consider factors like retightening time, but the week before last, I read Two Island Girl's blog for the first time. I can't tell how similar our hair textures might be, but we definitely have hair that looks similar in terms of volume. I could have easily had 600 - 700 locks. I can't imagine sitting for 13 hours each retightening, or having to have two consultants work on my head at once. So, after that I was even more glad I'd chosen a larger size. Because my locks are larger, my entire installation took between 12 and 13 hours even though my hair was shoulder-length when straightened.
I've just got to give props to my consultant Phyllis. She is amazing! Really, she's a godsend! I was prepared to sit for 3 - 4 hours, but she retightened my entire head in an hour and a half! Yay! I went in with 261 locks, but now I have 262 because there was a tiny piece at the front that broke free from another lock the week before I went in for my "touch-up", but neither of us could tell which lock it went with. It seemed too far away from all of them, so she just made a new baby lock, since it was pretty determined to assert its independence.
So far I am thrilled with my decision to get SLs and my choice of size. I didn't experience any additional discomfort. My retightening felt the same as the original installation. I am very tender-headed anyway, so it hurts me a little bit when anyone else does anything at all to my head outside of a shampoo. (That is divine!)
Phyllis told me I could probably go 8 weeks between retightenings. My hair grows fast, but it doesn't get very frizzy or pouf-y at the roots. It's kind of silky so it will still lay. I was perfectly happy with the look of it. I didn't mind that you could no longer see my parts as clearly. I rather like the more filled in look. Because my hair does grow fast and is high-density, you can no longer see the parts after the first week (except on the very top, just to either side of my center part) anyhow! I just felt like I needed to get my hair "done." More from habit than anything else.
When I used to relax it, I faithfully got touch-ups every month and trims or haircuts every six weeks. When I got it professionally pressed or flat-ironed, I went to the salon every two or three weeks. When I did my own two strand twists, I would always re-twist at 2 or 3 weeks, and even when I got twists done by someone else with extensions, I would never keep them in past 6 weeks. Maybe my attitude will change as I get used to living with my locks.
At the moment they are pretty carefree. I just haven't felt like tying them up at night, so I don't. Which means that most mornings I wake up looking like Coolio. I really should take a picture. It's pretty funny. But, I just spritz it with a little water, fluff it and arrange it the way I want it to lay, and head out the door. If I don't have time to wet it and/or let it dry, or mornings when it was too cold to go out with damp hair, I simply put it up in a roll or bun. And (shh! Don't tell anyone)...I never braid and band when I wash it! So far I haven't experienced any slippage or extra frizzies. I do have loose ends, but it's the same amount I had on day one; they haven't unraveled any more, and since they are cute little spirals and not unruly scragglies, I don't mind at all.
It's funny to me how much I did obsess over my lock size, but that was the only thing. I don't think I will worry about anything else. I am so happy with the look and size of my SLs. They are a thickness I like right now. If they do thicken and swell a bit, I won't mind, but if they never do, I won't mind that either. I did lose quite a bit of length (because my curl is so very kinky) but that's okay too. I was actually pleasantly surprised because my SLs are longer than my hair would be if I had two-strand twists. Those always shrink up really tight. It's long enough to pull up into a ponytail or french roll, so I really can't complain.
My haircut was heavily layered. I didn't realize how much until I started to go through my locks and saw how many different lengths of hair I've got on my head. I've literally got some locks that are 9 and 10 inches long and some that are only 1 - 3 inches! Most are probably in the 4 - 6 inch range. My back grows significantly faster than the middle and top, so however I wore my hair (unless it was a short bob) I always ended up with a modified shag. Right now my hair looks good most of the time, but some days (I guess it depends on the humidity and other factors) the shortest portion at the crown shrinks a little more than the rest and it starts to look a little Mrs. Brady/afro-mullet. If I pass a reflective surface and see that, I just finger fluff it a bit and rearrange the layers and all is well again.
But then...the back has a tighter curl pattern and it seems to be locking (and shrinking faster/more) than the top (some days). So, ultimately I don't really know what to expect as time goes by. I really will just have to wait and see. It's an adventure of sorts...
I've been freestyling. Because of the length and the volume and the curl and the layers, it's pretty pointless to try anything else. I did a braidout once, but the difference between that and my natural wave/curl was barely discernable. It just wasn't worth the time it took. I think it is still too short and layered for SSCs too. Perhaps I will try them in six to nine months.
I am excited to see how fast my hair will grow, but I'm not feeling impatient about it. Like everyone says: it's gonna do what it's gonna do, so no amount of worrying and fussing over it will make a difference. That's also the way I feel about it locking. Some pieces look locked now, but I know my hair (and they're just frontin')...I could take a tool and undo anyone of my locks in 2 minutes flat. (Not that I would ever dream of doing so!) It will probably all look locked at six months, but I don't expect that it will actually be locked for more than a year. Like I said before though, it's not a problem because it looks neat and it won't slip or unravel, so I'm not bothered at all.