It has now been four months since I had my test locks put in and they are exactly the same size and texture. They haven't swelled. They haven't begun to lock. The ends are still stringy...and I am SO glad I opted for larger locks on the rest of my head!
I will say again that I think choosing a larger size is one of the biggest factors in my overall satisfaction...Everyone must ultimately make their own decisions about this, and I do advocate listening to the advice of your consultant - especially if they are very experienced and have worked on a lot of heads; but I have noticed that a lot of women say they wish they had gotten larger locks installed from the beginning. You will also notice that a number of women have chosen to combine some of their locks. I believe I won't ever have to do this...but, hey, it's still very early in my journey, so stay tuned....
I agree with an observation Brunsli made. I'll try to come back and add a link to her actual post because this is going to be a very loose paraphrase. She said that SLs were originally marketed to older women who wanted to be able to wear their hair flat-ironed and/or hot-curled. They wanted locks that would style more like relaxed hair. Now SLs have taken off among women who want a look more in line with traditional locks, and they have found that larger tool-assisted locks still offer a variety of styling options without some of the challenges associated with tinier locks.
I love my natural hair! I want locks that look and style like locks! I just happen to prefer the characteristics of tool-assisted locks for myself. I don't intend to ever use a flat-iron or curling iron on it. I never want to apply heat directly to my locks. I have no small amount if apprehension when I anticipate having to sit under a hooded dryer once winter comes and once it is longer. My hair takes hours to dry even now while it is short and the weather is warm.
I mentioned before that I didn't want a head full of 'curly thin wispies'. I looked at my test locks and I know that if I had a head full of locks that were still that thin, I would definitely be unhappy. (I don't think I would regret my decision to start Sisterlocks, but I would definitely be terribly impatient about how my locks are progressing. I wouldn't be enjoying them as much now, and I don't believe I would be getting as many compliments. ) About half of my ends are still open and loose, but because each lock has more hairs, they have grouped together to form adorable spirals. My tiny test locks are the only ones that look scraggly and limp or frizzy on the ends.
This weekend marks my two month anniversary and just yesterday I felt incredibly restless! I love my SLs...but...it's time! It's time for me to do something different! I wrote in a previous post about how I rarely wear the same hairstyle for more than 2 months without switching it up somehow, and I'm feeling a little limited on options. I was playing in it two days ago and found myself having to fight the urge to unravel the ends that are beginning to tangle. I just wanted to take out the little knots on the ends and retwist them....I want my little curlicues, not tangles! Then I suddenly wanted to take them all out and wash my hair and blow dry it! I just did!
Am I the same woman who just said - mere paragraphs ago - that she never wants to apply heat directly to her hair again? Alas yes, such is my ambivalence. I won't apply heat to my locks, that's for certain. (For now...)
Then I started to long for loose curly hair. Summer is the time when I can wear my natural curls because the heat and the humidity actually work in my favor. I can walk out with damp hair and not worry about getting sick.
That same night, I actually dreamed that I flat ironed my hair and it was longer and straighter and flowing! I remembered the dream when I woke up and felt like my subconscious had betrayed me. But again, I knew from reading blogs of so many sisters who started their journeys before me, that everyone has days and sometimes weeks where they long for loose hair. I will say again that I am completely happy with my decision to lock. I stand by it, but...contradictory as this statement may seem, the other day I would have taken them out if not for the investment of time and money.
If the installation had cost $200 - $250 and I had sat in that chair for 5 - 6 hours, and could have taken them out in 6 - 8, I would have just done it. That's equivalent to two-strand twists with extensions. But we all know that so much more is involved, so, when I decided to lock my hair I knew that it was a commitment. Therefore, I promised myself that I would commit to at least 3 years.
My locks are still very new and they are relatively short, so my styling options are limited. I am sure I will feel differently once they mature and I get some length. Then I will be able to achieve styles I never would have been able to with straight hair or curly hair...so...patience.
At 2 months I have still not seen very significant changes. My spirals are tighter so the overall length seems a tad shorter, maybe an inch, but that's about all. Oh yeah, I don't have Coolio hair in the morning anymore. It looks pretty much the same when I wake up as when I went to bed. I don't have to use water for control, but I still spritz the ends sometimes to give the curls a little more definition.
A side note that is unrelated to most of what I've included in this post: I had not given much thought to whether I would learn to retighten my own hair any time soon because I like my consultant so much and I'm actually spending less money on maintenance than I ever have before, but after reading about how much time and money some others spend, I feel like I should learn now. What if Phyllis leaves me? What if I relocate and have to find a new consultant? I do like the idea of being able to do it myself if money happens to be tight.