Sunday, July 15, 2007

Perfect Locks

I agree with Carmen that perfect locks are an oxymoron. I think (and this is very much a personal opinion) that the idea that our locks must all be the same size and length and precisely parted and exactly cylindrical and so on is a carry-over from when we were wearing our hair braided or relaxed or otherwise straightened. And I don't mean that statement with condemnation or condescension. But as for me, when I decided to start my locks, I decided to leave all of that behind.

You see, I am inherently, unavoidably a perfectionist about most things in my life. You can read about how I obsessed about lock size (or see labels at right) prior to getting my SLs installed.

Y'all just don't understand how much I worried about it and thought about it and researched about it and pestered my consultant about it. I look back now and feel like it was completely ridiculous. (Although I did get exactly the results I wanted and otherwise might not have.)

But I decided then that it would be the last thing I fretted over. I would take every stage of the locking process as it came and enjoy it. I would not worry about my parts or how quickly my buds came and my ends sealed and my locks encased. I would not worry if they changed sizes or the frizzies came to stay. I would not work myself into a fit if I lost locks or some sections of my hair grew faster than others.

I did have to make a conscious decision about it because my natural inclination is to focus on the thing that is not as I would want it to be and try to 'fix it', but I do believe that is contrary to the concepts of locking.

I am not at all trying to imply that I am more enlightened than anyone who has worried over some stage of their locking process. I am only expressing that I had to let go or else I would have made myself crazy and distracted with discontent. I had to realize that to a large degree I had surrendered control and that my hair was/is going to do whatever it is going to do, and there's not much for me to do but watch.

Your thoughts?


Helga said...

Well, yes and no. There is no singular standard for 'perfect locks,' but your locks will be perfect for you, your hair type, and everything that is uniquely special about your beautiful hair. I have only been sisterlocked for one year, but my hair looks nothing like it did when I started, and from what I have heard, it will take even more time before they take on their 'final' form. Even then, my locks will continue to evolve as they grow and I begin to fuss with them!

Apart from just watching your hair grow (as I continue to eagerly do every morning), you could also experiment with new styles, curling techniques, hair doodads, head wraps, lipstick, self-photography.... the list is neverending. The point is to do things that help you to enjoy every stage (even the beginning, which I personally thought was like a daily crapshoot!).

Re: 'Wanderlust': you are welcome to come and hang out in Oslo ;-)

knotsnlocks said...

Wow! You sound EXACTLY like me when I too was contemplating locks. I was so informed that my initial consultation didn't feel like one because I knew a lot. I also refused to stress over the inevitable "plucked chicken" stage and other unpleasantries. I knew I was going to go through some, for me, unpleasant stages, but it was / is so worth it. You truly have the right attitude! :-)

blackrussian said...

Hi Helga, I just finished reading your comments on my blog. Careful, I might just take you up on that invitation. I never wanted to visit that far North before. Norway always seemed like a cool place to read about, but not necessarily to visit. However if I knew someone there or could go with someone who knew their way around, I would definitely feel differently....

And about your response to mine on perfect locks: for context, Carmen and I started our discussion when we were responding to a sister who was slightly unhappy with her locks at the moment.

We both LOVE ours. I had just posted a comment on her blog about how perfect I believe my own locks are FOR ME, even though by the most objective standards (different sizes and different lengths and different textures) they are not.

I LOVE EVERY ONE OF MY LOCKS! (Even the disobedient and unruly 'problem children'. They just need some extra love and attention!)

Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I still get so excited when people do!

And thanks to you too knotsnlocks for visiting and commenting!

Renge said...

I have been locking for almost 4 years. Most of mine are small. A few of them are of a pencil.

It took a LONG time for mine to lock and I found myself stressing over them a few. i too had to let go.

I supplemented my need for control by styling them.

RedDredPrincess said...

I am sitting here smiling because I remember those days! But for me so much about the process is about patience and letting go. So, over the past 12 years (ugh!) I have developed quite a zen attitude over the whole thing. But, I admit, it has taken time. After my locks got to an established length that I was happy with then I worried about styling them, and it the curls or waves were going to stay in and how long.... Lol!

And I go find myself slightly falling into bad habits with the new ones that have cropped up in the past few months along my hairline.

But, in the end, i am just happy and content and rather unconcerned about it. The important thing is that you start them right, and it sounds like you have. And that you come up with a good, uncomplicated regular regime once they lock.

It will be all good!

Naturally Sophia said...

I never really thought about styling my locs until recently. Having traditional locs at first, it was always cumbersome to do styles with my texture/uneven length. Now that they are so symmetrical, I have been trying different things. But none of them are exactly alike even now. I love that about locs. You can style them or not and they will look great. Beforehand, if I didn't style, it looked unkempt with my poofy fro.

Naturally Sophia said...

I never really thought about styling my locs until recently. Having traditional locs at first, it was always cumbersome to do styles with my texture/uneven length. Now that they are so symmetrical, I have been trying different things. But none of them are exactly alike even now. I love that about locs. You can style them or not and they will look great. Beforehand, if I didn't style, it looked unkempt with my poofy fro.

Anonymous said...

Before I Sisterlocked I would go to my natural hair stylist and ask her about locks, I too was concerned about size and appearance. She told me I had no choice in the matter of size, she would size them as she felt fit...HUH?! This is around the time I started making consult appts with Sisterlock Consultants. I knew every lock wouldn't be the same size and that wasn't really my concern, I just didn't want to go into this life altering decision blindly. After my current Consultant informed me about many of the stages I would go through I was sold!!! I Love my Consultant.

I am also a perfectionist and knew that obsessing with the size and the parts would be self destructive. So now I obsess about getting in the right foods, vitamins, etc so my hair stays healthy..LOL!!! I'm always obsessing over something...

Cashana said...

I like your comments on your locks being right for you. I have been reading quite a few folks who have been unhappy w/their sisterlocks and it is disturbing to me. I keep saying to myself do your research, be inform and not compare your hair to someone else's. My parts are like they should be except in the area on the right side where I had severe braid damage, but my consultant worked it out, but I didn't worry about parts and such. I guess I just loved my hair from the beginning and knew what MY expectations were. I guess I'll blog about this on my blog this week. Good commentary!

Anonymous said...

Hey Sis,
I read your comment on my blog. I will say I totally understand not obsessing about parts and other things.
My decision about unhappy parts, lock sizes and other "issues" with my hair weren't really about me being displeased with hair in general. I believe that sisterlocks are a certain type of locking. They teach you to make even parts and other parting/sizing techniques. In saying that, I thought that is what you pay for. It is a very time consuming process and IMO it is worth the money spent.
So, my consulatant did not make an even part in the front, she made my locks too big and left way too much hair out. I think that she didn't do the job they taught and trained her to do. She took a short-cut IMO.

So (I am getting long-winded too, lol) I was unhappy. I am down for accepting all the stages my hair will go through, but I also believe lock sizes and parts are important for other reasons. I just want what I Pay for, basically. Nice post.

Carmen In NC said...

Well, you know ideas on this topic.

Aya said...

Everyone who has commented so far has made some good and helpful points. I'm working on getting to a place where I don't "obsess" about the progress of my locks and learn to enjoy each stage of the process. Like Helga,I am only 6 months into locking, and they are definitely different from when first installed. In fact, they are even better. Like Redredprincess I am sure I will look back several years from now and laugh at myself for the things I stressed about while going through the process.

perfect_locks said...

Good article and good comments on this topic. Looking at all the pictures of you ladies in the comments I'm very jealous. I need a new Perfect Locks makeover!!!

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