Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Knowledge is power! Learn to DIY!

With the resources now available on the internet, no one need be in the dark about retightening their locs. I felt compelled to write this bc I heard the distress in the post of a lady, feeling trapped cos she may be running short of cash and doesn't know how to do her hair. I've run across this situation many many times before. It's a common scenario. You start your SLS journey. You've got it well thought out and you can manage X amount of $$ to maintain them. Then the unexpected happens. Consultant moves, stops providing the service, urgent matters swallow the $$/££. This is one of the major reasons I encourage DIY, or at least know HOW-TO. Some people have cut their locs cos they got short of money and could no longer go to a trained person. It's a crying shame for anyone to have to do that after making such an investment in your hair. Retightening locs with a tool is neither rocket science nor is it brain surgery. (I'm not knocking anyone who makes their living this way, I myself earn some occasional side money reTing other peoples locs) but.... There is no mystery surrounding it. To be honest, there are only so many types of rotations you can do, and any one of them will eventually aid your hair in locking. The main thing is, be prepared to do your research and spend some time practicing. And, don't be afraid. Most mistakes can be rectified. Even far gone locs can often be salvaged. If you aren't a perfectionist, if you don't have to have every strand of hair in place, then DIY is a cheap and reasonable option. The reason my blog is called DIY sisterlocks is, I took over retightening after 1 yr when my consultant became unavailable for months(she was travelling). She actually encouraged me to do it! I didn't take a class. I went online and searched for blogs and tutorials. I got my tools and practiced. I did and still do a few at a time. I use the nappylocs tool, yarn needle and flatloc tool. They all come in handy for different parts of my head. Back when I was looking for help to reTI, different blogs offered different bits of advice. Now I believe the best place to look is Kalia Dewdrop's blog. She has excellent vid and tutorials and/or links to good visuals and step-by-step instructions using different tools, all of which are easily available. She has instructions on how to repair locs, how to sew in stray hairs, how to groom, how to combine etc all in one place. If you learn how, you will never be held hostage by your hair. It's about freedom. Even if you don't intend to DIY, it's worth knowing what's going on in your hair and if push comes to shove, you can jolly well have a go!
I made mistakes in the beginning. Joining locs, leaving holes and such-like, but I learned to undo or repair and now mistakes are rare. All this isn't to say I'll never treat myself and have someone else do my hair, bc like I say ...never say never...

11 comments:

Loc'Ability said...

I'm sitting here APPLAUDING you for this "Straight No Chaser" entry. You said it sista!
SisterLocks is about "Freedom", so it totally escapes me as to why some of our fellow lockers allow themselves to be trapped in their consultants chair (and the limits of their own imagination).

Euphoria's Sisterlocks said...

great post I tried to DIY! & I accidently joined a few, cut off one & noticed to many imperfections that I thought I had to correct, in the end I was tired frustrated & it took me all week to finish, only to have it all unravel when I shampooed a week later, so I applaude the DIYers but it aint for me, I think I would rob a bank first before I cut off my investment, but at times I do have issues with coming up with funds to get my hair done, but so far God has always came through, thank you Lord!!! & I would love to see some pics of the Gerrys locks hair piece on you

anthia-ofo said...

Thx locAbility. Sometimes ppl are misinformed. I think it's the client's responsibility to find out the hows, whys and wherefores as my folks used to say.
Euphoria, 've often said this. There are some women who will NEVER do their own reTis even if you offered them large sums of money. It's just not their thing. Which is why I'm mystified by the tight lipped consultants who refuse to even tell a client their pattern. Why?? There 1000s of potential clients. Even those who DIY may well need help now and again.
I shall endeavour to put the piece in and take some pics soon - meanwhile, don't rob a bank LOL!

Afrolady said...

I agree with you totally!! I was raised a DIY'er. My mother made it her personal business to make sure I knew how to take care of my own hair. From her strength, I grew a determination to learn how to braid, twist, clip my ends, etc. So, when I decided to loc my hair, the thing that turned me off about SL's was the cost and the initial knowledge that I would have to wait and PAY someone to show me how to do MY hair. Because of how I was raised, the thought of PAYING someone to show me how to handle my own hair just did not compute. So thanks to Kalia Dewdrop and Ms Flullroller, I came up with a process that works for me. My braidlocks are doing fine and if I should make a mistake with them, then I have no one to blame but myself.

I don't understand the 'cloak and dagger' routine surrounding SL's. Getting info on them is like finding a needle in a haystack. But, all in all, it's best to do YOU. If SL's are your thing, then go for it - but you better have a plan B in place if something goes wrong (cash flo problems, consultant problems, etc.)

Meikmeika said...

Awesome Post!!! I blogged a while back about conquering the Nappyloc tool and DIYing. I was able to do several but I combined alot and it took forever. I will say that I'm happy I know my pattern and how to retighten my locs if push came to shove. For now, I'm more than happy paying to have my locs retightened.

anthia-ofo said...

Afrolady, I keep a close eye on your blog. I know a born DIY-er when I see one. I don't understand the extreme secrecy either. Thankfully not all consultants are that way. I cannot bear to be controlled by someone else. I believe one shd have options, plan B as you say. I don't just take someone's word, I'll do my research too. I have often supplied my dr with info he didn'teven know about.
Meimeika good for you! You are what I would call the well-informed client.

Bajan Lily said...

Hey Anthia,
I agree. It may surprise some people to know that the original vision for Sisterlocks was 'empowerment' and 'freedom' not the 'bondage' you are describing above (not telling someone their pattern, not showing them how to do their hair, charging excessively for retights and/or installation etc). It was never intended to be that way but over time this whole 'exclusivity/out-of-arms-reach thing' crept in and it's such a shame!

During the consultant's training the RRP was from £300. However, I do know of women who were quoted as much as £1200 to have their hair done. That's bondage man... it's not right.

That said - I'm probably gonna be the only broke Consultant in the UK lol!

anthia-ofo said...

LOL Bajan, on the contrary.I believe your business will do very well. If it's affordable, you'll have more clients. I know I'd use a loctitian more often. I dont understand some(not all) of our sisters beyond the pond. Here(UK) consultants seem more open and even willing to make slight adjustments for the client's benefit- Completely different attitude. There's too much suspicion,deception, sueing, counter sueing etc etc. I'm glad there are those of you out there loving your craft rather than just looking for a fast buck.

anthia-ofo said...

ITA the original vision was hair freedom. In building the brand, it appears to have been lost. I'm all for taking the class and adhering to the strict SL code if one prefers, but going so far as to refuse to tell a client their pattern or do their hair if God forbid they DIY-ed without a class, or happen to possess some other type of microlocs...it's going too far.

Mrs Mac's Corner... said...

Definately agree with your post! I kind of keep quiet on the subject because i am a newbie but the whole bondage is not write. I understand that everyone has to eat but then dont give a woman freedom and then tell them you cant give them the directions for how they got there!

I am one of the naughty ones that even before my consultation I knew what pattern I wanted and how to retighten! lol I made sure that my consultant understood that I had researched and was willing to take my hair into my own hands if i felt the need, class or no class! By my first retight, my NL tool arrived which I used to stop any slippage before my next appointment. I must admit it is almost obsessional, the other day I picked up my tool to a lock that had way too much growth and ended up doing my whole head as I kept finding another and another lol. I do intend to continue going to my consultant but the knowledge that I can do it myself if something untoward happends is empowering!

On a side note overenthusiastic me has lost the dang tool under the sofa somewhere *sulks*

anthia-ofo said...

mrs mac, if you get desperate, get a yarn needle. It works just as well.