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Freedom Time: The Journey
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Transition Thoughts

September 16
I am still high today. After years, months, days of consideration I have finally decided to lock my hair! And after careful research, I have concluded that Sisterlocks is the method of choice. Natural now for about three months (since sometime in June, last perm in May) I can truly say its a blessing to be free . I have about 1-2.5 inches of natural hair and too much relaxed hair (it comes to my shoulders).
September 17
An email to my closest friends:
Tomorrow marks the first step in a new direction for my life.
Well, as you all may or may not (should) know, I stopped relaxing my hair (freed myself from my creamy crack addiction in my opinion and decided to stop fighting nature and let my hair do its own thing...) after Nyota's wedding (my last relaxer was on May 1).
So, after much thought and careful consideration...
I have decided to lock my hair! Tomorrow is my consultation for Sisterlocks (a special locking technique, unlike traditional locks, but fully stylable). I will be wearing a few test locks over the next couple of weeks to see how my hair responds to ensure that the proper method is used for my hair type. And if all goes well, the beginning of next month I will be locking my entire head to start the process!
Ladies, words can't describe how excited I am. Its like this hair thing has taken on a meaning far beyond merely hair...its spiritual, therapeutic, emotional, physiological, and psychological. Hopefully, my hair will respond well to locks, if not I am going to take the big chop Dec 1 to remove all of the relaxed hair from my head.
Either way, I am thrilled about the possibility. It will be so nice to simply wash and go. To chronicle the experience, I have set up a website (which is still under construction, but live nonetheless) that I will use as a photo journal along the way to show the stages of my hair transition.

Encouragement from My Sistah's at LockItUp:

From:  Soul Survivor <sgrhosoulsurvivor@y...>
Date:  Tue Sep 16, 2003  12:48 pm
Subject:  Re: [LockItUp] Greetings

Good luck sistah. Although I'm sure you wont need it. In my experience anything
natural is of God and Soul~loving. So since you have Him chile, luck is way
beneath ya. Loving self is a necessary journey and I will be taking it with ya
soon (need to grow my hair out a little more b4 I'm eligible, I think) excited
to see you are well on your way.

In Unity,
From:  "avid_reader_1999" <avid_reader_1999@y...>
Date:  Tue Sep 16, 2003  11:28 pm
Subject:  Re: Greetings
Hi Katika,
Welcome home, you will have an extraordinary journey!
Please document your path and let us take a peek.
Peace & Blessings,

September 18

My mom is still having a hard time w/ it. I wish she'd be more supportive. She keeps saying things like your head will look a mess, so you're gonna look like Whoopi Goldberg?, I wish you wouldn't mess up your hair, etc...

I wish she could see that this step is the first step toward something I've wanted to do most of my life. I love the hair that God gave me in all of its nappiness (kinkiness, waviness, whatever) and I just want to let nature run the show now. Its more than just a faze, it's me loving myself the way God made me, its a lifelong commitment, its weird but I almost feel like its spiritual --bringing me closer to God in a way. My hair is my crowning glory and who better to give glory to than the creator by letting his hands shape my crown. I am trying so hard not to get discouarged. And I know that this is only the beginning.

After the locks are in place, next comes the questions, the comments, the naysayers, the coworkers, friends, family. I am confident enough to handle it, but at the same time I am so weak and worn that I don't know if I am strong enough. My consultation is today, I have been so excited all week and now for some odd reason, I'm just not feeling it. I had to prepare my hair for the test locks and I was told not to put anything in it, I had to put a little something on it anyway. Trying to look "presentable"for work and now I think my hair is starting to straighten out from being pulled back in a bun so much. I really hope all goes well, maybe I'll feel better on the drive over to Alva's home after work. Lord, help me to remember that in my times of weakness, your strength is made perfect. In the words of the psalmist...... I will praise Thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
My Crown for His Glory!
September 19
I had my consultation last evening. I now have about 16-20 small locks in my hair (most on the side, about 4 in the back). Its really rather amazing when you think about it. I will be wearing them until I get my initial locks all over. Actually, the side locks will stay unless there is damage or slipping. Right now, it looks like my locking session will be the end of October.
Alva is cool people, we got along well, I like her alot. I think its important that we have a good vibe. Especially since we will be spending a lot of time together over the next year or so. (Hopefully, I will be able to retighten my locks myself one day). I am feeling better about the whole thing today, I just wish I didn't have to wait so long to get going. In the meantime, I'll continue to do research and monitor the growth of my little baby locs.
My mom and sister both saw the locs up close last night, there reactions were just as I expected...why, what, how long, can you take them out, etc.  The questions bug me, but I know they are simpy uneducated about locks. This is my opportunity to show them that locks can be beautiful, clean, and well groomed.  Not "dreadful" at all. Over time, I am sure they will adjust, heck they have to. Lord, grant me wisdom and understanding so that I may educate, rather than become frustrated and discouraged.
September 25
Not much has changed since I got my test locks a week ago. The only noticible difference is that the parts don't show as much. Now this can be attributed to many things. 1. Hair growth, 2. My locks are slipping at the roots, 3. My hair is frizzing due to that dang scarf coming off at night! Either way I actually like the unkept look :-) To be honest, if I were not a member of corporate America and a little more confident, I would let me hair lock freeform (think Whoopi Goldberg, Bob Marley) but I don't know if I could make it through the transition stage. I'd look like a nut!
I am basically just counting down the days until I can lock my entire head. Its such a huge financial commitment right now and to be honest I can't really see how I am going to be able to afford the initial session. The sisterlocks method is much more expensive than other locking methods (comb coils, twists, braids) but due to my hair type and the fact that I would like to keep some length as my hair locks, this is the best method for me. My loctician quoted me $350.00 for the initial session and $75.00 flat for retightenings. That's still cheaper than other people I talked to, they were charging $25.00 just for the consultation (which Alva did for free), $425.00 + for initial session, and $25.00/hour for retightenings. Based on the density of my hair my retightenings will take anywhere from 4-6 hours! Besides that, I really like Alva we have a lot in common, she is single, no kids and lives alone. By the way, her locks are absolutely beautiful.
I am really having to pray for pateince thru this process, I am so tempted to just cut off all my hair and wear a twa. I hate the way the relaxed hair feels, it is so different that the way my natural hair feels. Its rough and hard unless I put products on it to soften it up. Its really a shame the way the black hair care product market is.  They make products to straighten your hair out that only destroys the cuticle, so then you have to by products to keep the damaged hair from further damage, and products to hide the damage. Ony to damage it further in about 4 weeks or so for a touch-up. Ever wonder why your hair never looks the same as it did after a fresh perm???? Its all about the benji's....
Update: Its official--
I am getting locked up Saturday, October 11 and Sunday, October 12!!!!
The countdown is on...16 more days. I am so excited!
Its my lock-birth day!!!!

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