I finally Found The Perfect Sunscreen!

I finally Found The Perfect Sunscreen!

Sunscreen is an important part of our skincare routine. I have known this for a long time and have been diligent about my use of it.

It has unfortunately been hard for me to find a sunscreen that I actually like. I have been through quite a few different ones and it was only until recently that I found the one that is perfect for me (might be for you, too!).

In this post I will be talking about the importance of sunscreen and this new product I love.

Why sunscreen?

Most people think of the sun in a positive light (pun not really intended). It provides warm days and makes the outside look beautiful. This in turn makes us feel “sunny” on the inside. The sun also provides natural vitamin D which is beneficial in various ways.

The unfortunate thing about the sun is that it contains two types of ultraviolet rays (called UVA and UVB) which can be harmful to us. It is a dichotomy of sorts! The following are the drawbacks of exposure to the sun:

  • Possibility of sun burns- I have gotten sun burned even as a dark skinned, black woman. It was not fun!
  • Increased risk of skin cancer
  • Risk of getting wrinkles
  • Risk of getting sun spots

It is important to note that ultraviolet rays are still present during cloudy and rainy days. They also can get through the windows. This means that sunscreen needs to be worn every day no matter what.

Sunscreen: bit of history and SPF meaning

The drawbacks of sun exposure is where sunscreen comes in. It does just as the name says it does-screens your skin from the sun.

The first sunscreen formulation was created in 1932 with an actual product being put on the market in 1936. Since then, there have been tons of sunscreen products created.

When you look at the different sunscreen options, you will notice that they say something about “SPF” on it followed by a number. This is referring to the sun protection factor. This means how well it protects you from the sun. The higher the number behind it, the higher the protection from the sun.

The amount of protection on sunscreen products ranges from 15-100.You may think that 100 would be the best but experts actually say that 100 is not necessary and could possibly be harmful depending on the particular product. Sticking with sunscreen that has an SPF of 30-50 is adequate as they will block at least 97% of UV rays.

The screening ability of the sunscreen wears off after about two hours and if you get wet. Because of this, it is important to reapply every two hours.

Sunscreen: physical and chemical products

Which to choose?

There are two types of sunscreen- physical and chemical. The differences between them are as follows:

Physical-

This type of sunscreen product does it’s work by sitting on top your skin and it forms a barrier against sun rays that way. They are made with zinc and titanium oxide which are minerals. The problem people have with physical sunscreens is that they tend to leave a white cast to the skin.

Chemical-

This type of sunscreen product absorbs into the skin and then absorbs the sun rays that come at it. The thing that people like about chemical sunscreens is that it doesn’t leave a white cast like physical ones do. The drawback to this type is that they contain chemicals that are considered to be harmful to our bodies. These chemicals include oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate and octocrylene. They have been shown to possibly mess with hormones as well as causing allergic reactions and/or acne breakouts.

There are many options for sunscreens that fall into these categories. It is up to you to decide which type of sunscreen you would be willing to use every two hours.

My past sunscreen usage

It was like I stuck my face in this tray…

I have been diligent about wearing sunscreen since I was around 18 years old. I was told that people with dark skin need to wear it and that us not needing to is just a myth.

We can get skin cancer, sun spots and wrinkles too!

The sunscreen I used back then was a light-feeling one from Oil of Olay. It was extremely moisturizing and did not break me out. I didn’t find out until much later though that it’s SPF of 15 is low and I should be at 30 SPF at least.

The time that I found out about how using a higher SPF than 15 was recommended, I was in panic-mode about my face. I was only three months postpartum and it seemed like my face was looking really old. I was really bothered by this and was desperate to do something about it.

I read a lot about how a higher SPF sunscreen would prevent my face from getting even older looking and prevent my dark marks from getting darker. This prompted me to go out and pick up a different sunscreen to try.

Knowing that I couldn’t have anything with fragrances in them, I ended up picking sunscreen from the Vanicream line. The first one was a physical one that had an SPF of 50. I was excited to try it but when I put it on, I looked like I had dipped my face in white paint. I did not want to go out in the world like that so I just decided to use it on the kids in my daycare business.

I looked up other Vanicream sunscreens to see if they all left the white cast and I found out there was one that didn’t! This sunscreen was their Broad Spectrum Sport SPF 35 product. I was really happy I came across the reviews for it and bought it right away.

The Vanicream SPS 35 sunscreen did go on pretty white but when I rubbed it in good, the white didn’t show anymore. The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it definitely did not provide any moisturization to my skin. It was pretty dry so I would put my rosehip or almond oil on my skin before applying the sunscreen.

I used this awesome sunscreen product for a long time and was very happy with it. Unfortunately, the Vanicream sunscreens have been discontinued now because of supply-chain issues stemming from the pandemic.

New sunscreen problem

I was really disappointed that my favorite sunscreen was no longer available. This sent me on an annoying hunt for another one that would take its place.

I needed a sunscreen that would do the same thing that the Vanicream one did- not leave a white cast. It of course had to be fragrance free, too.

I came across one that seemed like it would be good for me. This product is called Black Girl Sunscreen and is SPF 30. It was made to sink into the skin and not leave a white cast. It also didn’t have any fragrance in it.

You can probably see why I would want to buy it!

When I got it in the mail, I wanted to try it right away. I was amazed at how well it sunk in and it had a great natural scent to it. The product impressed me so much that I was considering posting about it here on my blog site.

When I was doing some research on sunscreen that I was going to add into the post though, I came across information about harmful chemicals that are put into some sunscreens. I guess I had never read about this before or cared.

When I looked at the back of the Black Girl Sunscreen, I realized that it contains all of the bad chemicals. Ugh!

This chemical stuff made me not want to use it. So it was back to the drawing board to find a physical sunscreen that met my requirements.

The perfect sunscreen

Since the Black Girl Sunscreen didn’t work out, I really needed to get a new one because I can’t be without it in my skincare routine. This meant that I had to look all over the internet yet again. I finally found one that looked promising after learning about how there are sheer, tinted physical sunscreens products.

The product that I ended up getting is by CeraVe and it is called, Hydrating Mineral Sunscreen. It is considered to be sheer and has a “universal tint.” The latter means that it blends into any skin tone. As with all CeraVe products, it is also fragrance free. This means that it met my requirements.

Just like the Black Girl Sunscreen, I tried it right away once it came in the mail. I was immediately pleased by it. The texture was smooth and it went on very nicely. Not only that but it also blended into my skin tone and did not leave a white cast.

I was worried about getting a breakout from using this but I am happy to say that I haven’t had any new pimples since I first began. The only drawback is the it is a little oily on my skin. To remedy this, I just blot my skin a bit with a paper towel. It also is a little on the pricy side, but I am hoping to finally have an income soon.

All in all, this sunscreen is perfect enough for me!

I would highly recommend this CeraVe sunscreen. It is a great choice for people who are looking for a sunscreen without harmful chemicals that also doesn’t leave a thick white cast. That being said, it may not be perfect for everyone because we are all different.

Here are the pros and cons of it:

Pros-

  • Nice texture
  • Very moisturizing
  • No harmful chemical ingredients
  • Fragrance free
  • Has niacinamide in it so it may treat acne, calm redness, provide hydration, improve skin texture and even the skin tone.
  • Is a sunscreen!

Cons-

  • May not blend well with everyone’s skin tone
  • May leave some feeling too greasy or oily
  • May cause breakouts in some
  • SPF might not be high enough for some
  • Might seem a little expensive for the amount you get

Wearing sunscreen is important

We should all be wearing sunscreen everyday due to its benefits for our health and beauty. I am so glad that I found this one by CeraVe because it was just what I have been needing. If you are in the market for a new sunscreen, consider giving it a try!

What sunscreen do you use?

Thanks for reading!

Ideas for other sheer mineral sunscreens to try: https://www.glamour.com/gallery/best-mineral-sunscreen

Affiliate disclaimer: I am part of the Amazon affiliate program. This means I may make a commission off of purchases you make from my blog posts.

#sunscreen #tintedsunscreen #skincareproducts #beauty #ceravesunscreen #hyperpigmentation #mineralsunscreen #spf


My Excess Hair + Product Review

My Excess Hair + Product Review

Dealing with excess hair has been tough on me-physically and mentally. There have been several ways that I have tried to control it over the years with varying results.

In this post, I will be talking more about my hirsutism and giving my review of a product I recently tried for the condition.

My PCOS diagnosis

Since I do not have a popular blog by any means, no one who might see this post will know my back story. Because of this, I will start off by talking about how I came to get a PCOS diagnosis.

When I was around 11 years old, I started getting horrible acne and oily skin. It was mainly on my forehead at first, then eventually it was just all over the place. It was really embarrassing because none of my friends seemed to have acne.

In hopes of controlling my acne, I was prescribed several different things. A couple of them worked, a couple of them did not work. I had to keep taking/using something though because my skin was so bad.

At 14 years old, I started developing hair on my upper lip. I didn’t really notice it at first until my mother pointed it out and said that I needed to get that area waxed. This was another embarrassing thing for me!

All of the acne, oiliness and excess hair continued on past high school. It wasn’t until I was about 21 years old that I found out about PCOS. I realized that my symptoms aligned with that diagnosis. I was ashamed that I could have something like that so I decided to stop thinking about it.

I was given Spironolactone for the acne and hirsutism but was not given a PCOS diagnosis with it due to there being a series of tests that needed to be done first.

At 23 years old, my hairiness got worse. This made me decide it was time to go in for an official diagnosis.

I had to have four different appointments (gynecologist and endocrinologist) that included two consultations, blood tests, an ultrasound and a cortisol level check. My blood test results were all normal but my ultrasound showed cysts all over my ovaries and I met the other characteristic criteria (hirsutism and acne).

I stopped taking Spironolactone shortly after my diagnosis because I felt it wasn’t really doing much for me. From there, I just tried to control my acne with various skin care products and got my upper lip waxed once a month.

My hirsutism now

A week of no shaving would have me looking like this!

After I got pregnant and gave birth, my hirsutism came back with a vengeance (did not grow face/neck hair during pregnancy) and has kept getting worse. Because of the severity of it, I have been shaving instead of getting it all waxed and plucked off.

For a while I could still get away with shaving once a day or once every other day. Unfortunately though, for the past four years I have had to shave my face/neck twice a day. Since the pandemic happened and because I stay home all the time, I sometimes will go a day without shaving because no one but my immediate family will see me.

The hair that I get shows up on my chin, upper lip, jaw line and neck. In true hirsutism form, the hairs are coarse and noticeable. They are there in the morning and then they pop up again in the evening.

The razors I have been using

For quite a while I was using a women’s facial hair remover. It looks like a little vibrator but it did work well! What made me stop using it was the fact that my hirsutism got worse and it could no longer get the hairs very well.

I was really hesitant at first to start using a razor. This is because I know the burn and bumps they can leave on the body. It is not something I want on my face either!

After mulling it over, I decided to start using razors despite the burn risk. The excess hairs were really bothering me and I wanted something that could get them off. I wanted to use a separate razor for my face than I use for my body so I started using the Schick razors that I have pictured above only for that area.

I was nervous the first time I used one of the razors. After just moving it careful over the hairs though, I realized that I could indeed get them off without getting razor burn.

Success!

I have been using the razors ever since then. The only thing that I don’t like about them is that it doesn’t seem like it can pick up the really fine hairs on my upper lip that are left over after shaving the coarse ones off.

Am I annoyed that I have to shave my face? Yes, of course I am. I don’t like that I grow hair in these places and sometimes I get really down about it. Fortunately, I know how to manage it and it is not like people are going to be seeing me up close (except for my immediate family) for the foreseeable future.

Hair removal product review

So, I did try a new hair removal product recently. It was the Hydro Silk Touch-Up razor picture above. Although the other razors I talked about work great, I just wanted to try these out and see if they work for the fine hairs that get left over on my face.

I am happy to say that they really did get rid of the fine hairs! I used it all over my face which made it really smooth afterwards. It was unable to get the coarse hairs but I wasn’t really expecting it to.

The one thing I will say about these is that you can’t let the razors’ “cute” look fool you. They may be able to cut you if you are not careful with them. Just glide them gently across your face and you will be fine!

I highly recommend this product for anyone that has a bit of peach fuzz on their face they are looking to get rid of on a regular basis.

Hirsutism can really suck

Most people who deal with hirsutism don’t like it and have problems embracing it (some can though!). The fortunate thing is that the condition can be managed in various ways. I am glad that I found the Schick razors as they are cheap and effective for me to use.

If you deal with excess hairs like I do, how do you handle them?

Thanks for reading!

#hairremoval #shaving #razor #hirsutism #PCOS #hormonalproblems #Schickproducts #face

Makeup Artist’s Choice Product Review: The Fade Peel

Makeup Artist’s Choice Product Review: The Fade Peel

I think I have used more dark spot removal products than this!

If you have read my other blog posts, you would know that I struggle with severe hyperpigmentation (dark marks) on my face. I have tried many different things to try and fade them but I haven’t had much success.

The Fade Peel from Makeup Artist’s Choice was my most recent purchase for my facial skin. In this post, I will be talking about what it is and giving my review on it.

About hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition in which there are spots and/or patches that are darker than the rest of the skin. This is due to an excess production of melanin which makes it more common in people who are of a darker complexion.

This condition can be caused by sun damage, acne lesions, tattoos gone wrong, hormones, scratches, wounds and burns. The marks/patches can be any where on one’s body.

There are various treatments for hyperpigmentation but they do take time to work (if they do at all). These treatments include the following:

  • Hydroquinone: Has bleaching effects.
  • Retinoids: Tretinoin and Retinol.
  • Alpha-hydroxy acids: Glycolic, lactic and mandelic. They come in serums, creams and peels.
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Vitamin C: Comes in serums and creams.
  • Wearing sunscreen every two hours: Protects from sun damage.
  • Various other herbs/extracts that are said to possibly fade spots.

Some of these treatments may need to be used together in order to have the best chances of working. There are quite a few skincare products that actually do have combinations of spot-fading ingredients in cream, lotion and serum form.

My skin

I should mention first that I am of African American descent with medium brown skin. The picture above captures the hyperpigmentation better than my phone pictures can.

I started out having pretty bad acne on my face at the age of 11. It was likely when PCOS struck but we knew nothing of that diagnosis at that time. Because of that, we just thought it was regular puberty that was hitting me really hard.

The acne has gotten significantly better since I hit 25 but I have been left with dark marks as the aftermath. My skin picking issue has also not helped anything.

The hyperpigmentation is on my cheeks (left one is worse), chin and I have one spot on my upper lip. I also have hyperpigmentation spots on my body but I have been mainly trying to focus on treating my face.

The amount of products I have tried to even out my skin is crazy. I try to not get too upset about it, but it is hard not to sometimes. Lots of money has been wasted over the years.

The Fade Peel

This is one of the many high quality products from Makeup Artist’s Choice. It comes from their line of at-home chemical peels.

There are ten types of peels that are offered and almost all come in varying strengths. They all have some similar benefits but they also have some benefits that are more specific to each one.

The Fade Peel specifically treats dark marks. The fading ingredients in this peel include the following:

  • Glycolic acid– This is an alpha hydroxy acid and comes from sugarcane.
  • Lactic acid- This is an alpha hydroxy acid and comes from milk.
  • Malic acid-This is an alpha hydroxy acid and comes from apples.
  • Kojic acid-Comes from different types of fungi.
  • Bearberry extract-Comes from the bearberry plant.
  • Licorice root extract- Comes from the root of the licorice plant.

All of these ingredients also contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This means that the peel has other benefits besides its ability to fade spots.

The procedure of how to apply the peel is similar to all of the other Makeup Artist’s Choice peels. It includes the following steps:

  1. Do a patch test to see how your skin reacts to the peel.
  2. Cleanse the skin and let it dry.
  3. Prep the skin with their PH Prep toner. Let this dry for 20 minutes.
  4. Apply the peel and leave on for five minutes.
  5. Rinse off with cleanser.
  6. Apply a moisturizer.

The Fade Peel is meant to be done only once a week. It is important to not use any harsh products (acid products, acne products, retinoids etc.) within 24 hours before using the peel. You should also be wearing sunscreen every two hours, afterwards (and in general).

This peel currently comes in a sample size for $3 and a regular size (1 OZ) for $20. The rating is 4.5/5 and has 207 reviews on the site.

My review of the Fade Peel

What drew me to this peel was the fact that it is specifically for fading hyperpigmentation and contains good ingredients. I didn’t want to get my hopes up but I was excited to start a course of it.

My plan was to do ten peels and then see where my skin was at. I would then either go for a higher percentage of the glycolic peel or stop doing peels for a while altogether.

The first and subsequent times of doing the Fade Peel, I found it to barely sting at all. I was thinking that it would sting more being that it is only meant to be on for five minutes (you can go up to ten for other peels). I thought that meant it would be more powerful or something.

What I noticed the next day after each peel was that my skin was really smooth and “bright.” That feel and look would continue on for a couple days and then it would change back to its usual state.

After the ten rounds of peels were up, I tried to really assess my skin. I had taken before pictures and then I took some after pictures to compare. I also looked at my face closely in the mirror.

No changes.

My dark marks and patches looked exactly the same. It was like I had done absolutely nothing to my skin at all. Another disappointment for me.

Up next for my skin

My hyperpigmentation is obviously extremely hard to treat as nothing has really worked to date. I think this is due in part to me having dark skin-maybe it makes things more difficult.

My plan right now is to keep using aloe Vera gel, rosehip oil and sunscreen on my face. This only maintains the way my skin looks which is at least better than it making it worse.

I also plan on starting a higher strength glycolic acid peel than I have done in the past. If the glycolic acid peel does absolutely nothing, I will start using tretinoin.

If the tretinoin doesn’t work, I really don’t think there is anything else left to try.

In conclusion

So, the Fade Peel didn’t work for me. It is still a very good product as it clearly works for other people. For that reason and the fact that Makeup Artist’s Choice is a great company- I still recommend it for others to try.

Do any of you have hyperpigmentation? If so, what works for your spots?

Thanks for reading!

Here is the beauty journal I use on a regular basis: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B093B9XWTH

#melanin #MakeupArtistsChoice #skincareproducts #beauty #postinflammatoryhyperpigmentation #hyperpigmentationtreatment #TheOrdinary #

Super Goals For The Fall!

Super Goals For The Fall!

We are almost to fall. Whoa! I was hoping things would be better in terms of the pandemic but that didn’t happen. In fact, things are actually much worse.

Regardless of things still being crappy, I am determined to make the fall good for my family and I. This means that a another “Life Check-In” is in order.

I completed one a couple of days ago and I wanted to share my fall goals with you guys!

The Life Check-In environment

A big part of doing a check-in, is the environment. It needs to be set up in such a way that I can accurately asses my life and dig deep on things.

This means comfort, comfort, comfort!

To do this, I first pick out a comfortable place to sit and start making some tea (or coffee). Next, I find a good ambience video to watch/listen to. There are a lot of good ones so it usually takes me a few minutes.

Once my tea and ambience video are ready, I get out my handy-dandy notebook with my purple gel pen. Then I sit down and start thinking!

For this particular check-in, I sat in my favorite chair in the living room. Here is a picture of it:

Well loved and cozy!

The following is the ambience video that I picked to put on my TV:

I love the videos on this YouTube channel. This one in particular caught my eye due to the name. Leaving the past and moving forward is what I want to do.

My tea beverage of choice was the following:

I made myself a Pumpkin Chai latte. Absolutely delicious!

These three things together set the stage for another wonderful check-in!

How I am doing and goals

I decided to break this down into different parts of life…

Physical health-

I am doing great physically overall. My workouts are consistent, diet is relatively good, my supplements are having a positive effect etc.

The only goal I have for my physical health is to get in some more vegetables each day. They are so healthy and I just feel like I need more of them.

Mental health-

I am a naturally, extremely anxious person. This pandemic is not helping that at all. In fact-it is making it even worse.

My goal is to not read/watch so many stories about severe COVID infections. I know I need to stay vigilant and in the know about what is going on but I have been doing too much with these horror stories.

I don’t know how much good reaching this goal will do but I will try anyways. Sitting in my bed and crying is not conducive to a good life.

Work/career/finances-

I have two goals for the fall in this area. They are as follows:

  1. Snag a remote job- I have a lot of skills and 1.5 college degrees (didn’t finish my master’s degree) to bring to the table. There is no way I wouldn’t be a good candidate for some of these jobs!
  2. Get my tea line going- Once I secure a job, my goal is to start a line of teas. I will reveal more about this when I actually get a job.

Family-

Family life is going well overall. I do have two goals and they are as follows:

  1. Reach out to loved ones more- I need to talk to my parents and brother more. Sometimes they don’t think I like them and that isn’t true- I am just bad about contacting people. I always wait for them to do it and I don’t want to do that anymore.
  2. Have more meals together (my husband, son and I)- We usually do our own thing when it comes to eating. I want us to start sitting at the table at the same time and eating some of the same things.

Romantic relationship-

My goal for this part of my life is to have some at-home date nights. I just want to keep our relationship fresh and fun which is hard to do when we can’t go out anywhere. Hopefully some of the ideas I have seen will work for us.

House and home-

My goal here is to keep my home cleaner and more organized. I am never going to be like the women I see on YouTube that have perfect homes but I can do better than what I have been.

Leisure/hobby-

I love to blog as a hobby. My goals for it are as follows:

  1. Increase my reach- I want to get a lot more views each day/week/month. To do this, I think I need to work on my SEO skills and go back to tweak some of my older posts. If you have any ideas for me about this, please leave a comment!
  2. Keep improving on content- I want to keep putting out quality content that is informative and helpful for many people.
  3. Improve look of site- I want to make some tweaks to how my site looks so that it makes people want to stay a bit longer.

I also love to read but haven’t been doing it much as of late (I sure have bought a lot of books though!). My goal is to read at least one book a month starting in the fall.

Beauty-

I try not to be vain, but I do care about the way I look. Because of this, there are some goals I have for fall regarding the outer physical part of me. They are as follows:

  1. Maintain my facial skin- At this point, there really is no other option for my skin when it comes to clearing up my severe hyperpigmentation. My goal is to just focus on using the things that don’t make it any worse (aloe Vera gel, rosehip oil and sunscreen) instead of wasting money on so called dark spot removers. I have pretty much given up at this point.
  2. Clear up my back and chest acne- My goal is to have the acne in these areas get cleared up. I am going keep using my sulfur/salicylic acid soap most days of the week.
  3. Figure out how to retwist my locs- My goal is be successful at retwisting my locs this fall. It has got to be done! I don’t feel it is safe to go to the salon and I don’t really want to spend the money anymore.
  4. More consistency with under eye massages- My goal is to be doing the Gua Sha massage and LED light massage under my eyes multiple times a week. I fell off the band wagon a bit with that and I want to get back on it to see results.

So there are my fall goals!

I really like doing these check-ins. They allow me to come up with goals that will help me feel even better about myself and life. Even if I don’t reach them all the way- the fact that I tried is good enough.

What goals do you guys have for the fall?

Thanks for reading!

#fallgoals #2021goals #goals #fall #autumn #wfh #careers #life #familylife

Yes, I Wash My Dreadlocks!

Yes, I Wash My Dreadlocks!

Gray hair- don’t care

As you can see in my picture above- I have dreadlocks (or just “locs” as some people call them). I have been growing them for a long time and they are a part of me.

Because I am coming up on my 12 year anniversary with them, I have decided to make this post about my dreadlock journey just in case anyone passing by is interested.

Before dreadlocks

As a little kid up until I was a junior in high school, I had worn my hair in the standard African American styles. This included having it in cornrows, chemically relaxed, braids with extensions and kinky twists.

I have the kinkiest, thickest hair type around. Being around girls with naturally straight, long hair made me feel a little bad that my hair didn’t flow without extension hair twisted/braided in. Even having it chemically straightened didn’t make it flow- it just burnt it!

One day, my mother drove me to an Aveda hair salon about 1.5 hours away from where we lived. I had planned to get a chemical relaxer done but the hair stylists convinced me to start “going natural”. Doing this means to wear your hair in the texture that naturally comes out of your head.

The Aveda stylist showed me how to twist my hair so that my new growth blended into the rest of the hair that was still chemically relaxed. She told me to keep doing that until I had very little of the chemically relaxed hair left and then cut it off. I followed this plan and after nine months…

I was completely natural!

I mainly wore my hair in a short “puff” style but I would also still get kinky twists put in by a hair stylist we found that did/does my type of hair texture.

The following pictures are examples of how I used to wear my hair:

Starting my dreadlock journey

When I was close to 21 years old, I kept coming across pictures of black women with beautiful looking dreadlocks. They were well taken care of and styled impeccably.

I decided that I wanted to get them too!

I at first wanted a type of dreadlocks called, Sisterlocks. These are really tiny dreadlocks and from a certain distance away, look just like straight hair. Sisterlocks take a long time to install (20 hours and up) and cost a lot of money (at least $500).

My stylist and I decided that I would get traditional locks but have them be small sized. This would save me time and money. She used the interlocking method to start them which uses a latch hook tool. Installing them only took about two hours and cost me $150.

To be quite honest, I didn’t like them at first because they were so short but I knew that in time they would grow to be long like the women in the pictures I saw had.

The following picture shows how long my starter dreadlocks were :

Good times and bad times along the way

Seeing my dreadlocks growing was a wonderful thing. I began to learn to be patient with the whole process because it was happening!

When it came to getting the new growth at my roots into my dreadlocks, I went to my hair stylist once every three months. She again used the latch hook to do this. I always felt so cute with my salon-fresh look!

After about 2.5 years with them, I began doing braidouts. This involves braiding the dreadlocks when they are wet, letting them dry and then taking them out for a wavy appearance. I loved the way this looked on me and did it every couple of months.

I came to an unfortunate point in my dreadlock journey where my hair began to start thinning in the middle of the dreadlocks. It started with just one and then eventually a lot of them were like that. This was alarming to me as some of them were hanging by a tiny hair which forced me to cut the part off.

I was so distraught by this so I had my husband sew handmade dreadlocks out of a pack of human kinky hair onto some of the ones that I took off. The unfortunate thing is that the handmade dreadlocks looked less kinky and were darker than my real hair. This made it look noticeably different.

I went to my stylist crying because I didn’t know what was happening. She began to ask me if I had a disease or was taking any kind of medication that caused hair loss. I said “no” but looking back on things, I am wondering if it was a result of PCOS.

My stylist ended up cutting my dreadlocks shorter that day due to the thinning middles. I found this heartbreaking because it was just getting to the length I wanted it to be at.

Eventually this hair fiasco phase stopped and my hair was back to growing nicely again. A few months ago, I cut the last remaining fake dreadlock off because my real hair was at a good length and the sewed in one made it be way longer than the rest of my dreadlocks.

Current care, maintenance and styling

Since my hair is on the long side and heavy, washing it is a chore. I still do it though, trust me!

I do not use very many things on my hair as I do not want it to get gunky. Also, nothing I use has fragrances in them due to my husband’s severe allergies.

Here are the things I use:

My wash days consists of these steps:

  1. Shampoo and condition.
  2. Spray my hair with a mix of water, aloe Vera juice and a few drops of peppermint essential oil. I work this through my scalp and hair.
  3. Put almond oil on my scalp and hair
  4. Squeeze out my hair and wrap it in a large white t-shirt. Keep it in the t-shirt for 15 or so minutes.
  5. Blow dry my hair ( I don’t always do this).

Really simple! I used to do hair masks and hot oil treatments but I realized that it doesn’t actually do anything for my hair.

Also, once a year I do a “dreadlock” detox. This includes me filling up the sink with really hot water and mixing in baking soda, apple cider vinegar and peppermint essential oil. I put my hair in this for about 40 minutes and then wash my hair as usual.

I went a full year without getting my dreadlocks retightened due to being scare of getting COVID-19 again. It is looking like that will be happening again now that the delta variant is surging. I have tried many times to do the retightening myself and I just can’t get it right.

I have been doing braidouts regularly these days because it makes me feel better about myself-even if I am not going anywhere. Maybe one day things will be safer so that I can go out and show it off!

Here is me letting my braids dry:

Here is the shower cap I use when I do not wash my hair while in the shower:

Future hair plans

Right now, I plan on keeping my dreadlocks for a long time. If I change my mind, I will just go back to having a short puff like before.

There are some benefits of short natural hair. For example, it doesn’t get in the way and I know how to take care of it. I do love the look of long hair on me so I would probably get butterfly locs, extension braids or passion twists a couple times a year.

The only thing I can really see myself doing in the near future with my hair is cutting it shorter.

Congratulations for making it this far!

So this was a long post about just hair. I wanted to talk all about my journey with dreadlocks as I thought it might help and/or inspire someone.

I love my hair even though other people may not.

Do you have dreadlocks? If so, tell me about them!

Thanks for reading!

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