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    OK I'VE BEEN LOCING SINCE 4/20/06...I'VE HAD GOOD AND BAD DAYS. I KNOW THEY CALL THIS A "JOURNEY" BECAUSE OF THE ADVENTURES OF THIS EXPERIENCE. I REALIZE SOME CALL THIS FIRST STAGE "UGLY", BECAUSE IT'S NOT FINAL AND THE BEST IS YET TO COME. WELL I HAVE STARTED MY LOCS WITH BRAIDS MYSELF, AND MAINTAIN IT WITH A LATCH HOOK. FOR THE MOST PART I THINK I AM DOING AN OK JOB. I FEEL LIKE LOCS CHOOSE ME, BECAUSE I WAS JUST LOSING MY HAIR WITH CREAMY CRACK, AND MY A HAIR IS THIN AND COARSE SO NATURAL SYTLES WEREN'T THE BEST. MY BROTHER HAS HAD LOCS FOR ABOUT 5 YEARS AND THEY ARE GORGEOUS. I'M NOT EXPECTED AN OVERNITE MIRACKLE, BUT HERE IN THE LAST COUPLE OF WEEKS I HAVEN'T ENJOYED MY HAIR AT ALL. I KNOW THIS IS SOMEWHAT NORMAL. I HAVE BEEN A LURKING ON THE BOARD FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS, AND HAVE LEARNED ALOT. I THOUGHT OF GOING TO A LOCITICAN, BUT THEN WE ARE TALKING 50-60 DOLLARS. I WANTED TO TRY TO WAIT TIL MY ONE YEAR ANNIVER. AS A TREAT. BUT FOR A LACK OF A BETTER WORD-I HATE MY HAIR-....IT'S UGLY, FUZZY, SHORT ETC....I NEED TO VENT HERE!!! I'M SURE MOST OF NOT ALL OF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED TO SOME DEGREE WHAT I'M FEELING. I KNOW I WANT GO BACK TO CRACK...BUT I THOUGHT MAYBE I'LL JUST CUT MY LOCS AND GET A PRETTY COLOR OR SOMETHING. I LIVE IN KENTUCKY AND HAVE SEEN A HANDFUL OF PEOPLE WITH LOCS. EITHER THEY ARE SKEPTICAL BECAUSE THEY JUST DON'T KNOW ME OR THEY DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT LOCS, BUT I'VE BEEN UNSUCCESSFUL IN GETTING SOMEONE TO BE SORT OF A "MENTOR" IN MY LOC EXPERIENCE. PEOPLE DON'T SEEM TO KNOW ALOT ABOUT IT HERE, AT LEAST THE ONES I'VE ENCOUNTERED!! MY BROTHER HAS LOCS, BUT HE LIVES IN NY, AND I JUST WANTED A WOMEN'S DIRECTION IN THE " THING". HELP HELP BEFORE I CUT....I'VE SEEN SOME NICE LOCS WITH SOME OF THE SISTAS HERE IN KENTUCKY, BUT THEY SEEM REAL HESISTEN (SPELLING) TO SHARE.....

    THANKS

    correction- I know I "WON'T" go back to creamy crack. And I've already tried to provide pictures, and somehow my computer isn't allowing me to do so. Sorry!

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    I understand your frustration the first 6 months are the toughest. Trust me it will get easier. I just finished washing and clamping mine, as I sit here I feel you ! Mine are just a year old, they dont unravel or get to frizzy. Try to hold on and just think you are going to have good & bad hair days even if you have loose hair.

    Take care and relax..

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    just hang on. i'm in louisville. shoot me a pm if you need some help. you have three choices essentially--you may have to find some ways to take your mind off of what your hair is doing (headwraps, headbands, styling), redefine what you find as beautiful/ugly, OR just try again at a later date. honestly, i can't relate to your frustration, but i'm willing to help you.

    what's your current routine? and what in particular (be specific) would you like to change about your hair right now. let's focus on things that can be changed.

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    I have some days like you have described but the love I have for my locs, keeps me from cutting them. Some days I miss my loose hair but then I touch one of my locs and I realize this was the best thing for me!!! Some days my hair acts so moody :P that I wanna scream but when I look at them I just melt and feel more happier than I have ever felt about my hair in my life. I am 5mos into my journey and some of my locs have a crazy shape cause I started free forming in May-June from two-clinten44 twist. Just hang in there sis and don't give up just yet. The journey may seem difficult now but I feel in the end it will be well worth the struggle and you may be glad you decided to stick it out. Good Luck!!!

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    Giiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrlll!! You should see the picture on my employee badge at work. It was taken when my locks were about six months old. Every time I look at my badge, I have to laugh. My hair was at an awkward stage and an awkward length. (I started locks from a very short natural.) Now I'm at the 14 month mark. I'm not at the finish line of the journey yet, but even this point was worth the wait. If you can hang on, you will get past the awkward stage. Frankly, if your locks are bothering you that much, you should go ahead and spend the money on a loctician (just to see if she/he does something different than you're doing). You can do it. If I could send you a picture of my employee badge, I would. It's hysterical and it would probably make you feel better, knowing you're not alone on your journey.

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    IA that the first 6 months are the trying-est - lol! Maybe right now what you need is to go to a loctician anyway, maybe they'll be able to answer the questions that those other loced sisters can't . I wore wraps during the first 3-4 months after the babyloc stage - one reason was because it was cold , but another was because my hair seemed to be going through a not-so-great stage [poofy twists]. I always loved my locs but boy, I have a couple of pictures!! It does get better, so I hope you stick with it at least a little longer. It seems you need advice and support more than anything.

    The baby lock stage is cute and fresh, then the condensing/budding stage can be somewhat challenging, but after that it's funky and fine and all you gotta do is wait for growth! That's what I've found anyhow...

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    try: wraps, scarves, barrettes, bobbypins that are decorated with little flowers/crystals/etc.... during the "challenging" stage of locs. I basically just acessorized myself thru it. also, I agree, going to a loctician and babying yourself a bit will make yourself feel better as well. sometimes it takes someone else in your hair telling you that your locs are looking as they should for you to be reassured. I started locing on a call, myself, and there was no one (side from this forum) that could help me get thru what I was goin thru. I live in a very conservative city - and there are very few black people around at all - and the few that are here aren't trying to do the natural thang at all. What I found is that after the first 3-6 months of this journey - locs stop dictating your life. I use to think about them all the time ... and now it's "old news". Not to say I'm not delighted about them - I just don't think about them 24/7 like I use to in the beginning. They have "grown" on me and the love I have for them has become a bit less obsessive. Hang in there...P-A-T-I-E-N-C-E - it's what makes this process a "journey".
    -igen646.

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    I have to agree with everyone here. The first six months can test the patience of JOB. I too started with very short hair. I couldn't wear wraps to work. My hair was too short for the little clips so I couldn't do that either. I bought very nice, big earrings (I felt that they took the attention off the hair). I went to the makeup counter and have them teach me how to do my eyes. So outside of the house I would rock some lipstick, my earrings, and eye makeup. Also, adapt the attitude that you are too FOINE for words and it shines through. This attitude is key!!!

    I am not in Kentucky but if you want encouragement, help, whatever, you can send me a PM. I am here, we are all here for you.

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    Sup?

    I literally just went through this "phase" last weekend with my hair and was standing in the mirror wondering if I should just take them down and start over with twists . OH BOY, I am sooooooooooooooo glad I didn't do it. I washed my hair, massaged my scalp and re-twisted/re-latched them and was fine. When I am feeling a little "scissor-happy," I just try something different like clamping the front locs towards the back and giving it a different look. Hell, I even went out with dh on Saturday and was able to clamp them up in a pin-up! I was so happy and ROCKED that pin-up. It was something different and I fell in love with them ALL over again. I even have a pic in my album from month 3 when I looked like a rooster by the head. I have not added my 6-month update yet, but I will be adding those pics in a week or so when I am going into month 7.

    It may be worth the $50- $60 to just get some pampering right now as a change. You have all of us to keep you encouraged so hang in there. We are all in this together!!

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    THANK YOU LADIES FOR LISTENING. I WILL TRY SOME OF YOUR SUGGESTIONS. I KNOW THE HARDER THE STRUGGLE THE GREATER THE REWARD. I KNOW THE WAIT WILL BE WORTH IT, BUT I'M CERTAINLY NOT FEELING IT OR SEEING IT NOW. I WILL JUST CONTINUE TO SEE WHERE THIS JOURNEY TAKES ME. ALL I CAN DO IS GROW FROM IT! I NEVER GOT WHY SOME SAY THIS ALSO AFFECTS WHO THEY ARE AS A PERSON, BECAUSE AS A WOMAN YOU REALLY HAVE TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE TO STAND CONFIDENT WHEN GOING THROUGH THIS TRANSITIONAL JOURNEY.

    SOULGRIOT TELL ME IF YOU DIDN'T RECIEVE MY PM.

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    SOULGRIOT TELL ME IF YOU DIDN'T RECIEVE MY PM....

    I don't really have much advice as I believe we are in the same boat right now. This is a true lesson of patience for me, I can't WAIT for my babies to have a little bit of hang-time. I don't feel ugly, I think the better word is plain. There is nothing I can do with 2 inches of hair but accessorize it so finding the right accessories will be my new challenge. I have also had some problems with flakes, hopefully experimenting with products/shampoos will help. I KEEP pictures of loced sistahs visible for inspiration however, the payoff seems so very far away. I'll sure keep an eye on this topic hoping to borrow some of the support offerred as I sure do need it. I'm not giving up though.

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    I remember those days. I also utilized the headwraps and headbands. I came across this product by Jamaican Mango and Lime. It is called No More Itch Growth Spray. Not only did it moisturize my locs all day, it helped tame the frizzies. I stopped my scalp from itching. I call it my miracle spray. I start using it when my hair had been loced for about 4 months, and it is now 2 years later and I still use it. Their Cactus Moisturing Lotion is a very good product also.

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    I am in my 6 month 1 week stage right now and I understand what you are going through. I started the locing process in March, with only about 1-2 inches of hair. I used to go every two weeks to have it washed, conditioned, and retwisted. In May due to a scheduling problem I stopped going and decided to maintain them on my own. So far they are okay, I guess. They are not as neat and uniform as when my stylist did them and most still unravel when I wash them, but I continue to perservere. I love this whole process. Sunday evening I washed my hair and just twisted and didnt use anything to hold them except clips. Well I fell asleep with my hair still damp and when I woke up my hair was looking quite crazy!! I took some olive oil moisturizer and ran it through my hair and moved on. The point to all this is that some day will be good and some day won't. That's happens regardless of what type of hair you have. So stay with it for a while longer.

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    Take care and relax.....

    I agree with jmanderson. The first six month's are the hardest but hang in there because it gets greater
    later. Try to be patient and weather the storm because in the end you will be glad that you did. Good luck

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    Everyone pretty much said what need to be siad. All I can say is have patience and hang in there you will truly rewarded later on once the hard part is over.

    P. S Don't Give Up.

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    -igen646....

    I am waiting with bated breath for the non-obsessive thing to happen! I have gotten better about it in the last two months, but I feel like my hair has just consumed my life and I can't help it! I am in the mirror ten times a day, always asking my boyfriend what he thinks even though I KNOW he doesn't care and I am ready to be done with that. I have never been overly 'groomed' (I like to be attractive and neat, but I just can't get too overly ornamental) and I don't like being so preoccupied with my looks!

    I think that it'll get better when they look like real locs to me- right now some do and some are still fuzzy twists.

    OP: patience really is the key. I tell you that there was a day or two when I lterally BAWLED because I was so unhappy with how the hair was looking- I couldn't find myself in the new look, even though I felt really good about Abnsam and knew that a year down the line I would be so happy I did it. Well six months in and that's mostly gone- I am still a bit self-conscious, but I see me when I look in the mirror. Just be patient and invest in hats, scarves and baubles.

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    what did ya do? op:

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    THANKS YOU ALL ARE BEAUTIFUL. WHAT'S WEIRD IS THAT SINCE I'VE WRITTEN THIS MESSAGE I HAVE BEGUN TO LIKE MY HAIR. I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S THE WEATHER CHANGE OR WHAT. HOWEVER, I HAVE DECIDED TO STICK WITH IT AT LEAST TIL MY YEAR'S ANNIV IN APRIL..THANKS AGAIN. YES, I'M GOING TO TRY TO FIND SOME NEW SCRAVES AND HAIR ACCESSORIES.

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    Are you close to Cincinnati? I went to school there. They are having a natural hair day soon (10/14/06). You may meet some loctiTankpenkaO's there. You can get information about this from http://divadzigns.com/journey/ at the bottom of the page. Good luck.

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