Locks: tips I’ve picked up along the way

I’ve invested quite a bit of energy (and cash) into my hairstyle choice, and a good bit of that energy has gone into research. While I’m no expert, the following guide is meant to be a summary of the most useful information I’ve found on the internet as well as some of my own meandering experience.

1. If you have the option, use a professional at least to start your locks. It save your energy and time if you get it done right in the first place. But if you really want to do it on your own then make sure you know what you’re doing. Locks can look terrible if they’re not done right.

2. Keep ’em clean. So you won’t be washing your hair as often for the first couple weeks, but you don’t want bugs to start pitching camp tents inside your ‘do. And a tip: don’t use conditioner.

3. Stick to one method of locking hair. There are a variety of lock start-up regimes out there, depending on your hair length and texture. What you want to do is pick one and stick with it. It’s definitely not recommended that you start out interlocking and then switch to palm rolling a year later. (Or starting free form and then switching to interlocking. No. Just… no). It looks neater when it’s uniform.

4. Don’t be afraid to change hairdressers if you don’t think they’re doing it right. Not everyone knows the proper techniques to interlock hair, and it’s your damage if you stick with someone you know is doing a bad job.

5. You can get your locks maintained as often or as seldom as you want. Of course in certain fields, neatness is a priority and that means you’ll probably be spending a lot more money on your hair than someone who’s career is more laid back.

6. I would definitely recommend to everyone considering locks (for reasons other than just fashion) that they learn to do it themselves. It saves you time and money at the hair stylist and it keeps you from being too dependent on them, too.

But that’s just my two cents.


Blogging advice from my swim coach

My swimming instructor likes to say that he’s not teaching us to swim from one point to another – that’s just being able to handle ourselves in the water. He is teaching us to swim for long distances, over lengthy periods – that’s real swimming.

Part of doing that is establishing a breathing pattern. It doesn’t do you any good to hold your breath until you absolutely need air right now because you starve your muscles that way and get tired faster. Also, air is kind of important to the whole staying afloat process. So you breathe regularly, every four strokes or so.

I figure the same tip holds true for a blog. If you can establish a regular pattern and stick with it, you’re less likely to flounder around so much. Posting once a day or once a week gives you a regularity that you can play around with: every third week is about the colour red, Mondays are about feminism and so on. It makes blogging seem less like work and more like something to look forward to.

(You could just wait until you had something ‘post-worthy’ but readers prefer blogs with some kind of regular schedule.)