CleanLocs Science & Opinion | With Age Comes Wisdom....Highlights That Is. Wisdom Highlights.

Many clients ask about colouring their Locs. Surprisingly most want colour to cover greys, or as I like to call them, "Wisdom Highlights". Grey hair runs in my family with my grandfather having a full white head of hair by the time he was 30, my father was salt and pepper by the same age, and I started going grey at the age of 25. On my Earthstrong. SMH I freaked out a little bit but a few days later it really didn't bother me any more. Given I still have more melanated strands than not, they are there. And I let them be...

Once I noticed my silver sprouts I learned via a quick Google search that there is very little one can do to slow down the greying of one's hair. Going grey is more about loss than gain as it's simply the loss of that follicle's ability to produce enough melanin to pigment the strand.  As a result, naturally melanated people such as Blacks and Asians tend to have less grey hair. Highly melanated areas include eyes and pubic hair.

Melanin is produced by the pineal gland also known as the third eye which regulates the pituitary gland which secretes Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormone (MSH). MSH then binds with Melanocyte-Receptors on the surface of pigmented or melanated cells, resulting in darkening the eyes, skin and hair. Hormones such as estrogen and progesterone as well as vitamin D from the sun can trigger and activate melanin production. At the end of each hair growth cycle some of the melanin production of the hair shuts off in the "dying" phase. When the cycle starts over and new hair is growing in, if the production of melanin doesn't turn back on, the strand will be grey.

 Naturally occurring anti-oxidant enzymes protect the melanocytes from being damaged however. In theory if the melanocytes remain undamaged, the hair will stay melanated. The top two things which we are rumoured to have control over are stress and smoking. Otherwise, your genes will decide your fate when it comes to how snowy your roof gets. So quit smoking and lighten up if you really want to keep that melanin glowing for years to come! 

Recently Erykah Badu a.k.a. "MyGirl" revealed herself and all her wonderfully wise wisps to the world embracing the natural and beautiful aging process that we will all come to experience. 

How do you feel about your Wisdom Highlights? Are you inclined to dye them? If so why? If you have embraced your Sexy Silver Strands what gave you the courage and frame of mind to do so? Share in the comments below! 

CleanLocs Top 5 | What Makes A Holiday A Holiday?

Holiday season has drastically changed over the decades. Houses lined with lights and tacky decor are more of a "sighting" than something to go see. Consumerism is at an all-time high with the Christmas promotions sitting right next to the Trick or Treat candies at the end of October. Political correctness has overthrown free speach and puplic opinion as you whisper "Happy Chrismahaunikwanza" under your breath making sure to simultaneously greet, while not offending.

However you decide to spend your holiday time, a few things for me signify the season. Because I am mixed-race, my early childhood was quite Canadian, experiencng things like Kraft Dinner and ketchup, Beans and Wieners, Sheppard's pie and Tang. My latter years I was raised in a Jamaican household, my holiday signifiers are rooted in both those traditions. Some of you may relate, others may learn something new! Either way check out a short list of a few of my Favourite Holiday Things:


#1 HTB Bun


Part of Christmas for Caribbeans is "nyamming". Especially Bun. Non-West Indians please note; this is always singular, no matter how many loaves or slices. Referring to this festive snack in this way will bump up your authenticity should you find yourself in the company of Caribbean's. Although traditionally eaten at Christmas and Easter, there's no special reason for bun-consumption other than it tastes damn nice!  Now, not all bun is created equal. Despite it's appearance, this is nothing like your secretary's fruit cake turned door stopper. A good bun is soft and moist, with just the right combination of spices, raisins and cured fruits and a super soft, shiny, "crust". Best served with Jamaican "tin cheese" if you can find it. 

#2 Sorrel


Ah sorrel. Where to begin...The smell of sorrel wafting through the air is one of the most wonderful smells on earth. A rich soothing blend of the sweetness sorrel blossoms, the warmth of nutmeg and cinnamon, the heat of Jamaican ginger and a kick from Mr. Wray and his Nephew. Sorrel is a liquid treasure consumed widely across the Caribbean. Most highly sought after whenever Jesus is in town i.e. Christmas and Easter. Some like to mix equal parts with Carib and enjoy a shandy with a slice of #5

#3 Stop Motion Movies,The Grinch and T.U.L.D.A.

Ya, so I'm not born in Jamaica, my father was. LOL! I'm a born and bred Torontonian with part of my mother's half hailing from Nova Scotia. What up Callander/Cianco/Carter/Brooks Crew Bup bup bup! Ok so back when I believed in Santa and the whole nine, I was just fascinated with the Rankin/Brooks stop motion movies. I would sit there wondering how they did it wishing I worked in the elf workshop. It never really stopped. And of course no Chrismahaunikwanza is complete without Dr. Seuss and the Grinch in all his green grouchy glory! Now many of you are probably wondering what T.U.L.D.A. is. Well that would be my cousin Trina's department as she is the unofficial President of The Urban Line Dancing Association. This could be anything from Cameo's "Candy" to Mr. C's "Cha Cha Slide". If there are instructions and a beat we bout it. Especially if we're in uhhh "good spirits"

#4 Jamaican Christmas Carols

After the sweet smells of sorrel have settled in, the drunk cousins are done line dancing, bun finish nyamm off, slices of #5 start making the rounds and the familiar stammer of Jacob Miller starts to play as Uncle so and so starts dancing to Rockaz; glass in hand, doing some deep squat movement, knees high.... and smiling! "Silver be-eh-eh-ells oo-ee-ah-ee-ah-ah-ah" The thing about classic reggae is that it is truly timeless. Every time you play it, it gives you the exact same enjoyment as the first time you took it in.  From the dropped beat to the laid back lazy twangy lyrics that casts the overall smokey yet sunshiny vibe. It really is the soundtrack to Caribbean lifestyle.

#5 Black Cake

Most West Indian kids have heard the phrase "BLACK Caaake!?.....What's that!?" followed by an explanation of the rich dense drunken goodness that is the Caribbean staple Christmas cake. There is an unspoken competition and hunt for the best black cake every year. Ideal slices are hidden and hoarded, and as the tin foil starts the run out the coveted slices can be found sandwiched between front facing paper plates, with other leftover staples and gifted bottles of rum and sorrel by the door. This is the last hour of Holiday dinner where we labrish and long talk at the door. Sweating is usually a fair sign, its time to finally get in the running car.