Natural Options for Natural Hair

Naturally Beautiful
We love natural hair, whether they be tight coils, loose spirals or waves - hey, it could even be poker straight, we love it.

There are so many names out there for our hair: afro hair, nappy hair, kinky hair - I prefer to call them 'textured tressures' or 'highly textured hair'. Pretentious? I don't think so - just a better way of describing hair of mixed heritage or 'African/African-American/Afro-Caribbean' origin given that some of the more common words often carry with them negative connotations.

You've probably heard it a thousand times: your hair is your crowning glory. We're here to pamper and protect, nurture and nourish that crown. We want you to have long, strong hair (why not?) so we'll encourage you to adopt maintenance practices that help reduce breakage and thinning. Now don't get me wrong - I am not going to guarantee that your hair "is going to be touching your bum within 60 days or your money back", there is no hard sell here, we just share and care: we share the knowledge and help YOU put it into practice.

Natural Products
Almost all of the leading cosmetics companys and manufacturers of 'Black' hair care products have a product line using the words 'natural' or 'organics' - so what do we mean when we say we use 'NATURAL PRODUCTS'?

Well, to start, all our products are home made and depending on your treatment, some of them will be made specifically for YOU. As I said - there is no hard sell, you don't have to buy anything, these are recipes we will use every time we spend time together (whether that's us visiting you or you visiting us); if you like how it's going then by all means we can make some for you to use at home. Just for You.

None of our products contain petrochemicals. That means no mineral oil, no paraffin or paraffin oil, no petrolatum or petroleum jelly, no liquid paraffin. No. Not one drop. These ingredients are lubricants, by-products of the petro-chemical industry which tend to coat the surface of the skin (and scalp) preventing it from breathing... remember that the next time you reach for the baby oil.

Since we'd rather not put this on our skin or in our hair (or on yours) we've looked at natural sources for alternative oils and emollients and that has taken us right back to our childhood. Remember when your mother or grandmother used to bring out the coconut oil or the castor oil? When we grew up many of us turned away from these 'old fashioned things' but the 'old folks' actually knew what they were doing; our practice is built around five primary oils:
  • Almond
  • Avocado
  • Castor
  • Coconut and
  • Olive

Depending on your hair type and 'treatment' we may also use unrefined shea butter, vitamin oils and conditioners as part of your hair care.

Since there is no hard sell (yes, I like to remind you), we also recommend certain products which are readily available on the market - again, these products are sulfate and silicone free and also avoid petrochemicals.

So 'natural' for us, means naturally sourced high quality ingredients in our own products; and high street products which do not contain any 'nasties'.

Are all your clients 'natural'?
Almond & Avocado is all about empowering women of all ages to love, nourish and nurture their unprocessed hair. We do this through education and illustration.

Does this mean you have to cover your head or hide if you pay us a visit while wearing a relaxer or a curly perm? Of course not! While the majority of our services cater to unprocessed hair, you can still enjoy a relaxing scalp massage or have your hair cornrowed without worrying about us trying to force you to grow your hair out. We're just happy people, and we're happy to have you around.

Why Should I Try You?
I am not a hair dresser, not in the traditional sense of the words. I will not colour your hair, I will not cut it, I will not perm it or flat tong it or give you a Dominican blow out but neither will I keep you waiting around a salon for half a day...

With Almond & Avocado, it's you, me and your hair. No gimmicks, no tricks, no hard sell.


Sisterlocks: The Importance of Braiding & Banding

I know you've heard it time and time again: before you wash your hair make sure you BRAID and BAND it - particularly during the 'settling in period' (usually the first 6 months after your Sisterlocks installation but it can be longer) And I know that for some of you this 'braiding and banding' business gets on your last nerve... what a hassle eh? BUT it is an IMPORTANT step in ensuring you end up with the best looking locs possible - especially if you have a looser curl pattern...

I am going to show you in pictures to see if I can ram the point home.

If you are a newbie then you MUST braid and band, I know it adds extra time to your washing routine but it is VERY important.

This is one of my clients just after installation.

And this is a picture of the same client approx 6 weeks later (having missed an earlier appointment, gone swimming at least twice a week every week and washed about twice a week every week without consistent braiding and banding).


Sisterlocks: The Importance of Regular Retightening

I was going to write an article about the importance of retightening (or regular maintenance) but then I remembered that Blaq Kofi has already said it quite nicely (

While adhering to a strict 4 week schedule may not be financially feasible (or time possible - for those of you who DIY) - it IS important to choose your frequency and stick with it as this will give you the BEST POSSIBLE result over time.

If you normally go every 6 weeks and have to stretch it to 8 weeks once or twice in a year - your hair shouldn't fall off your head (although Blaq Kofi did lose a loc or two doing that), what WILL happen is that your retightening session will take longer than you're used to and may cost more - especially if remedial work is required.  

If you regularly switch it up - 5 wks, 8, wks, 6 wks, 4 wks, 10 wks - you are likely to end up with lumpy, bumpy or even ropey locs... as a result of the uneven tension that will inevitably have been applied.

Let me explain - your hair normally grows at different rates. At 4 wks this may not be significantly noticeable, at 6-8 weeks your Consultant may notice one section (or more) requires more rotations than another section due to increased growth there... (you can extrapolate)...

The more new growth there is the greater the likelihood of uneven tension being (unintentionally) applied by your Consultant or even yourself  (e.g. she may have another client on the way, you may be in a hurry, you may start day dreaming in the middle of a rotation, someone could interrupt you, your arms start to get tired etc etc etc).

It is this uneven tension during the rotation that leads to mr lumpy, mr bumpy and mr ropey living in your head. If you don't mind this - then coolio - but if you paid for Sisterlocks/microlocks because you loved the UNIFORMITY of those many tiny locs - then please pay attention to your retightening.

Almond & Avocado Naturals (Cosmetic Products)


We love natural hair and locks (Almond & Avocado Hair); we also love health, well-being and complimentary therapies (Almond & Avocado Holistic) so it was a natural progression to branch out into natural cosmetics - with a range of hair, scalp and body products, along with a line of aromatherapy remedies.

We currently retail the follow from our South London salon:

Hair Milk:  
A creamy nourishing & moisturising leave-inYou can use this as frequently as you wish. My children use this before styling (cornrows, twists and puffs) and to occasionally refresh existing protective hairstyles. Best when applied to dry hair.
 A moisturising blend of purified water, Aloe Vera juice & vegetable glycerine for maximum moisture retention, combined with nourishing Avocado & Cocoa Butters and drizzles of Avocado, Coconut & Sweet Almond oil, finished with a dollop of honey and hair loving Essential Oils.
Loc Dew
A light hydrating leave-in spray with herbs, humectants and essential oils A very light moisturising spray designed with SisterlocksTM wearers in mind. Very low oil content (<1%) and plenty of water and humectants to help thirsty hair retain moisture. Use as often as desired and let me know if you experience build up.
Body BarRich creamy cocoa butter body bar that melts into your skin as you massage it into your body.
Curl Mist 
A juicy moisturising leave-in spray
A sprayable cocktail of Avocado Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Honey, Vitamin E & Apricot Oil, blended with purified Water, Aloe Vera juice, Sea Silk & Glycerine and topped off with a shot of Herbal extracts and Curl loving Essential Oils
Use this when your hair feels as though it needs a shot of moisture or to refresh existing hair styles. You can also use this to help comb out twists or smooth your edges.
Hair Slip (Detangling Spray/Serum):  A conditioning and detangling spray/serumThis is chemically balanced and therefore the least natural of my product range.
The slip contains Cetrimonium chloride for serious conditioning and detangling benefits (this ingredient can be found in many popular conditioners and leave-ins) as well as Dimethicone and Cyclomethicone - two silicones which reduce friction when combing or brushing the hair – thus reducing frizz and breakage.
Shampoo Bar: SLS Free, juicy shampoo bars with honey, coconut oil and essential oils
Hair Butter: 
A moisturising creamy whip packed with hair loving vegetable and essential oils, fruit and nut butters all whipped with love.
This product will both moisturise and seal your hair and is chocked full of vitamins, proteins and essential oils to help nourish and fortify your hair. Good for twists and braids and for slicking down edges. 
Contains shea butter, cocoa butter, avocado oil, coconut oil, sweet almond oil. olive oil, carrot seed oil,  vitamin E, honey and panthenol.  Store away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Hair Custard: 
A moisturising and conditioning blend of hair loving oils and butters whipped with love.
Similar to our hair butter but with a custard-like consistency for easier application – perfect for those who want to ‘keep it light’.  This product is great for sealing damp hair and for adding shine and moisture to afros, twist outs and straight hair dos.
Contains everything the Hair Butter does but with added macadamia nut oil and mango butter. Store in cool, dry place away from the sun to prevent unwanted melting and crystallisation.
Hair Nectar: 
A soothing serum blended with nourishing, hair loving oils to calm scalp and
encourage growth.This product is primarily designed for the scalp but can also be used to seal your hair – filled with natural goodness this serum contains therapeutic oils and vitamins for the hair and scalp to pamper, protect and nourish.  
Contains jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, macadamia  nut oil, castor oil, olive oil, hemp oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, carrot seed oil, vitamin E, ylang ylang, sandalwood, rosemary, cedarwood, juniper and jasmine.
We also sell a range of organic natural shampoos and conditioners.

Our online store will be launched soon - thanks again for your ongoing support and encouragement.

Yours truly, 

Annette Clark Headley, 
Almond & Avocado Ltd

Complimentary Therapies and Holistic Practice

Holistic Massage & Complementary Therapists

In addition to natural hair care and micro locking services (like Sisterlocks TM), Almond & Avocado offers a range of complementary therapies in partnership with qualified ITEC practitioners.  The practice serves South East London and Corporate East London (e.g. Canary Wharf & The Docklands).

Further information can be found by visiting the holistic section of the website or by telephoning 07957630186.

Annette Clark Headley M.A. Cantab, MCThA, DipHM, 
  • Holistic Massage, 

  • Hot Stone Massage

  • Aromatherapy Massage & Practice

  • Reflexology

Kayon Philips MFHT, DipHM, DipBT
  • Beauty Therapy (Facials, Manicures, Pedicures & Threading)

  • Holistic Massage 

  • Indian Head Massage

  • Reflexology

Shaherah Jordan DipNT
  • Fitness

  • Diet & Nutrition

UK Sisterlocks & Natural Hair Event - 26 June 2011

This post is a merging of two posts by two UK based bloggers (must give credit where due!!). Thanks to Nai and the Natural Lounge for originally publicising this event. My original comments are italicised, everything else will have been summarised from their posts.

The Sisters Who Lock -  Annual Social Gathering
Date:Sunday 26th June
Time:5pm - 10pm
Cost:£10 which includes a complimentary glass of wine or soft drink; – light refreshments will be on sale.
LocationWelbourne Centre, Chestnut Road, London N17 9EU. (5 mins walk from Tottenham Hale Station)
Guest Speaker:Life and Relationship Coach Des OConnor. (7pm sharp)
Who Should go?Everyone is welcome: locked sistas (traditional or micros!!), naturals AND permies.
What else is on offer? Well, for those of you who remember 'Adornment' (I do!!!) there will be a mini 'Adornment' style sale.  This basically means that there will be Culturally inspired designers exhibiting their jewellery, clothing, greeting cards, bags etc. Sisterlocks products will also be on sale and to top it off, there'll be a photographer on hand to take your photo (which will be available for same day purchase). How cool?

This will also be a good opportunity for anyone thinking about starting sisterlocks to see them in their abundance, ask questions and share the experience of other sisterlocks wearers.

For more details please visit their website:
or give them a call: Liz Joseph (07956 346 385) or Judy (07950 703 789)

For details of other upcoming UK based events , please head on over to The Natural Lounge where Angel has compiled a very good list.  (Make sure you subscribe to her blog to stay in the loop).

Sisterlocks Consultants in the UK

The main registry of Sisterlocks Consultants and Trainees is held by the Sisterlocks Home Office (in the US) on their Official website: (currently being redeveloped!!)

International Consultant Registry *
International Trainee Registry*

(They started redeveloping their website in March 2011 - these links keep changing so please don't be mad if they're incorrect when you click - I'll keep updating them!)

If, however, you just want the SL graduates who are based in the UK - then this directory is for you.
Sisterlist UK lists Sisterlocks Consultants & Trainees, Bloggers and Vloggers all based in the UK.

You can use it to search by area e.g. Birmingham or London, or postcode e.g. NW10 or even for a Trainee or Consultant.

Go on - click the jump and have a butchers: remember to show some love by subscribing or following and telling all your friends about it!!


Tell Me About: Sisterlocks Consultants & Trainees

What are these Sisterlocks Consultants and Trainees anyway? And what's the difference between the two?

Since Sisterlocks is a trademark company, no unauthorized individuals can lawfully offer the system. Every program graduate with "active" status will appear either on the Official Sisterlocks Certified Consultant list or on the Official Sisterlocks Trainee Registry. If in doubt - contact the Home Office.

Graduates of the comprehensive Sisterlocks TM training program are known as 'Trainees' or 'Trainee Consultants' until they are 'certified' by the Sisterlocks Home Office in the U.S.

Once trained, Sisterlocks (SL) 'graduates' may apply for certification, providing they meet certain qualifying requirements demonstrating their abilities to competently install Sisterlocks. A successful application indicates that the 'Trainee' meets the required standards of professionalism, competence and quality of care.

SL Professionals tend to have Sisterlocks themselves and either be stalwart 'veterans' (with mature locks e.g. 5 yrs or more) or 'younger' lockers, many of whom have taken retightening classes and are ready to take that step towards offering Sisterlocks as a service to others.

However, although many Consultants (& Trainees) may have Sisterlocks; it is not unusual to find them rocking bald heads, loose hair or traditional locs: ultimately, it is a matter of personal choice so don't be put off if your Consultant falls into one of these categories.

Main Differences between Consultants & Trainees


  • These graduates are freshly qualified/(usually) recently trained so 'things may be fresh in their heads".
  • The SL services offered by Trainees tend to be priced lower than fully certified Consultants - this of course depends on how long they've been a trainee and how many heads they've completed - as they may very well have sent off their certification application and be awaiting formal recognition (having already received verbal confirmation that they have been successful). The discounted prices are usually a reflection of a Trainee's desire to complete the requirements for certification and build their books & portfolios.
  • They may have fewer clients on their books - meaning it'll be easier for you to get an appointment.
  • They may have smaller range of photos in their portfolio of 'completed work'.


  • Consultants have the added appeal of 'more experience' beneath their belts* (Of course you can come across seasoned Trainees who have just as many years experience and the same number of clients as your official Consultant). They will be faster at retightening and installations (but they may also have picked up a few bad habits - just being honest here).
  • SL services offered by Consultants will be higher as they are no longer being discounted. Their prices will reflect their experience, competence (through word of mouth and formal reviews) and the demand for their services.
  • It may be slightly harder to get an appointment with a popular Consultant due to the large number of Clients they may have on their books.
  • Consultants will usually have extensive portfolios of their work.

Please note this summary of differences includes some generalisations, the actual service you receive will vary between Consultants as well as between Consultants and Trainees.

Three of the most important questions to ask are, "When did you take the Sisterlocks training course?", "How many heads have you completed?" and "May I see examples of your work?" as these questions will help form an an appropriate impression of your Consultant.

You may also wish to ask "Do you have active status with the Home Office?" as some individuals may allow their registration with the Home Office to expire (for various reasons and this may matter to you).

SisterList UK is a directory of UK based professionals - you can use the tags to search for services within your area or close to your own postcode.

FAQ - Sisterlocks Consultants

Graduates of the comprehensive Sisterlocks TM training program are known as 'Trainees' or 'Trainee Consultants' until they are 'certified' by the Sisterlocks Home Office in the U.S.

Once trained, Sisterlocks 'graduates' may apply for certification. A successful application indicates that the 'Trainee' meets the required standards of professionalism, competence and quality of care and are 

Although many Consultants (i.e. a certified graduate) may have Sisterlocks themselves: it is not unusual for them to rock bald heads or loose hair as a matter of personal choice (so don't be put off).  Unlike Trainees, Consultants will usually have extensive portfolios of their work and as a result you may find their prices are higher than those charged by Trainees.

The most important questions to ask are, "When did you take the Sisterlocks training course?" and "Do you have active status with the Home Office?" as some individuals may allow their registration with the Home Office to expire.

Since Sisterlocks is a trademark company, no unauthorized individuals can lawfully offer the system. Every program graduate with "active" status will appear either on the Official Sisterlocks Certified Consultant list or on the Official Sisterlocks Trainee Registry.  If in doubt - contact the Home Office.

FAQ - Lock Stages

There are generally four stages of hairlocking:
  • The Baby Phase
  • The Teen Phase
  • and two types of Mature Phase-
Click on the image for details,

Sisterlocked and Loving It

I always promise myself that I'm gonna do better, I'm gonna be more diligent about my

But in reality, my hair has been the furthest thing from my mind...and it dawned on me, that's the reason I got sisterlocks in the first place.

I am a single mother of a 3 year old...I am student teaching this spring semester, and I have a part time tutoring job to make the ends come a little close together...on top of all that, I am taking 11 hours at a junior college to fulfill my gen ed requirements before I can graduate in May. I have to find time to sleep, which means I don't have time figuring out what to do with my hair.

Time flies so fast and meshes together so much that when I see a little bit of dandruff, I have to realize that it HAS been 2 weeks since I last washed my hair...and that I need to put that on my ever growing to-do list.

I am grateful that I had the foresight to make such a decision. I remember thinking to myself, that by the time I start student teaching, my hair will be at least presentable. But that's the least of my concerns, hell, I like the fact that I can spend 30 min tops on my morning routine, from finding something to wear, showering, and getting out of the door. A couple spritzs of water on my hair, a hair clip a couple bobby pins and I have a cute "messy" up do in less than 5 mins.

When I do want a different look (and that's mostly on the weekends), I am still able to be funky and versatile, something I wouldn't have been in my relaxer days. It was either curl it, slightly bump it, or wear a ponytail...and depending on when my hair was "permed" determines how much work went into those three options (some times I may have had to put some jam in my hair and tie it *tight* over night to lay down some of those edges) LOL.

Now, please. My edges excite me, for almost every other month I see another "baby loc" that I can start. Most of the women in my family have receding hair lines on the sides only and for years I just knew I was down that path. I had very little hair and obvious bald patches on the sides of my head, which I thought was genetic. Since SL, those areas have significantly improved, with no attention to it. I don't oil my scalp, I don't condition, nothin...wash, braid, braidout, or curl...every two weeks.

I'm excited for the years to come...when my hair will really look like locks and have hang time. But until that time comes, I'll still live in the moment and enjoy all the moments NOT doing my hair and focusing on other things...

Read more about 'Beautifully Made' and follow her blog by clicking here.