Finally, I made a decision about my next steps. I was never really interested in wearing my hair in multiple styles for a year or so to “play around with” my natural hair. At my age, I’m certain that permanence is a more stable step for me. After a few weeks of exhaustive research about traditional locs vs. microlocs vs. Sisterlocks, I contacted two local consultants by emailing pictures of me with my TWA, concerned specifically about the length of my hair on the sides and back and whether or not my hair could (or would) lock at that length. Still researching websites and blogs daily, I decided that I would rather meet with an authorized consultant about my next hair transition than obsess about the process. Luckily, one of the two consultants responded to me by calling within 24 hours. She was not only timely in her response, but friendly and professional. Truth is, I never heard from the second consultant, and I’m glad. Responsiveness is a must and poor customer service would be the bane of my existence-not a good look for that local consultant (who shall remain nameless).
Armed with my supportive cousin and sidekick, Randy (RJ), and my newly found web knowledge of Sisterlocks, I met with a certified consultant around 2:30 pm on Sunday, May 8, 2016. RJ had traditional locks for several years, so I was very comfortable sharing this leg of my journey with him. I needed a supportive companion with me; I needed someone positive by my side.
I knew that she was going to be with a client when RJ and I entered the salon, so I was being “fit in” during a break. We all exchanged pleasantries, and she handed me a binder portfolio of her work which showcased different Sisterlocked styles and growth progression from installation to a different point in time. Periodically, she would check to see if I had questions. I’ll admit, I was hesitant to speak frankly with her in the presence of her client…not because I didn’t have questions, but because I felt a bit guarded about “my process” and who was privy to the details, especially from inception. While perusing the portfolio, I relaxed a bit and resolved that the sister whose appointment time I invaded for my consult wasn’t my enemy. She was another sister, like me…wanting to care for our natural hair in a very holistic, lifestyle-affirming way.
Shortly after our arrival, the husband of the consultant’s client arrived to keep his wife company for the afternoon break. It was then that she sat down with me and discussed the Sisterlocks method, my lifestyle, my reason for wanting Sisterlocks, and my hair, in general. RJ and I continued to look through the portfolio, and I asked questions about some of her clients’ hair. I showed her some screenshots on my phone of Sisterlocked styles (harvested from different websites during my research phase) on very short hair, similar to mine in length and/or texture. It was difficult to find short Sisterlock styles, and from that realization, the idea of creating a blog was inspired. I understood the hair length requirements, but I knew that I couldn’t be the only TWA-er desirous of Sisterlocks.
Walking into the salon, I was not 100% sure that I was going to continue along the Sisterlocks path. However, I left the salon resolved that I am taking the path that is right for me. My chief concern, at that time, was how the locks would look on my head, with this length, with this coarse, nappy, frizzy, curly, coily texture. One of the things that became clear to me, sitting on that couch with RJ by my side, is that EVERYONE’S hair is different. It is virtually impossible to look at another woman’s locks and say, “Make mine look like hers!” This is the part of the process that is both scary and exhilarating at the same time.
The shot above shows two installed “test” locks (one is more prominent than the other). My hair had been shampooed the day before, and it was styled using my typical curl-enhancing products.
What I like about this picture is the subtle capture of several textures throughout my TWA, up close and personal. RJ is stretching out one of the locks so that it can be clearly distinguished. It is flanked by a wiry gray hair that he pulls out as well. My hair is very thick.
Here are those same locks from two different angles (top and bottom pictures). I left the salon that day very reflective about the visit. In an effort to subdue my need for instant gratification, I walked out, somewhat disappointed, that I had to wait…I had to postpone my plans…I had to be more patient. I needed more length in the back of my head of hair. Another half inch to a full inch, so the waiting game continues. Ever watched a phone, waiting for it to ring? You get the point…
~Worth Noting: Within this blog or comments, I’ll never address or discuss the expense of any phase of my hair journey as it relates to the installation and maintenance of my Sisterlocks. I do this for one primary reason-my experience, my hair, my process, and my expense will not be yours. Every client has a different cost based on your head of hair, and it is the consultant’s responsibility to assess your hair and determine your cost. I will divulge that I have to budget my expenses to ensure that my hair receives the attention it deserves along this journey.