Thursday, December 9, 2010

I had my locs installed today AND I LOVE them, my babies. I never truly understood why people called their starter locs "babies" but as my loctitian was finishing up, I realized that if I want loczurious locs, I have to treat these starters with care. They are the foundation for the next 5, 10, 15 years!

Let's start from the beginning.

I scheduled the appointment last week and was a bucket of nerves until I walked through the salon door today. In the days leading up to the appointment, I was a Youtube junkie watching hours and hours of loc videos. If you remember, I found my salon of choice, Rare Essence, in July. One of the deciding factors was their commitment to customer service. Four months later, that dedication to customer service remains intact. From scheduling to the end of the appointment, I was 200% pleased with the service I received. Nothing over-the-top; simply caring and respecting their clients.

My July consult was with Vela but she was booked today so the appointment was made with another loctitian. I won't lie, I was disappointed but December 9th was the only date in what's left of 2010 that I have free. Waiting until 2011 was out of the question; I wanted to start my journey NOW!

I wasn't sure who my loctitian would be until I sat in the chair. You can imagine my surprise when she introduced herself as China. Talk about my lucky day! Essence China Farmer is the owner of the salon and a celebrated loctitian. Besides that she is a leader in the natural haircare movement in Arizona and likely well-known across the country. Her story is inspiring and she shared it with me today. In short, she launched a lawsuit against the state of Arizona for the rights of natural hair stylists and won! You should read China's story.

So, in the end, I decided to start my locs with comb coils. I like the look and it's a sentimental - - comb coils were my wedding hairstyle five years ago. China asked what size locs I would like. Of course, I had my laptop ready with pics. Both my hubby and I like the look of thick locs. Not so thick that I can't style them but definitely not thin.

I mention my husband because he's part of the journey, too. He watches Youtube videos with me and he's been engaged in the process. I was sorry he couldn't join me today.

Regarding partings, China and I had corresponded via telephone in July when she answered some lingering questions I had. China reassured me that the salon only uses bricklayering. So today after confirming the loc size, there was nothing else to discuss and she began the process. Well, there was one request I had but didn't verbalize. I wanted diamond-shaped partings as well but no need to worry, China did that automatically. I didn't even have to ask! The joys of working with a professional.

Here we are just starting.

The installation took just over an hour and then I sat under the dryer. In all, it was a two hour visit. The cost? Not nearly as much as I predicted and that made the whole day even sweeter.

I'm done!

Here's a view of the back. . . love the parts!

Extreme close-up of the comb coils and another back shot.

The flat look will definitely take some getting used to. I'm going to enjoy this stage but I am looking forward to the fattening up of my babies. I just have to remember I'm beautiful no matter what's going on with my hair!

So, the trip to the salon is a trek: six hours round trip. Yes, I questioned my sanity. It's not only this trip either; I will return for maintenance. So, why not start them myself? Or have a friend start them?

Well, China answered those questions for me. When she finished, she handed me a mirror and said "Make sure you like the parts. Once your hair locs, those parts are forever."

And that's why I drove six hours today.

I probably could have muddled my way through the parts or walked a friend through a process but why? Loctitians are professionals and I respect their talent. The parts are important because they affect how the locs lay as they mature and they can make or break a style. More importantly, they determine the thickness of the locs. I didn't want to mess with that, ya know? So, I will drive three hours in another month for maintenance. One day I will transition to self-maintenance but until then I'll travel and I'm fine with that.

Here I am with China!

(On a side note, this picture highlights that my weight loss journey is not over. To read about that, check out my other blog here.)

Here I am with Vela!

I left with only a couple of instructions to follow. That's a good thing. I'll discuss them in another update. For now, I'm exhausted!

Thank you to the Rare Essence staff. It was a wonderful experience and in case you couldn't guess, I highly recommend their services!

Loc'ing and loving it,

- kareen


Rennea said...

Congrats again!! You did a lot of research- which is great and it looks like China did a fantastic job. The size you chose is perfect too. YAY!! You are on the right track.
Lovely :)

i_amEatingRight said...

Thanks!!! Hope mine turn out as lovely and thick as yours :)

eMCee said...

I cannot tell you how proud I am of all the diligence and commitment you dedicated to this process - from inception to execution! I am so thrilled that you had an awesome experience with your loctitian. Your locs are going to be RIDICULOUSLY beautiful, you started with a head full of thick hair! The sizing is perfect! I'm so excited for you and can't wait to track your progress!!

Your sister in locs ;-)

i_amEatingRight said...

Awww, Mai! I'm shedding a tear at your gracious comment. Your journey inspired me, too and I'm so glad to finally be on that track. Well worth the wait.

I'm excited, too!!

iRockLocs said...

Hey, sis! We're only a month apart. I'll definitely be following your journey! I love the size of your baby locs! Congratulations!!!

i_amEatingRight said...

Thanks Kim! I look forward to watching yours as well! Again, can't believe your hair growth!

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