I was getting bored with my short pixie cut hairstyle. I missed not having more options to style my hair. I even entertained purchasing an expensive wig so I could enjoy the weight of long hair on my shoulders and back. However, an unexpected trip to NYC to visit family changed my mind. I saw my sister-in-law and her daughter rock these beautiful long luscious locs. I knew from that moment on, that was what I wanted. I spent the rest of the summer researching locs and figuring out the type of Iocs I wanted. I had no idea there were so many types... micro locs, sister locs, thick locs, traditional, free form, semi free form. I had to figure out how big I wanted the locs. I had to decide whether I should do comb coils, two strand twist or braids. Should I have a brick layer parting pattern or diamond shape, or crescent etc.. So many options. I eventually decided to do traditional medium sized locs with comb coils. My intention was to have a diamond layered parting pattern, but, that ended up being brick layered. Consequently, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the stylist who did my starter locs. I took over my hair and redid them. The pattern ended up being more free form than brick. Which, brings me to my question....Do You Really Need a Loctician?.... or in my case a hair stylist to start locs.
I’ve been maintaining my locs pretty much from that point on. As I mentioned before, I did go to a hair stylist because there weren’t any licensed locticians in my area. I also felt it shouldn‘t be a big deal to find someone to start comb coils for traditional locs. Welp, I was wrong. The issue came the day I went to have my starter locs done. The problem...they were too spaced apart for my taste. She used a black gel when I made it clear I didn’t want her using any black gel on my hair. I originally wanted diamond parting pattern, she refused and stated the brick pattern is better. Frankly, I think she was just lazy. When I came in for my 5 week wash, she said “nope, they will unravel and I’ll have to charge another $150 dollars to redo them”. I got up from the chair and never returned. I went home and washed my hair with a stocking cap. A few did unravel but I simply retwisted them again. I did more research on locs and from that point on I assumed responsibility for my own hair. Im very happy with how they look because they are full and healthy.
This is not a post to bash locticians. Honestly, there are some excellent locticians who know what they are doing and who really care about the service they bring to their customers. However, like anything else, you really need to do your homework to find someone who is a good fit for you and your lifestyle. My first mistake was not seeking out a professionally licensed loctician who was a good fit for me. I should have requested a profolio of work she did on other clients. I should of had a consultation about what I wanted in terms of the style of locs I wanted, the products I wanted used on my hair and the expectation that it would be washed. I dropped the ball because I didn’t go the extra mile in finding someone who shared similar values on how I wanted my locs to be cared for and what products I wanted to avoid. Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s your hair, and it’s your money. Make sure if you do decide to have someone take care of your hair, it’s the right fit. I wanted someone who didn’t use a lot of heavy waxy gels on my hair. I wanted someone who wasn’t going to put me under the dryer and have those products baked inside my locs. I wanted someone who was not going to grab every morsel of my hair and twist the life out of it in the name of manicured locs. I am very particular, which is why I don’t bother going to a loctician. I have too many rules and expectations, and the last thing I want is to get into a power struggle with a loctician in regards to my own hair. So, no, in my personal view, you don’t need a loctician. Locs have been around from time to immemorial without a loctician in sight. There are many loc heads who have cultivated healthy locs on their own. Nevertheless, if you find a loctician who meets your needs, and shares the same values on how to care for your hair, then continue on your loc journey with that person. It’s great to find someone on the same page. After all the goal is to cultivate healthy beautiful locs that you can be proud to show. What are your experiences with or without a loctician? I would love to hear your stories.