I thought of something else that I wanted to share as I reflect on this milestone. “Free your mind and the rest will follow. Be color-blind…don’t be so shallow”. That is a verse or the chorus from a song by the group En Vogue sometime in the nineties I think. It may seem unrelated to locking but it really does apply. At first I was only looking at information from braidlockers and Sisterlockers. Then I said to myself this is not how you live your life so learning about how to work with your hair should be not be any different. You might miss out on a gem just because you rejected it from the start based on narrow minded thinking and prior conditioning.
When I was overseas I went into the military base beauty shop to inquire and set up a future appointment to get my Jheri curl touch up. (Stop laughing ‘cuz if you are anywhere close to my age…you wore one too. lol) Anyway, the only beautician in the shop at the time was white. I told her wanted and she said she knew how to work on Afro-textured hair but she was a bit apprehensive. I made the appointment for the next Saturday. Something in my spirit said give her a chance.
So next Saturday came and I was there 10 min early for my 8:00 am appointment. Y’all, she had me in on time and out by
10:55 am. No that is not a typo or an exaggeration. I asked her to shape the top like I wanted and trim my ends. She did exactly that as I was especially impressed with the trim. Y’all know a lot of these stylists are scissor happy and there is a code language to getting what you want. If ya want a cut, tell em you want a trim and if you want it cut, you better be prepared for your hair to be a whole lot shorter than what you went in with. I made my next appointment for 8 weeks later as I only went in for touchups.
At the next appointment, I told her how much I liked my hair which I really did and that I had received so many compliments on it. She was relieved so I asked her why was she so nervous at first. She told me that many blacks refused to let her do their hair because she was white (actually German). I told her that I don’t care if you are brown, purple, green or got polka dots, as long as my hair looks good, is healthy (in that case as healthy as it could be with a relaxer type chemical) and it did look good even after a fresh touchup. Before her I never liked a fresh touchup. Y’all this was the first time I had been satisfied with a beautician’s work on my hair. Not to mention the service time. She was always on time and never for the almost year that I was going there, was in the shop more than 3 hours and y’all know how long it takes to put all those perm rods in your hair and the drying time. Plus y’all know about them perm salon days where you spent d*mn near ALL day in the shop or at least 4 hours…if you’re lucky. On top of all that, it was the first time in my memory that my hair touched my shoulders. I was so sad when the base closed because that meant I could not go to her any longer. After that I never had shoulder length hair (even stretched) again until now.
I’m getting to my point so hang with me. lol If I had dismissed her from doing my hair just because she was not of my culture, I would have truly missed out. Just because she was white did not mean she did not know anything about Afro textured hair. Obviously she knew not to leave that chemical on my fine textured hair for too long, something the other beauticians I went to did not because as I said, my hair got shorter and shorter. My routine and products did not change from her doing my hair as opposed to others. So that had to be the difference.
I said all that to say don’t reject someone just because they may not have locs started with the same method as yours or even locs for that matter. I have gotten so many gems of information that has been helpful to me on this journey from Free-form lockers to Relaxed ladies…that about covers the entire spectrum. As Cherie King says and I’m paraphrasing “Locs are just larger strands of hair. Some are thicker or thinner than others just like loose hair”.
You can apply this message to your life as well. Thanks for all the support in my journey so far.