Phyllis Johnson – Your Video Locktician
This post was inspired by an email I received recently concerning finding a good loctician. I really felt compelled to answer it because as an experienced loctician, I find myself repairing or “fixing” the locks of women who have had poor experiences and bad results with an inexperienced or a “Lazy Loctician”. Here’s the email I received recently:
“I love your work and have been strongly sold on getting sister locks. I love the work you have done and want my hair to resemble Lisa’s hair – (Click the Link To See Lisa’s Sistelocks!)
http://videolocktician.com/sisterlocks/lisas-sisterlock-video-is-quickly-becoming-a-youtube-hit . I am in a city where there is only one sisterloctician. I went to get a consultation, but for some reason I am not feeling 100%. First it was suggested that my 7-71/2 be cut down to 4. I had some split ends on my natural hair, so I didn’t mind, but I would have liked to stay at around 5; then I was told that my loc size would be medium in the back and large at the top, she didn’t like to do the small, because it takes a long time to retighten. I was never asked how I wanted my hair to look, how many locs, or shown how my hair might look. I saw a brief retightening of another of her clients and the parting was not very neat. The big thing is that this person is not 100% satisfied with the way their locs look and neither am I; I don’t since the same pride that you have with your hair and work. I am willing to travel to other locticians, if necessary. This is permanent decision that I am making and I want to be satisfied. Plus, I live in a city where a lot of the African-Americans here have never heard of sisterlocs and i will be there first example. I am eager to get my sisterlocs started and my appointment is a week away, what do you suggest?”
Here is my response….
Regardless of whether this locktician has experience or not, I would consider her a “Lazy Loctician”. First of all, I would never suggest cutting off 3½ inches of hair unless that hair was completely damaged.
Secondly, if I were installing the locks, the medium locks would be installed toward the front and the larger locks would be installed in the back. The reasoning behind this is most of the styling occurs around the face and the front part of your head. As your locks grow out, it’s the locks at the top and front of your head that will naturally fall and cover the rest of your larger locks – giving you more consistent styling options and the appearance of medium locks throughout the head. In my opinion, this locktician has suggested shortening your length and installing larger locks to spend less time in your hair. Now, if you’re OK with this, then this won’t be an issue. But know that “Sisterlocks” are characterized by the small, uniform and refined locks and you should have somewhere in the neighborhood of 350-600 locks. On the average, my clients have between 450-550+ locks.
I recently installed Sisterlocks on a client who had over 12 inches of naturally straight and dense hair. She ended up with 548 locks. I’ve had clients cut their hair to get rid of damaged ends or because they wanted to completely cut off all the permed ends, but at no time did I recommend cutting the hair to save me time in the process.
Thirdly, keep in mind that a consultation should always be a two-way conversation. You should be provided opportunities to ask questions, see and sample products, pictures, etc. I always tell women to trust your gut. In your email, I sense that you already know the answer to the question that you are asking me. You don’t feel right about her experience or her work ethic. Remember that you too have to take responsibility. If you’re having doubts now about your future locktician, you will almost always have issues or problems down the road. Then you will be in a more desperate situation in having to find an experienced locktician who is willing to take you on as a client and repair any possible issues that the previous locktician has caused.
Remember, this will be a long-term hair relationship between you and your locktician or Sisterlocks consultant, as well as an investment in your time and your money. Choose wisely. Below are a few pictures of one of my clients who had a “Lazy Loctician” prior to finding me. She allowed me to take pictures because I couldn’t believe the condition her Sisterlocks were in and to help anyone else who is going through a similar situation. She had been going to her former Sisterlocks consultant for a year, before deciding to seek out another loctician.
When I asked her when was the last time she had a re-tightening, she replied, “Tuesday.” I asked, “Tuesday when?” She answered, “Tuesday – two days ago!”….So these pictures below were taken during my consultation with her, two days after her last re-tightening by her former “Lazy Loctician”. She had a true horror story and the pictures speak for themselves. She has less than 250 locks!
A Few Clues To Finding A Good Locktician – And What Questions To Ask
1. Does she have an overall pleasant and positive attitude/enthusiasm for what she does?
2. Does she have experience? How much?
3. Are prices comparable to other lockticians with same experience?
4. Can she show you a portfolio of her work?
5. Can she provide referrals?
6. How many locked clients does she have on a regular basis and how many did she actually start or install?
7. What does her work environment look like and will you be comfortable in it for several hours?
8. What type of products does she use/recommend and why?
9. Can she explain the locking process and the stages that your hair will go through?
10. Does she charge by the hour or per session?
11. Does she provide opportunity for you to ask questions?
12. Was she able to make you feel comfortable and set you at ease?
13. What training has she completed?
14. Did she thoroughly explain how to care for locks between visits?
15. Did she answer questions that you did not think to ask?
Spring/Summer of 2015, I will start to release very informative E-books on different
aspects of the locking process to help you make informed decisions about finding
good lockticians, starting locks, maintaining locks, starting a natural hair business,
how to lock your own hair, get locking training and quick and simple styling
techniques that you can do on your own. Please contact me via email if there is
anything in particular that you would love to learn about locked hair.
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Have A Great Hair Day!
Phyllis…Your Video Locktician