It’s finally starting to feel real. I just left my consultation with Amber and I have my six little…and I do mean little…test locks installed!

I met Amber at her beautiful home in DC. I prefer stylists that work out of their homes. I don’t miss the salon atmosphere and can’t see myself sitting in one for hours during my installation. I immediately felt comfortable with her, as I knew I would from our initial e-mail exchange.

We chatted about my hair history and I started asking my set of prepared questions, many of which I got from this excellent post. She answered everything completely and encouraged more questions. She even asked if I’d like to talk with anymore of her clients. When I responded that I was fine with the two I had talked with, she asked again if I sure I didn’t want to talk to anymore? I liked that. It gave me even more reassurance.

I told her that I would be a model client in terms of following all of her instructions to the letter. I let her know that I ain’t no maverick! You won’t catch me thinking I know what’s best for my hair as it matures and locks. I asked about styling options and she said in the beginning that she’d prefer that I didn’t grab and snatch it up into ponytails too often. Gathering some parts up is fine. Curls are great. She promised to show me some ways to style it and could offer more elaborate styling services if needed. She had just purchased some pipe cleaners and did a quick demo on how to use them. Seems simple. I can’t wait to try it.

At the Baltimore Natural Hair Show, the subject of color came up. The consultant advised coloring before one locks. Amber agreed that I need to color before installation or wait a year. She said I could henna, which is what I’ll likely do. I prefer reddish brown hair to my natural dark brown color. However, I have absolutely no desire to put chemicals on my hair right now. I’ll give this some more thought over the next week or so but it’s likely I’ll wait.

Next step was to measure my hair, which surprisingly was 8 inches at its longest point and 7 and 6 inches in other areas. I had been telling people that it was about 5 inches. We talked about the size of the locks I wanted. I initially said I wanted them all small but after seeing how tiny they are, I may go with mediums all over or a mixture.

Here are my locks. My boyfriend was kind enough to help me take the photo —and provide his hand for the backdrop.

I keep feeling them and imagining a head full of them. I wonder how many locks I’ll end up with. I’ll ask her to count them.

I showed her this picture and told her that this is the prototype. I’d love for my locks to end up looking like this. If they don’t, I’ll love them anyway of course. I can’t imagine my hair ever growing this long but there is no reason why it won’t. Black women can grow hair!

I left feeling reassured that I had chosen the right consultant to walk with me in this journey. She encouraged me to contact her with any questions that came up over the next few weeks. As instructed, I’m going to give my hair a very deep condition before my appointment as I won’t be deep conditioning for the first 6 months.

The next day she sent me a breakdown of the cost for installation, which is about what I expected. She also sent me a few more resources, which I’ve included here.

Meantime, I’ll also stock up on pure essential oils, many of the ones on this list to blend with distilled water to moisturize my hair.

Less than a month to go. I cannot wait!