First Appointment: Part 1



I finally had my first appointment witha Zamora Natural Hair Stylist, Tonika in Temple Hills, MD and can I tell you I love my look? To start off, let me say there were a lot of interesting things going on at the salon-- plenty of inspiration for the writer. The second I got there, chatting and opening up felt very natural. As Tonika will readily tell you, the hair business is very psychological, and putting clients at ease seems to come naturally for a 25 year vet. Tonika graciously answered all of my nagging questions--What brand is that product? Where did you learn that? How long will this take? What does this ingredient do?-- I could go on and on about this experience, but I’ll focus, in this post on the point of it all: the look.

We had thrown around some ideas for my first look. Tonika directed me to the Temple Hills natural hair salon’s gallery of photos and I sent her some screenshots of the looks I liked. Combined with some other looks from around the web, I was able to come up with a vague concept. Once I got something “close enough” with Tonika, I let her take the reigns. When I got to her natural hair salon in Temple Hills, we got to work on a flat-twisted updo.

“That’s a lot of hair” was the comment I got from most of the stylists, including Tonika herself. She quickly got to work, cleansing my hair and scalp with a sulphate and paraben free shampoo (the kind I like!). I got to be her guinea pig, as she was trying out a new brand. Once she shampooed, She gave my hair a long overdue conditioning mask, with an old favourite conditioner of hers, sitting me under the dryer for 15 minutes. My hair definitely felt softer...okay it felt BUTTERY. I tried to keep my hands out of it, of course, and Tonika would start twisting soon anyway.

Let me tell you-- this lady has some fast hands. She had the back of my hair done before I knew it. Being the writer, I asked her how fast she typed. It would have taken me forever just to do one flattwist, let alone a third of my head. I’m a youngest child, we never have any hair styling skills.

While Tonika tended to another client, her mother, Desiree came by the Temple Hills salon with some clothes for me to try. Tonika has been sewing since she was 16 and it seems to run in the family. Her mother is also a designer. I ended up walking away with two designs: a warm coloured asymetrical top with a paint-splatter look, and a bright yellow belted jacket. I’ll be sure to post the photos we took once I get them from Ms. Desiree. I spent a lot of time talking, laughing and playing dress up with Tonika and her mom and while I stayed there for a while hanging out and getting a feel for the environment, the actual styling didn’t take long. Next look I will be sure to time.

I went home with the individual twists at the top of my head in rods, not having the patience to sit under the dryer and forgetting what a pain it could be to sleep with rods and curlers on your head. But I managed to sleep and woke the next day to springy curly twists hanging down my face. I’ve had many compliments on the look and am hoping to keep it in for at least two weeks. As you have probably realised by now-- I like low maintenance hair. The longer I can go without combing or styling, the happier I will be. Tonika did compliment me on the health of my hair, and attributes it to the fact that I don’t manipulate it too much.

This leads me to my conclusion. Be easy-going when it comes to your hair: When you visit Tonika’s Temple Hills natural hair salon, come with a plan, but be open to modifications and trust her guidance. As I discuss my first visit experiences in future posts, it will become clear: knowing what you want will save you time, energy and even money, but speaking to a professional who understands what will and won’t work for you is also key. If you understand what’s at the core of what you want, but also are open to possibilities, you’re more likely to find the look you love.

Questions about my experience? Have a salon experience you’d like to share? Leave a comment below, or schedule a consultation with a Zamora Natural Hair Stylist.

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