The base is the most important part of the style because it is the frame for the style. The base determines the length of the locs, the shape of the locs and color pattern (if you are doing a blend of color).
The base is also what gives form to the loc which is why it is important to install the base using the invisible braiding technique and completing the base with a twist. Use small pieces of hair when installing the base. This keeps the loc looking natural and keeps the loc lightweight.
*REMEMBER- We are going to wrap this base with more hair so you don't want to make the base too thick, too heavy or too tight.
Additional benefits of the invisible braid:
1. Eliminates bulkiness at the scalp, creating a loc that is consistent in size.
2. Eliminates tension and discomfort, which is normally associated with braids attached with a knot
3. Provides more flexible movement of the loc at the scalp immediately after installation.
You will notice that I don't braid the base all the way down, but instead I use the braid to attach the hair at the scalp then twist it the rest of the way down. A braid creates a flat silhouette (shape). A loc is a cylinder shape, so we want to create that cylinder with the twist. The additional benefits include:
1. You are able to install the base a lot faster
2. There's more flexible movement in the body of the loc
When you install the base always make sure:
1. You install it a few centimeters away from the scalp to give the loc a natural "grown out" look
2. Always braid pass the clients hair if it's short, otherwise you only need to braid down a quarter inch
3. You don't twist the hair to the ends. We NEED the ends to be loose so we can create the wave at the end.
Parting and Sectioning (creating your framework)
To create a natural fall and layering of the locs, use a random parting pattern. Your random parts should still stagger (or brick layer) to create volume and fullness. When creating random parts, be mindful not to make them too rectangular. This will cause more distance between parts which exposes more of the scalp.
Because we are creating a layered look, the longest layer of your locs will always be on the bottom. This bottom layer will extend around the head up to the eyebrow.
The second layer is created in the crown. If the client's hair is short, you have more room to create 2 different layers in the crown. When you get to the very front, create a center part. I've learned over the last 4 years to always create a center part. This not only gives your client the styling option of wearing their locs down the middle, but it also helps to create more volume around the fact. Part smaller around the center part. If the client's hair is shorter in the front and around the hairline (which is typical) frame shorter locs around the face to create another fringe layer. This gives even more shape to the style.
When following these guidelines to creating the base, with consistent practice, you should be able to install the base in 3 hours or less.