I’m transitioning from a loose natural to sisterlocks. I’m so excited to physically begin this journey sisterlocks. Mentally, it’s so much to learn and decide on, because like I’ve been told by a couple of hairstylists, it’s a commitment. I’ve been natural since 2012, when I decided to cut off all the permed hair from a pixie cut, leaving behind a twa. What if I don’t like it? I answer this question by saying, I’ll just detach myself from them and have them cut off. When it comes to my hair, I try to experience as much as I can with it before the density of my hair starts to revert as I get older.
Transitioning to Sisterlocks
I have always been in awe of black women rocking all types of styles and lengths. I do admit that I was very ignorant of the history of locks and only thought you had to be from the Caribbean Island to wear them. I set out to do so much research during this quarantine and wow there is so much out there. For every search, I became very excited to join this select group of naturals. My internet, Instagram, and YouTube history is full of knowledge and tutorials of locking loose natural hair. With my grown out tapered cut, it’s been a tad bit difficult finding tutorials however, there are a few out there.
As easy as it is to do mini twists, the interlocking technique is a process to learn and Patience Edet did a pretty good job installing hers.
There is so much to research and learn before taking the time to install or paying the equivalent of NYC rent costs to have them installed. The first step is to grow out your hair if you have length less than 2″ around the perimeter of your head. Learn as much as you can, so when you do have a consultation, you can intelligently ask all the questions you will need to have answers to.
Sisterlocks Terminology to Learn
- Bunching – are very common in looser hair patterns. They are usually uneven and have a gap in-between the lock. The only way to fix bunching is to unravel it and retwist or interlock.
- Bundling – locks that are either braided down or twisted loosely at the base, with a rubber-band at the end, to prevent lock unraveling due to washing of the hair.
- Consultant – is a person who is certified to provide and render the sisterlocks services.
- Retightening – is a term used for the maintenance of sisterlocks. It is when an individual who has Sisterlocks does the process of tightening their new growth.
- Sisterlocks – an interlocking technique which are maintained exclusively by retightening the “new growth” with a specially made tool. You can find the tool on the Sisterlocks website or sold third-party on other sites. Sisterlocks is a trademarked style created by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell.
- Slippages – is when your locks unravel or become loose at the base of your scalp. You can have slippages but no unraveling or unraveling but no slippages or both.
- Traditional Locs – are created through palm rolling medium to large amounts of hair, using a balm or wax.
- Unraveling – is what happens when locks are undone by their own (very common in the baby stages) at the end of your locks. It is recommended to bundle your locks in the early stage to avoid these types of issues. Unraveling should not be confused with slippages, since unraveling locks are more common at the end of your locks.
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What are the stages of Sisterlocks?
- Pre-locking Stage – this is the beginning of the install phase where the parts are very clear and the locks look tightly coiled. These locks are also known as “baby locks”.
- Budding Stage – this is the matting phase of the lock process. These locks try to rebel from the tight coil look also known as “teen locks”.
- Shooting Stage – the “adult locks” are forming and becoming more matted except for the new growth of hair.
- Contracting Stage – this is the last phase of the locking process. These locks are mature and established also known as “elder locks”.
The process from installation to the contracting stage of sisterlocks is a long and monetary commitment. I’ve seen the videos and read the testimonies of those who have their opinions of their choice and I’m still looking forward to moving into this group of naturals.