Ask the Experts: Frequently Asked Questions About Sisterlocks

ESSENCE.COM Oct, 10, 2012

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Many people wonder exactly what is the difference between traditional locs and Sisterlocks.  "Sisterlocks are thin locs that are about half the size of traditional locs. They are created using a trademarked locing technique that does not require the use of any hair care products," says Sisterlocks consultant and salon owner Wariesi Flores.

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If you're considering Sisterlocks, you should first find a certified consultant who can guide you through the process to ensure optimal results. "Certified Sisterlocks consultants have been approved officially by the creator of the technique, Dr. Joan Cornwell herself," says Flores.  Since Sisterlocks are so thin, improper installation can lead to severe hair breakage and even baldness.

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Once you decide you want to get Sisterlocks, don't fret about the length of your hair. "You only need at least three inches of  hair to start the process," advises Flores. "Also, you can install Sisterlocks with relaxed hair but your transition phase will take more time."

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The Sisterlocks process will get underway in three phases. First you will meet with a consultant to discuss any questions or concerns. During this initial meeting, the consultant will install eight to 12 Sisterlocks in your hair to determine which locing pattern best suits your hair texture.

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Two weeks after your consultation, the installation process can begin. "This can take anywhere from 10-36 hours, depending on the consultant and the length and density of your hair," says Flores.

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After your installation, it is highly recommended that you attended a follow-up appointment with your consultant for a final review of your newly installed Sisterlocs.  The maintenance of Sisterlocks requires a retightening every 4-6 weeks, which you can learn to do yourself. "Sisterlocks clients can register to take a course that teaches them how to retighten their own hair.  This course is available six months after installation," says Flores.

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The cost of Sisterlocks varies by region and consultant, and can range from $500 to $2,000.  In general, you will pay more depending on how much experience your consultant has—the longer he or she has been in business, the more expensive it will be. Also, some consultants charge by the hour and may charge a service fee.

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If you're not crazy about your Sisterlocks, you can have them removed, but there could be hair loss. "The process is tedious, but it can be done," says Flores. "Some clients experience a lot of hair loss, but results may vary.  It is not recommended to remove them once installed."

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