What are Sisterlocks? Everything You Need to Know

Twist-outs, knotless box braids, dreadlocks – there’s no end to hairstyles that complement natural hair. If you’re looking for a long-term protective hairstyle for your natural locks, consider sisterlocks. What are sisterlocks, you ask? Read along as we give you the rundown, the history behind this hairstyle, how they differ from dreadlocks, and more! 

What are Sisterlocks?

Sisterlocks are tiny-sized dreadlocks. They’re created using a special sister locking tool that creates small locks from the ends of the hair to the root. They don’t require any styling products to create and need to be carried out by a sisterlock professional. 

The History of Sisterlocks 

Dr. JoAnne Cornwell created and trademarked sisterlocks in 1993. Cornwell mentions on her website that the idea behind this style wasn’t necessary to introduce a new hairstyle but a new lifestyle. It’s for women interested in cultural self-expression and self-empowerment. Sisterlocks offer them a way to embrace their natural hair in a way that’s self-affirming and gorgeous. 

The Difference Between Sisterlocks and Dreadlocks 

The main differences between these hairstyles are how they’re created and the size of the lock. 

Sisterlocks require an interlocking tool that creates the lock without the need for any waxes, gels, or other hair styling products. The small locks are formed starting at the ends of the hair, working their way up to the root. This minimizes tension at the root. 

Dreadlocks can be formed using different techniques like twisting, coiling, or braiding. They are thicker than sisterlocks and formed beginning at the root of the hair. While dreadlocks can usually be done yourself, sisterlocks need to be carried out by a professional. 

How are Sisterlocks Installed? 

For a breathtaking set of sisterlocks, follow these 3 simple steps: 

1. Consultation 

Like with any other hair procedure, you’ll need to undergo a consultation. Meeting with a sisterlocks expert will help you determine which pattern best suits your hair texture. Here, you’ll also be able to discuss any concerns or questions you have. You can seclude your session following your consultation. 

2. Session

If you think your hair appointment will take 2 hours, think again! A sisterlocks session can take anywhere from 16-18 hours, depending on how long your hair is and its density. If you have very long, thick hair, your session could take up to 24 hours to complete. For this reason, sessions are broken up into 2-3 days. Trust us. The results are well worth it!

3. Follow Up Appointment 

After your session, your sisterlock specialist will schedule a follow-up appointment with you. Here, they’ll look over their work and make any changes if necessary. It’s also important to go to this appointment because they’ll share some grooming tips that you can do yourself to maintain this style. And, it doesn’t end here. You’ll want to make an appointment every 4-6 weeks to tighten your locks as your hair grows.

How to Remove Sisterlocks

Sisterlocks aren’t permanent. During the first 6 months, they’re pretty easy to remove. After this initial period, they can be more difficult to uninstall (not impossible, though!). For this reason, be sure this is the right hairstyle for you before actually starting the process. 

How Much Do They Cost?

The price of this hairstyle varies depending on location and hair length. Price will be determined during the initial consultation; however, expect to pay anywhere from $450 to $2,500. If you’re worried about the price and thinking about getting a haircut, consider a short hairstyle! This will lower the cost of sisterlocks since your stylist will be working with less hair.

How to Care for Sisterlocks 

This look brings with it  a pricey investment, so make sure you keep them in good condition. Here are some sisterlocks maintenance tips to consider: 

1. Wash and Condition 

Just like you’d follow a strict hair care routine before having sisterlocks, you need to follow one after. Wash and condition your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner. These products are gentle on your locks while nourishing, softening, and illuminating locks!  

2. Let Locks Air Dry 

Blow drying your locks can cause damage to the hair. Instead, keep your hair away from heat altogether and opt for air drying.

3. Use a Nourishing Hair Serum 

Finally, if and when you notice your locks are feeling dry, add a few drops of hair serum to them for a quick fix. A nourishing hair serum will keep them feeling hydrated and moisturized!

Let Your Sisterlocks Shine! 

Are you sold on sisterlocks? You should be! They offer a gorgeous way to show off your natural hair. Just remember to go with a professional for both the installation and removal process!

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