The Sister Locks Dilemma

Dr. Joanne Cornwell -Sister Locks Founder

Sister Locks are a great locking option.  One thing that’s really cool about them is, once they’ve locked, you can get them wet immediately after grooming (re-tightening) and your hair will still look fresh. Unlike traditional locks, Sister Locks won’t uncoil at the roots when exposed to water or moisture.

The dilemma is, what’s great about Sister Locks (the re-tightening process) can also be what causes you to lose your hair,  if the re-tightening is done too tightly.  The grooming should not be tight to the scalp.  It’s true that when the hair is tightened to the scalp it will last longer, But when the hair is too tight it can pull the hair right out of the follicle, causing traction alopecia /balding.

While some clients understand this and never want their hair tightened all the way to the scalp (it can also show more scalp than hair), other clients insist on the hair being as tight to the scalp as possible.  This is not a good option.  Please consider the long-term effects of this if you wear Sister Locks, or for that matter, the long-term effects of any hairstyle.  It is our goal for your hair to be styled in a way that is not only attractive, but also safe and healthy.

If you want to aspire to have long, luscious and healthy Sister Locks, like the ones worn by Dr. Joanne Corwell, seen above, then you would want to avoid having your Sister Locks excessively tightened.


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76 Responses to The Sister Locks Dilemma
  1. Lelia Hall-Smith
    November 3, 2010 | 3:20 pm

    I love this look. What does she do to curl her sister locks? My sister locks are getting rather long (half way down my back), but shorter on the sides. I have been debating whether to cut my hair short, again.
    This may be an alternative because my hair would not have to be an even length all over and would still have the versatility that long hair offers.

    • Anu Prestonia
      November 3, 2010 | 3:38 pm

      Hi Lelia,
      I don’t know how Dr. Cornwell curls her hair. There are many options including flex-rods. Or when I had my Sister Locks I once curled my hair using brown paper bag strips. Remember that technique? Since her hair is so long, I would think that the rods would be the easiest. But she might even use hot curlers since she often speaks them as an option for curling Sister Locks. I personally never added that kind of heat to my Sister Locks. But the options for curling are endless.

  2. Roz
    November 3, 2010 | 9:21 pm

    Hello Anu,

    Do you do Treebraid Weaves and if so whats the cost?

    • Anu Prestonia
      November 4, 2010 | 10:10 am

      Hi Roz,
      Tree braids are single braids. We do add them with weaves to camouflage the parting. Here is a link to one such style, Body Wave Weave

  3. Kesha
    November 4, 2010 | 8:37 am

    Yes, I have this problem! I am going bald on the sides and I never thought this would happen once I gave up perming my hair! So since I am faced with this again I will keep this advice in mind- no more tightening to the scalp. Thanks for the info, Anu.

    • Anu Prestonia
      November 4, 2010 | 10:16 am

      Hi Kesha,
      This is something that each woman should be conscious about, protecting her hairline, no matter what style it is or who the Stylist is. Natural hairstyle can be just as damaging as chemically processed styling, if not done properly. I’ve worn my hair natural all my life from braids, to twist, to Locs, to Sister Locs, etc. Once I notice a style is taking a toll on my hairline, I immediately change the style or ask the Stylist to make an adjustment. Consequently, after over 40 years of natural hairstyles, I have no hairline loss. I tell Sisters all the time, braids (or whatever) doesn’t take your hair out, but hair handled, styled improperly will.

      Hope to see you soon.

  4. heather boyd
    February 4, 2011 | 11:38 pm

    Sea salt loc accelerator spray by nappy locs. Is this ok to use on sister locs. How does it effect your hair. Sounds like it simply dries it out causing it to loc faster.

    Thanks in advance

    • Anu Prestonia
      February 5, 2011 | 8:37 am

      Hi Heather,
      I’ve never heard of sea lock spray, but if it is sea water, we all know that it’s salty water. And salt or saline water is drying to the hair. Yes, drying could make your hair lock faster but at the expense of drying your hair out, I don’t think it’s such a great option.

  5. Junie
    February 23, 2011 | 11:23 pm


    I would like to know what’s the differences between Loc’s and Sister Locks? I have natural hair and I’m thinking of having my hair loc.



    • Anu Prestonia
      February 24, 2011 | 4:00 pm

      Dear Junie,
      The difference between traditional Locs and Sister Locks comes down to the techniques used to create them and the size of the Locs. Traditional Locs are created by a palm roll technique that trains the hair to be in a cylindrical formation. This technique often starts out being done with a comb and as the hair grows the Stylist then transitions from the use of the comb to using the hand to rolls the Locs into formation.

      Sister Locks are created using a patented tool created by the Sister Locs founder. The tool is very much like a crochet hook. The hair is parted in tiny box sections and knotted or knitted using this tool. Because of the technique the Locs don’t snap or break despite their thinness; unlike traditional Locs which can snap when created too thin. The great difference between Sister Locks and traditional Locs is that once your SL are formed, the new growth doesn’t come undone when your hair is exposed to wetness, so SL stay looking neat even if you workout or go swimming or shampoo the hair. With traditional Locs once they are exposed to wetness, the twisted new growth is likely to unravel and look fuzzy. For information check out the Sister Locks website.

  6. Althreasa Foster
    April 1, 2011 | 9:24 pm

    Hi my name is Reese.
    Im really thinking about making the transition to Sister Locs, however I was wondering how does the texture and length of my hair my effect the initial process.
    I have shoulder length hair, that is semi natural (meaning my ends are permed and from the scalp to about half the hair shaft down isn’t). Do I have to cut my hair? And/or will the locking process take longer because of the half permed half unpermed texture of my hair.

    • Anu Prestonia
      April 2, 2011 | 7:12 am

      Dear Althreasa,
      The hair that is permed will take longer to lock and it will have flat formation. My suggestion is to cut off the permed hair, but of course that is your decision. Most SL techs charge by the length and you will have to pay for all the length that you have. Also, the permed part with look a little like (excuse the expression) rat tails. Hope this has been helpful.

  7. Chrissy
    June 3, 2011 | 2:04 pm

    Hi Anu,

    I recently went to Khamits Kinks for the first time since my big chop. I was so empowered by the wonderful group of natural hair stylists. I’m loving my natural hair and find myself gravitating towards sisterlocks. I have researched this locking method and have some questions. Is it common for traction alopecia to occur from monthly retightenings. I have also read of locks thinning or falling out, did you experience any of these side effects. Can you recommend an experienced sisterlock consultant in the NYC area. I appreciate your advice.

    • Anu Prestonia
      June 7, 2011 | 2:07 pm

      Dear Chrissey,

      Glad to know you enjoyed your Big Chop experience at Khamit Kinks. In terms of Sister Locks, the traction alopecia only occurs when the hair is re-tightened too tightly, and it’s not necessary to re-tighten to that degree. And of course, I would recommend the fabulous and very much experienced Sister Lock consultants at here at Khamit Kinks. Let us know when you’re ready.

  8. Mercy Nagel
    June 23, 2011 | 10:55 pm

    Hi Anu,

    My name is mercy and I have had sisterlocks for three years. after my locks were installed, i moved to an area without lockitians. i travel 3 hrs to get my hair re-tightened. i have noticed that my locks have changed and I do not love them like i used to before i moved i have so much frizz hair sticking out of my locks. some trainee consultant suggested that i cut all the frizz hair and it will look clean. is there any products you might recommend and what do you think about cleaning the frizzes, is that a practice done? help, i am really disappointed with my locks right now

    • Anu Prestonia
      June 24, 2011 | 4:04 pm

      Hi Mercy,
      Have your Sister Locks ‘manicured’ to trim away the fray hairs that are sticking out is a good idea. But it has to been done by someone with patience who will take their time and not inadvertently cut into your SL. If you are not pleased with the services provided by your current SL tech, I would recommend finding another ‘highly recommended’ tech and decide to make the sacrifice to travel to her no matter how far it is.

  9. Jem
    July 3, 2011 | 12:49 am

    Hi Anu,
    I have had my sister Locks for just about 2 years… They are giving me a lot of trouble. I went to the re-tightening class and have been maintaining them for about a year on my home getting an occasional re-tightening from my former SL consultant. My locks have not shown much growth, they are stubborn to lock, and the ends are super frizzy causing me to chop off any growth, because it looks so frizzy. Someone I went to said I should chop them off and start fresh because the grid was done improperly during installation. I really don’t want to do that. I need help, do you have any recommendations for me? I live in Northern NJ btw. Thanks for your help in advance.

  10. Toni R
    May 23, 2012 | 10:29 am

    This information is good stuff! I am in my mid 40s and have been wearing my natural hair for just about 2 yrs now! I found that relaxers were not for me and my hair type (4c thin and fine) and my 6 day a week workouts! I am seeking feedback/advise on whether I should entertain the SL. I wear protective twist styles that look great the first couple of days after I re twist but after 40 mins of sweating profusely in the gym, my hair shrinks significantly! If I do SL, should I expect shrinkage to happen as well?

    • Anu Prestonia
      May 23, 2012 | 5:59 pm

      Toni, that’s a hard one. I think Sister Locks are great for your lifestyle, it’s just that in the beginning, your Sister Locks should not be exposed to water because it can lead to what is considered ‘slippage’. Which means, your Sister Locks could unravel. To avoid this especially during the shampoo, the Sister Locks are braided before shampooing and then un-braided once the hair has dried. You may have to keep your Sister Locks braided up all the time if you’re sweating that much; at least until your hair is locked all the way. Something to consider.

    • Toni R
      March 22, 2014 | 2:48 am


      I am checking back in to let you know that I made the move go get SLs and I love them! It’s been almost 2 yrs now. My only reservation that I have is when I get it retightened so much of my scalp is exposed in the top of my head that if feel self conscious. I like my hair best when its about 2-6 weeks after a retight. Is there anything you recommend I can use or do after my retight so I dont feel so self conscious when people stand over me?

      • Anu Prestonia
        March 22, 2014 | 9:07 am

        Congrats to you Toni! My best recommendation, which I mention in all my posts on Sister Locks is to not have your hair retightened all the way to the scalp. Ask your SL Tech to leave a little space between the scalp and the re-tightened area, like an 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch could make all the difference. This is also a good way to say your scalp from traction alopecia. I find that most re-tightings are done too tightly cause stress at the scalp, damaged follicles and thinning of hair.

  11. Jamiyah B
    September 23, 2012 | 10:46 pm

    Hi, I’ve had my sisterlocks for almost 5 years now and they’ve grown quite a bit. However, when I run my fingers through them hair usually comes out in my hands. Also when I wash them a a lot of the tips fall off. Even when I’m styling them I experience a lot of shedding. Is this normal? I’m starting to get concerned. I feel like they grew a lot of the years but now they’re at a standstill. Am I over reacting????????

    • Anu Prestonia
      September 24, 2012 | 8:20 am

      Dear Jamiyah, What you’re describing doesn’t sound normal. Are your Sister Locks dyed? My tips used to fall off with my first set of traditional Locs because I have over processed them by dying them over and over again. Let me know.

  12. tkio
    November 20, 2012 | 11:51 pm

    Hi Anu,

    I am considering sister locks, but I am concerned about shrinkage. My 4b hair is about 10 inches right now. How much shrinkage should I expect after getting the sister locks? Is there anyway to retain length/prevent shrinkage.

    Thanks so much for all of the incredibly helpful information.

    • Anu Prestonia
      November 21, 2012 | 10:13 am

      Dear Tkio,

      There is very little shrinkage with Sister Locks once they are established. In the beginning you may have an inch or two of shrinkage when you shampoo, but for the most part there is little shrinkage.

  13. Sonia
    January 24, 2013 | 10:54 am

    Hello Anu,

    I really value your opinion and love reading your site. I had locks installed 4 years ago, and have them tightened every five weeks. Just noticed thinning on the crown and sides. My consultant did not mention this until it was noticeable. Will I be able to regain this lose if I stop have them tightening so frequently.

    Thanks for your suggestion

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 31, 2013 | 2:04 pm

      Hi Sonia,

      You didn’t mention how often you have your hair re-tightened. More important is how tight she is re-tightening your hair. I suggest that when it comes to that last turn that makes the hair as close to the scalp as possible, that it is not done. When we first introduced this concept our clients didn’t like the idea because they felt it would cause them to need to come back into the salon sooner. But that is really not the case and if it means saving your hair, that is most important.

      • Sonia
        February 24, 2013 | 9:26 pm

        I did mention that she retightens every five weeks. I am going to a dermatologist in a few days. I will follow up with my findings. Thanks for your help.

        • Anu Prestonia
          February 26, 2013 | 2:55 pm

          Great! Please follow up with me and let me know what you find out.

  14. Gwendolyn
    January 24, 2013 | 2:19 pm


    I am considering sister locks for my 9 year old daughter and myself. My daughters hair is very thick, but soft and curly. My hair is thin, but curly when wet. Should there be any concern of the sisterlocks falling out or making my thin hair thinner?

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 31, 2013 | 1:59 pm

      Dear Gwendolyn,
      When a hair texture is soft with a loose curl pattern it will take longer for that hair to Loc no matter the technique. A person with that texture hair has to have patience with the process. You would need to follow the directions of your Stylists and make sure to follow up. Your hair shouldn’t become thinner unless your SL are re-tightened too tightly. When you say fall out do you mean unravel? I would suggest having a few Sister Locks put into your hair to see how they would hold up. This is normally done during a Sister Lock consultation.

  15. Gwendolyn
    February 11, 2013 | 8:44 am

    Thank you for your response. When I say fall out I mean for an entire lock to fall out from my hair being thin. It sounds like as long as I follw the instructions and don’t have them re-tightened too tight I should be safe…

    • Anu Prestonia
      February 11, 2013 | 9:09 am

      Very true Gwendolyn. Re-tightening in a too tight manner is a great recipe for hair loss. But you may consider seeing a dermatologist to see if there is any other issues with your hair and or scalp.

  16. Gwendolyn
    February 12, 2013 | 8:37 am

    Thank you for your concern. I have Lupus and know that is the source of my hair, skin and nails issues. It is controlled and have the support of my husband, family and friends. I will keep you updated on my sisterlock journey.

    • Anu Prestonia
      February 12, 2013 | 12:28 pm

      Stay strong Gwendolyn, I suspected there to be some underlying cause because it’s not natural for hair to just fall out in that way. Yes, please do keep me updated and all the best to you and your fabulous support team!

  17. Ria
    June 3, 2013 | 11:30 am

    My locks are falling out, i’m not sure why. I am at my wits end, I feel like chopping it all off. Any suggestions on what I should do?

    • Anu Prestonia
      June 3, 2013 | 5:26 pm

      Hi Ria,
      I am sorry to hear about your Locs falling out. The reasons for this has to be determined before we can advise you. Would it be possible for you to come in for a consultation? If so, please fill out our Consultation Questionnaire. Even if you don’t live in the NY area, we can arrange to consult via email images sent to us of Skype.

  18. Shirley
    June 24, 2013 | 8:58 pm

    I would love to get sister locs, i however will be moving to jamaica west indies how do i manage them in jamaica such as the retightnening process. can i just leave it wash it and allow nature to take its course? please allow me to know

    • Anu Prestonia
      July 9, 2013 | 3:31 pm

      Dear Shirley,

      There are Sister Lock techs all over the planet these days and I am sure there is one in Jamaica. I recommend checking the Sister Locks website to find SL tech in that region.

  19. Nandi
    July 21, 2013 | 9:23 am

    I have had SL for 9 years. I have colored my hair for about 5 years. Initially, I only went to a professional and my hair did fine. Then, I started coloring my own hair because it was more affordable for me. I have colored my hair the last 4 times. I use Soft Sheen Carson Dark and Lovely 394 Vivacious Red. My tips are falling off, some of my locks are very short, especially in the top, my hair does not seem to be growing, and it seems dry. I find my locks, sometimes long ones, all around the place, even outside. The ones that fall off do not seem locked anymore. I was told to put conditioner only on my ends and this would help. What is happening? Please advise.

    • Anu Prestonia
      August 17, 2013 | 8:56 am

      Dear Nandi,
      Please pardon my delayed response. My blog has been on the blitz for weeks now and I was finally able to have it fixed last night. What you are experiencing is your Locs have been severely weakened and damaged by the coloring process. What most people don’t realize is that hair that has been dyed once, should never be dyed again. The only part that should be dyed is the new growth to match the rest of the hair. Each time you dye hair that’s already been dyed you create more damage.

      This is the very same thing that happened to me with my first set of Locs, which is why I cut them off. I was dying my hair red and I wanted the color exactly perfect and I would put color on the part that was already dyed, just to make it look more vibrant or to get it to the level I preferred. Since then I learned my lesson and make sure our clients don’t have that experience. Sounds like you need to start over. If you don’t, you will lose more of your Locs. In the meantime, deep condition and keep your hair moist as possible using Natural Hair Oils, Leave in Conditioners and do Deep Conditioning once a week. This will help with the dryness and may prevent more breakage.

      • sharon~
        April 30, 2014 | 10:04 am

        Try to steam your hair and also condition it. If there is a TAG saloon near you go there. If not buy a steaming (Hood) and order the conditioner from TAG. Hopefully it’s not too late for you.

  20. Kathryn
    November 6, 2013 | 8:52 pm

    I have had SLs for 18 months, I am having a problem with frizzy end and little hair balls on my ends. I have been washing bi weekly and using a conditioner which makes it feel so much better otherwise it is coarse and very rough feeling. I was told not to use conditioner and not to cut the hair balls off. What products do you recommend and what type maintenance care, like braiding before washing ect! Help despite and frustrated

    • Anu Prestonia
      November 7, 2013 | 12:07 am

      Hi Kathryn,
      If your hair is totally locked now, you don’t need to braid it before shampooing. I would have to see your hair, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend you cutting it yourself, you may cut more than is necessary. I recommend a nourishing shampoo such as our Anu Essentials Nourishing Gel Shampoo and always follow up with a rich Moisturizing Conditioner; even a Deep Conditioning if the hair is fully locked. If you are not in the NY area, then I would suggest you send up close up pics of your hair so I can see exactly the condition that you spoke of. Let me know. Just in case, send pics to

  21. Brenda
    December 8, 2013 | 4:18 am

    my hair is so thin at the root and falling out so bad bald spots thin roots are draing me craxy been lock for 10 years get my hair retight every six week . did not no my hair was getting bald . the sister who do my hair say oh yea i notice that the roots are so thin some of them are just hanging So people just tight up your hair and really do not care how it looks. I have a web cam can you look at my locks before i cut them off I really hate to do that but I can not have my hair looking a mess I heare ladys say it takes hours for them to get there hair retight and it only takes 1hour and 30 main. for her to do outs. please send me your no. for I can set up a web cam for u can see my hair PLEASE Brenda

    • Anu Prestonia
      December 12, 2013 | 2:23 pm

      Dear Brenda,

      My heart goes out to you. I don’t understand this lack of hair care by a professional? Very disturbing. We can set up an appointment for a Skype or FaceTime. Please fill out our Consultation Form and we can go from there.

  22. Mimi
    December 26, 2013 | 3:38 pm

    i have a question i have had my sister locks for almost 2 weeks now i got them installed on the 15th of dec and finished up on the 16th and i havent washed my hair yet my loctician told me that it was ok for me to use my design essentials natural shampoo it has no sulfate in it. i wanted to find out if that is ok or if i should wait until my sister lock shampoo gets here i ordered some she didnt give me a starter kit and i was also told that i can use jojoba oil on my hair which i have used only 3 times on my scalp only i need to find out if i should use my shampoo i have or use the sister loc shampoo my hair is very soft and fine and curly when wet. she didnt wash my hair before she interlocked it she said she would but she said my hair wasnt dirty so she didnt need to so i am just wondering if this is ok or if i need to go on and wash it. or let her wash it for me? my first retightening in on the 19th of jan. should i wait that long or should i try and wash it myself before then

    thanks Mimi

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 3, 2014 | 5:28 pm

      Mimi, considering your texture of hair, you should wait and let her do it. That way, if anything goes wrong, she can address it right there on the spot. If you do decide to shampoo it yourself. Just make sure to braid it tightly so there is no slippage.

  23. philadelphia
    January 9, 2014 | 1:44 am

    Can I simply say what a comfort to find someone that actually knows
    what they are talking about over the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to
    light and make it important. More and more people have to look at
    this and understand this side of your story. I was surprised you are not more popular given
    that you surely have the gift.

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 11, 2014 | 6:21 pm

      Thank you Philadelphia! I hope you will share the love!

  24. Kytia Johnson
    February 2, 2014 | 12:19 am

    Hi , you know when you have natural hair and it touches water then it curls automatically? Well if I get sisterlocks with my natural hair, will it curl the same also ?

    • Anu Prestonia
      February 6, 2014 | 1:03 pm

      Hi Kytia,
      Initially your hair will maintain some it’s curl, especially on the ends. But as the hair truly locks in, you will see less of your curl pattern throughout the body of your Sister Locks.

  25. Jessica N.
    February 20, 2014 | 10:57 pm

    Hi, Anu! My name is Jessica, and I’m in Houston, Tx. I just did my own retightening for the first time since taking the class. I think I got a little cocky with my pattern, and now realize that I shouldn’t have taken it as far as I did. Here’s what happened: I usually would get them retightened after 5 weeks, but for my first reti, I let 6 weeks go by. I had more new growth than would allow for ONLY the 4 point rotation (ONE full rotation). So my self-imposed pattern went like this ~ 3, 6, 9, 12, 12, and sometimes a third ’12′. I told my SL consultant, and she said I may get gaps in the locs, but it’s ok, and to not repeat 12s in a row like that. I hope my locs are not damaged… If I do get (hopefully small) gaps in the locs, won’t the gaps fill in with the shed hair? Can the locs get strong again, like before? I promise not to get overconfident with the process anymore; help! Thanks

    • Anu Prestonia
      February 21, 2014 | 12:11 pm

      Hi Jessica,
      Making this era this one time around shouldn’t be a problem. As your Tech mentioned, as long as you don’t continue doing that, it should be fine.

  26. Jupiter Butterfly
    March 28, 2014 | 4:14 pm

    Hellow! First off let me say that it is an honor and a priveledge to finally contact someone who gives such great insight and info about lovley sister locks! I’ve been searching for a sight and person like you for months now!
    I have done great research on Sister locks, but I still have some questions.

    1) Will there be any shrinkage after I wash my hair when I get sisterlocks? How much Shrinkage will there be? Did you ever experience any shrinkage after you washed your not-yet-mature locks?

    2) My hair when straightened is all the way to my back, when twisted (in two strand twist) it goes all the way to my neck. I’m hoping it will only shrink towards the back of my head and chin length. But if it does not, Can I wear a wig until my hair grows to the desired neck length? W

    3) If I do wear a wig, will I get alopecia?

    4) A lady who tried to get me to dread my hair said that sisterlocks are very weak and will defintelty break off if I get them because black dreads must be big to support their own weight. Is this true? I have seen countless pictures of women with long sister locks that are very tiny.

    5) Lastly…When I get sister locks, can I still grease my scalp and mositurize my hair any sort of way?

    Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this!
    Any answer from you, is a treasure for me!!!!!

    • Anu Prestonia
      March 29, 2014 | 8:58 am

      Dear Jupiter Butterfly,

      What a marvelous name! I’m glad you found us. Let me answer your questions:
      1) There is not much shrinkage with Sister Locks. When I first had mine installed my hair was already short (4 inches or so) and it did not shrink or get shorter because you must braid your sister locks each time you shampoo your hair until they completely lock. Braiding them keeping them from having slippage (long loops in-between that lead to unraveling). The braiding stretches the hair out preventing shrinkage and you keep it braided until the hair has completely dried.

      2)Yes, you can wear a wig. Just as long as it’s a good wig that structured so that the inside of the wig is not of a material and tightness that will rub the hair line and cause irritation.

      3) This is answered in #2

      4)Sister Locks are the only way to go if you want thin Locs. Trying to have thin Locs with the traditional locking process causes breakage. Sister Locks are strong because of the method used to form them. Black Dreds? Never heard that term before, but standard or traditional Locs should be at least a quarter of an inch thick at the roots to have good support.

      5) Jupiter Butterfly you must get with the new language. We no longer ‘grease’ our hair. We use light, natural oils to moisturize and lubricate our hair and scalp like Anu Essentials Natural Oils, which I highly recommend. I, myself have been hand blending these botanically based oils for over 30 years and they are still one of our biggest sellers.

      Now I will tell you that I have a different perspective and practice than the Sister Locks company. They do not believe in oiling the hair or scalp and they do not believe in using shampoo and conditioners that add moisture and hydration to the hair. I believe they have this stance because of the possibility of slippage with moisturizing products. But from the beginning with my own SL, I started continued using my oils and using conditioners and other hair products that add hydration and moisture and I had no problem with slippage. Someone with very soft, loosely curled or straight hair may have a problem if using conditioning agents on their SL, but we haven’t had that problem with those clients either. It just takes longer for their hair to actually lock, moisturizing agents or not. It worked for me and my clients and we continue to do so.

      I hope this has been helpful.

  27. ViVi
    March 31, 2014 | 12:51 pm

    Hi!! I have been sisterlocked for almost 2 years now (will be two yrs on July 8) and I have a little dilemma, no biggie. The tips of my sisterlocks are a lot thicker and have a little ball forming on the bottom.. is this a natural sign of loc maturity? While the bottom half is thicker, the top half is a lot thinner and more micro as from the day I first got them installed. Last summer, I didn’t have the thick ends with the ball tips and really liked it that way. I am pleased with my consultant and for the past few retightenings I had to request that she not retighten my edges too tightly because my edges started thinning and falling out. So I’m thankful she didn’t oblige to that. And I’m thankful to see that u highly recommend the locs not to be too tight. I know that when she tightens mine, it is a little bit tight (but not headache tight) and by the next day it’s perfectly fine. Is that ok? Or should I ask her to not tighten it tight at all. Thank u for this informative post! :D

    • Anu Prestonia
      March 31, 2014 | 1:01 pm

      Hi Vivi,
      The balls on the ends of your SL are not usual, but it really depends the texture of your hair and the maintenance. If you don’t like them I would recommend having your SL Tech, trim them down. It’s really not a good combination that the bottom of your SL are much thicker than the top part.

      If you’re having tightness and discomfort I would ask her to make it even less tight. Just don’t make that last turn that she’d usually take on your re-tightening.

  28. CameilliaIsn'tmyrealname:)
    April 28, 2014 | 3:09 pm

    Dear Mrs. Anu:
    Hellow and how are you. I am glad I found your web site.
    My first Question is, does the sisterlocks price go UP if you hair is thick.
    I brake alot of afro pics so, you can imagine my dilema :(

    Will my locks get bigger as they “settle?” I’ve heard people say that when locks are first done they look thin and strange.
    How did your locks looks when you first got them?
    Do I have to go to manditory re-tightning classes once I get the locks? If so, how much are they?
    Do I have to wrap my hair up at night with a satin scarf and sleep on satin pillows?
    Thank you very much for reading my letters. I am abit scrambled.

    • Anu Prestonia
      April 29, 2014 | 8:14 am

      Dear Cameillia,
      Usually the price goes up according to length. We would need to see you hair to determine if there will be an additional charge due to thickness if you still want your SL to be very thin. The comb shouldn’t be breaking that might be an indication that you aren’t combing your hair correctly.

      Sister Locks are definitely thin when they are first done and before they lock. But it really depends of the texture of your hair and how they are styled. I’ve never used a satin scarf or pillow for my locs. It isn’t necessary. The classes aren’t mandatory.

      Please consider coming in for a consultation.

  29. sharon~
    April 30, 2014 | 10:19 am


    My sisterlocks are thinning in the top. I have been coloring my hair for about five years now. My locktician did not tell me how thin my locks were getting. Of late I stop putting color in my hair for one year and just recently just had the new growth about an inch from the scalp colored not the entire head. I am almost bald on the top. I will be going to a dermatologist. I question is since people have to be trained in order to get the tool why aren’t they told not to pull. Every single locktician I’ve has pulled my hair while retightening. I have been locking for almost 14 years. They should know better. I started in DC, Maryland and now I’m in Charlotte NC. I got their names off of your sight. Each have said that they have to pull so hard in order to pull new growth in. There was one that pulled so hard I had to take pain killer. I am not tender headed. If this pulling is possibly the reason for balding as you stated above then perhaps you can contact your people and tell them not to pull so hard and not to make that last rotation, because we the consumers do not know and the lockticians are not telling us our hair is thinning. smh Are there any people in place that can help me with this problem. Also, do you think that it is reversible.

    • Anu Prestonia
      May 1, 2014 | 1:22 am

      Dear Sharon,
      Your comment makes it seem as though you’ve found these techs who pulled your hair tight on my website, which is not the case. I believe your concerns should be directed to Dr. Joanne Cornwell and the Sister Locks website. I only have two certified Stylists at our salon who retighten Sister Locks and this is something that we are very much aware of and avoid, causing hair loss from re-tightening too tightly. You should address the with your statement above. They are not my people. This is just an article that I felt would help women decide which technique would be serve them.

  30. MomoLisa
    May 7, 2014 | 2:37 pm

    Hi I have 3C hair it is very soft and curly && I am having my consultation Monday … can you let me know what to expect please and thank you

    • Anu Prestonia
      May 8, 2014 | 4:14 am

      Hi MomoLisa,

      We are not open on Mondays. Our in person consultations are Wednesdays through Fridays. You can expect to be heard if you have something to share regarding your hair, your expectations etc. You can expect to receive an assessment of your hair condition, to be informed about which style will and will not work for you based on your hair texture, length, and lifestyle. You can expect to be informed about the process of whichever style or hair treatment you decided to have. You should expect to leave our salon well informed and confident that we can serve you well.

  31. coa
    May 26, 2014 | 10:50 pm

    I am so glad you are on this sight. I have had locks since 2009, I have experience in South Carolina the too tight locks. I’m in Atlanta now and I have been experiencing locks falling out since I had them. My sister in law did my locks in Miami . I know these professionals know what they are doing, but my hair has been thin all my life. I got locks because of menopause. My hair was thinning really bad from menopause. I am 53 and at least with the locks I can camouflage my thin hair. You have helped me on dying my hair with the advise you have given here. I was using just rinse for years and still I had my hair coming out. Some people are bless with thick nice hair and some of us aren’t . So thank you. Sister locks really help me. and here is some advice to some of the women. I use the vitamin E natural oil in the bottle and it helps my hair to grow back when I have a lock fall out. You should notice your own hair. You noticed it before you got locks. It’s not the hairstylist job to notice your hair, you should tell her or him when you see a change in your hair. That’s what I have done for years and it’s your money . Find someone else.

    • Anu Prestonia
      May 29, 2014 | 11:57 pm

      Yea Coa, with fine hair one has to be careful and conscientious. Thank goodness you knew enough to protect your hair.

  32. Mariah
    July 4, 2014 | 5:17 am

    Ive been natural for three years and Im going to get sisterlocks…the problem is, the only time the consultant could book me was just about a week till i had to return to boarding school after summer holidays. Im worried about having to go back to school with the partings, thin hair…the effect before it fills in…
    Should i just cancel ? Or do you think it might not be that bad…? Should i get braids to hide the effect? I am really worried, im in highschool and ppl can be mean :(
    Thank you so much,

    • Anu Prestonia
      July 25, 2014 | 8:13 pm

      Hi Mariah,
      I would need to see your hair after it’s done to make a recommendation. That is a part of the SL process is that some scalp shows. I don’t think you should cancel if this is the direction you want to go in. When I started mine a person I love said to me ‘you spent all that time and money to look like that’? Months later they were eating those words.

  33. jewel perrian
    July 14, 2014 | 10:24 pm

    My locks are 12 inches long, but about 7-8 inches down the locls are getting thin and breaking off what can i do besides cuting them off?

    • Anu Prestonia
      July 25, 2014 | 8:10 pm

      Hi Jewel,
      I recommend having a consultation with us so we can determine what your best course of action should be. If you can’t come in we can do a digital consult via Skype or FaceTime. Let me know how you would like to proceed.

  34. Carol
    July 30, 2014 | 10:55 am

    I have had SL for six years and this is the first time I have had frizzy locks. My locks are frizzy on the ends more in the top locks than the back. I did have them cut but in the back because the top is much shorter. And now that I’ve read some of the questions/answer about too tighten of locks thay may be the problem in the top of my head. But right now I have all of this frizz. WHAT CAN I DO????

    • Anu Prestonia
      July 30, 2014 | 11:00 am

      Hi Carol,

      I would need to see your hair to determine what should be done. If you live in the area, I would recommend coming in for a consultation. If you don’t like in the area, perhaps we can do a Skype or Face Time consult. Let us know what works for you.

  35. Dayna
    August 7, 2014 | 8:46 pm

    What is the longest time you have known for Sisterlocks to actually lock? I LOVE my locks, however I am still not locking after 3 1/2 years. My hair is beautiful and curly, my SL consultant says I have hair like Chilli from TLC. I’m not really concerned, I was just wondering if I’m that “rare” case that never really Locs

    • Anu Prestonia
      August 14, 2014 | 2:08 pm

      Wow Dayna,

      I’ve never heard of hair taking that long to lock even very straight Asian textured hair locks faster than that. Can you send me a picture of your hair to put in the subject Photo for Anu. Thanks!

  36. c bell
    October 17, 2014 | 6:41 pm


    Would you mind referring a consultant who is located in Hinesville Georgia.



    • Anu Prestonia
      October 19, 2014 | 7:58 am

      Unfortunately, I do not know of a consultant in your area. We do offer Skype and FaceTime Consultations for those who are unable to come into our salon. Visit our website for more information.

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