Sister Locks vs Standard Locs

Sister Locks cut into a Bobb, lightened on the ends

This may seem like an answer to a question that has already been answered so many times before, but I am still being asked, “What is the difference between Standard Locs and Sister Locks”.  So just for the record here we go:

Standard Locs are typically created using either the Comb Method/ Single Twist Method a.k.a Starter Locs or a Two Strand Twist Method.  There are some clients who even lock their hair starting with extensions, of braids, twists or Loc extensions.  The Starter Loc look, can also be worn as a style without actually locking, just as long as the hair is combed out completely, in-between grooming sessions.

Starter Locs / Comb Method

Typically the Comb or single twist method is recommended for those with short hair, normally one to three inches long.  The hair is twisted using a comb every few weeks as a method of training the hair to be in a rolled or twisted formation.  During the shampoo process the hair will un-twist, but after several months (depending of the texture of your hair) the hair will eventually lock.  The softer your hair is the longer it will take to lock.  Kinkier textures will lock quicker 4-6 months, whereas straight, softer textures can take up to a year or more.

Once the hair locks, the Palm roll method is using to maintain neatness at the roots and to assist the Locs to form in a uniform manner.  This is considered having your Locs groomed.  If that new growth, the hair at the roots becomes wet, the twists will unravel and need to be re-twisted, groomed again for neatness and uniformity.  Hair at the roots should never be twisted while the hair is dry.  The hair should be shampooed and conditioned along with a hot oil treatment, before twisting/ grooming the roots.   Twisting the hair at the roots while the hair is dry can cause breakage and traction alopecia.

This is one of the up sides regarding Sister Locs; even if your new growth gets wet, the hair does not unravel at the roots.  After a Sister Locks grooming, know as re-tightening,  your hair remains neat at the roots for a few weeks until it actually grows out.

Locs Groomed and Styled in an up-sweep

But getting back to standard Locs, the Two Strand Twist is another option for locking the hair.  If your hair is kinky enough, the twist won’t come a loose even with shampooing.  After a few weeks, you would just return to the salon to have your new growth groomed for neatness at the roots and to make certain your Locs are progressing in a neat and uniform manner.  Again, the shampoo, conditioning and hot oil is recommended for each grooming session.

The same is true in terms of locking from any type of extensions including Loc Extensions.  Once the extensions are put in, you would return to the salon every few (4-6 ) weeks to have your hair properly groomed and the new growth re-tightened.  Once your own hair reaches your desired length, you can have the extensions cut off.

Sister Locks a.k.a. SL are a great alternative to Standard Locs.   The biggest difference between Standard Locs and Sister Locks are the size of the Locs and the method for creating them.

Sister Locks are created using a patented tool and technique developed by Dr. Joanne Cornwell.  The method is much like crochet or macramé. But from my understanding, the knotting techniques used to create SL are really one of many knotting technique used for creating navy ropes.  Because of these knotting technique used to create Sister Locks, the SL can be made very thin without popping.  Often times, regular Locs will break and pop if created as thinly as Sister Locks are created.

Long Sister Locks

Once your SL are put in, your hair isn’t actually locked, it will still take a number of months for the hair to actually lock.  In the interim, your forming Sister Locks need to be braided each time you shampoo to make certain, that you don’t have slippage (the loosening of the knotting technique).  I repeat, until your SL actually lock, your hair should be braided and secured at the ends for every shampoo, to protect the formation of the SL and to protect your investment into this style.  Once your hair has dried, then the braided SL can be un-braided causing a crimping look.  Just spritz the hair lightly with water or leave in conditioner if you don’t care for the crimped look.

To make certain that your SL maintain proper formation, the hair at the roots should be re-tightened every four to six weeks depending how quickly your hair grows.  The longer you wait, the longer the touch up will take and in the beginning it could cause problems if you wait too long in-between re-tightening sessions.

The other upside of Sister Locks is the fact that because they are so thin, you have more and easier styling options such as roller sets, rod sets, curling iron (which I don’t recommend because of the heat on the hair) Nubian knots and other methods of curling the hair.  Also, Sister Locks are lighter than regular Locks and tends therefore, to not to put a strain on the neck in the way that the weight of standard Locs can.

I have had both Standard Locs and Sister Locks.  I like both, but when I do lock again, I will use the SL technique.

The down side of Sister Locks for some is the initial price of having them installed.  The installation process is very time consuming and therefore the price is rather hefty.   And the longer your hair, the longer the process takes and therefore the more the cost.

The other potential downside is if your new growth re-tightened to tightly, you could damage the hair at your roots a.k.a. traction alopecia.  So I always recommend that clients not insist on tightness at the roots.  Your re-tightening can be snug but not tight.

So long story short, Sister Locks are much thinner than Standard Locs, easier to style, weigh less and can cost considerably more to get started.   SL are often recommended for those with very thin hair who want to lock,  as opposed to the heavier Standard Locs.

Standard Locs can also offer an array of styling options and can be styled in beautiful up do’s, crimped, curled, or cut in to Bobb and other shapes.  The consensus it though that Standard Locs can look more like braids or twists, Sister Locks can look more like loose hair.

It’s just a matter of the overall health and resilience of your hair and of course, your preference.

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63 Responses to Sister Locks vs Standard Locs
  1. Valerie
    March 16, 2012 | 5:47 pm

    I absolutely love this article on sister locs! In fact this particular form of locking seems to be the answer to my prayers! I have short thinning hair and growth isn’t all that quick for me yet I still have a hard time trying to figure out just what to do with my hair. I’ve natural (except for coloring), for over 15 years and have still yet to settle on a permanent “do” – that is until now. This article did it for me. I can’t wait to get started!

    • Anu Prestonia
      March 23, 2012 | 7:19 am

      Congratulations Valerie on your decision. I am so happy to know that this article made a difference for you. Please fill out our Consultation Questionnaire if you would like us to service you.

  2. Starlyn
    April 11, 2012 | 6:27 pm

    I have traditional locs that are thinning about three inches from the bottom of the loc and breaking off. Only my longer locs are doing this and they are 2 1/2 years old a little smaller than pencil size. They are long enough to rest on my shoulders and I go to the salon for regular maintenance every three weeks. I have considered starting over with SL because I was told they are probably getting too heavy. I love my locs and I don’t want to start over. I appreciate any advice you can provide thank you.

    • Anu Prestonia
      April 13, 2012 | 8:42 am

      Staryln, Since the breakage is at the bottom, perhaps you should just trim the bottoms off. However, I do find it strange that your Locs are breaking off when they are so young. Do you die your hair? Perhaps your Locs were made too small from the beginning. If standard Locs are done too small they can pop off.

      • Starlyn
        April 13, 2012 | 8:56 am

        Hi Anu,

        Thank you for responding so soon. No, I have never dyed my hair but I do beleive your right they were started to small in the first place so now I’m having to combine a lot of them in the back and around the edges. The locs on top and the crown of my head are great no problems at all. They are also a little bigger than the locs in the back and around the edges. Thanks again for your response.


  3. Nichole Armah
    April 24, 2012 | 9:48 am

    I think this is great post! Alot of people ask me what is the difference between my hair (SL and my sister’s hair (traditionals). I can just refer people to this now :)
    I’ve had SL for 4 years now. I absolutely love them!! However I think another downside is that I have to depend on a consultant to do my hair for me. Which makes maintenence higher than I expected. Depending on the consultant you find they can charge $15 to $30 per hour for a 4-5 hour session. As a college student on a tight budget that is not ideal.
    This summer I will be transitioning my SL to traditionals. My sister has traditional locs and I love that she has the option of retightening her own hair when she wants to, her hairstyles are super cute and her hair is much longer than mine even though she started a year after me :(.
    I know that in the future when I have a steady career I would definitely go back to SLs because the styling options and look of it is great.

    • Anu Prestonia
      April 24, 2012 | 11:49 am

      Hi Nicole,

      Thanks for weighing in. Why is it taking so long to have your hair re-tightened? Is your own hair that thick. It normally takes 2-3 hours if you are having your hair done every six weeks. I understand if the cost is a challenge for you, you have to do what’s best for you. I have never heard of re-tightening prices that low, but perhaps they can charge those prices because they are working from their homes and not a commercial space. In any event, I know it will work out. Best of luck to you on your Loc journey.

  4. Bardette
    June 4, 2012 | 7:55 pm

    Currently I have a single unit weave. When I get my hair braided, my stylist puts a chemical relaxer in it for a few minutes to keep the hair from matting/tangling under the weave. Do I have to let the relaxed hair grow out before Sister Locks?

    • Anu Prestonia
      June 5, 2012 | 12:24 pm

      Dear Bardette,
      I definitely would recommend growing out the chemically treated hair before locking. Otherwise that hair that is chemically treated with have a shiny, flat look to it that I don’t think you will like.

  5. Marcia
    June 6, 2012 | 2:39 pm

    Hi Anu (lovely name)

    Thank you for your article. It was very informative. It is good to see an upto date article. I would love to have sisterlocks. My hair currently have extension plaits in and my own hair is mostly natural. So far all the adverts I’ve seen for sisterlocks is for young women and the locks are mature.
    I am 52 years of age (but young at heart)and I want a hairstyle that I can maintain as I get older, will sisterlocks still be suitable?

    • Anu Prestonia
      June 12, 2012 | 11:22 am

      Thank you Marcia,

      For the compliment on my name. I’m always amazed at how so many people respond to my name.

      It’s funny that you see advertisements with young women, because I find most young women aren’t either willing or able to invest in the cost of having Sister Locks. Most of our Sister Lock clients are 35 years and older. I am older than you and I intend to get Sister Locks again. I think a woman can get any style at any age as long as she knows how to rock it! And that’s the truth Ruth!!!

  6. gwynne
    July 11, 2012 | 12:29 pm

    How can one go from traditional locs to sister locks?

    • Anu Prestonia
      July 11, 2012 | 5:46 pm

      Dear Gwynne,

      Sister Locks are so much smaller than traditional Locs that in all honesty you really can’t make that transition successfully. What some people do though is begin to have their new growth re-tighten with the Sister Locks method. This some times can add stress at the scalp. We would really need to see your Locs to give you a true assessment.

  7. Val
    September 2, 2012 | 2:27 pm

    So my hair is in two strand twist…not locked yet. Can I just start interlocking the roots? And once you interlock, is it pretty much permanent?

    Lastly, my twist Have been started by braiding first and then twist. I am heavily considering palm rolling the roots and and combing out till the root of the braid every time just to try the locked look and maintain healthy roots. If my ends lock, I don’t mind snipping. Does this make sense at all?


    • Anu Prestonia
      September 2, 2012 | 5:51 pm

      Yes Val, you can start interlocking with two strand twist. But interlocking can be a strain on hair at the roots if the parting is too large. It’s permanent once it actually locks.

      Yes, I understand what you said and you could end up with good looking Locs despite the chances in techniques.

  8. erica
    September 14, 2012 | 5:37 am

    is it possible to start with sister locks & palm roll them after a certain length

    • Anu Prestonia
      September 18, 2012 | 7:48 am

      Dear Erica,
      Some clients do opt to do this, but I don’t recommend it because the size of the Sister Locks are so small that the palm rolling method doesn’t do well at that size. They tend to pop and break.

  9. koko
    September 15, 2012 | 7:58 pm

    After 6 1/2 years of growing my traditional locs, I cut my hair off sept 2, 2012. My traditional locks began to fall out and pop more than 2 years ago. I eventually lost my entire back row of hair, middle and edges. I was no longer able to wear my hiar up, styled or free from bald spots or half of head of loc extensions. I’m bald, sad, and contemplating sister locks. Please help. Ps. My hair seemed to also stop growing or slow growing. What happened? No medical or diet changes

    • Anu Prestonia
      September 18, 2012 | 7:47 am

      KoKo, it may just be that your hair was to heavy for your scalp to support. I would recommend coming in so we can see your hair and scalp. If you do not live in the tri-state area of NY, then you can take photos of your head and scalp and send them to us. Send them via email to

  10. Bri
    September 24, 2012 | 1:36 pm

    Thank you for this article. I currently have kinky micro-braids done on my partially natural hair (6mnths of new growth and relaxed ends). Can I start interlocking the roots and leave the braids in until it grows out?

    • Anu Prestonia
      September 27, 2012 | 8:11 pm

      Yes Bri, you can do that, just be careful that it isn’t done too tightly because that too can cause damage to the follicles.

  11. yesmine
    October 7, 2012 | 5:19 pm

    Hopefully God will give me the opportunity to invest on sister locks, because that only one style that i believe that will be grea,t since i don’t like extension…This wednesday God willing I would like to come for a consultation then a complete wash. May the Lord bless you Anu,the humble.

    • Anu Prestonia
      October 9, 2012 | 5:26 pm

      Thank you Yesmine,

      We look forward to seeing you on Wednesday in hopes that we can give you what you seek.

  12. Hasana
    October 29, 2012 | 8:01 am

    Hello I found your article very informative. I live in Saudi Arabia and would like to start sister locks. A friend of mine has started hers with braids. Is that a real method to start them with. Here I am unable to go to a sl professional to have them done. What would you recommend I do thanks.

  13. Lynda
    December 3, 2012 | 8:20 am

    Hello Anu,
    I have had alot of hair breakage in the past due to chronic hair dryness, matting and extremely fragile 4c hair strands. I also have random bald spots on my scalp from itchiness, past texturizers, etc. I feel my situation of damaged hair and thinning is getting under control and I cut my hair to a TWA recently but I was contemplating on starting Sisterlock with the half inch of hair. Is this OK for really dry 4c hair? Should I wait for my bald spots to grow out? Thank you so much!

    • Anu Prestonia
      December 6, 2012 | 6:42 am

      Dear Lynda,

      If your scalp is damaged and showing any sign of bald spots, they will be more easily seen with Sister Locks. I would recommend waiting until they have filled in. In addition, I do advise having your hair be at least two inches long, would be better for having Sister Locks installed.

      In the meantime, please consider using our Medicinal Hair Oil to speed up the healing process on your scalp; as well as our moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. And yes, you should definitely consider our Down Under Deep Conditioner to condition and soften your tresses as well as hydrate and moisturize your hair.

      BTW, your hair texture is perfect for Sister Locks.

  14. Renee
    December 17, 2012 | 11:02 am

    Dear Anu,

    Advice is sought…
    Having had Sister Locks installed almost 3 years ago, there are still 70 to 80 % of the locks that are still unlocked. Some locks are very tiny, on the very tips (1 to 1.5 inch) show any signs of lock formation. My consultant and I have discussed the progression of my hair and based on the texture and type which is very thick and dense along with a mix of loosely to med coiled hair texture. Presently it takes 4.5 hours for each retightening every 4 to 5 wks. I had hoped to take a retightening class to start maintaining my locks and mix it in with shorter consultant visits along with the time /cost for scheduled retis.

    Exploring possible adjustments in the methods used to make it possible to improve the locking process and also the visible inconsistency with the size of the locks. Changes in a different shampoo (not using the SL starter shampoo) use Knotty Boy, or a clarifying shampoo, i.e. Sauve as well as combining most of the locks.

    Prior to approaching my consultant on these issues as she may not approve or be unwilling to combine some locks for uniformity.

    Grateful for any insight you can offer.

    • Anu Prestonia
      December 17, 2012 | 6:00 pm

      Dear Renee,

      I find it very strange that three years later your SL are still not locked and the inconsistency in sizes etc. Have you had another SL Tech take a look at your hair? At this point I think you need to see someone else. If you are having your hair re-tighened every 4-5 weeks, I’m wondering why it takes so long? Do you live in the NYC area? If so, I would recommend you come in for a consultation. If not, I would recommend seeing someone else for an assessment of your hair.

  15. Laura
    December 31, 2012 | 10:19 pm

    Hi Anu,
    I was just reading your blight about how you’ve cut your sl’s. I also have sl’since November.2003, and they are down to the top of my backside, but I have some that have broken off. I was wondering if you kept the locks that you cut off…and if so, would you be willing to “donate” them to me? I would be so very greatful. Thanking you in advance!!!

    P.S.If you like you can see my “red” sisterlocks™ on my fb page under Laura Scarletlocs Logan:)

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 2, 2013 | 9:31 am

      Hi Laura,

      Thank you reading my post. I didn’t consider it blight, just another change. I do not still have my Sister Locks to ‘donate’ to you. But if I did still have them, that would not be something that I could pass on to someone else. I am curious to know, if you were to cut yours off, would you be willing to pass them on to someone else?

      • Laura
        January 2, 2013 | 2:43 pm

        Hi Anu, and thank you for responding to my question….and please excuse the word “blight”…my Android phone has a mind of its’s own, LOL!!! I meant to type BLOG…and to answer your question If I cut my locks would I be willing to pass them on to someone else…YES I would if I knew that someone else could benefit from them. I remember Dr. Cornwell once saying that she or someone wanted to “donate” their sl’s to Locks of Love(an organization that helps people with hair loss due to cancer they make wigs out of the donated hair), well they were told NO because Locks of Love didn’t think that the “locked hair” was clean, I guess as in sanitary?? But again, I say YES I would, if it would help someone else:)


        • Anu Prestonia
          January 7, 2013 | 2:31 pm

          I do understand your position on this Laura. Thanks for sharing.

  16. jade
    January 25, 2013 | 7:29 pm

    Namaste.. Good Evening too you Anu i currently have stater locs in my hair and i truly want to grow locs but my stylists recommends me wearing my starter locs as a style due to the fact that my hair has thinning and the texture she described it as cotton feel and wirey, and i feel that this is due to the pressure meds ive been on since my daughter was born she is 9 yrs old now. I am in the process of weening off of the meds and im keeping my hair oil and spraying an leave in conditioner by jane carter everyday. I just dont want too get discouraged from my goal and that is to grow locs!!!!

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 31, 2013 | 1:55 pm

      Don’t give up Jade. Just make sure that your scalp can support whatever style you choose.

  17. Sylvia
    February 10, 2013 | 8:59 am

    Hi Anu ..I would LOVE ,LOVE, LOVE to have sisterlocks ..ButI have a Question .On having thm installed ,can they be extended for length the same day ? and also what are your thoughts on coloring !! + the cost …Thanks Anu ~Patiently waiting your Reply …..Syl

    • Anu Prestonia
      February 10, 2013 | 9:56 am

      Dear Sylvia, I don’t know of anyone who does extensions for Sister Locks. We definitely do no offer that because we are unable to make the extensions that thin and have them stay together. If you’re going to color, you should color before starting your Sister Locks. Cost varies from one SL Tech to the next. We are no longer offering full head installation of Sister Locks at this time, only re-tightening.

  18. nappette
    February 24, 2013 | 5:54 pm

    i had traditional locs for ten yrs and then i cut them off and went three years with natural hair and installed sl’s two yrs ago. i am now already considering the committment. i they are shoulder blade lenghth and i can’t seem to committ to the time it takes to re-tighten and the cost so i really want to transition to tradional locs without having to cut my hair again.



    • Anu Prestonia
      February 26, 2013 | 2:56 pm

      Dear Nappette,

      The SL can be join from basic twisting. If you SL Tech is unable to do that for you, then I suggest you go to see someone who specializes in traditional Locs.

  19. Akina
    February 27, 2013 | 7:29 pm

    My hair is only a half of inch to one inch of hair in the top and the sides are growing back because I got my hair cut. What can I use to grow my hair out? Is it ok if I use blue magic grease? is it ok if i wash my hair with suave naturals almond and shea butter shampoo and conditioner? i want to grow my haoir out for locks . my roots ae thick my hair is kinky and . i want to start my own locks at home what should i use and do to my hair to keep moisture and retain length

    • Anu Prestonia
      February 28, 2013 | 4:40 pm

      Dear Akina,
      Blue Magic Grease?! I personally and professionally wouldn’t use anything on my hair or scalp (or for anyone else) called grease. Grease is typically heavy and weighs the hair down and can clog the scalp. I’m not sure of the ingredients of Blue Magic but in the old days those products were made from by-products of petroleum.

      The best way to grow your hair is to let it rest. That can mean wearing protective styles (braids, twists, sets) anything that doesn’t require daily grooming. I would recommend starting your Locs with a professional who has lots of experience and pictures of the Locs that they have done for others. Once your Locs are established, then would be a good time for you to take over. I only say this because of the many clients who come to see us with messed up Locs that they started on their own. Then they want us to fix it for them. It’s best to start it right and then keep it up yourself after they are set and locked.

      For moisture I recommend hot oil treatments, deep conditioning and leave in Conditioners.

      Let me know how it goes.

  20. Shannon DeJesus
    March 13, 2013 | 9:49 pm

    I currently have individual braids and I would like to lock my hair. Do I have to lock them natural o could I start twisting my hair around the individual braids that I already have?

    • Anu Prestonia
      March 16, 2013 | 1:15 pm

      Hi Shannon, you did not mention whether or not your individual braids are extensions or not. If they are I wouldn’t recommend that. It might make your Locs too heavy down the road and cause traction alopecia. If the individuals are you own hair, then yes, you can start from there if you’d like.

  21. Valerie
    April 19, 2013 | 1:58 pm

    Hi Anu,
    I’m seriously considering locs – and more than likely sister locs. My concern is my edges. The few times I’ve worn braids when I’ve taken them down my edges were damaged. It could have been from the length and weight of them.
    Should I be concerned about this with SL? I’m worried about hair loss down the road. I’ve read good and bad things about palm rolling traditional versus SL and hair thinning and loc breakage and my head is spinning!
    I just want to be sure before I make this kind of investment. I’ve been transitioning since 11/11 and my hair is growing. I know you don’t have a crystal ball, and you haven’t seen my hair, but I would appreciate your thoughts. This is a great article by the way.

    • Anu Prestonia
      April 20, 2013 | 11:23 am

      Hi Valerie,
      Thank you! When care of the client’s own hair is of little concern, there will be loss of hair. We make every precaution to make certain that doesn’t happen with our clients. And I am a living testimony considering I’ve had my hair braided in every style imaginable and I have had Locs twice, both times for 4 years and Sister Locks for 5 years and I have no hair loss whatsoever. Sister Locks if done correctly will not damage your hair and we’ve had clients have hair grow back when they started doing sister locks. There is loss of hair with Sister Locks when the hair is re-tightened too tightly. You have to be certain that is not done and then you should have no problem.

  22. sisterloclove
    April 22, 2013 | 12:28 am

    Are you a certified sisterlock consultant? I was looking for you on the SL website?

    • Anu Prestonia
      April 30, 2013 | 10:47 am

      Dear SisterlocLove,

      Yes, I and three of our Stylist are certified Sister Lock consultants. I can no longer spend time trying to figure out why we are not on the SL website when others who have little experience are. We were certified 10 years ago now and have done countless heads of SL.

  23. Maiyyah Diamond
    June 8, 2013 | 12:17 pm

    Hi Anu!

    Hope you are well. I had my sisterlocks installation in London about 7 months ago. And thank you very much, as u were one of the contributing factors.
    I currently live in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia. I was wondering if there are any sisterlocks certified person here that you may know off? Or even somewhere in the middle east?

    I took the reti cours, but my hair is growing super fast because of the heat I pressure. Good and bad in everything I guess.
    Please help me.

    • Anu Prestonia
      July 9, 2013 | 4:21 pm

      Hi Maiyyah, Please check the SL website as they having a list of SL Techs around the planet listed there. I don’t know of anyone in that part of the globe. Let me know how it goes.

  24. Keisha
    June 11, 2013 | 12:12 pm

    Hi I have been transitioning to natural for the last 8 months, I would really like to have the sister locks done, however I sweat a lot in the scalp. Would this be a problem with starting SL or should I wait till after the summer?

    • Anu Prestonia
      July 9, 2013 | 4:15 pm

      Hi Keisha, I would recommend waiting until the fall if you think it will be enough sweat to affect the SL by make them swell and possibly unravel and have slippage.

  25. Cassandra
    August 7, 2013 | 10:10 pm

    The article was very informative, thank you for making it so plain . I have been natural for three years, and now I am ready for locs( I’ve always admired them).I consider my signature style , kinky twists, and hope the sister locks would give me the same look, permanently. I am leaning towards sisterlocs because I think it would be challenging for me not to wash the starter locs for months. I wore them as styles when my hair was shorter. I also am concerned about getting the one that is best for my texture. I have thick, curly hair, like coils in ink pens. Which type of locks would you recommend?

    • Anu Prestonia
      August 13, 2013 | 2:42 am

      I think that it’s strictly a personal decision. I have had both. I do like that with SL your hair does not come loose when at the roots when it is exposed to water. The upside of traditional Locs is their boldness. SL can often times look like loose hair. If you are leaning towards SL, then I would recommend going with them. You could always join them together later on if you decided you want traditional Locs. That’s much easier than trying to turn traditional Locs into SL.

  26. SG
    November 26, 2013 | 2:49 am

    Hello Anu,

    Thank you for your article as it was very helpful. I would like to eventually have very small locs but I am concerned about thinning and hair loss. With this in mind, do you think it’s a good idea to install micro twists instead of getting SL? I like the SL method but, can’t make the commitment that having SL requires. Also, how small should a traditional loc be to help prevent thinning? Thank you in advance for your help. I greatly appreciate it!

    • Anu Prestonia
      November 30, 2013 | 1:40 pm

      Hi SG,
      You did not mention why you are concerned with hair loss? Are you already having some issues or concerns about your hair? Any style that is put in individually like singles and that are micro, can cause hair loss. I would say the smallest you should go with traditional locks 2/3 the width of a pencil.

      If you are in the area, you might consider coming in for a Consultation. If you are not in the area, we can do a Skype Consultation.

  27. Sharley
    January 13, 2014 | 7:35 pm

    I have a 13 yr old daughter who has wanted locs for 5 years. I wanted to be certain she was old enough to understand the commitment before I started them. I am not a loctician, but itbstarted and maintained all of the locs in my family for the past 15 years and they are all well and healthy. Now its my daughters turn. She has virgin hair. Never been permed or died. It is thick and hangs about 5 inches below her shoulder blades (shes 5’3). I like the idea of sister locs because of the strenght and flexibility she will want to have in her hair going through the next few years entering into young adult hood. What is your opinion of starting her with this technique, and what is your advice for loc care throughout puberty? This last question is in part for my son as well, he has 5 year old locs and he is now 11.
    Thank you for any advice/guidance you can give me.

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 14, 2014 | 4:54 pm

      Hi Sharley,

      The decision of whether or not to do Sister Locks is one you and your daughter will need to decide on together. From everything you explained about her hair it seems she’s the perfect candidate for either Standard Locs or Sister Locs, it’s really a matter of personal preference. Sister Locs can be very time consuming to re-tighten. Have you been trained in SL? If not, I recommend having a professional install them and then you can perhaps do the retouching if you have that skill.

  28. Margaret
    January 27, 2014 | 8:59 pm

    Hi Anu. I love the advice that you have given in this format. I have been sister locked for 20 months. I love it! My problem is that the length of my hair varies from 5-10 inches long and I color the gray/white roots often. As a woman of a certain age, I would like to stop coloring the roots and embrace the gray/white. The real problem is the potential stark difference between the gray/white at the root and my auburn colored(dyed) hair. Is it possible to add white/gray highlights initially and CASUALLY move into the embracing. I really do not want to cut my hair at this time. What do you think?

    • Anu Prestonia
      January 28, 2014 | 1:19 pm

      Hello Margaret,

      That’s a difficult one. Unfortunately, there is no natural way of making your hair look seamless if you decide go let your natural silver hair come in. You will have these two distinct colors for a while.

      Options that are available and that I am not necessarily recommending would be to use color remover on the part of your hair that is auburn. Realize though, that’s a chemical process and it could be damaging if not done properly. I would suggest seeing a professional colorist. I know of no way to add gray or white highlights other than bleaching your hair to platinum which I wouldn’t recommend. You could go blond and that would be less of a contrast between your auburn hair and your silver roots. But again, that means lifting the color you currently have which could compromise the integrity and strength of your hair, especially if it is not done properly.

      Let me know how it goes and what you decide.

  29. VRoc
    May 28, 2014 | 6:42 pm

    Hi. I am so glad that I met up on your article in doing my research. I am from Jamaica and currently considering locking my hair using the SL method.I am iffy however because I think I want medium locks but I am so in love with the versatility of sister locks. I think I am on the verge of deciding on it but I am kindly asking you the following questions so that I can truly decide the way to go:

    1. Is it true that sister locks is more susceptible to breakage and thinning?
    2. It has been recommended on certain YouTube videos that I have viewed that one should just allow the sister locks to grow and not use a lot of products or a lot of deep conditioning. Is ‘minimal treatment’ of this style the way to go? I had my reservations because I do enjoy taking care of my hair. What is the usual recommendation?

    I really need some professional advise. Help!! lol Thanks for answering.

    • Anu Prestonia
      May 30, 2014 | 12:01 am

      Dear VRoc,

      No, it is not true that Sister Locs are more susceptible to breakage and thinning.
      When starting your SL a lot of conditioner could cause them to have slippage, but once they have fully locked, then deep conditioning is recommended. I didn’t follow all the rules that the SL company recommends. I’ve never stopped using my all natural hair oils Anu Essentials on my hair and scalp. I like you also enjoy taking care and nourishing my hair. But as I mentioned before, depending on your texture it may be best to wait until your hair has fully locked to add extra moisturizing agents.

  30. Chandra
    June 30, 2014 | 11:08 am

    I have what some call interlocks… somewhat similiar to sisterlocks. I am only 3 1/2 months in. The question is can I change the loc process over to sisterlocs without starting over?

    • Anu Prestonia
      June 30, 2014 | 7:31 pm

      Hi Chandra,

      I would have to see your hair to say for sure, but they are supposedly the same technique. So if you have the same technique there wouldn’t be any need to start over.

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