Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

SisterLocks: The Good and the Bad!

Pictured is after 12 hours, we were only one-third done with my whole head. Only the front had been SisterLocked. I had an afro in the back. My hair is shorter in the back than the front of my head.
SisterLocks is not a hairstyle. I had to style it myself after the SisterLocks were installed.
My new SisterLock hairstyling - front view.
My new SisterLock hairstyling- back view.
Now, here's the "real deal" coming from me a licensed cosmetologist in three states . . .
Yes, 20 hours later over the course of two days, and $750.00 out of pocket cost, I have crossed over into SisterLock land! Upon completion of SisterLock installation, I arrived at my salon to figure out how to fix with a head full of frizz locks. The pictures that I attached are the "pretty pictures" after I got the Sisterlocks styled. I literally had to stare and study my head of frizzy locks trying to figure out how to make them look pretty. Obviously, from the pictures, I nailed it. I am happy about that, but I am also sorry that I did not take "before styling" pictures. Actually, I was so disgusted with my SisterLocks that I forgot to take pictures. I just wanted to figure out how to get a hairstyle before going to work the next day.
For the first time, I realized why SisterLocks were called a "natural hair management system. It is NOT a hairstyle. I had to laugh. I had just invested a lot of time and money only to leave out looking like a "hot mess" that I had to figure out how to style. But get this: I am happy with my SisterLock investment. My decision is about long term success with my hair; not short-term satisfaction.
Every curl pattern responds differently to locks and Sisterlocks. Actually, SisterLocks reminded me of receiving a relaxer service. Wondering how? SisterLocks deliver "complete control" over my natural hair, but SisterLocks is not the finish product. You still have to style it after all the hair is locked. It is the same similar feeling that you get after a relaxer service is rinsed out. The relaxer is NOT the hairstyle. The relaxer is designed to assist you with your hairstyling. Same thing with SisterLocks . . . after 20 hours of installation over a two day period and $750.00 (the equivalent of somebody's house payment), I left out of the locitician's shop only to head to my salon to figure out how to style a head full of locks. I apologize for being repetitious here, but it is easy to get fired up when you are not sure about an investment decision. A relaxer service is $80 and includes a hairstyle. So to pay almost $800 and not leave out with a hairstyle can make a Black woman lose her religion. Smile. Everybody's experience is going to be different depending on the curl pattern that one is starting with.
I also need to remind you that no cosmetology license is required to become a SisterLocks technician. SisterLock technicians are not hairstylists unless they are licensed by the State Board as a cosmetologist. SisterLocks is a trademarked system, and the company screens its consultants to make sure that they abide by SisterLocks standards.
But back to my point, for all the time and money spent, I had to dry wrap my head full of Sisterlocks on perm rods because they must remain bundled while they are wet in the "baby stage." After I made sure that every lock was bound to a perm rod, I used my water bottle to spray with rod. The water kept dripping from the rods. The SisterLocks did not seem to want to absorb the water. After 3 or 4 sprays per rod and some massaging, the microlocks seem to finally accept the wetness. Also, the end wrap papers may have caused the rejection of the spray bottle. Regardless, I sat under the platform dryer to dry. I have to admit that my SisterLock technician would probably have a "cow" if she knew I went under a heated dryer, and that I wet my locks the same day of the installation. At least I bound the SisterLocks with the rods before wetting them. Hopefully, the technician/locitian will not notice the next time I have my follow-up appointment. I had to admit that I was desperate for style. I did not get SisterLocks just to have a bunch of locks in my head. I wanted control over my hair without the relaxer. SisterLocks will serve this purpose, but styling is key for a corporate professional image that I am going for.
I must also admit that having at least the six inches of length to play with gave me decent styling options. Luckily, I had over six inches in the front, but the short areas in the back may propose a challenge with bundling; therefore potentially unravelling.
I can definitely see why SisterLocks is not the answer for everyone. For me, it will work out great as the years go on. However, if you like straight hair, and you have an extremely tight curl pattern, SisterLocks may be a disappointment to you because "curly styles or braid outs" seems to be the only styling option for certain curl patterns. Softer, looser curl patterns seem to deliver a more straight and conservative look.
On a separate note, I remember doing three or four "big chops" in my lifetime. I discovered that "big chops" were not the answer. Relaxers were not the answer. SisterLocks seem to be the answer for me.
In addition, those who are used to wigs and weaves and long flowing commercial hair, it is an adjustment to switch into SisterLock styling. People/co-workers may not recognize you at first although they may love the new hairstyle. I have to also admit that it may be another two years before I truly own my SisterLocks.
Overall, I am happy about my decision to begin my SisterLock journey. I am happy with my SisterLock consultant. She was not perfect from a business etiquette standpoint, but she stuck with her SisterLock grid. She was precise about parting and even partings. I feel that she put them in correctly. The only downside is that it has been an eye opener as far as my styling limitations for my particular curl pattern. Most people online complain about the price. I don't care about the price. I would travel across the world for my hair if I could ever find someone who knew what they were doing with extremely kinky, coily hair. So I am at home with SisterLocks; I am at peace.
I really wished that I could say that I was extremely excited about becoming a SisterLock consultant. I was planning to fly out to get the training immediately before my SisterLocks installation, but now, I am less upbeat. I really could see someone spending $1000.00 and three days only to realize that they do not like their SisterLocks. Hopefully, this article will assist people in their SisterLock decision making.
Locking the hair in general is for those who are completely at peace not to ever relax their hair again. If the relaxer is an option for the future for you, then SisterLocks or any other interlocking lock technique is NOT an option. Period.
You have to be fully committed to walking away from the "creamy crack" (relaxers) forever. I had finally reached that level of commitment. There is no turning back for me. I am looking forward to my continued journey in SisterLock land. Everyone has to "do you" whatever that is!


  1. Anyone who is considering SisterLocks should go to a consultant or trainee that is listed on the official SisterLocks/ website. That way if anything goes wrong, you can report it to the SisterLocks headquarters. For example: I booked my SisterLocks installation six weeks in advance, provided her with a $100 deposit at the time of my booking, and the certified SisterLock consultant forgot to order my starter kit. I did not want to fuss at the consultant because she still had to do my hair, but I did call into SisterLocks headquarters to complain a few days after my SisterLocks were completely installed mainly because the consultant seemed confused as to when her order from SisterLocks was due to be shipped to her. I paid my consultant in full at $750, and I expected to receive my starter kit at the time of payment. The headquarters apologized about the situation, and they mentioned that a trainer would follow-up on my complaint. When you are spending over $500 on a hair service, you really, really want a "parent company" to direct complaints to. I was so happy that SisterLocks company stand by their people listed on their website. Thank God. You get what you pay for . . .

  2. After reading your experience, I could not make this commitment for my hair.

    20 hours, $750 and styling is not included? hmm. I would be disappointed to have to come home and work on my hair after all that.

    It looks like she did a good job!

    Thanks for sharing.

  3. Many people recommended her for my initial installation which is the foundation of SisterLocks. Because she is not a hairstylist, she is limited compared to a SisterLock consultant who is also a licensed cosmetologist. Having a good foundation in Sisterlocks is very important. Also, prices are determined at your consultation. I have over 6 inches of length in the front which you can see more in the day one picture. So she charged me extra for my length. I curled up my hair so the length is harder to see. In addition, I would recommend people asking about the hairstyling piece of the SisterLock service. I did not know to ask about what we were going to do when it was all done. I am happy that I was of assistance.

  4. Thank you for your candid commentary on your Sisterlock installation. Its good to hear a realistic view from someone who who is in the beginning of their journey. I too plan to have Sisterlocks installed in the beginning of the year. I look forward to joining you on the journey soon. Many blessings.

  5. Honestly... after a long installation session, that last thing (regardless of amount) to sit and wait even longer for a style. Everyone is exhausted and just happy the establishment is complete.

    1. Dana: It is the consultant's responsibility to set expectations from beginning to the end. If the consultant is not transparent then they are just running a scam. They have no intention in partnering with the client. They just want the money and hope the client gets lost. Yes, some Sisterlocks consultants have ill intentions from the beginning.

  6. Thank you for sharing your journey. I have a question: I've been growing out my hair for two years and have decent length. However, once water hits my hair, it shrinks up like crazy. I'd like to "preserve" the length if I get Sisterlocks, so my question is your hair blow dried prior to installation in order to maximize length?

    1. The sister locks framework can deliver maximum length. I would advise stretching and detangling the hair so it can be parted IF your hair is resistant. If your hair elongates easily, then your consultant can maximize the length based on the pattern 4 rotation.