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Hair Story – Sisterlocks

November 26th, 2010 · 8 Brilliant Opinions · Random Things That Make Me Smile

After years of relaxing, curling, pressing, flat ironing, braiding, twisting and weaving my hair…I decided to lock it.  Although  Black  hair has been a source of controversy (remember the NY Times article on black hair)  this was not a “political choice.”  I love all hairstyles – straight, relaxed, curly, braids and weaves – as long as the hair itself is healthy and strong.

Cinderella Hair - Goes "Poof" when you add water

I believe its not what is on my head but what is in my head that counts! I opted to try Sisterlocks (I first heard about them from my hip British sister-in-law)  – which is a hair locking system developed by  Dr.  Joanne Cornwell.  Sisterlocks do not involve the use of any chemicals, beeswax, pomades or hair extensions.   I liked the appearance of Sisterlocks and loved that they are “water friendly.”  (After swimming they do not need to be re-done to maintain their appearance.)  Because Sisterlocks are so thin, they do not put additional tension on my fine hair.

I am not sure how many locks I have. I would guess 400+…but who has time to count? My hair was locked over 2 days and took 24 hours and 2 lockiticians.  My hair was done by the wonderful stylists at Sabine’s Hallway in Brooklyn, NY. Every six weeks I go in for a “retightening” – which my stylist promises won’t take more than 2-3 hours. (Update: Hmm..this might have been the Sisterlocks bait and switch….it took 4.5 hours but I was at the seven week point with a lot of new growth.)

Sisterlocks, unlike traditional locks, are formed from the bottom up using a small instrument that resembles a crochet hook.  The initial result is a bit startling. Due to multiple small parts, if your hair is fine like mine, you will have a “plucked chicken” appearance at first.  Sisterlocks do not require oils, moisturizers or pomades of any kind.  I am a bit of a product junkie – so it was hard to go cold turkey.  My lockitician warned me that conditioners or oils of any kind could cause slippage or unravelling of the locks.  My sore behind outweighed my hard head and I  complied with her instructions.

In my family a holiday dinner seems to always involve a critique of some one’s hair!  Well, on Thankgiving it was my turn.   My nephew Little K. (he’s a grown man – but he will always be Little K. to me) cornered me and began to pepper me with questions about my hair.  Are those braids?  How long did it take? How much did it cost?  Can you take them out? (Technically, you can, but once you ask this question, most lockiticians will probably ask you to consider another hairstyle.)  Do you wash it? (Sisterlocks are pretty low maintenance but yes you wash them!) My favorite question was, “Can I touch them?”  (Absolutely!  I was one of those pregnant women who loved belly rubs – so what’s a little head patting between relatives?)  Then he turned to his mother and girlfriend and started encouraging them to get Sisterlocks.  Probably not a great boyfriend move – but I was sure loving him for the compliment!

Sisterlocks can be spritzed with a little water and worn freestyle, braided together or curled for additional styling options.   I call it leisure hair – less time in the hair salon – means more time  playing with my kids at the beaches and resorts!  Here’s a pictorial of my journey thus far.  (Click on photos to enlarge)


Sisterlocks Installation
Sisterlocks Installation
Sisterlocks Installation
Sisterlocks at 1 week
Sisterlocks at 1 week
Sisterlocks at 1 week
Sisterlocks at 5 weeks – parts filling in
Sisterlocks at 5 weeks
Sisterlocks at 5 weeks



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8 Comments so far ↓

  • bigP

    good morning …i am in love with a sisterlock. remember back in the day the REGGAE classic im in love with a dreadlock. maybe before your time.

  • Ann

    Ah..definitely, before my time!

  • Darbi

    They look good on you, but I could not sit that long to get them done. I’d give them an hour to do whatever they could with my hair…lol

  • Ann

    Darbi – I was getting pretty antsy a one point. The ladies at Sabine’s Hallway “gently” reminded me they had done a 4 yr old’s sisterlocks a few weeks prior.

  • Vonda

    Love, love, love this post!

    I am also coming up on my one year anniversary of having Sisterlocks and I consider it the best thing I ever did for my hair and my sanity. I recognized myself in much of what you said, and I recognized my husband in many of your comments about Big P. I think I’m commenting on the wrong post – but that’s ok.

  • Ann

    Vonda – Its’ more than ok… I think you meant to comment on my 1st anniversary post with Sisterlocks http://wp.me/p16WY7-17L. Totally agree with you. Best. Hair Decision. Ever.

  • Connie Omari

    I just had my sisterlockaversary! It’s nice to see a fellow sisterlockstar!

  • Ann

    Connie- thanks for stopping by my blog. I love the freedom of sisterlocks.

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