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Re-tightening My Own Sisterlocks

Saturday, June 18, 2011

I've decided to try my hand at re-tightening my sisterlocks myself for the first time. I want to warn you that I have not taken the official course which is pricey (~$250) and the only reason is that they have the class once a year in my area and I just missed the second and only other opportunity to take the class in my state . And now that I am freelancing and going back to school as well as pregnant with our 2nd child, I don't have as much discretionary income so the $150 every 4-8 weeks seems extra steep.  After much discussion with more seasoned sisterlockers and much research I've decided to take the plunge. This comes at a perfect time since my hair seems to need TLC every 3-4 weeks these days.

The first step is making a homemade sisterlock tool instead of purchasing the traditional sisterlock tool or the nappyloc tool (which comes highly recommended and is pictured below):

I want to warn against the heat, I ruined two needles with the fire step. The third came out perfectly fine without the heat.

My current loctician explained that I am a pattern 3 and after some research I want to continue with a 3, which yields a looser, fuller and fluffier looking lock. These videos were a great help to me:

A post from a professional helped me to visualize sisterlock pattern three aka 9, 6, 9, 12 (as in the face of a clock).

Instructions for my braidlocker's out there utilizing the Nappyloc tool!

Dreadlock Journey advises to:
Always enter the loc at the scalp. As you pull your loc through, always push loop down towards the loc to eliminate gaps in your lock. Repeat until you are at the scalp and cannot complete another rotation. Your retightening should resemble a fishtail and feel like a tight cord.
Thus far I have re-tightened 5 locks successfully but wanted to share this post in the interim!

Disclaimer: When I can afford to splurge, I do plan on taking the official re-tightening course! I will continue to see my Consultant and this does not replace the invaluable guidance a seasoned professional can provide.


IvyLeague on June 18, 2011 at 1:51 PM said...

So similar to my journey into DIY land. I've retightened my Sisterlocks once with the nappy lock tool. I taught myself with the same YT videos you share. When my money is less funny I will take the class and return to my consultant. Lock on!

nicole is the new black on June 20, 2011 at 3:07 PM said...

Hey I am the fourth video :) I am on twitter @nicolenewblack

hairgrease on December 27, 2011 at 7:05 AM said...

This is very informative! Perhaps I will experiment with self-retightening... baby steps though. Perhaps, I'll do a few locks at a time until I build up confidence and expertise.

Sophia on December 27, 2011 at 12:34 PM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sophia on December 27, 2011 at 12:35 PM said...

@hairgrease baby steps is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Im also reseaching into the world of diy for retightening my sisterlocks i recently got my own apartment, my first car, im a full time student and i work so time and money is very short for me then it was almost a year ago when i got my locks. im alittle afraid though because i havent taken the class yet but im pretty confident i can do it on my own without it

Meridien on December 5, 2012 at 2:32 AM said...

Hi, I have had Sisterlocks for 7 1/2 years and I couldn't be happier! I had my consultant teach me how to tighten my locs about 2 years in, after they were completely mature. I used the original SL tool but it was tiny and I lost it way too many times to count. GRRR! It had a funny hook sliding-thingy that I just never got the hang of. I discovered the Nappyloc tool and now only go to my consultant yearly, just to make sure everything still looks OK with no weak spots or other problems. The Nappyloc tool is far superior than the original SL tool and I intend to keep it my "go-to" for retightening. Don't be afraid to take on retightening your own hair. Once you get going and get smoother, the time just flies. When I first started it took me a week! 375 locs now takes me close to an evening if I can keep the distractions down. My consultant told me it helps in the beginning to close your eyes. It helped visualize the locking pattern, until your fingers "memorize" it. Good luck and loc on!!

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