Frequently Asked Questions - Lots of Locs Natural Hair Studio

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are Sisterlocks™?
Sisterlocks™ "creates a stable woven framework in a lock of hair within which the natural interlocking process can take place." Dr. JoAnne Cornwell
How long does my hair need to be in order to have my Sisterlocks™ installed?
Sisterlocks can be installed with just 1½ to 2 inches of natural unprocessed hair.
Will I have to cut the perm out of my hair in order to have Sisterlocks™ installed?
You do not have to cut the perm out of your hair in order to start Sisterlocks™. You need 1½ to 2 inches of unprocessed hair to transition from a relaxer to Sisterlocks™.
What happens to my relaxed hair after Sisterlocks™ are installed?
Sisterlocks™ are installed on the new growth portion of the hair, not the permed portion. Once installed, you style your hair as you normally would. As your locks grow, you slowly cut away the permed portion of your hair. This way you do not have to start your locks with a very short length of hair.

How do I choose a Consultant to install and maintain my Sisterlocks™?

Sisterlocks™ is a trademark Hair Maintenance System that is taught in an approved training class by Master Trainers or Certified Training Associates that have been handpicked by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell. A list of those who are certified to install Sisterlocks™ may be found on Certified Sisterlocks™ Consultants and Qualified Sisterlocks™ Trainees must maintain their certification to stay in good standing with Sisterlocks™ Home Office in order to be listed on the Sisterlocks™ Website.
What does the Sisterlocks™ Package Consist of?
Certified Sisterlocks™ Consultants and Qualified  Sisterlocks™ Trainees offer the Sisterlocks™ as a package that consists of at the least 3 visits. The first appointment being your initial consultation, the second being your locking session which can be split into 2 or more sessions and third the follow up appointment in which your Sisterlocks™ are retightened.
How long does the Consultation last?
You can expect to spend approximately one hour with your consultant. During the consultation, you and your consultant will discuss the hair locking process. You will also discuss your lifestyle as it relates to your hair care practices.
Will my install look exactly like the client’s you last did?
Although there are particular traits that are pertinent to Sisterlocks™, there is no stencil to ensure that every grid is “perfect” and that every part and line is “straight.”  Every head is different with differing textures, shapes and densities throughout. Sometimes adjustments have to be made within an install.
How long does it take for the initial installation of Sisterlocks™?
The initial install can range from 16-20 hours, sometimes it may take longer depending upon the length and density of the hair.  Installations are broken up into 2 - 3 day increments. Your installation is the 1st and only time you will sit that long for Sisterlocks™ services. Unlike extensions, the hair does not have to be taken down, only the new grow is retighten and that usually takes anywhere from 3-5 hours. You should schedule retightening services very 4 - 6 weeks.
What is the cost for the Sisterlocks™ Package?
Sisterlocks™ are offered as a 3-part package; Consultation, Installation and Follow-up visits. The cost can begin at $1,200 for up to 3 inches of natural unprocessed hair and may increase $50-$100 per inch of hair thereafter. The cost of the consultation is $65 and is due in advance in order to schedule the appointment. A 20% deposit is required to secure your installation dates. The balance of the cost of your installation is paid in full on the first day of the installation prior to starting.

*See Service Fee Page for Lots of Locs Natural Hair Studio's listing of service fees.
*Service fees are not just based on hair length.
I have Traditional Locks; can I start Sisterlocks™ with my existing locks?
This is not recommended for many reasons, here are a few; the exquisite look of Sisterlocks™ is due in part to the way Sisterlocks™ are started. With Sisterlocks™, the hair is sectioned according to a pre-set parting structure. Parting for most traditional locking methods are not as detailed, and may not produce the same results.
In addition, when you change locking techniques within a single lock, for example going from a twisting palm role method to a woven interlocking method, you create a vulnerable area at the transition point. This weak area will tend to open up over time, exposing individual strands of hair that are prone to breakage. The weak area doesn't show up right away, but will begin to show from 6 months to 2 years down the line!
With Sisterlocks™, the hair is pulled into the lock formation more tightly than with most traditional locking methods. This means that the size of the traditional lock will decrease noticeably at the point where you begin the Sisterlocks™ method. Also, because the parting size for traditional locks are too large for Sisterlocks™ to begin with, this shrinkage results in too much scalp showing.
Will Sisterlocks™ damage or thin my hair?
Sisterlocks™ will not damage nor will they thin your hair.  Sisterlocks™ incorporates a woven pattern that makes the hair extremely resilient. Because there are no chemicals, beeswax, or gels used to install or maintain the locks, the scalp and hair have the most ideal environment to thrive and restore itself naturally. With Sisterlocks™ you may actually experience hair growth in areas that had once stopped growing altogether.
What is the process of settling?
Often times you may hear the phrase, “your locks have not settled yet.” Basically what this means is, when you have Sisterlocks™ installed, your locks will have a beautiful woven pattern that may be mistaken for braids. The hair can slip and slide within the structure or framework of the Sisterlocks™ pattern causing an undesirable look called slippage. After several months the locks will settle/mature which will cause it to be less prone to slippage. Signs of settling/maturation are when your locks starts to look more like uniformed matted locks and less like a braid. The settling phase is different for each individual and can range from 3 months to a year, sometimes it may take even longer.
How will my Sisterlocks™ look after they are mature?
Sisterlocks™ work with your natural hair texture.  Your natural hair texture affects the appearance of your Sisterlocks™. They have a unique look on each Client.

Will I have loose ends when my Sisterlocks™ are established?
There will be loose ends when your Sisterlocks™ are established because of the method used to start them. Sisterlocks are created with a back combing method starting right at the matting. They are not braids or twists. Therefore there is no way to determine how much hair will actually be in the locking formation during the establishment. Factors that can contribute to the amount of loose ends during the establishment include but are not limited to the following:
  • Straight/permed hair
  • Damaged ends
  • Chemically treated hair
    • Processed hair
    • Excessive heat
    • Hair Texture
Altered hair will remain loose. The loose hair will shed away over time or erode. It is strongly recommended that you have your hair trimmed prior to the consultation and install for the most accurate measurement.

Will my Sisterlocks™ always appear as a “tiny braid”?
Your Sisterlocks™ will not remain as small as they appear after they are first installed. Sisterlocks™ will mature over time. The initial look of your Sisterlocks™ will change. Depending on your hair type, it may take anywhere from 2 weeks to up until a year for your Sisterlocks™ to settle in.  Your Sisterlocks™ will increase in thickness after a few washing by about 100%. The ends will always remain a little thicker than the root.
How will I know when my Sisterlocks™ have settled in?
You will know that your hair is completely locked as it increases in volume. The ends will become defined and your locks won't slip. At this point, you may stop using the locking bands.
How can I wear my Sisterlocks™?
Though the daily routine and care habits of your hair will change. You may wear your Sisterlocks™ in many of the same ways that you wear your unlocked hair. You can wear updo's, roller sets and or free style. You will have to use your Starter Shampoo in the beginning until your Sisterlocks™ mature. You will have to avoid heavy products and you want to avoid heat styling initially. Always use gentle styling techniques.

What is Damaged Hair?
Damaged Hair occurs when aggressors (friction, heat, products and harsh chemical treatments) attack the protective outer layer of your hair (aka the cuticle). This leaves cracks in its exterior, lifting up the cuticle.

Damaged Hair includes, but is not limited to hair that is:
  • Dry or Brittle
  • Constantly feels dry, damage to the cuticle layer
  • Feels thick at the Root and thin at the Ends
  • Sheds
  • Tangles more than usual
  • Appears Dull
  • Split ends

What causes hair to become damaged?
Damaged hair can occur for a variety of reasons. Some reasons include, but are not limited to:
  • Alopecia areata
  • Certain medications
  • Chemicals
  • Childbirth, illness, or other stressors
  • Diet
  • Excessive use of hair products
  • Hair care
    • Hairstyle that pulls on your scalp; stretch the hair
    • Heat treatments; flat irons and curling iron
  • Hormonal imbalance
  • Scalp infection
  • Styling of the hair
  • Stress
  • Stretching the hair’s natural texture
  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Hereditary
  • Styling products

What is Natural Hair?
Natural hair, by definition, hasn't been altered by products, chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers. It’s hair that’s in the condition of how it has grown from the scalp. Pressed hair may still be considered natural because once washed, the texture usually returns to its unaltered state as long as no heat damage has occurred.

Natural generally refers to Black hair that has not had its texture altered by chemicals or products. Some take it a little further by not using any chemicals at all or anything that does not occur in nature.

What is Measured Hair?
A tape measure is used to measure various sections of your hair to gain an idea of the amount of hair that the Consultant will potentially be working with during the sisterlocks establishment. It is not the only factor considered in the establishment quote as there is no way to predetermine how much of the measured hair will be enclosed/encased in the locking formation.

The hair measurement does not determine the amount of viable hair that will be enclosed/encased in the lock formation. There are many factors such as the hair texture and amount of damage that determine what becomes viable locking hair.

*Measured hair does not equate to the amount of hair that will be locked/viable hair.
*It is strongly recommended to have your hair trimmed prior to consultation as damaged and straight hair may increase the amount of loose hair during the establishment.

What is Viable Locking Hair?
Many times the measured hair will differ from the amount of hair we deem to be viable lockable hair. Lots of Locs Natural Hair Studio will make every effort through the evaluation of the Client’s hair and the sample locks to consider viable locking hair in the establishment quotes.  For example in general straight, permed, damaged chemically altered and not natural (as grown from the scalp) hair will not lock. Those amounts may be deducted from the base starting length fee. This will be considered on a case by case basis and at the sole discretion of Lots of Locs Natural Hair Studio.

*Measured hair does not equate to the amount of hair that will be locked/viable hair.
*It is strongly recommended to have your hair trimmed prior to consultation as damaged and straight hair may increase the amount of loose hair during the establishment.

How are Establishment Quotes determined during Consultations?
There are no changes to pricing once the establishment quote is given, the dates are accepted and the deposits are made. This is due to the fact that I schedule and block the dates according to the consultation. It is truly recommended that you have your hair trimmed prior to the consultation. Your base starting quote will be provided based on the highest length measured during the consultation as the hair length can vary throughout a Client’s head.

The hair length is a starting base price point only. There are many factors considered when providing establishment quotes including but not limited to the time required, length of hair, size of locks, head size and density.

*Please Note: Frequently Asked Questions are general questions and answers in relation to the Sisterlock™ process. Visit the Official Sisterlocks™ Website for more information.
**Please see my services page for prices pertinent to Lots of Locs Natural Hair Studio.

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