Is it the tool or the technique?

The tool is what I have been told is what makes Sisterlockstm.  I was told this by the home office because I use a latch hook.  Eventhough I use the patterns that I was taught in class, I was told that I wasn't doing Sisterlockstm.  It was said that I was doing "Jeannine" Locks.  Well I questioned that because I always thought that it was the technique.  I have ran into many people who use the tool and they don't have the technique down.  Their clients heads look very bad, but they have the tool.  I have seen some beautiful heads of locks that used other tools but the technique is flawless.  But if the home office says IT'S THE TOOL then IT'S THE TOOL.

I have had several clients that have had re-tighten classes and have lost their tools and are now using something else. I even suggested another tool because they couldn't get a replacement from the home office.  I had two clients that were military and were sent to Iraq.  They couldn't take their tools but were able to get latch hooks.  They were able to keep up with their touch-ups because they knew the technique.  So do they not have sisterlockstm because they didn't use the sisterlocktm tool?  I had a client in Afganistan who reconstructed a paper clip and did her touch-ups. Her locks looked great when she returned.  Once again it was the technique that got her through.  Not to mention the person that contacted me from prison with sisterlockstm and how I advised her to touch up her locks. (let's just say needle and thread goes a LONG way)

Knowing when to change the

Now when I put in a head of interlocks I don't do mico locks.  This is something that  I make sure that I let potential clients know at the consultation.  My reasoning for this is because these locks get smaller as time goes on.   I have found that if they are to small you will either loose locks or combine them.  This is something that I try to avoid at the onset. 

Even though there was a lock number  that goes with the sisterlockstm system, I found that this dosen't work for every head; nor does every one who wear them want tiny locks.  I will use myself as an example.  I have fine hair and have about 250 locks.  I started off with close to 300.   (below you can see how I lost a great deal of locks and had to combine them because of the shrinkage  that occured.) 

So not all of my clients have 400 locks in their head.  I have been fortunate enough that most of my clients valued my professional opion and trust that I have been doing interlocking for more than 13 years.

I have been doing interlocking under the name of Sisterlockstm. for the past 9 years. From November 25, 2000 to around April of 2009, when I asked to be removed from the web-site. I have made some personal discoveries. I believe that it was some of these adjustments that led to me being discussed in the Sisterlock training class that was held in St. Louis in November of 2008. Although I was a bit bothered by the incident it was actually just another sign for me to move on. I had and have no ill feelings. I just want to provide good hair knowledge. Whether it’s interlocking, traditional locks, or any other natural hair style.

Well below are a few things that work for me when I’m doing interlocking .
1.) I don’t do tiny locks. Although the locks can be small,  remember that they get smaller over time. So I take that into consideration when consulting. If you see a person that have tiny locks and have had them for some years, ask them how many locks have they lost or how many have they had to combine.
2.) I found that the latch hook works well for me. As I talk to other consultants, I’m finding that it works well for them too. The technique is the same only the tool is different.
3.) I try to avoid bleaches and light colors on my clients hair. I have found that over time the locks that have been with bleaches or light developers tend to unravel and shed.

4.) I don’t use conditioners. I have found that with the interlocking methods over time start to either unravel or have major slippage. I recommend to my clients that they use a moisture spray or a light lotion. If you use products that add moisture there will be no need for a conditioner.
5.) When my clients leave the salon I either give them a roller set or a braid set. This was something that wasn’t covered when I took my training but it was something that I did. It is something that (former clients of mine) that have taken the class now perform on there clients. I couldn’t believe the number of people that passed through my salon that wasn’t advised on what to do with there hair after they received there locks.
6.) Even though they say that you can use a curling iron on your locks, I don’t advise my clients to. A couple of things happen when using a curling iron. First~ if you have a fresh set of locks the pulling of the iron can disturb the pattern and create locking problems. Another thing that I see are locks that have been burned and flatted from curling irons. Be careful and if you aren’t sure do a roller set.

7.) The most troubling thing that I have seen is the line that is being drawn between Sisterlocks, interlocking, traditional or natural locks. It saddens me when I hear people say that their locks are better or neater because they are small. Why can’t we respect the ideal that one person may choose a larger lock and another may prefer a smaller one. I think that all locks are beautiful and it's a personal choice.
8.) I don’t do interlocking locking on small children. Although many parents may want the Sisterlocks or interlocks for their young children. It’s my job to explain to them that their child head may be still growing and putting in locks to early can cause major problems.

9.) Not everyone is a candidate for interlocking. It’s important to have a greater knowledge of hair and scalp not just putting in the application of locks. For those that insist explain to them what they should expect to look like.  Many people think that their locks will look like what they see on the webs or that the locks will cure damaged scalps.



































Interlocking is a method for locking
hair.  The hair is put into a weaving pattern which allows for the locks to vary in size.   Interlocking has been around for decades.  There  are many forms of interlocking systems out there.  Some of them are Sisterlockstm, NappylocksTm(,.Twistylocks(, Braid and Latch locks just to name a few.  Although some of the patterns may differ, the primus is the same.  They can be done by using your finger or a tool.  Some of these tools are the sisterlocktm tools,   Nappylocktm tool, and a latch hook. Even though there are classes held to teach some of these systems, it has been ruled that no one has patent on a hair style nor do they have a patent on a tool.

I have been doing sisterlockstm and latch locks for more than 13 years.  Over the years of doing interlocking, I was asked many questions.  I have listed some of the most asked.  Also if you go to youtube you will find some great information on different types of interlocking.

QAS For Interlocking

 1. Q. I have Sisterlockstm

. What is the different between them and NappyLocks(tm) , Braid locks, or Twisty Locks?

 A. All of these are a form of interlocking. They vary in steps but the out come will be locked hair. They also use different tools. The techniques build on one another which allows them to vary in size. 

 2. Q. I’m interested in taking the Sister lock™ class. Upon completion of the training will I be able to work in a hair salon?

 A. No! Not unless you are in a state that has a natural hair care license. Even if you are in one of these states you must make sure that you have the license, because the Sisterlocktm training is only recognized by Sisterlockstm and their network. Not by the boards of cosmetology of individual states.

 3. Q. I have sisterlockstm and my consultant used this little white tool when she put them in and to tighten them up. I recently moved to anther state and the consultant here uses a latch hook and a Nappylocktm tool to do her retightens. Is there really a difference in the tools?

 A. In the tools yes, but the technique I don’t think so. According to Sisterlocks tm the tool is what makes sisterlockstm. So if you ask the home office this is what they will tell you. But for me I think that it is the technique. I’ve found trainers and consultants that used the sisterlocktm tool but weren’t using proper technique. And I’ve found consultants that have misplaced there tools and in the mist of waiting to get them replaced started using different tools. My advice to you is, if the different tools makes you uncomfortable then seek out a trainer or consultant that uses the tool.

 4. Q. I’ve had my sisterlocks™ for six years now. Recently I have been going to the salon for deep conditioning treatments. At first my locks were fine, but now they are starting to swell and they’re very soft and shedding, what is going on ?

 A. Well first it’s important to go to a salon that knows about natural hair and locks. Personally in my salon I don’t recommend conditioners on my interlocked clients. What you must understand is that locks are matted hair. When you use a conditioner it’s to soften and relax the hair. Interlocks are usually smaller than traditional locks which makes them much more vulnerable. What is happening is that the conditioner is expanding the cuticle which is loosing up the lock. This is the swelling that you are seeing. If it hasn’t started yet, you will start to experience shedding of your locks. As for myself and my clients, I make sure that the products they used for daily maintenance have moisture in them. This will ensure that no conditioner is needed. Try Jeannine’s LaShe' Moisturizing Spray or Newbein  Hair Milk or other moisturizing sprays or lotions.

 Q. I love the way that the micro locks looks. I saw a lady with very small sister lockstm. Can my locks be that size?

 A. Well there are several things to take into consideration. First is how long has she had her locks and what size did she start with. I found that when doing interlocking that the longer you have them the smaller they get. So if you start them to small your locks will either break or need to be combined. If you see this person again or someone else with the size that you like; ask them what transitions they went through.

 Q. When I got my sisterlocks I decided to go with a larger size lock. I actually like traditional locks so I went with a size similar to that. Recently I moved to California and I’m finding that a lot of the consultants don’t recognize what I have. I have actually found myself in arguments with people who insist that my consultant did me an injustice. They just can’t believe that I would have wanted such big locks. Can you please tell me if other sizes are encouraged within the sisterlocktm training.

 A. Well I think it depends on the trainer. When I took may training I had the option of going to Detroit. I went to Everts because I wanted to train under a person that was very knowledgeable with natural hair and locks. I’m glad that I did because I was able to see a variety of lock sizes. It’s so important to be familiar with the technique. When you know the technique you should recognize it in any size. I’m finding that so many consultants are only interested in the tiny locks that they just over look the brother locks. Which is sad because it's a part of their system.

 Q. How long will it take for the parts to fill in?     

 A. It depends, no two heads are alike. With my clients I find that it can take anywhere from one month to six months.

 Q. How important is it for me to braid and band my hair?

A. When you first receive your locks it’s the most important thing that you can do. If you don’t braid and band you can find yourself washing out your locks. I would keep braiding and banding until your consultant tell you to stop.

Q.  Recently I've noticed little white things within my locks.  I started noticing them after my re-tighten with the little white tool that clips to my locks. Could it be from the snagging that occures sometimes when the tool is used?

A.  Well it depends.  I have found that if you are receiving a touch up and your hair is dry, it can cause this.  Although I have found that the white clip tool sometimes snags, so can other tools.  This is why I recommend that you moisten the hair before or while you are receiving it touch up.

This is a picture of a client that had not been moisturizing her hair.  The dryness caused the breakage and follicle build up.  Once she started adding moisture this stopped.



Consultants please be sure to ask your clients the history of there hair.  I say this because I have been receiving clients that have done some unhealty things to their locks and are now blaming them on previous consultants.  I have seen clients that have been doing  deep conditioning to their locks and now they are starting to have slippage and other problems.  I have seen clients that have very tiny locks and don't get touch ups on a regular basis.  They are now starting to see different variations in there locks and now wonder why they don't look like a person that gets regular touch-ups.  Please be sure to advise your clients of the pros and cons of their lock choice.

Color abuse is something that is becoming a big problem.  For years I've advised clients on frequent coloring.  Those that didn't listen are now having major problems with their locks.  Either they are having problems with shedding, breakage, or lack of growth.  This can also cause locks to expand and appear bloated.

I am finding that dryness is a big problem with Sisterlockstm and  interlocks.  There is a big misconception that one dosen't need to moisturize their locks.  These locks need moisture.  When they go to long with out moisture you start getting breakage and lost of hair follicles.  A sign of this is the little white bulbs that are at the base of the locks.  Be aware of this because it is really bad durning re-tightening time.


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