When did you get Sisterlocks? How long was your hair when you started and was it natural or chemically treated?
I got my Sisterlocks when I was 14, so I've been locked for 8 years and 6 months now. My natural hair was shoulder length before it was locked and it was never chemically treated. When you get Sisterlocks, you obviously need to wash your hair, so my hair at first glance looked 3 inches long. Now its approximately 18 inches long.
Why did you decide to get locs? And why Sisterlocks in particular?
I originally got locks because my primary school friend's older sister and mum had them and they looked beautiful. But they did warn me that it's not something you get into lightly. I was told you must not get lice in your hair, or you will have to shave it off, you must not let people touch your hair (unless you're getting your hair retightened). And there were many other things I was warned about before getting Sisterlocks.
So I did my research, looked at tons of blogs, YouTube videos, testimonials and really took in the pros and cons of locks. Because there was no point in committing to a hairstyle (or lifestyle for some) if I wasn't going to be prepared for the bad bits (which there aren't many of). Though the reason I was so gravitated to Sisterlocks is because they looked so pretty and versatile due to the size of the locs and the different hairstyles you could do with them.
And my mum had always done small twists on my head because I had such a large head, this gave my hair volume and made my forehead look smaller. So choosing sisterlocks just seemed right for me.
How many locs do you have?
The first time I counted with the help of my mum, I had 770 locks, but I lost 2 locs when my nephew pulled my hair when he was a toddler (so keep your hair away from young kids) and I lost 3 due to my hair being weak at the roots in the early stages. But I overcame weak hair by spraying 100% organic aloe vera juice on my hair to make it stronger. And I've had to combine a few due to thinning at the roots.
You have beautiful hair. What is your haircare regimen? How often do you shampoo, and what do you shampoo with?
I shampoo my hair once a week or every two weeks with OGX branded shampoo (lots of oils in it, so it's great for nourishing the hair). I also don't use a conditioner as I feel it doesn't do much to my hair when I wash it out. And I don't use leave in conditioners on my hair as that has previously led to build-up in my hair.
Do you deep condition your hair? If so, what do you deep condition with?
I do the well-known ACV (apple cider vinegar) wash as my deep condition, i.e. hot water that I can stand with organic apple vinegar, baking soda and fresh lemon juice. I do this every 3 months as it strips the hair of all oils and rids the hair of dirt that doesn't come out as easily during normal shampooing.
What is your daily routine, e.g. moisturising spritz, scalp oil, etc.
If my hair is looking dry, i mix organic argan oil from my beauty supply store with rose water (also from the beauty supply store). This helps to keep my hair moisturized and look great! Otherwise I just run my fingers through my hair to get rid of any tangles and style it for the day.
How often do you retighten your hair?
I get my hair retightened every 6-8 weeks. There have been times when I have gone longer and I DO NOT recommend this, as you spend longer in the chair and there's a greater risk of losing locks, if your hair has become extremely thin at the roots.
How do you manage buildup?
ACV wash all the way!! But it's also great to remove lint and build up you can see on the surface of your locks before they become embedded and tough to remove.
What tips would you give a newbie, or what have you learnt about how to manage locs in general over the years?
Less products is better for the hair. Just shampoo, organic oils, rose water and aloe vera to keep your roots and locs strong and healthy. However, this is what has worked for me, but I know this simplicity hair care routine has worked well for others, including my mum and sister.
I would also advise washing your hair in the morning, so your hair has time to air dry throughout the day. To speed up this process, I use an old t-shirt and soak up as much water as I possibly can, instead of a towel - as a towel can leave lint in your locs. And don't go to bed with very wet hair. This can give your hair an unpleasant smell in the morning, which means the time spent shampooing your hair earlier was a bit of a waste.
I would also make sure Sisterlocks is the hairstyle/lifestyle you want to take on. I know a few people who wanted locs because it looked pretty but couldn't maintain the upkeep of it, i.e. retightenings, shampooings, the different stages of locs, which has led them to cut their hair and start again with a new hairstyle.
And if you are sure locs are right for you, make sure you do your research on locticians in your area and whether they are really good at doing locs. Because some people are certified but don't necessarily produce great work.
And final piece of advice would be to embrace your hair at every stage and don't compare your hair to anyone else's because all of our locs are different, even if it's done by the same loctician. Our locs are like fingerprints, they are unique, yet still beautiful.
Do you think you’ll ever cut your Sisterlocks off and try a different hairstyle, e.g. loose natural hair or traditional locs?
I've always said I would continue to grow my hair until it reaches my bottom, but I will begin trimming it once it reaches that length. But given my previous experience with kids around my hair, I do plan to cut my hair to shoulder length when I have kids, as this will save time in the mornings, save money when it comes to retightenings and it will take less time to dry from washing.
What do you love most about having locs?
I feel extremely feminine with locs. Having long hair, especially for a black girl and claim it as 100% my own hair, makes me feel like a goddess and really proud to be black.
What do you hate most about having locs?
Everyone has their bad hair days. (For me it's sometimes - hair is just in the wrong direction, too poofy from lots of regrowth or is looking really dry some mornings). But you will be fine once your hair is looking freshly retightened, washed and moisturised.
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