Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who is authorized to do Sisterlocks? How do I know those people who say they do Sisterlocks are legitimate?
Sisterlocks is a trademark company. This means that no one is authorized to use the Sisterlocks name in advertising, or as a service they perform unless they have been trained by the Home Office or by one of our Certified Training Associates in an approved training class. Furthermore, all Trainers, Certified Consultants and Trainees must maintain good standing with Sisterlocks, or their names are dropped from our online registry. ALWAYS consult with the Home Office if you are unsure about the status of someone who claims to do Sisterlocks. Unfortunately, we often find people in the hair care industry who will take a client’s money when they have not been properly trained to deliver the service the clients wants.As for people who advertise independently on the internet, PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL. THE SISTERLOCKS WEBSITE (www.sisterlocks.com) AND THIS BLOG ARE THE ONLY OFFICIAL SITES FOR SISTERLOCKS.Anyone else using the word, “Sisterlocks” as part of their web address, company name, etc. is doing so FRAUDULENTLY! We do not stand behind any claims, tips, explanations or anything else that may appear on these other sites, list serves, bulletin boards, chat rooms and the like. Regarding media advertising (i.e. magazine, radio, newspaper, yellow pages, etc.), ALWAYS look for a reference to the Sisterlocks Home Office. This usually comes in the form of a contact address, phone number or the Sisterlocks web address. This is your assurance that Sisterlocks is being appropriately represented.
Q: Do I have to cut my relaxer off in order to get my hair done in Sisterlocks?
One of the great things about Sisterlocks is that you don’t have to cut off your relaxer in order to start them. All you need is 1½ inches of new growth at the scalp to start the locks. Then you can trim the relaxed ends gradually over time as your natural locks grow in. There are some things to watch for here though. For example, if you have a relaxer you know that when you let your natural hair grow in at the scalp you increase the chances of breakage. You will need to take measures to protect your hair while you’re letting the natural hair grow in. Some options during this transition period are: · braided extensions; · natural braided styles; · frequent moisturizing and conditioning; · always dampening the hair before combing through it; · gently finger-combing only for de-tangling and styling. Once the locks are put in, work closely with your Consultant to ensure that the relaxed ends stay as smooth as possible during your transition into fully natural locks.
Q: Can I transition from traditional locks?
This is not recommended for many reasons. Here are some of them: · The exquisite look of Sisterlocks is due in large part to the way they are started. The hair is sectioned according to pre-set patterns, then parted into lock sizes that are based on the density of the hair growth pattern, and the location on the head (i.e. usually smaller around the face). Parting for most traditional locking methods is not as detailed, and so won’t produce the same results. · When you change locking techniques within a single lock, for example going from a twisting method to a Sisterlocks 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 is too large for Sisterlocks to begin with, this “shrinkage” results in too much scalp showing. (… not pretty!)
Q: How much does it cost to get Sisterlocks?
Each Consultant sets his/her own prices. However, they are strongly advised to ALWAYS offer Sisterlocks as a package of 3 visits. The Sisterlocks Package includes: 1) A thorough Consultation. Here, a section of the hair is done in locks, and the client is asked to “live in them” through at least 2 shampooings. This eliminates guess work because the Consultant can test out more than one locking pattern before doing the entire head. It also allows the client to have a ‘reality check’ experience BEFORE getting hundreds of locks put in their hair; 2) The Locking Session is when the entire head is done in Sisterlocks. At this time your Consultant should provide you with an OFFICIAL CUSTOMER STARTER KIT containing the proper shampoo, Washing Bands and Tip Sheets to get you started off right;3) The Follow-up Visit takes place after another 2 shampooings or so, to allow the hair to begin to shift around and settle-in. Remember that Consultants offering Sisterlocks in a salon setting are probably going to need to charge more for their services than those having home-based businesses. Also remember that Sisterlocks are not in the same league as Braids, so pricing will most likely be different. However, over time Sisterlocks are more cost effective to maintain than braids of comparable size. In any case, individual Consultants are prepared to discuss their pricing with you,so don’t be bashful about asking.
Q: How do I find a Certified Consultant in my area?
Refer to the section “Consultants / Trainees” on this website. The first page you will see is for Certified Consultants. At the bottom of that page there is a link to the Trainee page.
Q: Is my hair type right for Sisterlocks?
“African-type” hair varies greatly, as we all know. The ‘best’ hair for locking is the kind with the smallest, tightest curl pattern. Hair with a smoother, more open wave pattern tends to be more difficult to lock. Don’t dismay though! There are a variety of Sisterlocks techniques designed to cope with difficult-to-lock hair. Many, many people who could not start locks with any other method have found satisfaction with Sisterlocks!
Q: Are Sisterlocks permanent?
Because Sisterlocks allows the hair’s natural interlocking process to unfold, they are true “locks.” This means that they are not meant to be undone. Technically, they can be taken out, but it would be almost absurd to try, especially once the locks are mature! (Imagine getting a small, needle-shaped object and gently undoing each of the 450-plus locks from the tip right down to the roots!) Our rule of thumb: “As long as the potential client is worried about getting them out, we don’t put them in to begin with!”
Q: Can I re-tighten my hair myself once I have the Sisterlocks done?
We recommend that clients work closely with their Consultants for at least 6 months before taking a re-tightening class. This is so that the locks will be stable and somewhat mature. Remember, a lot can happen in the first few months of locking, so it’s best to let your Consultant get you through this phase. Also, re-tightening is tedious, and clients can do a lot of damage to their hair, especially while the locks are still settling in. After 6 months (or on the advice of the Consultant), customers can take a Re-Tightening Class. These are offered ONLY from our Certified Training Associates, and Certified Sisterlocks Consultants who have completed their “R” Certification.
Q: What pitfalls should I watch out for with Sisterlocks?
We get hundreds of calls each month at the Home Office, and occasionally we hear from clients who are frustrated with their Sisterlocks experience for one reason or another. Here are a few of the most common situations:
· The client was not properly educated about Sisterlocks before getting her/his hair done. This is by far the most common complaint. Either the client was too impatient in the beginning to read, ask questions and/or go through the thorough (mandatory) consultation process, or the Consultant was not thorough enough in her/his consultation with the client.
· Locks were made too large. Sometimes this happens when the client insists that they want Sisterlocks, only “not so small”. The problem here is that Sisterlocks were designed to be “so small”! Clients wanting larger locks would usually do better to go with another locking system. Locks can also end up too large when the Consultant makes an error in judgement, or is too hasty in her/his work. Every Consultant is provided with a template of locking sizes when they are trained. They are also given advice about how to arrive at proper locking sizes. One of the reasons the Consultant is required to put sample locks in the client’s hair during the consultation is so that both can agree that the lock sizes are appropriate. You and your Consultant should never skip this step! You should have a clear idea of what your locks are going to look like BEFORE your Consultant locks your entire head.
· Locks were made too small. Some clients just insist on getting the smallest locks possible, without having the slightest idea of how their hair is going to behave over time. MICROS DONE OVER THE ENTIRE HEAD ARE EXTREMELY IMPRACTICAL! They mat more easily, and can take up to twice as long to re-tighten. Before getting micros, you should explore ALL of the implications with your Consultant. (i.e. cost, time to put them in, re-tightening time, daily care, vulnerability to breakage, etc.)
· New locks unraveled excessively. This can happen when clients fail to observe the very careful shampooing instructions given to them by their Consultant, and provided in their Customer Starter Kit. Once we experience the incredible freedom of having Sisterlocks, many of us promptly lose our minds, and think we can now do anything to our hair! This is not the case however, especially in the beginning. Be extremely conservative when shampooing the hair during the settling-in phase. This will minimize slippage, fraying and bunching. Also, work closely with your Consultant, schedule regular re-tightening appointments, and address any problems you see as soon as they arise.
· Hair doesn’t “shine.” Most of us have been conditioned to believe that our hair is supposed to shine like Caucasian-type hair that is naturally straight. Sometimes it takes some reeducation to learn to appreciate the natural, healthy luster of our spectacular African-type hair. We have also been taught that without grease, our hair will be dry and weak. What our hair really needs is moisture, not grease. The Sisterlocks product line has been developed to clean and moisturize our natural hair type without loading it up with greases and other substances that pretend to make it shine by simply coating the hair shaft with something that glistens.
Q: What do I do if I am dissatisfied with a Consultant’s work?
It is our sincere desire to help our Consultants be the best professionals they can be. When problems with a Consultant are reported to the Home Office, this is usually done in a spirit of helpful criticism. We generally contact the Consultant with suggestions as to how to ensure that the problem is not recurring. While learning from mistakes is not always pleasant, one NEVER forgets the lessons learned in that way. Therefore, we encourage our Consultants not to dread these learning opportunities. We have found that almost without exception, our Consultants appreciate the feedback, and use it to improve their work.
Under no circumstances do we condone the alarming practice we have heard about where a dissatisfied client may “diss” a Consultants over the internet. We believe our approach is much more loving, and in the long run, much more effective.
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