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What are locs, anyway?

No matter what you call it, "locs" are essentially matted hair. Any hair texture can lock! Some textures lock more neatly and efficiently than others, and some methods of establishment work well for some textures and not others. The thought of matted hair may turn you off, but it can actually be quite beautiful!  Below are a few ways to achieve what are commonly called locs, dreadlocks, or locks. 

What are Microlocks?

Microlocks are small (micro) locks. The parting is usually no more than 1/2 inch across to be considered a microlock. This results in more volume and greater stylability. These are most commonly started with coils, twists, interlocking, or braids. Larger (traditional) locs are also started the same way. Hair can be parted along a distinct grid (neat rows/columns) or parted in a different method. Diamond, triangle, brick-laid, or natural parting are some examples. 

What are Interlocks? 

Interlocks are created when strands of hair are woven in on themselves starting from the ends of the hair to the root. The person establishing the locs will use either a two, three, or four point "rotation" depending on the desired outcome. See this video for an excellent example!

Once the woven hair gets close to the scalp, any number of tools are used to finish the rotations so that the loc sits flush against the scalp. 

What are Sisterlocks?

Sisterlocks are trademarked micro interlocks. While all Sisterlocks are micro-interlocks, NOT all micro-interlocks are Sisterlocks! The creator of Sisterlocks trains and certifies its practitioners to install the interlocks with a very specific procedure, grid, sizing, and tool unique to the brand. While other interlocked microlocks can and often do look indistinguishable from Sisterlocks, they are technically not the same unless that trademarked procedure was followed and they were installed by a trained loctician. 


What are Braidlocks?

Braidlocks begin at or near the scalp. The hair is braided down to the end. Then, as the hair grows, rather than take the braid down, the new growth is palm-rolled or (more commonly) interlocked. It can also be interlocked at the root upon installation. One advantage of braidlocks is that they take less time than interlocks to install and are very sturdy. However, hair tends to hang stiffer and straighter than interlocks, especially when newly installed. The braid pattern does not easily disappear. 

What are Two Strand Twists? 

Hair is parted into sections and each section is split into two. They are twisted around each other from root to tip, using gel or another product that will allow the hair to hold. This is far and away the fastest method to establish microlocks and often produces the most volume early on. However, the twists are relatively fragile and require special attention to make sure they do not come undone until they mat/lock. Maintenance of new growth usually involves palm rolling or interlocking. 

What are Comb Coils?

Comb coils are basically single strand twists. Hair is parted into sections, and that entire section is twisted around a comb made for this purpose along with gel, or some other product that will allow it to hold. These coils can also be fragile and require delicate care and close maintenance until they mat/lock. Traditional (larger) Locs are often started with this method and maintained by coil-combing the roots or palm rolling. Interlocking can also be used. This method is ideal for people starting with less than 3 inches of hair. 

Meet your loctician
Maya foster

Hi, I'm Maya! I love to work with my hands.I am a Sisterlocks Trainee, but have experience with other styles of locks as well. Check my page for introductory pricing as I journey towards becoming a consultant!

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