Sisterlocks FAQ: Can I make my Sisterlocks smaller?

Can I make my Sisterlocks smaller?

This was a question recently asked on an online forum, while answering the young lady I realised that this might be a question some of you my have so I thought I should share it here as well.

The best case scenario is that you were able to feedback your preferences to your Consultant during the consultation period and were able to 'test drive' different sizes with your sample locs. This in turn would have led to the right /preferred sizes being selected for your installation.

However, I do realise that we don't live in a perfect world and indeed, many of you change your minds months (or weeks) after the installation.

So to answer your question, Sisterlocks can be made smaller by

  1. combing out the loc(s) in question and starting over with smaller partings
  2. splitting the existing locs

Pros & Cons of Starting Over

  • Con: Time intensive: taking down/combing out interlocked hair is a time consuming activity and some breakage or tearing of the hair strands can occur during the process.
  • Pro:  The former loc will become 2 (or even 3) locs of the same length and size, which means the final look will be uniform. Additionally, You will have new locs as soon as they have been combed out and reformed.
  • NB - if your locs are mature, you must remember to braid and band the newly created locs to minimise frizzing and looping along the shaft of the loc; and to reduce the likelihood of bunching.

Pros & Cons of Loc Splitting
  • Pros: Less intrusive, your consultant will do this a little at a time during your regular retightening sessions (so nothing for you to do!). No need to braid and band.
  • Con: Very Time intensive: You're talking several months here. Splitting a loc takes a while. Essentially you are creating a Y (at the base) in the existing loc over several months: so the original loc starts to fork into two branches.
    Once each fork reaches a satisfactory length you will cut one branch away from the main.
    This branch will be thinner and shorter than the original loc and the original loc will also become thinner in size.  You may need to cut off the heavier original loc (at the end) if the new portion (at the base) is too thin to sustain it

Which do I prefer?

Well, really, it's up to you, but if you want to avoid having a mix of long and short locs, it's simpler to start over i.e. comb out, re-section and reform the locs.

See the illustrations below for some split locs. (These locs were not started by me, but I am currently maintaining them)

The 4 locs on the right were created from 2 original locs which were along the sizes of the locs on the far left.

The picture below is of small traditional locs /large microlocs - not started by me.
You can see that these locs are generally quite large in size, and the client is generally happy with them. However, there was a very large loc at the bottom which we split out as it was suffering from severe bunching and lint (as well as being too large for her curl pattern). Lining the new locs up with her existing grid was not a perfect fit, as the grid itself was not originially perfectly aligned.

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