Reprinted from On the Path
Once you have made the investment in getting Sisterlocks you'll want to protect that investment. Sisterlocks are LOW maintenance - not NO maintenance. It is very important to the development of your newly formed Sisterlocks to get regular re-tightenings. On average every 4 - 6 weeks is recommended in the beginning.
Your hair texture, rate of growth and the care you give your new Sisterlocks will determine when that maintenance schedule can be extended to every 6 - 8 weeks. Re-tightening should only take 4 hours on average. This may vary depending on the amount of new growth and size of your locks. A re-tightening session should never last more than 6 hours.
WHY IS RE-TIGHTENING SO IMPORTANT? Re-tightening assists in the development of uniform locks. It provides the opportunity for your consultant to monitor development and make changes if any are needed before the locks are completely settled in. It controls slippage better; the longer the hair is loose in the Sisterlocks the longer it will take to lock. You consultant can review your washing technique and advise if changes are necessary. For example, rough shampooing can disturb your locks creating lots of loose hair around the base of your locks. If there is an excessive amount of loose hair around the base your consultant can advise that you need to be more gentle, ask you to demonstrate how you shampoo and make suggestions about how to reduce disturbance. Lots of loose hair around the base of the locks can create a "fuzzy" appearance.
WHAT COULD HAPPEN IF YOU DON'T REGULARLY MAINTAIN YOUR SISTERLOCKS? Bunching locks. An inconsistent appearance. Locks that develop more like traditional locks instead of the very unique Sisterlocks. The integrity of your Sisterlocks can be compromised and you could end up with locks that may break or shred due to spaces that may develop in the locks from infrequent re-tightenings. Some of us are not diligent about separating our locks after shampooing, a regular re-tightenings can see to it that locks remain separate as well.
A relationship with your consultant is very different from the one you may have had with your stylist when your hair was chemically treated. We would do whatever we wanted with our hair, go to the salon, sit in the chair, and the stylist had to make everything okay again. The relationship with Sisterlocks is different. From the time you have the Sisterlocks put in, until they are completely settled in and on their way to locking, your cooperation is mandatory. You have a responsibility to work with your consultant to achieve the results you desire, beautiful Sisterlocks. This means following your consultants recommendations, regular re-tightenings and periodic groomings.
HOW LONG IS IT NECESSARY TO GET RE-TIGHTENINGS? Depending on the look you desire, always. However, you are able to learn how to do your own re-tightenings through a Certified Training Associate. Some will find it exhilarating while others may choose never to maintain their own hair and only want to understand the process. Whichever category you fall into, remember, that the only way to achieve beautifully uniform and healthy Sisterlocks, is through regular re-tightenings and maintenance whether you do it yourself or have the maintenance performed by a consultant.