Microlocs and sisterlocks are both types of lock styles, and even though they look very similar, they are different in many ways.
If you have not decided whether to go for sisterlocks or microlocs yet, there are a few things that you need to know. Besides the fact that one is much more crazily expensive than the other, there are a few other differences that you should know about before you decide which method is best for you.
Keep reading as we go over the pros and cons between the two so you can make an informed decision.
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What Are Sisterlocks?
Sisterlocks are a trademark hairstyle created and developed in 1993 by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell. They can only be strictly installed by a certified Sisterlock consultant or trainee and follow a specific guideline. The consultants use specific tools and products for the installation and maintenance of the locks.
Sisterlocks are pretty versatile, and they can be worn loose as they are, braided, curled, in a roller set, or even coloured to spice it up a little bit.
Having sisterlocks is more like a lifestyle, and there are a number of communities out there to support you on your journey if you decide to go for sisterlocks. You can find a certified Sisterlock consultant here.
Pros Of Having Sisterlocks
- Symmetrical grids making the hairstyle neat
- Versatile, you can do many different hairstyles
- Opportunity to have a professional guide you through your journey
- Requires no use of products or chemicals
Cons Of Having Sisterlocks
- Can be costly to install
- The installation has to be done by a professional to get the sisterlocks technique right
- Locks cannot be combined in the future
What Are Microlocs?
Microlocs are simply traditional locks that are smaller than the size of a pencil or your pinky finger. They are installed by either using the coiling method, braiding, two-strand twist, or the interlocking method. They are very similar to traditional locs.
The beauty of microlocs is that anyone can do it, you can even do it on your own at home. Finding the time install your own microlocs is going to be your biggest problem because it is time-consuming and can take a lot of muscle work.
Unlike sisterlocks, there are no restrictions to microlocs. You can use any tool for retightening, any products (rosewater is particularly popular), and anyone can install them. You can also make grids as per your own personal preference.
Pros Of Having Microlocs
- Can be self-installed
- Cheaper to install and maintain than sisterlocks
- It can be installed using different methods
- It’s easy to combine locs at a later stage if you want
Cons Of Having Microlocs
- Prone to mistakes since there is no installation guideline to follow
- Self-installation can sometimes mean that the locs marry if not done accurately
- It’s easy for there to be gaps along the loc if care is not taken. This can cause weakness in the loc and therefore potential breakage.
Difference Between Microlocs and Sisterlocks
Just by looking at the two loc styles, it’s hard to tell that they are different, but they actually are. Here are some of the key differences:
Microlocs tend to be a little cheaper than sisterlocks. You can get them installed at a minimum of $200 upwards to $600. Maintenance cost is also cheaper and may cost you between $50 to $80.
For sisterlocks, you will have to cough up at least $400, and the price could go up to $1000 depending on how skilled your loctician is and your location. Of course, the volume and length of your hair will also determine the ultimate cost. And since sisterlocks must be done by a certified sisterlock loctician, there is an additional maintenance service cost of $100 to $200 every 4-8 weeks.
Before the installation of Sisterlocks, your Sisterlock consultant will schedule an appointment with you to discuss how to proceed with the installation. They will also check the texture of your hair to determine whether sisterlocks are the right lock style for you and how long the whole process will take.
This may also be the best time to ask the consultant all the pressing questions you have about sisterlocks to clear any doubts and find out exactly how much it will cost you.
Sisterlocks are weaved into your hair using a specific tool and following a strict guideline provided. The parting is done in minuit grids, all equal in size to give that near-perfect neat look. Depending on your hair length and density, fresh installation may take up to 36 hours, which explains why it costs more than microlocs.
Sisterlocks may not be a great style for people with fine, straight hair; the weaving technique used requires a bit of curl in your hair to come out perfectly. Also, if your hair is damaged, specifically weak and thinning, this may not be the best time to install sisterlocks.
Microlocs, on the other hand, take a shorter time to install. How long will depend on the locking method used but ideally, anywhere from 6 to 10 hours if done professionally. If self-installing, it can go up to a week because your arms get pretty tired so you’ll need lots of breaks in between
Microlocs installation can be started by either braiding, coiling, interlocking or twisting. Each of these methods has its own pros and cons, so it’s best you research first before deciding.
Helpful post: Different methods for starting locks
Maintainance For Both Sisterlocks and Microlocs
As mentioned, sisterlocks can only be re-tightened by certified stylists because of the intricate style of weaving and the fact that it can only be done using a specific tool. The tools are given to consultants and trainees upon completion of the course.
Maintainance for both takes pretty much the same time, but for sisterlocks, you check in for re-tightening every 4-8 weeks, while for microlocs, you visit your loctician every 4-6 weeks.
To cut down on the maintenance cost of your sisterlocks, you can opt to take a re-tightening class with your consultant but this can only be done six months into your Sisterlock journey.
Final Thoughts: Microlocs vs Sisterlocks, Which One Is Better?
Sisterlocks and microlocs are both great hairstyles when well and consistently maintained. They both look great on different hair textures, and you can get as creative as possible with each of these styles.
The best way to find out which one is best for you is to do your research like you are doing now in this post. Affordability and maintenance are the key deciding factors when choosing your preferred hairstyle.
Which of the methods do you think would be best for you?
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