Sisterlocks and the three C’s: Consultant, (Initial) Consultation, and Cost

So, in less than 24 hours, my sisterlocks transformation will have begun! Here’s a recap of how I chose my consultant, how the initial consultation went, and how much sisterlocks will cost over the year.

SL Consultant

For most people, finding/selecting a consultant is a long, arduous process. But, not for me. My consultant is a one of my former hair stylists (when I had relaxed hair), and is also the SL consultant (SLC) for my sister (SL’d since 12/08). I believe my SLC left the salon I knew her from to focus solely on styling natural hair. She’s also the one who cut my hair, when I did the Big Chop last year, and put in the two-strand twists.

Long story short. We have history. About 5 years worth of history (on/off, here and there, but history nonetheless). It didn’t cross my mind to look up any other SLCs in the area. My sister’s SLs are coming along quite nicely so I already have confidence in her work.

The Initial Consultation

Nonetheless, I still wanted the full experience of sisterlocks, which included the initial consultation and watching the information DVDs.

And, wow, those movies were so out-dated and cheesy! (Please, please, Joann Cornwell… update those DVDs…and your website too!) In spite of this, there was a quote from the film that struck a chord: “Hair care practices are never really natural but practical.”

Truth. I mean, think about it. Most of the time, whether we are relaxed/dreaded/not chemically altered/whatever, we never really just letour hair “be.” We’re always whipping it into some style or another, or dousing it with moisturizer/conditioner/oils/secret concoction.

Anyways, that quote reinforced the fact (to me, at least) that sisterlocks is not a style but a hair care management system. A low-maintenance (but definitely not a “no” maintenance) system.

Through the films, I also learned about micro-sisterlocks—didn’t know these existed! My SLC explained that micro-sisterlocks, though initially do not look any different in size, are really defined by having smaller parts… and will take much longer to install and retighten. I considered getting micro-sisterlocks to get my locks to look more like loose strands (easier for curling, etc.). However, I’ve finally decided that, for the sake of keeping the cost/time of retightening to a reasonable level, I will go with the regular size SLs.

6 test locks were “installed”. Two in the back (neck line) and 4 at the crown. It’s weird walking around with a fro with little tiny braid-like things poking out, lol. I don’t think any have “slipped” after the first wash but the ends have become a little fuzzy. (Pics to come soon.)

Cost of Sisterlocks

Installation: $550 (consultation, installation, and first retightening)

Retightening: $35/hour, expect 2-3 hours (I am going to ask my SLC if there is a maximum she’ll charge)

This first year, SLs will cost be nearly $1400, but in subsequent years it will be about $840. Less than what I paid for relaxers, and but a bit more than managing loose natural hair (though the cost of extension braids/twists adds up fast!).

Tonight I’ll wash my ‘fro for… who knows, maybe forever?