Hairstyles for Sisterlocks

By K. Nola Mokeyane

Sisterlocks are an African-American natural hair style for women that was created in 1993 by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell. They are composed of small amounts of interwoven hair strands that give the appearance of finely braided tresses. Many black women opt for sisterlocks because they are more flexible than their larger traditional lock counterparts and offer more diverse styling options. While those new to sisterlock culture will want to seek advice on styling options, maintaining sisterlocks essentially requires you to experiment with your hair and ultimately assert your own individuality through creative freedom.

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The "Up-Do"

This hair styling technique is easy to do but has an intricate weaving pattern that will appear as if it took hours to prepare. Start at the nape of the neck, brushing all of the locks forward towards the front of the head. Take a few locks from the hairline area on the sides of the neck's nape and begin to form a cornrow towards the front of the head. To form a cornrow, gather a few strands on the left side of the posterior hairline and do the same on the right; criss-cross each gathering of hair in the center of the back of the head where the cornrow starts. The cornrow develops as these pieces of hair continue to be crossed along each other, working in an upwards direction towards the front of the head. Repeat this pattern and discontinue the cornrow at the desired stopping point, either in the center of the head or the top of the forehead.

To add body to this cornrow briefly halt the braiding process and tie the unfinished hair with a rubber band. Then, place a small amount of yarn in a pocket where the unfinished cornrow ends and tuck it tightly into the already cornrowed hair. Release the rubber band and continue the cornrowing process, deliberately braiding the hair over the ball of yarn so that it will be well concealed. This is a hairstyle that takes only several minutes to achieve and will elicit many compliments.

Sisterlock Bun

A bun hairstyle is very easy to do and is viewed as classy and sophisticated. To create a bun, choose the best location on the head to display the bun. Use either a rubber band or hair tie to gather all of the hair in the chosen area. Take several strands of locks and wrap them around the tied hair until the hair shortens. Once the hair becomes wrapped around the hair tie, tuck the remaining hair underneath the tie or secure them with pins and continue to wrap the sisterlocks until a solid bun forms. There is much flexibility with this process, including wrapping the locks in various directions to create an even more dynamic bun. Adorn with a nice flower to create a very elegant natural hair style.

Sisterlock Coils

Coils are a unique way to provide longer locks with a shorter look, which offers diversity in styling options. Creating a coil is also an easy task and the hair style resembles small pin curls. Take a section of sisterlocks, perhaps a square inch of hair, and twist the entire section of hair by simply rolling the hair with the index finger. After the hair has been rolled, continue to twist the hair as it begins to fall into a curl against the scalp. Control the look of the curl by wrapping the twisted locks into a pin curl shape, tucking the remaining twist underneath the coil. To secure the coil use hair pins. Achieving this look requires little effort and produces multiple style options. As the hair is coiled it forms a tight curl that offers a robust, curly hair style once the coils are removed.