Carefree woman with arms outstretched

Sisterlocks, a natural hair management system created by Dr. JoAnne Cornwell, is described at as "tiny uniform locs that are the result of a precision parting grid, and the use of a specialized tool that places the hair into its locing formation." In recent years, sisterlocks have gained popularity in large part due to the versatility and flexibility that the hairstyle offers. Unlike dreadlocks, sisterlocks do not require the use of hair gels and waxes.

Sisterlocks are intended to be a permanent hairstyle, but can be removed with a lot of work. According to Cultured Locs, a leading sisterlocks specialist, sisterlocks are easiest to remove during the first six months of development. Removal of sisterlocks is nearly identical to that of dreadlocks.

Cutting Off Sisterlocks

Use a pair of scissors to cut each sisterlock off one at a time near the root of the hair. Try to cut as close to the scalp as possible.

Use the hair clippers to shave the remainder of the hair. Using a clipper guard will remove the hair without leaving you bald.

Wash your hair and scalp with shampoo. Rinse and repeat two times or until all dirt and build-up have been removed.

Massage conditioner into wet scalp for two to four minutes. Rinse thoroughly and allow head to air-dry.

Combing Out Sisterlocks

Use a pair of scissors to cut the bottom tips (about 1/2 centimeter) off your sisterlocks.

Soak your sisterlocks in hot water for 10 to 20 minutes to help loosen the dirt and build-up.

Wash your hair and scalp thoroughly with shampoo, making sure to pay attention to each sisterlock. Rinse each lock with hot water to remove all shampoo residue.

Apply conditioner liberally to each sisterlock. Locks should be saturated with conditioner. Do not rinse the conditioner out yet.

Use the metal comb to start picking apart the sisterlocks one at a time. Begin at the bottom of the lock and work your way up.

Re-wash and condition your hair once the sisterlocks are out. Removing sisterlocks can put a lot of stress on your hair. Allow your hair to rest for a day or two before styling it.


  • The comb-out process is very tedious. Depending on the length of your sisterlocks, this method can take up to one hour per lock.