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Sisterlocks are a natural interlocking hair technique, like dreadlocks. A special tool, specifically made for sisterlocks, is used to form the locks. The thin structure of the locks allows you to style your hair in many different ways. There are four main stages of sisterlocks. You will need a qualified or experienced lock consultant to maintain your sisterlocks through the different stages.

Pre-Locking Phase

The pre-locking phase is the first stage, shortly after your sisterlocks have first been interlocked. At this stage, the tiny partings are clear and the locks look like tightly coiled curls, or ringlets. These locks are known as "baby locks." The locks are in their infancy and are still vulnerable. You must take special care when washing, as your hair could easily unlock. Don't rub the scalp too vigorously.

Budding Phase

At this stage, a small bulge or bud is formed. This is the early stage of the matting process. The bulge will expand and take on the appearance of a loose lock, not tightly coiled, as in the pre-locking phase. The hairstyle is known as "teen locks" at this stage, because the lock is trying to rebel against the tight, thin form it was in.

Shooting Phase

The shooting stage is when the entire lock is becoming more matted. From the bud toward the bottom end, your hair becomes more dense. The hair is continuously intertwining, except where there is new re-growth. This area is not locked. The pseudonym for this stage is "adult." Adult locks tend to last the longest.

Contracting Phase

The last stage is the contracting phase. Your hair will be very lengthy and will go on growing for as long as you want it to. The density is at its most solid. The lock system has a sophisticated network of interlocking strands of hair. It is mature and established. At this stage, the locks are called "elder locks." The mature elder locks should form within two years of first starting your sisterlocks.