Sunday, June 9, 2013

Why Braidlocks?

If follow me on Facebook and watch my YouTube videos, then you already know that I recently started a set of  locks for Mg2  by braiding up her hair.  I've recently been asked why we chose to start with braids and thought  I would spend some time explaining it in more detail here.

There are multiple ways to start locks, perhaps more ways than we will discuss here.  Choosing which way works best for you will depend on your personal situation.  Consider your lifestyle, hair texture, sizing, and the way you would like your mature locks to look.

Most people are familiar with comb coils and twists. However, people also start locks by freeforming, backcombing, interlocking and braiding.  Let's have a closer look.

1. Freeforming   involves letting the loose hair clump and matte in whatever formation it likes.  This may yield locks of various sizes and shapes depending on hair texture and performance.

2. Comb coils or finger coils are installed by coaxing sections of hair into formations resembling ringlets.

3. Twists may be formed with two strands or three strands.  Three stranded twists may be more elongated and trap the strands more firmly, preventing them from slipping out of formation during manipulation.

4. Backcombing is a method effective for any texture of hair, but often used by people with loosely curled and even straight hair.  It involves taking the desired section of hair, teasing it back with a comb and rolling the matted section between your palms.

5. Interlocking is a method which involves using a latch hook, or any needle like tool which will allow you to manipulate a section of hair like you would a rope, string, or thread.  The section of hair is then weaved into a specific pattern.  Sisterlocks are installed with a trademarked method of interlocking.

6. Braiding sets the hair in a braid pattern of any desired size and formation. Three stranded twists, the same pattern used to make ropes may also perform similarly to braids.

When I was researching locks for myself, I looked for a method that would work for a person who needed to wash/rinse their hair daily.  I needed something which would hold loosely coiled hair.  I have multiple textures on my head, and the hair from the back of my ears down to my nape is silky with looser coils. I needed something that would work for small locks.  I needed something I already knew how to do well, because I wanted to be able to install my locks myself.  I learned about braidlocks on Nappturality--special shout out to Cheleski, aka M. Michelle George, author of The Knotty Truth.  I locked my hair before her book was published, but it continues to be a great resource.  I reviewed her book on YouTube, so if you're interested in locks, I think it's worth every dime.

I chose braidlocks for Mg2 because she loves my locks.  We've discussed that locking is such an organic process that we can't always control the outcome.  While locks may look similar, no two heads will be exactly the same.  Mg2 understands this, but wanted to give her hair as much opportunity as possible to look like mine.  I actually think her hair will look even better.  Her hair is thick and lush and shrinks in a very compact way.  She can wear a style for a long time without it looking like it needs to be done over.  Her baby locking stage will probably be beautiful.  Mg2  has a really layed back and practical personality. The more I learned about locks the more I thought of her.  She surprised me though.  I never expected her to ask for them so soon.  I thought....maybe when she's 14.

Check out my video on YouTube where Mg2 unveils her locks.  I explain the grid we chose and gush all over my baby.  I am so excited for her.


  1. Hello. Great Blog. What is the difference between sisterlocks and braidlocks? Which are easier to maintain and more cost effective? I heard that sisterlocks are really expensive to install and maintain.

  2. Sisterlocks are installed and maintained by kind of interlocking method trademarked by the owner of the sisterlock brand. The main difference is that the installation and maintainence are different and braidlocks basically look like braids. Many people find the appearance of braidlocks similar to sisterlocks. The expense of sisterlocks depends on a lot of things. The size of the locks you choose and who you find to work with them. Some people are willing to pay anything to get what they want so "expensive" is a matter of personal opinion. I do think they are expensive. Sisterlocks are maintained by retightening the roots periodically with the same method used when installing the locks. Braidlocks may be maintained using all of the methods used with traditional locks. The smaller the lock, the more time consuming it is to retighten. Free forming is the easiest and I have read where people with sisterlocks freeform at times also. Getting braidlocks was easier for me because I wanted to do them myself, and maintain them myself, with a method I already knew.

  3. i love her braid locks. i cant believe how quickly they matured over the summer from YT video