When I began researching sisterlocks, I also researched other loc methods like traditional, two strand twist, and braidlocs. These are more affordable options than sisterlocks and equally beautiful. What I did not know then that I know now, is that you can get the same look as sisterlocks starting your loc journey with braid locks (or two strand twists). Let’s go over some of the basics about braidlocs.
Things to Consider Before Starting Braidlocs
First, decide if you are going to start your braidlocs yourself, have a friend or family member do it, or go to a professional. If you decide to do them yourself, you need to know how to braid or plait.
Second, figure out how big or small you want your braidlocs to be – tiny, small, medium, large, etc. Braidlocs are not tied to a grid. Some like to mimic the sisterlocks grid or simply have neat, precise parts for their braidlocs, but it is not required. I’ll use myself as an example. I have sisterlocks, and I honestly don’t care about the grid. The main reason being I have high-density hair (thick hair follicles and lots of them) so my hair won’t hold the sisterlocks grid. Second, I learned that if you choose to do micro, small, or medium sized braidlocs, they will have the same look as sisterlocks at the end of the day – minus the grid. Third, I like it when my hair looks full. I don’t want my grid showing or having a scalpy look, nor do I mind my new growth showing. Make sure you consider these things before you make a final decision.
Third, think about how you are going to maintain your new growth. Are you going to palm roll the new growth, which will require the use of products? Do you feel the interlock technique is better, which will require the use of a latch hook and knowing which rotations to do? Or will you allow your braidlocs to free-form and let them take on whatever shape or form as they grow?
Do Your Research On Braidlocs
If you are considering braidlocs as an option, start doing your research now. Google is your friend. There is a wealth of information on braidlocs on the internet, including right here https://going-natural.com/category/braidlocs/ . If you have family members or friends who started their loc journey with braidlocs, pick their brains about how they started them, how they maintain them, and the products and tools they use if they maintain them themselves. Research interlocking and rotations because that is important information you’ll need to know. Look for shops in your area that offer braidlocs installation services and ask for a consultation and a price quote. Remember – the loctician will need to see you in person in order to assess your hair and give you an accurate quote.
Figuring Out The Cost of Braidlocs
There is only a cost associated with braidlocs if you decide to have them professionally installed and maintained. Prices will vary depending on where you live but expect to pay $100+ for install and $50 – 100+ for maintenance. The length of your hair will also factor into your price quote before installation. If you decide to get them professionally done, be sure to add your retightening cost (or retie) to your budget. Reties can be every 4-8 weeks depending on what your loctician recommends. Just like you budgeted for getting your relaxer touched up and a cut/style once a month, you should have a budget for your braidlocs maintenance. If you decide to install and maintain your braidlocs yourself, then you will have to pay for products (gels that help the locking process) and whatever interlocking tool you decide to use. Tools like the latch hook will cost about $2.00 at the most, and there are other locking tools that you can find on Amazon that start at $7.99 and up.
The Benefits of Braidlocs
Braidlocs are a wonderful option if you want total and complete hair freedom. Freedom from chemicals. Freedom from heat damage. Most importantly, you will have healthy hair and beautiful growth that you never thought your hair would achieve. You will be able to get up in the morning and not have to worry about your hair. Styling your hair will no longer be a chore or a must-do unless you feel like trying a new style. There isn’t a need for a lot of product use with braidlocs unless you choose to. Just be prepared to perform deep cleanings to combat buildup in your locs. Finally, braidlocs are a cheaper option than sisterlocks while achieving the same look as sisterlocks. You will find that it’s well worth the price for the lifelong benefit of having hair freedom.