How Long Does It Take to Do Sisterlocks?

How long does it take to do sisterlocks

Sisterlocks can be one of the best locking styles that you can do in your hair for embracing the natural texture and beauty of your hair. They are completely different from most other dreadlocks in terms of their size and installation process. Sisterlock was first invented to let black women express and accept their identity and the beautiful natural hair that they have got. If you also have afro-textured hair, then congrats. You have the perfect hair type to install sisterlocks in your hair.

If you love your gorgeous natural hair and want to embrace the versatility it offers, you might want to install sisterlocks in your hair as well. But you should also consider that the installation process is very different from the norms and will take hours more than your expectation. So, if you are confused about how long it takes to do sisterlocks, keep reading. I have explained all the information here to answer all of your concerns regarding the time it takes to install sisterlocks.

Time It Takes to Do Sisterlocks

Time It Takes to Do Sisterlocks
Time It Takes to Do Sisterlocks

The installation process of sisterlocks is very long and tedious. Sisterlocks are much thinner in size than all other locks. So, it takes hundreds of tiny locks in your hair. Average dreadlocks can take between 2-3 hours to install for their thick size and less quantity. But sisterlocks will take a whole lot more time than that. The hairstylist even needs to take multiple days to complete the whole installation process. It can take 24 to 36 hours to complete a whole installation process depending on various factors like your hair density, length, and size of your locks.

If you want a much tiny size than any average sisterlocks, then the number of locks will increase significantly requiring more time to install. Also, if you want to install sisterlocks in long hair, it can take additional 10 minutes to do every inch increasing the amount of time it needs. Your hair density is also responsible for defining the time period your hair would take to lock. If you have denser hair, then your hair will need more sections and more locks to cover the whole head and take more time to install. However, if you have a much shorter length of hair or your hair is less dense your sisterlocks would take 12-24 hours or less to install. You should consider the time you need to invest before installing the sisterlocks.

Why It Takes So Long to Install Sisterlocks?

Why it takes so long to install sisterlocks
Why it takes so long to install sisterlocks

The installation process is so long that it is impossible for a hairstylist to do it all at once. A stylist needs to stand in a single position for hours to complete sisterlocks in your hair. They have to go through the same locking pattern again and again hundreds and thousands of times on hairs of a single section. Now, think about how many times they need to do the grids to install sisterlocks on your whole head. It can be anywhere between 250 to 400 sisterlocks on your hair. This is the main reason sisterlocks take so much time to be done.

 The process becomes extremely hideous for this reason and standing hours to do this single job can be very draining. For this reason, the stylist takes 2 to 3 days to complete the whole process. Every day your hair stylist needs to install locks for 6 to 10 hours based on your hair type. Now you might understand that all these long hours it requires to do sisterlocks is completely justified.

Different Stages of Sisterlocks

Different stages of sisterlocks
Different stages of sisterlocks

There are four different stages of sisterlocks that you need to know before diving into the long process. It’s not like you have installed the sisterlocks and it’s done. There are different stages that you need to go through to have completely matured sisterlocks. the stages are:

  1. Pre-Locking Stage: The pre-locking stage is the baby stage of your hair when you freshly installed sisterlocks in your tiny hair. Your hair needs to be at least 2.5 inches long to do the sisterlocks in the pre-locking stage. The locks will be small, coiled, and very fragile in this state. The locks are not formed at this stage. This stage can last from 3 to 6 months depending on the rate of your hair growth.
  2. Budding Stage: Budding stage is also called the teenage stage because the locks will start to be formed in this stage. The sisterlocks will start to become thicken and become more secure in this stage. The locks will be much longer than the pre-locking stage. The budding stage can last between 6 to 9 months.
  3. Shooting Stage: The shooting stage is also called the adult stage because the locks from the budding stage will start to create a solid foundation in this stage. The hair shaft will begin to become matt and mature in this stage. This stage can last between 6 to 18 months based on your hair type.
  4. Contracting Stage: This is the stage when your locks are adult. The locks will be completely sealed and uniformed. The length of your lock will be pretty decent. You need to retighten your sisterlocks in between all these stages within 6 to 8 weeks for getting stunning sisterlocks all over your head. It can take more than 2 years for your sisterlocks to reach a matured and secured stage.

These are the 4 stages of sisterlocks. Through these stages, your baby sisterlocks will grow into healthy and mature ones. But you need to invest a lot of time and effort since you have to retighten and take care of your sisterlocks on a daily basis. Also, to have a solid foundation for your sisterlocks, you need to wait patiently for 2 years at least.

4 Considerations Before Getting Sisterlocks

Before you start the long process, there are certain facts that you need to consider. Such as:

  1. Sisterlocks are a long-term commitment and you cannot go backward from this. You can not reverse the sisterlocks like any other locks out there. Once you have installed sisterlocks in your hair, you have to maintain it by retightening it once every 6 to 8 weeks. And if you do not want it, you can cut the locked part once your hair grows out, instead of retightening it.
  2. Sisterlocks require a special locking tool to lock your hair. So, your hair needs a minimal length to lock with that tool. Normally your hair needs to be 2.5 inches long to be ready for installing sisterlocks.
  3. Sisterlocks need a lot of patience, time, and hard work. So, installing sisterlocks is pretty expensive ranging between $500-$2000 without the consultation fee, and retightening charges. Consider your budget before taking the initiative.
  4. You should not do the sisterlocks yourself. Sisterlocks need an expert to install as it needs additional skill and a locking tool to form the pattern of your sisterlocks properly. If you try to do it yourself, and the locks are not formed correctly with enough tightening, it can ruin the entire locked strand and you can’t even reverse that.

5 Tips for Taking Care of Your Sisterlocks

5 tips for taking care of your sisterlocks
5 tips for taking care of your sisterlocks

After installing your sisterlocks, you need to take care of them for the healthy growth and appearance of your hair. Here are some tips for you to maintain the sisterlocks:

  1. Never wash too much or too less. Too much hair wash will make your hair dry and too less can cause buildup. Try to wash your hair once every week.
  2. Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner for your hair. Sulfates work as detergents, strip away all the natural hair, and can make your hair extremely harsh.
  3. Do not use too many heating tools or heat styling in your hair. Too much heat can destroy the keratin bond of your hair and make them very rough, frizzy, and prone to breakage.
  4. Keep your sisterlocks hydrated always. You can use oils and moisturizers to make your hair soft and moisturized. You can spray a dilution of rose water, glycerin, and essential oils on your locks to keep them hydrated for a longer time.
  5. Use satin or silk pillow covers as they do not create friction like other fabrics and cause frizziness. Frizzy hairs are more prone to damage and breakage. So even if you do not have a silk or satin pillow cover, try using a scarf of similar fabrics to cover your sisterlocks before going to sleep.


1. Can I add extensions to my Sisterlocks?

Yes! You can add extensions to your sisterlocks. But before that, you need to confirm that the sisterlocks in your hair are formed properly. If the locks are not set properly, extensions can create problems in your existing locks. Also, it is recommended to add extensions only if you have thick hair.

2. Is my hair type right for Sisterlocks?

If you have Afro-textured type-4 hair, then your hair type is right for sisterlocks. 4c and 4d types are best suited for sisterlocks. It is best to consult with a hairstylist first if you are not sure about your hair type.

3. Will Sisterlocks damage or thin my hair?

No, sisterlocks will not damage your hair or thin it out. It is a very natural technique that requires no additional products to your hair. But, without proper hair care, your hair can become damaged or fall out making it thinner. Try following the tips I have mentioned above.

4. Can I do Sisterlocks by myself?

Doing sisterlocks on your own is not recommended at all. Sisterlocks only should be performed by an expert who is skilled in doing sisterlocks. It needs a hefty amount of time and special skills to install, and if you do not have that, do not opt for doing it yourself.

5. How long do Sisterlocks stay on my hair?

Sisterlocks will stay on your hair the whole lifetime. Sisterlocks are permanent, and as long as you maintain them by retightening them, your sisterlocks will stay in place.

Final Thoughts

The process of installing sisterlocks is very draining as it takes hours to complete. Average sisterlocks installation can take between 12 to 24 hours, but it can go up to 36 hours based on your hair length, density, and size of the locks. You need additional time to maintain and take care of your locks as well. But, if you look at a longer scenario of having beautifully long and thick sisterlocks maintaining the original nature of your hair with its extreme versatility, you would definitely understand the worth of the time and money you have put towards it.

Key Points

  • The time it takes to do sisterlocks depend on various factors like hair length, density, etc.
  • But on average sisterlocks can take 12-24 hours to install. It can even go up to 36 hours on your hair type.
  • After you get the sisterlocks, they will grow in 4 distinct phases that will finish once the sisterlocks are matured.
  • If you want to get sisterlocks on your hair, there are some considerations that you need to take into account before you eventually get it.
  • Taking care of your sisterlocks is important and I have given some tips to help you out with that.
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