By Terez Howard
Ah. I love a fresh retightening. My Sisterlocks look so neat and beautiful after one. Within a couple weeks, they reach my favorite stage. The roots fill in that initial scalpiness, but the roots aren’t so long that they’re unkempt.
When I think of my actual Sisterlocks retightenings, the first thing that comes to mind are headaches. I’m not saying that my consultant is hard on my head. She says that Sisterlocks clients seem to be tender headed. I know I can’t stand the pain.
But here’s what I really think. Two things. First, have you ever seen a Sisterlocks retightening? Digging that Sisterlocks tool into your scalp is going to pinch a little bit. Youtuber Mizsamone shows a what it looks like to retighten Sisterlocks. She shows the tool, how to go through each loc and how she’s been doing her Sisterlocks. What’s important to note is that she took the retightening class, so she has the official Sisterlocks tool, and even the clips she uses in the video are from the retightening class. She’s very gentle on her head, which leads to my second point.
Did you ever have someone else detangle your loose natural hair and feel like they were going to yank out half of the strands on your head? I have. Did you notice that when you detangle, you don’t ever feel that degree of pain? I think that we are naturally empathetic on our own heads. We can feel and foresee what pain we can cause. A consultant can’t feel what you feel.
One very important way to spare yourself unecessary pain is to get your Sisterlocks retightened regularly. I waited 7 weeks to get mine retightened once, and the pain was horrible. My roots were matted and entangled around one another. When I go in 5-week increments, I find that the pain is much less noticeable.
At your Sisterlocks retightening:
- You should have clean hair. At my retightenings, I get a shampooing and sit under a hooded dryer to ensure my hair is dry when the retightening begins.
- Each loc will be retightened with the official Sisterlocks tool. If your Sisterlocks consultant or trainee does not use the official tool, know that your Sisterlocks will not actually be Sisterlocks TM.
- Your consultant/trainee will maintain your original grid. You should not come out of your retightening with a lot less locs. If she wants to combine Sisterlocks, she should let you know prior to combining. In the end, you should be able to run your fingers through your parts without getting snagged on loose new growth.
- Bring something to do. You will sit for at least two hours when you get your hair retightened. Bring a book, magazine, laptop or something else to occupy your time.
- Take Aleve! I talked about how retightened natural hair makes me feel. When I take an Aleve, I don’t even feel the retightening.
- Please tip your consultant. She deserves it.
After your retightening, you will be able to see your scalp more, especially in the beginning. Notice my comparison shots. The first shot shows my second retightening when my locs were just under three months old. The second shot shows my locs at six months. I expect them to fill out more and more as time passes.