By Terez Howard

I want to thank Robin Mitchell, Sisterlocks Certified Consultant, R-Certified, and licensed cosmetologist, for this interview.  I have wondered what I should expect from my upcoming Sisterlocks retightening class.  She gives a picture of what you can expect to learn at a retightening class.  You can find out more about her services and skills at Robin’s Lock Haven.

When did you start doing Sisterlocks and why?

I started my journey with Sisterlocks in November 2002. I worked in information technology as an office automation technician for 12 years and for 13 years worked in conference and facilities as a conference and convention meeting planner with the National Education Association.  After 25 years, I retired in 2004.  I live in Stafford, VA and worked in Washington, DC, and my Sisterlocks Consultant was in Washington, DC.  After retiring, I commuted throughout 2004 through September of 2005, following my consultant around Washington, DC until I did not want to commute 50 mile any longer.  I searched for a Sisterlocks consultant in my area and found one in Fredericksburg, VA, 12 miles from my home.  My new consultant and I communicated and shared personal information. I shared that I am a licensed cosmetologist and wanted to learn how to do my Sisterlocks.  My consultant took the R-Certification training and shared that she could train me to do my own Sisterlocks maintenance. I took the training and bought a dummy head to practice before doing my own.  I showed my consultant the dummy head, and she suggested that I take the Official Sisterlocks Training to become a Sisterlocks consultant.  Hair has always been my passion since I was a child. I never thought I would come full circle and back to doing hair since I had changed my career over 30 years ago that had nothing to do with hair.  I took the Sisterlocks training in February 2006 and became a certified Sisterlocks consultant in July 2006.

I see that you’re trained to teach the Sisterlocks retightening class.  What will attendees learn and receive in the class?

The trainee must meet qualifications to make sure that I am training the right people.  Most times, the trainee is my client, however I do get students who have been working with other consultants. They must have Sisterlocks, know their locking pattern, Sisterlocks must be settled or about 6 months installed. Most important, they have to agree to sign an agreement that they are learning the technique only to do their own Sisterlocks and no one else’s Sisterlocks.

I like to train one-on-one to give the student all my attention and make them comfortable.

The average time for a re-tightening class is 2 to 2 ½ hours.

The student will receive a student packet that includes the tools and Sisterlocks products. There will also be a User Tip Sheet included in the package.

The student must have a section of their hair with at least ½ – 1 inch of new growth.

The student will learn how to retighten, not start, new Sisterlocks. They will practice the technique on a practice board before starting with their Sisterlocks.  They will learn how to use the tool for their locking pattern. They will learn how to work with a mirror and without a mirror. They will learn first to section their hair and clip locs away so they won’t be join together. They will also have my support after the training with questions and a review. It is important that I stress to them to continue with what they have learned, so they can become more proficient. I also encourage them to visit their consultant at least 2 to 3 times a year.

I understand the retightening class does not teach a person to install and maintain anyone’s Sisterlocks, just their own.  Couldn’t a person maintain their Sisterlocks without taking the class?

It is up to the individual to take on that task.

How often are retightening classes available?

As long as the qualifications are met, retightening classes can be scheduled like any other Sisterlocks appointment.

What do you enjoy most about teaching others to maintain their Sisterlocks?

Sisterlocks is freedom, and I like seeing sisters embrace their Sisterlocks with all the knowledge that comes with it.  I have also encouraged sisters to become consultants, so we can have more of us around the world.

Please tell me about your fabulous Sisterlocks.

I love my Sisterlocks.  I have always had lots of hair, and I love styling it and coloring. I’m from Syracuse, NY, and when I moved to Washington, DC, the humidity was cruel to my hair. I cut it and wore it natural until my husband mentioned that he liked my hair. So I let it grow back and found out about Sisterlocks through two friends who didn’t have Sisterlocks, but knew I would try it first.  I wish I had known about Sisterlocks in the 90’s. I would have rocked them way back.  My family loves them up in Syracuse, NY, and I sent my sister to training, and she is now a certified Sisterlocks consultant in Syracuse, NY.  It’s a family affair and also sisterhood.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I hope that Sisterlocks get more exposure, so sisters can see they have more options out here, and their hair will grow healthy.

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