Monday, March 07, 2011

The Importance of Retightenings

The key to a beautiful head of healthy Sisterlocks - regular and consistent retightenings.   At almost 6 years, my Sisterlocks remain on a 4 week retightening schedule.

I recently went 8 weeks between retightenings due to unforeseen circumstances and a winter blizzard.   Not only did my locks not look their best,  but they were susceptible to damage and even lock loss.

Here I am at about four weeks out...(still manageable)

Six weeks out, I resorted to pulling them back....(braid out)

Seven weeks out - pinning them back....(lots of new growth)

Feeling old and not so pretty.   I gave up my "no more color" vow, colored and did a twist out.  The color came out great, but now my locks are frizzy, I have "big hair" and my new growth is even more apparent.

At eight weeks, I have a small fro growing.  My locks are difficult to finger comb without snagging and they are fuzzy....(iphone pic at 8 weeks on retightening day - FINALLY!)

Feeling pretty again!!!!  I can run my fingers through my hair.  My head feels wonderful and my locks are revived!  (Post retightening)

Hair grows an average of .5 inches a month.  The more new growth the more hair that is susceptible to pulling and snagging when finger combing or pulling back.  At this point, it is very easy to snag a lock and inadvertently pull it out.

Apply the least amount of tension possible when in need of a retight. Avoid pulling locks into tight pony tails, banding or tying up tightly, etc.   This added tension causes stress on the locks and can lead to lock loss.  Finger comb gently and slowly to avoid pulling and snagging locks.

I actually lost a lock during this  retightening session.  Between the loose hair, added tension and color the new growth became fragile and broke off.

Waiting 8 weeks caused my retightening session to last twice as long and cost twice as much.  The process was uncomfortable as the new growth had to be untangled and separated.  I had a serious headache afterwards (laughing, but true).   From the Consultant's perspective, it's no joy doing those extended retights.  It is very labor intensive.

Sisterlocks are "low maintenance" not "no maintenance."  So feel confident when your Consultant reminds you of the importance of regular and consistent retightenings.  How soon we forget those weekly or bi-weekly day long camp outs at the salon for the creamy crack.  The return on your investment of 2-3 hrs a month equals a beautiful, healthy, vibrant head of hair.  You won't save time or money by extending your retightenings - but you will save your Sisterlocks.

(Click photos for greater detail.)


Kreyola said...

I totally agree with this post. I find myself enjoying my retighten session more and more. It a beautiful thing when I can actually run my finger through my sisterlocks without any problem. I may be the only one that actually enjoys my retighten session. My consultant loves the fact that I confirm my appointment vs. her calling to confirm lol. Anyway your locks are becoming more lovely everyday.

Happiest Nappy said...

Thank you Blaqkofi! Sometimes with this subject coming from a different perspective hits home.

SandeeP said...

I'm telling you!!! I totally agree as well. It is actually painful (for me) to go beyond five weeks due to the difficulty in finger-combing my hair, as well as setting it on bendable rollers.

But like many others have said, I enjoy my retite session, as I get to catch up with one of my most fave people!! :o)

Be blessed and forever at peace, friend!

BlaqKofi said...

@ Kreyola, I'm like clockwork with my retights also! I love getting them done and I love spending time with my Consultant, Gigi. @Happiest - thanks for the affirmation.! @Sandee - you are a pleasure to have as a client & friend.

Naturally UniQue Sisterlocks said...

Great post blaq! I actually look forward to my retights with you which is every 5 weeks. Not only are you taking care of your locks by consistently going to your retightening appointments but you get to see the growth in your locks! I have seen clients with lock damage due to not consistently going to their retightening appointments!

Lady Butterfly said...

Hey Blaq!
Thanks for posting this wealth of information. It really helped reading that during the time closer to retightening that you can potentially damage your hair or even lose a lock. That JUST happened to me two days ago. I was so angry and started to panic thinking OK WHAT CAN I USE TO HELP MY HAIR! I am still being very careful as to what I use in my hair, since my ends are not locked yet. So learning this really helps me be at more ease. I look forward to retightening appt. on this coming Saturday! :)

Loc'Ability said...

Thank you for Posting this Subject! I've done that stretch too and you are so very right. I truely believe that proper maintenane is key to happiness with the locking process, and to uniform looking locks. Thank You!

Unknown said...
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Naturally KiKi said...

Thank you for sharing this, Blaq!!! I'm one that can't go past a 4 week retightening.

Unknown said...

I have been sisterlocked for about 10 months. I had my last retight last Saturday. It has been three days and my scalp is killing me! I always have my retight every 4 weeks. Is it normal? Is there anything I can put on my scalp?

z said...

Great pics! I completely understand about keeping a re-ti schedule because I can't go longer than 5 weeks without my locs beginning to free form.

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