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Friday, March 7, 2008

Tagged! 6 Things I Don't Like about Sisterlocks

I was tagged like 4 times. How flattered I am that 4 separate people would be interested in random things about me. Thanks blogger friends. Well here is the 3rd installment of the tagged posts. I will post the rules and the people that invited me in the next post.

1. I don't like the descriptions of Sisterlocks as a lifestyle. I think that it is pretentious and only feeds into stereotyping. For example, people look at a hairstyle and make assumptions about that person. Like you might see a woman with a poorly styled, multi-colored weave and assume she is ghetto. You might assume a man with an Afro is revolutionary or that dreads are bohemian. While it's true that there may be a correlation between certain hairstyles and lifestyles, the hairstyle is NOT a lifestyle. It would be stereotypical and very assuming to think the Sisterlocks hairstyle would indicate anything about my attitude towards life.

Here is the difference between the 2:

a lifestyle- A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group

a hairstyle: A style in which hair is cut or arranged

2. I don't like the dichotomy between Sisterlocks consultants. It seems they are divided group with many of them doing great work and with others doing horrible, unprofessional, large, and uneven Sisterlocks. I would like all Sisterlocks consultants to be as thorough and consistent as Julia.

3. I don't like the fact permed hair can be Sisterlocked. Having natural hair all my life and traditional locks before, I can definitely say, in my honest opinion, I feel everyone should have the luxury of feeling their natural hair before it's locked. It is a liberating experience and a wonderful way to get to know your own hair. I know that many would not have Sisterlocks if they had to cut their perm first, which I think is wonderful. I feel if you aren't ready to part with your perm, locks (of any sort) are not best for you. Permed locks is so counter intuitive.

4. The Sisterlocked snobs are annoying. Snob meaning a person who believes himself or herself an expert or connoisseur in a given field and is condescending toward or disdainful of those who hold other opinions or have different tastes regarding this field. Women that criticize for DIY locks or using the Nappy Locs tool tend to get on my nerves. The term "Step Sisterlockz" comes to mind. WTH? To the snobbish sorts I would say maintaining your own hair is tedious enough please keep your rules off my head. I appreciate your concern and understand your opinion, but if you are this fanatical over a hairstyle maybe you have some deeper issues and self-reflection is needed. Besides if a certifed Sistelock consultant installed them in the method taught by Dr. Cornwell, then you have Sisterlocks regardless of how anyone else feels.

5. I really don't like all the legal cases between Sisterlocks and other tool methods. Before first getting Sisterlocks, I was quite rigorously researching the difference between Sisterlocks and Nappylocs and Twistylocks. On the Nappylocs site, they reported a victory against Sisterlocks. On the Sisterlocks site, they reported a victory against Nappylocs. What was I to do? I just wanted info on small locks not to read through pages and pages of court documents. Ugh! I thought why is Sisterlocks trying to monopolize the the industry of locks made from tools. Well I read further and found out that both of the women in the other companies took the Sisterlocks class and changed the design a bit to start their own companies. What is illegal about that? Isn't that the American way? If you worked at Subway ( no owned a Subway franchise)* and then started your own deli, would that be illegal? Of course not! The court victories all over the websites don't contribute to the natural hair community uniting. There is enough hair for everybody involved to be happy. What's with all the fighting? The Sisterlocks name is a trademark. That's it. There is nothing illegal about using other tools to maintain your hair.

6. People with traditional locks that want to argue about Sisterlocks, need to stop that right now! I am so tired of folks with dreads telling me about my pattern and that I need to combine my locks before they fall off and so on. As far as I am concerned, it's unsolicited advice. I tell them I have strong Sisterlocks and that I do not anticipate breakage and keep on walking. It's annoying that someone would stop you to criticize your hair. This one guy on the train told me that Sisterlocks were more like braids and that I wasn't ready to be a dread. WTH? That doesn't even make sense. And why was he talking to me? Did he not see that my earphones, shades, and open reading material means I do not feel like communicating with strangers. I mean he didn't even have the decency to say any greetings like hello first. Geesh!
* Thanks for making my analogy better muslimahlocs.


SistaLocd said...

Right on Sister! I love this post and I'm glad you werent afraid to share what you feel!
I just about can agree with you on every number! I was confused on the court victories too, but then I realized that, that is not my problem. I just want my hair did, lol. And about #6 That man has some nerve! Why he all in your business anyway? I don't know if I missed it in an earlier post but when are you planning the big move? Anyhow have a good one and take care.

Cluizel said...

I am going to have to agree with all but one :-) but that's just me. I will say that I didn't realize how stupid my hair looked with two hair textures when I first started...but if I had went natural before Sls...I wouldn't have them. I would have saved a few hundred and started with micros and mainted with the SL method. (I am finally ok with how small my locks are...I think)

I stay off the message boards now because of all of the talk about what makes a Sisterlock. what? stop it...calm down. And the lifestyle talk is too much for me

SeZ said...

What lifestyle talk has been said Sopia please do tell.

shavonne said...

I loved this post but I'm more happy about the fact that you posted.

About the permed hair... I personally don't think it looks good to keep the permed ends. If it weren't for the people who started their locks with natural hair, I'd probably not even consider Sisterlocks for myself.

shavonne said...

That's an awsome photo BTW. What program do you use to get it to look that way?

Goodnapps said...

Well preach on honey. I remember back in the day I would get caught up in all these hot button topics you raised. Whether folks agree or disagree, at some point in time you have to move on. I know I have.

muslimahlocs said...

...but you love your hair and that is worth celebrating! so let me make a few counterpoints while hmc dozes off...
1. for some people sisterlocks is a lifestyle. maybe they should get more of a life but that is their issue. for some of our sisters sisterlocks has completely transformed the way that they perceive their hair, themselves, etc. and many of them go on to make other lifestyle changes in other areas like health, fitness and weight. for those of us who were not so transformed by sisterlocks i think that we still need to respect the journeys of those who are where they are via sisterlocks. crazy what hair can do.
2. if we had choirs in islam i would tell them to sing an "amin" to that one. all the good consultants are booked and then there are the rest.
3. it's hard to convince many women of african descent to let go of processing and length simultaneously. i had so many clients who could not recall what their natural hair was like because their caregivers had gotten them addicted to the "creamy crack" at an early age. so for many of them it was hard to imagine what their natural hair would like becuase they had no memories of it. i think this is true for all types of locks. my cousin started her locks via palm-rolling and would not chop her ends off for months no matter how bad they looked.
4. my understanding of the term "step-sisterlocks" differs from yours. i associate it with poor quality and poorly installed sisterlocks by a "real" consultant or otherwise regardless of tool.
5. i would distinguish between someone who is employed at subway v someone who owns a subway franchise. i think that latter is more analogous to the legal cases that you mentioned even though it does not fit exactly.
6. several of my friends with palm-rolled locks have asked me if i could "sisterlock" their locks, especially around the edges. and although i have tried it on a few, neither my pals or i would consider their locks as having been transformed into sisterlocks.
this was a great post sophia, naturally even though i disagree with a lot of the points that you raised. keep it up and i look forward to your upcoming post on womanism.

Naturally Sophia said...

@ Muslimah- I respect the time you took to express your opinions although they may differ from my opinions at this time. Maybe in having the Sisterlocks in the future years, like the time that you have devoted to the Sisterlocks, my opinions may change. :)

Naturally Sophia said...

Sistalocd- I will update on the Miami stuff soon

Cluizel- Your locks are small but beautiful

Sez- Please read Muslimah's description. I like it best.

Shavonne- Go to they have some really interesting cartoons and avatars. I appreciate your comments.

Goodnapps- Amen!

Muslimahlocs- I like your description of the Subway franchise owner better. I am changing you and crediting you for stating it better.

Naturally Sophia said...

Muslimahlocs- I meant to write that I am changing the Subway line and credting you for the change. I like your description better.

SeZ said...

Oh the debate about keeping your permed ends, if a person has never had a perm what is wrong with not cutting them off? What do you think Sophia?

Naturally Sophia said...

@Sez I think I don't understand your question. I think locks should be started without perm in my honest opinion. So that would mean there would be no permed ends on locks. I have loose ends that are not chemically treated. When I type natural, I mean hair that is not chemically straightened. If I didn't answer yur question, please rephrase it for me. :)

SeZ said...

Typing fast, sorry. You read me correctly though. Some people read loose ends as permed ends even if the hair is natural. Stating that the locks are not completed. WTH? I was asking what you thought of the notion?

Naturally Sophia said...

Lol! A sisterlock consultant once told me that by picking apart my ends ( something I do weekly because lots of hair was left out during my initial install because I had so much length) that I am not accepting my natural hair texture. I think that is ridiculous because my hair has never been chemically straightened. But we all have opinions so I just took it as that. I just like the ends loose on my hair.

Meikmeika said...

I know I'm late in the game but I really liked this post. It said what many others are thinking.

A hairstyle can definitely change the way one perceives him/herself but Sisterlocks being a lifestyle is a bit hard to grasp. Then again, I am the one always checking for updates from Sisterlock bloggers..

I didn't even think it was possible for Sisterlocks to be done incorrectly when I found out the methods used to do them but I guess a change in pattern here and a shortcut here can turn them into "step sisterlocks". I just wish that the ones who deviated from the patterns would let their perspective clients know. We're all paying for the Sisterlocks trademark right?

On the permie note...the hardest part for many about ridding the perm is the transition period. Sisterlocks has basically given them a less complicated out. Granted they will realize the permed ends don't look good but the money has already been paid and the Sisterlocks already installed.

I plan to become part of the DIY crew pretty soon and I have no problem with what others may think. Charging $250 for 20 or even 60 mins just doesn't sound right. They're not teaching us to Sisterlock other's hair, just our own and it just sucks to have to pay a large sum to get your hair done and then a large sum to learn how to do your own hair. DIY here I come!!!!!

Haven't people in African been locking their hair in styles like Sisterlocks for a long while? Wasn't her idea from Africans? This issue confuses me to no end....

I won't even get into the traditional locked head comments... I have to go to work soon and don't want to start out too negatively.

Again, this was a great post! Sorry to hear about the position being canceled, but everything happens for a reason and something better will come along.

Tina said...

While I agree with most of your points, I disagree with the one about people with perms shouldn't be allowed to get sisterlocks. One could say that you, with your natural hair texture, should never have gotten sisterlocks. Because quite honestly, your natural hair in sisterlocks looks just like what my relaxed hair (and natural hair on my crown) looks like.

And how can you throw out that blanket statement that people who start with perms don't know their natural hair!??!?! I know my natural hair extraordinarily well for someone who's had a perm for decades. And I know a lot of permed people who intimately know their various hair textures as well, many of whom decided to transition out of the chemicals.

As for people starting out with perms not wanting to part with their perms, I say this: people who decide to transition to natural hair obviously want to part with their perm! The way you state it is as though those who start with relaxed hair (me!) don't accept their natural hair, secretly want to keep chemically altering their hair, and therefore aren't ready to lock their hair. The only thing I wasn't ready to do was cut a substantial amount of my hair off in the middle of a Chicago winter.

Your comments about the perms really rubs me the wrong way, ESPECIALLY since (if I remember correctly from reading your blog a while ago) you've never had chemically altered hair! Your opposition to permies getting sisterlocks is laughable since that's what your comment about the perms sounds like: sisterlock snobbery. And you can't stand sisterlock snobbery according to your blog.And because you've never permanently altered your texture, your opinion reeks even more so of the "house negro/field negro" thoughts of the past - in other words, very divisive and tainted with superiority.

But it's your blog and your opinions and you're entitled to have them. I just hope that I gave you some food for thought from the mind of a person with relaxed ends. And that I wasn't too harsh.

Also, @ meikameika: your comments about the permed ends: you say that people with them will realize they don't look good and cut them off. The goal of transitioning is to get rid of the permed hair while not drastically changing your look. But honestly, I can count on two fingers, the number of people with sisterlocks with all natural hair that looked good in the beginning months. The rest don't. And I've seen at least a hundred photos. (trust me when I say I did my research) But I can totally see what you mean when it comes with people who keep substantial amounts of relaxed hair for too long. I'm at 1 month and already trying to find out if I can start chopping a good portion off.

Naturally Sophia said...

Hi Tina! Thanks for sharing your perspectives, and I think you took my post quite personally thought this was not my intention. I disagree on some of your points you referenced. I listed them below. Please accept my opinions in a friendly, light-hearted way.

I visited your blog (its very nice) and my hair in it's natural state does not look like your hair relaxed with a natural crown as you stated. If you look closely, you will see my texture is consistent from root to ends whereas your texture differs from the roots and tips. To see my natural hair pics at initial install and just before please visit:

Regardless, my hair is natural and will lock regardless of how it looks (or what people think) just like people of any race with natural hair. The only hair that will NOT lock is permed or chemically straightened hair. So, the standard for hair locking is not based on opinion but rather fact.

I also never typed that "people who start with perms don't know their natural hair". This is exactly what I wrote: "in my honest opinion, I feel everyone should have the luxury of feeling their natural hair before it's locked. It is a liberating experience and a wonderful way to get to know your own hair." My intentions were to convey that I feel that it is liberating to experience each one's own natural hair from root to tip before it's locked.

In regards to the statement after this sentence, I never wrote this and it was not my intention to make you feel like I was typing to you personally. "The way you state it is as though those who start with relaxed hair (me!) don't accept their natural hair, secretly want to keep chemically altering their hair, and therefore aren't ready to lock their hair."

My hair has been chemically dyed but not straightened, and I certainly don't get into "field negro/house negro" politics. We are not slaves; and I don't like the word "negro".

I will comment that making the transition or commitment to natural hair is an individual journey. I respect each individual's journey.

Indeed, we are all entitled to our own opinions and preferences. In my honest opinion, it is better to start locks without perm. I feel many natural heads were sisterlocked beautifully with all natural hair from day one. Natural hair is all beautiful.

And there is nothing wrong with drasticallly changing your look if this is something you want to do and at the same time you are cutting off European beauty standards, carcinogenic chemicals, and hair that will never be in a natural state.

Naturally Sophia said...

@ Meikmeika- I agree with you whole-heartedly and thanks for your words of encouragement. Everything indeed does happen for a reason. I support and encourage your DIY efforts. My favorite DIY is the latch hook. It is not expensive at all between $1-$3 at your local craft store or beauty supply. I definitely think you should check it out sometime.

blackstone said...

great post, today is the first time im hearing about sisterlocks.

remember it's your journey! you make the rules, if you want it to be a lifestyle thats cool, but don't shove it down other people's throats!

Penny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Naturally Sophia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Onyxcherry said...

Great Post. It's nice to see different points of views on Sisterlocks.

Naturally Sophia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Tina expressed my sentiment to this post.

Naturally Sophia said...

@Anonymous- I understood how you felt. You didn't have to remove your comments. I didn't take them personally. I checked out your blog and like your locks. Please come back and comment anytime anonymously or not.


I love your blog and your views. Only comment i would like to address is:
don't like the fact permed hair can be Sisterlocked

Technically (sp) this isn't correct. Permed hair cannot be locked. When my locks were installed only the natural hair was sister locked and the permed hair was loose. My consultant (Dana Hagan of VA) expressly informed me that the perm would NEVER lock and that it would eventually have to be cut which i did at 6 or 8 months after locking. I would have loved to have long natural hair but i couldn't deal with cutting my hair in order to get it. Personal choice that worked out fine for me. I had plenty of practice with natural hair via my daughter whos hair was long enough for me and her put together. I had the BC when i was five and was tramatised (sp) i just could wrap my head back around it. So if getting sisterlocks means dealing with bunching of the perm (possibly) then you just have to deal for what you want.

Naturally Sophia said...

Blackluvedmom- Thank you for your compliment and posting your comment. I think we understand each other completely.

Shai said...

How do u manage ur hair under hajiib??
Or ur head covering. i am not certain of the word. but i am curoious. if ur hair doesnt show to the world, y sisterlock it?