I came across a young woman who had her install done by a consultant who did not use the Sisterlocks tool. Another woman had her locks installed by a woman who was never ever affiliated with Sisterlocks and did not have the tool at all or know the technique.
If you click HERE you can see the Sisterlocks hook tool compared next to the NappyLocs tool. Many women who had their Sisterlocks started with the the hook tool in the link above now maintain their locks themselves with the Nappylocs tool or even a latchhook.
I experimented with the Nappylocs tool, the latchhook, hair pins, bobby pins, and upholstery needles until I found my consultant. You see, I got my locks installed in Boston and had not found a Sisterlock Consultant that suited me here in Atlanta initially by the time I needed a retightening so I experimented with self re-tightenings.
My conclusion: I prefer my hair retightened with the Sisterlocks hook tool. I dislike the Sisterlocks clip tool shown in the article HERE because the spring lever that attaches to the lock caused my ends to fray after a couple of retightening sessions here in Atlanta with a Sisterlocks Consultant. I asked her to use the hook tool and she said that she only uses it for new installs. Needless to say, I found a better consultant (Julia Stewart Stackhaus). I have heard some consultants say they prefer the Sisterlocks hook tool because they can do tighter rotations than with with the clip tool.
I kept my Nappylocs tool as a back-up in case I ever needed. I prefer it second only to the Sisterlocks hook tool which I do not have access to as I am not a Sisterlocks Consultant AND have no interest in doing my hair anyway. My Nappylocs tool later ended up missing after a weekend where at least 7 other Sisterlocked and dreadlocked friends stayed or visited for an event here. LOL!
If you are interested in doing your own Sisterlocks retightenings, you can pay to take the retightening class for around $250. I was told that you will only receive the Sisterlocks clip tool if you sign up for the class as of today. If I were interested in taking the class, this would deter me because I don't like that tool.
Moving on to the method, this involves a perfectly symmtrical, even grid which includes a smaller parting size yielding a smaller lock that is essential to Sisterlocks. Sisterlocks are created with the Sisterlocks tool from end to scalp. The process does NOT involve any other tool, glue, knots, needles, extensions or thread.
My locks were installed using a reverse 4 pattern all over. Your Sisterlock Consultant should be able to communicate which pattern is desirable for your hair type and why.
I hope this post helps all the newbies and Sisterlock curious out there.