In the world of natural hair, nothing really compares to a head of beautifully maintained locks, whatever the size.

A gorgeous head of organic Sisterlocks or Microlocks, though, is the ultimate hairstyle anyone with African type hair can wear. These very small sections of your own natural hair, which are interwoven into small braid-like looking strands, are similar to small plaits. They are placed according to a symmetric grid pattern and are maintained first and foremost by retightening the new growth at the roots every few weeks.

What is the difference between Microlocks and Sisterlocks?

The official Sisterlocks definition is ‘a natural hair management system that allows women with tightly textured hair to take advantage of a wide range of today’s hairstyles without having to alter the natural texture of their hair’ (taken from the Sisterlocks website). The consultants use tools distributed by the Sisterlocks company, and there is a very precise way of creating the grid patterns when parting the hair in order to achieve symmetry in the locks.

My first definition the of term ‘Microlocks’ has purely to do with lock size. It carries a literal and very generic meaning, i.e. “very small in comparison with others of its kind” (traditional locks).

The second characteristic that defines Microlocks is that they are created in a manner similar to Sisterlocks; however, the tool used to create them may be different. The grids, lock sizes and interlocking patterns are very similar depending on who is doing them. In my opinion, when done well, they look aesthetically identical and are virtually impossible to tell apart.

These small locks, whilst requiring more maintenance than traditional locks, are very versatile and easy to manage on a day to day basis. They do require more time and money, but this is more than compensated for by their beauty, elegance and versatility.

So if you are contemplating getting locks, which one of these options should you go for? It really does depend on who is creating them for you and whether the ‘branding’ is important to you. If these small locks appeal to you, do your research well, find a reputable practitioner and spend wisely.

Whichever one you choose, you should not be disappointed.