Sisterlocks vs Microlocs – Learn The Difference And Choose The Best For You

By Ava

Getting locs is a change of lifestyle. You forget everything that you knew and start a new life. It is not just a change of hairstyle. Locs are permanent and they cannot be undone. So, before you decide whether to get locs, you need to understand everything about them. One of the popular debates lately is sisterlocks vs microlocs. Which ones are better?

Both of these are lock styles. They might look similar, but they are quite different. If you haven’t decided yet on the microlocs vs sisterlocks debate, we have a few things to share with you. Hopefully, you can make an educated decision afterward.

To better understand the differences between the two, you have to know everything about each one first. Let’s start.

What Are Sisterlocks?


This trademark hairstyle was created and developed by Dr. Jo Anne Cornwell back in 1993. They can be installed by a certified Sisterlock consultant or a Sisterlock trainee by following a specific guideline.

They are versatile and can be worn loose as they are, or they can be curled, braided, in a roller set, and even colored.

Having sisterlocks is a lifestyle change. Fun fact: there are even sisterlocks communities out there that support each other.

Maintaining Sisterlocks

Because you install them thanks to a sisterlocks consultant, you have to go again within 2-4 weeks of installation to see how they grow. How well they mature depends mostly on how well you care for them. Of course, the texture of your hair plays a role as well. Sisterlocks can take around 6 months to fully mature.

Maintenance is required every 4-6 weeks and you should not go more than two months without retightening your locs.

Pros of sisterlocks:

  • Symmetrical grids
  • Versatile and can be used for many different hairstyles
  • You get a professional guide through your locs journe
  • There is no need for hair products or any chemicals for installation
  • Unique to each individual adorning them
  • Easy to style and manage
  • They are light weight and have a flatter root texture
  • Can be done on relaxed hair

Cons of sisterlocks:

  • Can be costly to install
  • Only a certified professional can do the installation
  • They cannot be combined in the future
  • Early-stage unraveling, especially when you have hands on hair
  • Without proper maintenance, you experience thinning and breaking of the locs
  • They take longer time to install because of the intricate weaving technique

What Are Microlocs?


Now let’s talk about the second part of the equation sisterlocks vs microlocs. Microlocs are traditional locs that are smaller in size than a pencil. They can be installed by the coiling method, braiding, two-strand twist, or the interlocking method. Some would also call them micro-sized locs.

Microlocs are quite similar to traditional locs, and the beauty is anyone can do it. You can even get them on your own at the convenience of your home.

There are no restrictions, you can use any tool for retightening and any product. There are many different types. For example, microlocs with braids, microlocs with interlocking, microlocs with twist, and anything else you can think of.

This is the beauty of microlocs, as they can be easier to get and with different methods. And they work on any hair type, just like traditional locks.

Pros of microlocs:

  • Can be installed by yourself
  • Cheaper to install
  • Cheaper to maintain
  • Can be installed using different methods

Cons of microlocs:

  • Prone to mistakes, there is no installation guideline
  • Lack of definite grid pattern results in asymmetrical head of locks with irregular partings
  • Can be tricky to work with and become heavier as they grow longer
  • Your locs’ styling ability is limited

What Are The Differences Between Microlocs And Sisterlocks?


Now that we know little about each type of locs, let’s talk about the differences between them. They might look similar, but they are vastly different.


This might be the main and biggest difference between them. But it is because of the installation method and locking process. Sisterlocks can cost a minimum of $400, and their price can go as high as $1000, depending on how skilled a professional you hire. And then there is an additional maintenance cost of $100 to $200 every 4 to 6 weeks.

On the other side, micro-sized locs cost only $200 to $400 to get them installed. Maintenance is between $50 and $80.

And if you do it at home, you vastly reduce the cost.

Installation Method

This is another big difference. For sisterlocks, you have to hire a skilled professional and Sisterlock consultant to do the installation. You schedule an appointment first, and then you discuss how to proceed. During the appointment, the consultant will check the texture of your hair and you can ask any questions.

These locs are weaved into your hair using a specific tool and by following a strict guideline. The parting is done in minute grids, all of which are equal in size. This gives you a near-perfect neat look. If you have fine and straight hair, this method might not work for you. The weaving technique requires a bit of curl in your hair. And if you have damaged hair, it is not the right time to install them.

Microlocs, on the other hand, can be installed between 6 to 20 hours. If you do it yourself, it might take you longer, up to one week.

The installation can be started by different methods and by using different tools.


Same to installation, maintenance for sisterlocks can be done only by a certified stylist and professional. For microlocs, you can use a micro hook or even yarn needles to maintain your protective hairstyle.

Maintenance takes the same time for both styles. Yet, the difference is that for sisterlocks, you have to visit every 4 to 8 weeks for re-tightening. For microlocs, you schedule a maintenance visit every 4 to 6 weeks.


Now let’s talk about some specific points regarding the sisterlocks vs microlocs debate. The main difference is sisterlocks are lighter in weight, while microlocs are heavier.

Then, you have to talk about style. This is where sisterlocks win if you have the budget, time, and nerve to get them. They can be customized for your specific hair texture and pattern. No two are the same. You have many more styling options. With microlocs, you might end up with asymmetrical locks with irregular partings.

There is no defined grid pattern in microlocs. On the other hand, sisterlocks are unique for every person.

But the biggest difference why you might want to invest in sisterlocks is possible hair damage. Microlocs can cause holes along the strand and hair breaking. With proper maintenance, there is no risk of damage with sisterlocks.

So, are you ready to start your new loc journey?

Avatar for Ava


Leave a Comment