March 18, 2009

Video: Tightening your locks



I finally made two videos on y.ou.t.ube showing you how I tighten my locks. This first video illustrates basic instructions on how to tighten your new growth using a 4 pt. pattern, and the second video is an extended version. Watch them here:
Video 1 - How to tighten locs (pt. 1)
Video 2 - How to tighten locs (pt. 2)


Just so that you will not be confused, the direction of the pattern mentioned in this video is from my angle (N,E,S,W). From your angle it appears to be N,W,S,E so it doesn't really matter in which direction you tighten.

27 comments:

Kay exquisite said...

hey this vid is great but I have a question. The other lady starts from east to west, does it matter?

dewdrop said...

@Kay: It doesn't matter, and the links have pop-up bubbles that explain a few things not mentioned in the video.

euphoria said...

thanks for the great tutorial I will be a DIY'R in no time. I love your blog and you are so talented.

euphoria said...

dewdrop I have sisterlocks as well and was wondering what size do you use and what size do you recommend when purchasing the NL tool?

Chinue*s LLL Philosophy said...

This is awesome, thanks for sharing. Also do you know the reverse 4 pattern?

Chinue*s LLL Philosophy said...

Oh I just saw a post on your blog that stated this. Thanks again. :)

Anna said...

Okay, you are continuing to inspire me. In addition to making my own pendants this weekend, I am going to order the Nappylock tool and try to retighten at least a few of my locks. Question: what size Nappylock tool do you use? Your tutorial is very clear and precise. I have roughly the same number of sisterlocks and thickness that you do, so I'm thinking this may work for me. I always had it in the back of my mind that I had to take the SL retightening class or I would "mess things up". Now, I think that I am just going to go for it on my own.

Penny said...

Good I am glad you posted this so I can have my sister come to your site and watch you. Because your explanation is very good and your voice is calming. She has a few that needs retightening but she waits until she sees her consultant while I don't. She has thick hair just like you so when she ask me can I do a few... I feel overwhelmed because it takes so long for one section.
(The video you posted also helps
people who complain about the unraveling in between retightening appointments.Quite often hair near the hairline unravels after washing and it is easy to do it yourself and why wait when you can correct it before it totally unravels. Could you do a video on combining locks or repairing locks in the near future? Because when I do it I have two headed dragons. I think the last time I went in to see my consultant they were cut off. How do you prevent lint? Any tips?

DeeLiteFull said...

Great vids, dewdrop! I cut my locks 6 months ago and am considering restarting. I started retightening myself with the NL tool and loved the tool as well. You mentioned that you may do 2 rotations depending on the amount of new growth and that you may not complete a full second rotation - has this affected the pattern you see over time? Also, do you use a particular feel-based method to ensure you don't tighten too tightly (and possibly cause pain or breakage)?

dewdrop said...

@Everyone: Thank you so much for your compliments! Your feedback really helps and you continue to teach me things that I didn't know before. Keep the knowledge coming!

@euphoria: Thanks! My locks were started small on my first day and swelled up to nearly 3x the size 2 years later. I purchased a size small-1/4" NL tool and i've been using it ever since. Some of my locks are a little thicker so it does make it harder to insert them through the eye of the tool, but I still try.

@Chinue LLL: I don't know what the reverse 4 pattern is, but common sense tells me it's just the reverse of the clock-wise direction. Personally, it doesn't really matter to me as long as i'm going in one direction. I'm not strict about following certain hair rules because in most cases they don't work for me and therefore don't apply to me. You must do what works for you and your hair.

@Anna: I use a size small-1/4" NL tool because that's the standard and it works pretty well for me. Funny enough, I rarely fear about messing up my locks because I enjoy experimenting with them way too much. If something happened, then oh well, it's not the end of the world and if you know how to fix it, then that's even better!
At the time I considered taking the SL class, the closest one was 2 hours away from where I lived, and the only certified instructor at the time charged $375 and wouldn't be available until 6 months later. Talk about a MAJOR inconvenience, so I went my own DIY route and I don't regret it at all. My experiments and mishaps are what make my blog so informative so that people like you can learn from them. :-)

@Penny: My hair is THICK (except for the side of my head which you saw in the video) and it can be overwhelming at times to tighten just one section, so I know what you mean. I'll consider your request, but the only thing is that I did most of my repairs already LOL! I have probably 10 two headed dragons and I keep them because I really like them, and they help me to track my growth. To avoid lint, I always tie my locks down at night with a scarf and I sleep on a satin pillow case. Washing my locs weekly cut down on debris and buildup. Since I don't use any products (except shampoo), then it's less likely that my locs will attract lint. You can use a lint roller and "Audrey" has pictures on her blog. Her link is: http://audreyspleasure.blogspot.com/2007/10/dry-cleaning.html
or you can click on her link under my "Lock Links" side bar and you'll see her name. It's best to use the lint roller on mature locks only.

@DeeLiteFull: My inconsistent rotations with some locks haven't affected the pattern in my locks over time. The only visible difference in my lock size is if I over tighten, then part of the lock will be skinnier than the rest but that's about it. I follow the rotation until the lock is completely tightened at the root, and then i'm ok. Most of my rotations are 1-1/4 or 2 depending on how much new growth I have. My hair grows quickly so I have to keep up with the roots. My skinnier locks require more rotations than my thicker locks. My feel-based method is if I can't fit my NL tool through the new growth anymore, then I stop to avoid over tightening. I NEVER tighten until I feel pain or breakage because i'm extremely tender headed and I wouldn't be able to tolerate any pain. Also, whenever I style my hair, I make sure to keep them loose so that I won't feel any pain.

Allecia said...

Your video makes retightening seem manageable! You did such a great job with it. At least I know where to turn now if I ever need to do a quick retightening.

euphoria said...

Dewdrop I am curious to know have you ever had to combine locks and if so can you give a tutorial on it as well as grooming your locks, and can bunching be eliminated by simply grooming them instead of unravling then re-latching the lock? Thanks

euphoria said...

one last comment what if you don't know your lock pattern and followed the pattern that you provided would it make a difference and could you visably see the difference

anthia-ofo said...

Your video is Excellent - clear and easy to follow. I hope aspiring DIY-ers take advantage of it.

dewdrop said...

@Allecia & Anthia-ofo: Thanks!

@euphoria: I have combined locks before and I think that I have about 10 two-headed dragons. Basically, you take two locks and insert your tool through the new growth of both locks at the same time going in one direction; doing this will automatically marry them. I still have my bunched locks despite grooming and I don't think that grooming will eliminate any bunching, that's like using water to remove oil from a plate. Re-doing that section of the lock or pulling/tugging on the bunched section (only if it's in the baby stage) will help remove bunching. All I know is that a 4pt. pattern creates a tighter lock and a 3 pt. creates one that is a little looser, so there is a visible difference with your locks size. I don't groom or combine locks regularly, but i'll consider your suggestion for making a tutorial on either one.

euphoria said...

thanks for the response Dewdrop, everytime I look at you I can't help to notice that you look exactly like my little cousin, I know you guys are not related but yall look like twins right down to the gap in the front teeth. LOL

Lalaboobaby said...

You have given me the extra confidence to start retightening my own Sisterlocks now. I have been debating about it for the last two weeks. I plan to purchase the Nappyloc tool this week. Your locks are fabulous.

Thanks Kalia

sunsail said...

Chinue, I just took the retightening class. Here's the scoop: the regular, normal, 4 pattern is COUNTER clockwise: 9,6,3,12 if you're looking at a clock, or W,S,E,N if you're using Kalia's analogy. Therefore, a reverse 4 is going CLOCKwise:9,6,3,12. It really doesn't matter which direction you go in, or at which point you start at, as long as you ALWAYS USE THE SAME START AND END POINTS. so if you're going got do 4, always do 4 on every lock for every retightening session. If you're goin to do reverse 4, always do reverse 4. HTH!

Naturigurl said...

Thank you for this. Although I didnt start with sisterlocks (Traditional) I really liked the way yours looked so I started locking my locks up and down the shaft one by one. so far they are condensing really nicely. I couldnt stand the puffiness I was getting from my two strand twists. I was also using the 2 pt method and that was leaving holes all over my locks. I see now why it's important to use the 4pt rotation.

Meikmeika said...

Thanks for this extremely informative video!!!

Anonymous said...

Dewdrop,
What if you make the mistake and mess up the pattern totally on a loc? What next? Also if you start to DIY before you can take the class, how do you know what pattern to use?

dewdrop said...

@Anon: The only way to mess up a pattern is if you don't know what you are doing. If you think you have, then keep moving forward if you are a DIYer (because it's no big deal really) or speak to your consultant. There is a plethora of information about the different kind of latching patterns you can use based on your hair type. NubianLockedPrincess has an excellent tutorial on her blog about the various interlocking/latching patterns and what works best with your hair texture.

Jasmiran said...

Hi, Kahlia.

I just got my sisterlocks about 3 weeks ago and i'm really looking forward to becoming a DIY'er like yourself. I wanted to compliment you on your videos on retightenings; I've been looking all over the place for information on how to tighten my own locs and coming across your blog and others was like a blessing. I do have one question though: when you retighten your locs, do you go through the same whole? Is that even possible? And when you order the Nappyloc tool, does it come with instructions as well? I really appreciate it. Thanks!!!

dewdrop said...

Hi Jasmiran,

Congrats on your new set of SLs and thank you for your kind compliments. When I tighten my locs I make sure to go through a different hole every time or else you will end up with a gap in your locs if you enter the same hole twice. When I ordered my NL tool years ago, it did not come with instructions. You would need to purchase the kit which comes with the instruction booklet.

foxydiva said...

Thank you so much for this video. Great info to have, especially if u are traveling and have some slippage that needs to be addressed,

Trinidread said...

Hi Dewdrop. Hi, I’ve been a locwearer now for five years (a few days ago) and thought that i would tighten my locs (it’s been due for a while). But anyway, i made a grave error by combining two mature locks (in the front) and now have a long two headed dragon that can’t be undone. Any advise (feel really stupid right now)…

dewdrop said...

@Trinidread: Hi! Congrats on reaching your 5 year lockversary! Don't worry, we all make mistakes and that's how we learn. You have three options: 1) Leave the loc as is and let it grow out as one lock, 2)Split the lock by leaving the loc alone, letting it grow out and then cutting one side and starting a new loc with the other side, or 3) Comb out the loc and start two new locs. What are you thinking of doing?