Difference Between Sisterlocks And Dreadlocks

If you’re curious about the difference between sisterlocks and dreadlocks, then you’ve come to the right place! In this article, I’ll provide you with all the information you need to understand the distinction between these two popular hairstyles. So, let’s get started and explore the unique characteristics of sisterlocks and dreadlocks!

What is the difference between sisterlocks and dreadlocks?

Definition of sisterlocks and dreadlocks

Sisterlocks and dreadlocks are both hairstyles commonly worn by individuals with textured or natural hair. While they may appear similar at first glance, there are some key differences between the two.

Sisterlocks are a smaller and more intricate version of traditional dreadlocks. They are created using a specialized technique that involves dividing the hair into small, uniform sections and locking them together. This process creates a tightly woven pattern of locks that are much smaller and more defined than regular dreadlocks.

On the other hand, dreadlocks are formed by allowing the hair to naturally matt and tangle over time. Unlike sisterlocks, dreadlocks do not require the hair to be sectioned off and locked manually. Instead, they develop naturally as the hair grows and intertwines.

Cultural origins

Sisterlocks have their roots in African culture and are often associated with the natural hair movement. They are a way for individuals with textured hair to embrace and celebrate their natural hair texture and heritage. Sisterlocks are seen as a symbol of self-acceptance and cultural pride.

Dreadlocks, on the other hand, have a rich history that spans across various cultures and time periods. They have been worn by numerous civilizations, including ancient Egyptians, Vikings, and Rastafarians. Dreadlocks have often been associated with spirituality, rebellion, and counterculture movements.

Installation process

The installation process for sisterlocks is intricate and time-consuming. It typically involves a trained professional who carefully sections off the hair and uses a specialized tool to create small, tight locks. The process can take several hours, depending on the length and texture of the hair.

Dreadlocks, on the other hand, require minimal manipulation during the installation process. They are usually formed by simply allowing the hair to grow and naturally mat together over time. Some individuals may choose to use various methods to encourage the locking process, such as backcombing or twist and rip techniques. However, the overall process for creating dreadlocks is relatively simple compared to sisterlocks.


Sisterlocks require regular maintenance to keep them looking neat and well-maintained. This can include retightening the locks every few weeks or months to ensure they stay tight and uniform in size. Additionally, individuals with sisterlocks need to be gentle when washing their hair to avoid unraveling or damaging the locks.

Dreadlocks, on the other hand, require less maintenance. Once the locks are formed, they tend to hold their shape and require minimal intervention. However, individuals with dreadlocks still need to practice good hair hygiene by washing and conditioning their hair regularly. They may also choose to palm roll or use natural products to help maintain the shape and texture of their locks.

Size and shape

Sisterlocks are much smaller and more uniform in size compared to dreadlocks. The size of sisterlocks can vary depending on the individual’s preference, but they are generally thinner and more delicate than traditional dreadlocks. Sisterlocks often have a cylindrical shape and can be styled in various ways, including updos, braids, or loose curls.

Dreadlocks, on the other hand, can vary significantly in size and shape. Some individuals may choose to have thick, chunky dreadlocks, while others may opt for thinner, more tightly packed locks. The shape of dreadlocks can be more irregular and organic in appearance compared to sisterlocks.

Hair texture and length

Sisterlocks can be installed on various hair textures, including straight, wavy, or curly hair. However, they are most commonly seen on individuals with tightly coiled or kinky hair textures. The length of the hair can also vary when installing sisterlocks, but they generally require a minimum length of about 2-3 inches.

Dreadlocks can be formed on virtually any hair texture, but they tend to be more commonly seen on individuals with textured or afro-textured hair. Dreadlocks can also be created on shorter hair lengths, with some techniques allowing for the locking process to begin as soon as the hair is long enough to be manipulated.

Styling options

Sisterlocks offer a wide range of styling options due to their smaller size and versatility. They can be styled into intricate updos, braids, twists, or even left loose to showcase their unique pattern. Sisterlocks also allow for more styling freedom, as the individual locks are smaller and can be manipulated into different shapes and designs.

Dreadlocks, on the other hand, have their own set of styling options. While they can also be styled into braids, twists, or updos, the larger size and shape of dreadlocks may limit some styling possibilities. However, dreadlocks can be accessorized with beads, wraps, or scarves to add a unique flair to the hairstyle.


Sisterlocks are known for their longevity and can be worn for several years with proper maintenance. The locks are designed to be permanent, and while individual locks can be undone if desired, the overall pattern and structure of sisterlocks require significant effort to remove.

Dreadlocks, similarly, are a long-term commitment. Once the hair has fully locked and matured, it can be challenging to undo the locks without cutting the hair. Dreadlocks can be worn for many years, and some individuals choose to keep them for a lifetime.


The cost of getting sisterlocks can vary depending on factors such as the stylist’s expertise, location, and the length and texture of the hair. Installing sisterlocks is typically a time-consuming process that requires specialized skills, so it is generally more expensive than traditional dreadlocks.

Dreadlocks, on the other hand, can be created at varying price points, depending on the method chosen and the expertise of the stylist. Some individuals choose to start their own dreadlocks at home, which can be a more economical option, while others may prefer to visit a professional loctician for the installation process.


Sisterlocks have gained popularity in recent years, particularly among individuals seeking a more versatile and manageable alternative to traditional dreadlocks. The intricate pattern and smaller size of sisterlocks have made them a desirable choice for those looking for a unique and elegant hairstyle.

Dreadlocks, however, have been a staple hairstyle in various cultures for centuries and continue to be popular today. They are often associated with a sense of individuality, cultural expression, and a celebration of natural hair.

In conclusion, sisterlocks and dreadlocks are both unique hairstyles that offer individuals with textured or natural hair a way to express themselves and embrace their hair’s natural texture. While sisterlocks are smaller, more intricate, and require more maintenance, dreadlocks are formed naturally and offer a wide range of size and shape possibilities. The choice between sisterlocks and dreadlocks ultimately depends on an individual’s personal preference, hair texture, and the level of commitment they are willing to make to maintain the hairstyle.

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