Thursday, January 12, 2006

Which Tool Do I Prefer?

I've been chatting with several of my LockItUp pals regarding lock tool preferences and since taking the re-tightening class last month I have retightened twice already. Each time has taken six hours for my entire head and I'm trying to pick up the goal is three hours. Ha!

Upon enrollment of the SL retightening class I was given a official Sisterlock TM Hook Tool and Clip Tool and since it was difficult to control the hook tool I sought other tool options.

One day while checking out Leighann's blog I saw where she preferred using the Nappy Tool and decided to order the small size. I'm now going to order the medium because some of my locks are starting to swell after seven months. I started using the Nappy Tool with my SL reverse 4 pattern and it is incredibly fast. Just point the tool in the direction of your pattern using the tail end and pull it through the lock. I use the hook tool for those areas where I either have outside of the lock or when I need to grab hair that has come out of the loc then finish the rotation with the Nappy tool. (I need a 8.0 mega pxl camera, the 4.1 gets blurry sometimes)

While I appreciate Dr. Cornwell and her invention I just find it easier (for me) to use the Nappy tool. Make sure you read the fine writing on the Nappy website because I remember reading... once you use the Nappy tool on your hair you are officially considered having Nappy Locks and not Sisterlock TM. I disregard that statement because IMO what makes SL's is the pattern and care of the locks directed by Dr. Cornwell not the tool itself. It's all about what makes you comfortable.

The Nappy Tool does not come with instructions but I called when it arrived and they explained right over the phone. No need to fret.

Here's my take on which tool and the order I prefer to use:

1. Nappy Tool - Love it!!!! All I have to say is Simplicity and Speed

2. Clip Tool - Like it - easy to use but not so easy on my fingers. When I use it for too long the tip of my index finger is tender because of the constant pulling on the lever in order to clip it on the hair to prepare for rotations. That means I have to clip (moving part) the tool on 280+ locs. I use only when I need to tighten a few in certain areas of my head.

3. Hook Tool - Challenging! - Using this tool makes me feel like I need to practice, practice, practice until I get it down pack, which could be years! By the time I finish a couple of locks I have to rest my arms, fingers and shoulders because I'm fighting the lock trying to squeeze that new growth through the lock without having to start all over again.

Which do you prefer? Has anyone, other than Consultant's, mastered the Hook Tool???


Felissa, Ashburn, VA said...

The Hook Tool is my tool of choice! You are right: it takes a while to "master" but once you have it down pat, nothing else will do. I, too, was encouraged to purchase the Nappy tool, and I carry that and the Clip tool with me at all times, however, if I'm without my Hook tool, I'm lost. This past Thanksgiving, we traveled to my husband's family. I was retightening on the drive there, and once I was in the house, my Hook tool was nowhere to be found. I didn't care that I had two other tools to work with -- I put everyone on the hunt for my Hook tool! LOL Eventually, I found it in the floorboard -- whew!

Naturalist1 said...

Thanks for the information. I'm approaching my 6 months (February 06) and I need to figure out if I'm gonna learn how to retighten my hair or continuing going to a consultant.

Leighann said...

Thanks for posting this. I was going to do the same but have been very busy. You know my vote. The Nappy Locks tool, hands down!

AllyH2O said...

I'm so behind the times. I use the clip tool because I've never tried another. I may have to try the nappy locs tool.

Ree-C said...

I prefer the clip-tool. I rarely use the hook tool. I find it kind of hard and I'm really slow with it too. I don't agree with the statement of not having sisterlocks if you use a different tool. My loctician uses a latchhook tool to retighten my locks. Like you said it is the method, not the tool.

KDL said...

Hey Lachanda,

I agree totally with your post. The Nappylocs tool is by far and large the easiest to use and easy on your fingers. The tips of my finger were so sore from the clip tool I could barely stand it. And the hook tool, well let's just say it will be a long while for that one. I agree with what you said about the pattern making them sisterlocks too. My last consultant used a latchhook.

Renea said...

Hi LaChanda--
Thanks for visiting my blog Haven. If I can get the money together I am going to take the consultant class in Philly in February. I appreciate your encouragement.
I only use the hook tool. Even though I was taught the clip tool in my retightening class, I just never took a liking to it. Beside a couple of dicey post-Katrina days with a crochet hook--shh, don't tell-- I only use my hook tool.
PS--You might want to do your retightening in sections. I haven't done my whole head in one sitting in years. I think my arms would fall off. I keep my hairline and nape tightened at all times and then do small sections at time.


Sister-in-Locks said...

I purchased but haven't used the Nappy Tool yet. I plan to use it for my next re-tightening. I used the clip tool the first time I did my whole head and like others my finger was very sore I had to wear a bandage. I absolutely cannot operate that hook tool. I will keep trying but I plan to use the Nappy Tool.

PJAM aka PAM said...

Hi LaChanda,

Thanks for your post about the tools, I appreciate it alot and it is very informative. I am going to try the Nappy Toool, I am going to order it this weekend. I use the clip tool all the time and I like it but it does do a # on your fingers, I rarely use the hook tool but I do know how to use it and it serves it's purpose. Thanks again. Pjam aka Pam

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

Renea, I'll have to try and take your advice but it will be difficult. It's so addictive that once I'm started I just can't stop. tee heehheeeee!

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

Pam, when your Nappy tool comes in, let me know how you like it.

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

Felissa, I believe you are the only one that commented on using the hook tool, we'll just call you the over-achiever of the group. :)

Shea said...

Hello, I have a question for you. I will get Sisterlocks at the end of this month and I am already thinking about registering for a retightening class because by the time the class comes to my location it will be over six months since my locks were installed. I am familiar w/the Nappy Locs website. Even though you are using the nappylocs tool, are you still using the pattern they teach you in the retightening class? I would really appreciate any information you can give me. I have no problem taking the retigtening class to learn the pattern and then ordering the nappylocs tool...but it wasn't clear to me if you all are still using the sisterlock pattern to retigten, but just using the nappylocs tool/ latch hook etc.

I hope I'm clear. You switched tools but there is no pattern change, correct?


B.T.W,I just love this natural hair/sisterlocks blogging community you guys have started.

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

Hello Shea, Congratulations on your new venture with SL's. Yes, you are correct, when you take the SL retightening class you are taught your pattern. When you order and receive the nappy tool you use the your own SL pattern and the nappy tool serves the same purpose as the SL tools. The nappy tool IMO is just a better design for ease and speed.

Thanks for checking in on us bloggers and we can't wait to see your blog! Hope this answers your question.

Shea said...

Thank you Lachanda, you answered my question completely.

Juststand said...

Lashanda I just love your blog. I want one (smile). It
is so inviting, you just want to drink a hot cup of
tea, sip and read. I will read some more of it this

Peace, Juststand.

Ree-C said...

Well I ordered the Nappy Tool. I may need some help on using it since there aren't any instructions. I may be asking some more questions when I receive it.

Anonymous said...

I've been SL'd for 3 1/2 years, and have been self-maintaining for 2 1/2 years. I have always used the Hook Tool. I am completely reliant on it. My consultant only used the clip tool, primarily because my hair is really long and our sessions would go faster for her. I prefer the hook tool for the longer locks and the clip tool for the locks along my hairline. Over the past year, I've managed to cut my retightening time down significantly since my initial retightening class. My suggestion is to practice using both the SL tools. Dr. Cornwell created them for a reason, and as long and beautiful as her hair is, they obviously work out well in the long run. Of course, in most cases, it's great to have some options.

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

I've got you covered girl and fire away with any questions you may have. Others may be able to help out as well.

Thanks for the suggestion, I'll definately keep that in mind and practice as often as time permits. Today, nappy tool is my favorite hands down and who knows maybee this time next years my vote may be the hook took. We'll see.

Ree-C said...

Ok LaChanda, I received my nappy tool today. Do I just put my loc in the tool and start my pattern? I'm not really due for my retightening, but I am trying it on new growth areas.

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

Sorry for the late response, getting over a crazy tension headache. Yes, just put each lock through the nappy tool and start following your pattern in a sewing kind of way. That's it...let me know how it works for you.

Ree-C said...

I'm really not due for a full retightening yet, but I did do my front hairline (read "Around the Edges" on my blog). It was so easy to use. I think that will be my tool of choice. Thank you for this post. I learn so much from you guys on the web. Like you said, it is also faster than the clip tool because you avoid that step of clipping it to the loc. I luv it.

Loc'd Yet Free said...

LaChandra, thank you for sharing your experience and preference for the Nappy Loc Tool. I've been SL'd for 10 mos and I have ordered the small NappyLoc tool. I will take my retight class in March. I have read LeighAnn's comments on LockItUp and was sold on it's ease of use before trying! Now your testimony sets it in stone for me. What attracted me to SL in the first place was being able to eventually maintain them on my own ( Read: Control Freak) LOL! I appreciate the time you take to share your journey.

Creyole's Sisterlock Exodus said...

loc'd yet free,
You are most welcome and I'm happy to hear that this informaiton is beneficial to your SL journey as well.

Sharon said...

Hi LaChanda,

I have been SL'd 13mos and started maintaining them at 7mos with the clip tool...I just couldn't get the hang of the hook tool. I met a lady at work who doesn't have SLs, but she maintains her locs (started with the latch hook) with the Nappylocs tool. She said it was easy to use and saves time. I'm thinking about ordering a Nappylocs tool, but am not sure which size would work best. How did you (and others) make that determination on which size to order?

Anonymous said...

Hello your site is great, I am Locked in London since December 05 and enjoying the journey

God bless you and keep up the good work with 3ABN!

jaiDalon said...

You know, this is by far the most in depth blog regarding locks that I have ever read. I am taking great pleasure in reading the details and looking at the pictures. I just began my own blog called "freedomhair" which will soon be filled with photos and thoughts of my own, but again I must say... There is an abundance of information in your blog that I have not been able to find anywhere on the web until now. I use a latch-hook to maintain my locs and I just purcahsed a nappylocs tool (for the second time) and this is my first time even seeing the sisterlocks tools. You can't find pictures of them anywhere online.

Again, thank you for the details and for sharing so very much of yourself with all of us that seek knowledge.


Anonymous said...

i had sislocks for 17 months and had to cut them. i was unable to afford them and the way to keep them up was like being in a secret society. the $30/60 per hr sessions were such a hustle that i was just overwhelmed. well of course i want them again however i am unable afford the visits. is there anyone who isnt afraid to give some info on how to create a look like sislocks without having to pay rent money to teach me whats been going on in the maasi tribe for over 400 years. signed pissed off at such a secret society. imagine if our ancestors didn't teach us how to be braid!

Anonymous said...

Clip tool is the only one I am comfortable using. The other is a true pain! Yes my fingers do get sore, I will get over it. However since I have read your blog I ordered a small and medium nappy loc tool. I will let you know how that works for me. I have been locked since april of 2005, I think thats 16 months. I love my hair and have to beat people off of touching my head. lol
Seriously happy to be loc'd, others can fight over the name, nappy or sister, I dont care. I am just glad to be me!

Anonymous said...

Hello LaChanda:

First off, just want you to know that I am enjoying your blog quite a lot! It has a friendly and laid back "feel".

Since you are familiar w/doing loc maintainance w/this tool can you explain in more detail how exactly to use the Nappy Locs tool?

I'm looking for a "once the tool is in your hand, place your loc here, pull/twist then do xyz" sort of answer (if you're up to sharing that type of detailed info) :).

I've used the latchook to maintain my roots but, I'm looking for something that is a bit more fool- proof. My issue w/the latchhook is that I sometimes end up grabbing nearby locks or get the hook tangled in my roots.

I've started to buy the Nappylock tool several times butI guess that I'm looking for a little reassurance that the Nappylocs tool is easier to use than a latchhook.

Also, have you ever run into any problems in using the tool that you could elaborate on? Using the latchhook if one is not careful one can end creating a "hole" in the newgrowth part of the lock which can be undone if found early.

Are there any similar pitfalls to lookout for in using the Nappy locs tool?

If the answers are somewhere else please redirect me.

Thank you and God bless,


I've seen you and your husband on 3ABN hosting Teen Pathways. I like the way you two share your ideas and help the youth to open up.

Anonymous said...

Hu Anonymous,

You sound really bitter about the cost of maintaining your Sisterlocks. What you should have done is take a re-tightening class and maintain them yourself.

As for your comment re the Maasi tribe wearing locks for 400 years, I would like to know if you know of a website where I can view them wearing this hairstyle or similar. I have looked at several sites and all the women have shaven heads!


Sis. RJQueen10 said...

WoW! Very informative, and such very interesting responses. See, this blog post is still helping people in 2007!

Creyole, you are awesome, Awesome, AWESOME and such a teacher. I thank God for you!

I am going to buy the Nappy tool. Should I get small and medium? I noticed on the website the Instructions come with the medium. I don't think you are allowed to alter the way the package comes.

Sis. RJQueen10

Loc'd Mom said...

Take a look at the Maasai tribe...note the hair.

Anonymous said...

Hi LaChanda,

I understand that with the nappy tool you pull the lock through the eye of the tool but after that I am completely lost is there anyway you can explain to me what you do next. Thanks so much, Oh by the way your site is wonderful.

Creyole said...

No worries! After you put the hair through the eye of the tool you then take the tail end of the tool and feed it in the direction of which you are starting your retightening pattern. Then, proceed in the next direction, and so on and so on...

Hope this helps!


MsJamison2U said...

Hey Homegurl, I just completed about 1/4 of my head. I took the re-tightebing class and loved it/ The tool of my preference is the clip tool also, But as you say, the index finger gets a lil sore from pulling down to clip on a lock. I think I am going to try the nappy tool. How/where do I order it?

The knotty Truth said...

i know this is WAYYYY old-but it was interesting that i met Dr Cornwell recently who said she tightens her own with no particular tool, unless she wants to get close to the scalp. her tool is easier for that purpose. interesting...


Anonymous said...

No particular tool?

Darlene Mclaughlin said...

Actually the Oraje's o Locker tool beats the nappy loc tool go to I bought the set of four it even comes with a ten case. Love it