What Are The Different Types of Microlocs?

Microlocs are essentially locs that are smaller than traditional locs. On average that size of mature traditional locs are the diameter of a pencil. This means that the size of microlocs can vary from the diameter of a shoelace to the diameter of a drinking straw. Also, because of the wide range of sizing there are multiple ways to maintain microlocs.

Types of Microlocs

The most common methods for starting microlocs are with interlocking, braids or twists. However, microlocs can also be started with coils but it is not common.




Microlocs Started with Interlocking

Microlocs Started With Interlocking

Microlocs Started With Interlocking

Using the interlocking method to start microlocs is great for fine textured hair or for those that desire the smallest version of microlocs.

Microlocs Started With Braids

Starting microlocs from braids is common when you have a long length of hair at installation or your hair texture is fine and twists will not hold.

Microlocs started with Twists

Microlocs Started With Twists

Microlocs Started With Twists

Microlocs started with twists are ideal for medium to larger sizes of microlocs and hold well for most textures of hair. The benefit to starting microlocs with twists is, generally speaking, they’re large enough to be maintained with interlocking or Palm rolling.

RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Methods for Starting Locs

Benefits of Microlocs

Microlocs are a great alternative to Sisterlocks and are often times much more affordable. In addition to the cost-savings, microlocs offer advantages such as versatility, neatness, and fullness.

Curly Style on Microlocs

Curly Style on Microlocs

  • Versatility: The small size of microlocs often creates hundreds of locs, which means that the styling possibilities are almost endless.
  • Neatness: Microlocs maintained with interlocking will stay neater for extended periods of time, compared to retwisting, because the sections are smaller, which means less frizz at the roots.
  • Fullness: Microlocs generally result in at least 150-300 locs, depending on the size of your head and which size of microlocs you chose, therefore they will instantly create fullness and volume.
Difference Between Sisterlocks and Microlocs

Difference Between Sisterlocks and Microlocs

Are Microlocs Right For You?

While there are many benefits to microlocs one of the disadvantages, especially for smaller sized microlocs, is the cost and/or time commitment required for maintenance. When considering if mircolocs are right for you, I would highly suggest considering the following factors:

  1. Active Lifestyle: You should consider microlocs if you have an active lifestyle and are interested in locs that will stay neater for longer periods of time and/or you enjoy shampooing your hair frequently.
  2. Cost of Maintenance: If you currently have a budget that includes paying for your hair (i.e. – going to the salon), you should consider microlocs either maintained with interlocking or palm-rolling. However, if you would rather maintain your locs at home, you should consider larger microlocs that you can maintain with palm-rolling.
  3. Time for Maintenance: Generally, microlocs result in over 100 locs and the time necessary to maintain that amount of locs can be a lot, especially if you’re interlocking. You have to ensure that you can commit to that amount of time (typically 6-8 hours minimum) every few months.
  4. Volume & Fullness: The more locs that you have, the less likely you are to see a lot of scalp being shown, which creates fullness to the hair. So, if your goal is fullness, microlocs are definitely an option to consider.
  5. Interested in Sisterlocks: If the size of Sisterlocks are too small, but you like idea of smaller sized locs, microlocs are a great alternative.
Types of Microlocs

What Are the Different Types of Microlocs

What type of microlocs would work best for you?

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

When you say your first guest only lost two locs, do you mean that they fell out or that they unraveled? And would it be safe to palm roll microlocs that are bigger than your first two guests, but smaller than the last guest’s hair? I currently interloc at home over two days and every once in a while I’d like to speed up the process for special occasions.

Also, do microlocs that are interlocked swell the same way that palm rolled locs do?

No, they do not. The process of interlocking is very different than the process of retwisting in how the hair is cultivated.

When I say “lost” I mean unraveled. Of the photos I have pictured none of them would be okay to palm-roll as their base could not sustain the locs without reinforcement from the interlocking.

My hair is thin and had bald spots..I wanted just something so it could grow…I went to a shop and the stylist offered me sisterlocks at a great price but I really think she did microlocs…not sure of difference

I am happy to hear 2 things… You got a good deal and that you didn’t get Sisterlocks. Sisterlocks on already thinning hair would result in more thinning.

I have braid on my hair and i would like to do microlocs with the briads on what us the process

If you have synthetic braids in your hair, then you need to remove them before getting started. However, if you have just your hair braided you can continue locking it, and maintain with interlocking. gClick here to learn how to maintain your hair with interlocking in an online workshop.

Considering coils/sister locs. Have had texterizers, for more than 10 years. Beginning my process by getting braids until processed hair is out. I’m thinking maybe 18 months or so. Any other suggestions?

That sounds fine. Be sure to care for your hair, especially at the point where the two textures meet.

Namaste. Thank you for you video. I have decided to begin a loc journey. I am latina, i have thin, non textured hair. In your opinion, what would be my best options?

You may want to use the crochet method for the best results.

I’m considering micro locs because sisterlocks are totally out of my budget. And then the cost per hour for retightening every 4-6 weeks on top of that? I can’t. Sisterlocks are soooo beautiful to me, but I cannot afford that. Micro locs offer the same look with the option of fuller locs and I like that because I want the fullness. Thank you for this article, it was very helpful as I look for alternatives to sisterlocks.

No problem Sonya! I am glad that you found it helpful! Best of luck with whichever set of locs you decide!

Hi I have traditional locs at this time and I’ve had them for all most 4 years. My question is I would like to take my traditional locs down and start a journey of micro locs. After taking the locs down how long is good to give your hair a rest before starting another style of locs. I have discovered that the traditional locs can be heavier on the head and neck especially when it is wet. And also I would like to get a price range for how much micro locs would cost me.

If your locs are overly heavy, you may have excessive product buildup contributing to the weight. There is no set time for “resting” in between new locs because the starter locs do not have any weight and will be light. Price range will depend on your area, the skill of your Loctician, and starting method (twists or interlocking).

I have had small braidloc for 3year now. The center of my hair has not mature. I steel see a little scalp. I take small braid hair and braid over to make them thicker. Need help,! Tell me if am doing wrong. Thank you

Yes you are very wrong. You are going to cause thinning from the addition of braiding hair. With all locs you will see scalp, the hair is parted. Please stop immediately.

Jocelyn Renee, I have to respectfully disagree with you about seeing scalp with all locs. It evidently depends on the texture of hair. I’ve had (#3, smooth cuticle) locs for 6 years and my scalp still shows especially in the crown. My daughter has a curlier texture #4; her scalp is visible only at the side edges and not in the back or crown at all; my former loctician has really thick “motherland” hair — very beautiful — I’m almost sure she’s a #4, rough cuticle, her scalp is not visible at all. I really hate seeing my scalp and try to fluff up my hair and push each lock to an empty space to cover it as much as possible. I had a different idea about how my locs would look and if I had to do over I would not get them because I don’t like my scalp showing. I have the same concern as the other person but I never twisted two together. From your comment and because my hair is so soft, I guess there is nothing I can do but accept the fact that I’ll always be able to see my scalp. But hope springs eternal — maybe someone will see our comments and give us some ways to not see the scalp!

Thank you for sharing your experience! Wishing you all the best with your and your daughter’s loc journey!

hello! what are the primary differences in sisterlocs and small Microlocs?

The main difference would no longer be in the sizing but rather the interlocking pattern(s) used which would produce a different looking loc. Sisterlocks utilize multiple patterns unlike regular interlocking/microlocs.

Hi I just got my sisterlocks a month ago and want to have some hair added don’t like the length of my hair and the person that put them in say she don’t like the add should I fine some one else to do them.

You canNOT add extensions to Sisterlocks, they are too small and will break off and/or cause thinning at the roots. I’ve seen it first-hand. Embrace your hair at all stages and it will grow. Don’t cover it or add any extensions.

I had traditional locs. I cut my hair short, because I have thinning at the crown. But I want locs and do you think micro locs would be better. I’m so self conscious about my thinning top.

I think that you should address the causes of the thinning and stop it before starting another set of locs. Visit a Dermatologist or Trichologist in your area.

Training class o microlocs

If you’re interested in learning more about Microlocs, you can definitely setup a one-on-one training class. Just send me an email!

Hello, great info sis, beautiful locs yourself. I was wondering i have micro locs, that I’ve started with two strand twist and they are so close to sister locs and my method of retightening is retwisting/palm rolling, will this damage my hair in the long run and thin out my roots, or am i ok?

Thank you for following my journey! I would not recommend retwisting locs that small because yes overtime your locs can become thin and break off.

I’m 65, love the look of sister locs. Been natural six years. Soft, fine, thinning on the top, grey hair.
. Did I say I love the sister locs.. Don’t like scalp showing. Would Mirco locs do well, please help

If your hair is actively thinning and not just fine you would always see scalp and they may become weak. I would definitely suggest visiting a Loctician for more specific guidance. You can also schedule a Virtual Consultation with me.

I am thinking about doing sista loc my natural hair is thin but when it is in it natural form it look full. I been natural for over 7 years. I want to do some different that will last a long time. My natural hair is a curl pattern I can wash and wear with out doing much to it just some oil and detangled leave in conditional. I not sure what I want to do long term. I like Sista loc because I can style it. But, when I see other in loc of any kind I see that they are bald around the edge or the loc are broken off. I am afraid If I do this this can happen to me. I try wear ext a long time ago my hair broke off and the ext came out. I just need some feed back on what to do long term. By the way I am 58 yrs old looking for easy.

It would be best to visit a Loctician in your area so that they can best advise you. Alternatively, you could schedule a Virtual Consultation with me and we can talk through your specific options.

I’m considering getting sisterlocks but what if I get tired of the maintenance schedule, can I change to mircolocks?

No, you can’t just change to microlocs. You could potentially combine locs but depending on how the grid is established you may end up with traditional locs and not just microlocs. I typically advise people of the maintenance and upkeep requirements prior to starting so that they are able to commit fully upfront.

please setup a microlocs one-on-one training class. Do the class cost?

Yes, my education costs and you can always request a one-on-one training via the NuGrowthAcademy.com

My microlocs were installed on July 26, 2017 however I know they weren’t properly installed. As a result of this along my hair shaft there are some holes and some locks have thinned and brolen off from where the install was incomplete. I am scheduled to have repairs and retightening done tomorrow by the loctician who maintained them so far and encouraged me not to cut them off to restart.

That is great! I am glad that you spoke up about the issues and that they were open and willing to repair what had been done incorrectly.

Thank you so much for the information in this article. I have been playing with the idea of sister or micro locs for a while. I know I’m leaning towards the smaller sized ones and I live a fairly active lifestyle so it is good to read and see visual comparisons between sister locs and micro locs

I would love to have sisterlocs but confused about the difference between those and microlocs. Are microlocs cheaper than sisterlocs? Thanks

Microlocs are often cheaper than Sisterlocks.

Hello Ms. Jocelyn Reneé,

I am new in this journey and I am interested in Sisterlocks, so I need help. Do you have any recommendations for specialists in the Tucker/Stone Mountain, Georgia (Atlanta metropolitan) area that can guide me in the right and healthy direction for my Sisterlocks?

Peace! I do not personally know any Sisterlocks Consultants in that area but you can visit the Sisterlocks.com website to find a list of Consultants to interview to potentially begin your process.

I did my own microlocs doing the 2 steand twist method. I have about 350 to 365 locs installed. I tried to do a grid but I found that a grid does not matter to me since I’m self maintaining. My question is, once my hair start locking, and I may want to split some of my locs. I know some shed hair will vome out, once I split the loc, can I add the shed hair to the locs Im splitting by using that pointy crochet needle?

Peace Temick! I definitely would not suggest splitting the twists. Two strand twists are meant to stay together when starting locs. With that said, I would not recommend attempting to crochet into the twists and shed hair. Over time the newly formed locs will catch the hair that is meant to stay in there. Wishing you all the best on your new journey!

Hi, my question is what exactly is the difference between twisting & interlocking when getting microlocs and which would be a better choice?

Retwisting and Interlocking lock the hair differently. The “better” choice depends on your lifestyle and the size of the locs. Check out this article “Switching Between Palm Rolling & Interlocking Without Causing Damage” for more information.

Hello, i’ve followed you for a while and I sure need your advice.
I leave and work in East Africa. I fell in love with sister locs and I really want them for me. However, i’ve Failed to locate a sister loc loctitian. Would you recommend micro locs? My curl pattern is 4c and I have something like 12 inches of virgin hair. Thank you in advance.

Thank you for following my journey! If you cannot find a Sisterlocks Consultant than Microlocs are the next best thing! You can also call or email the Sisterlocks Home Office directly to find out if there is a Consultant in your area.

Will interlocked microlocs of about 300 have the same time demand for retightening as sisterlocs?

If you are doing it yourself and/or waiting an extended period of time between retightenings, Yes.

Hello,

Would you recommend sisterlocks on fine hair? I have both fine hair AND a thinning hairline. Can you share your email address? Thanks in advance.

If you hair is thinning, I would NOT recommend Sisterlocks. If your have is just fine, Sisterlocks may work. Please check out this post “What To Expect When Starting Sisterlocks With Fine Hair” and alternatively you can click here to schedule a Virtual Consultation with me if you would like to discuss which locking method would be best for you.

I’m wondering i installed “micro locs” a few days ago with two strand twists. I have 161 locs. Are these small enough to be considered micro locs?

They might be. They fall in the range for microlocs but depending on your density they could be traditional locs. But if you love them, that should be all that matters!

Hi! I have bra trap length hair low density. Do you think the diamond pattern would be best for my head? I also have an area on the left side of my head that is less dense than the rest. Would a diamond pattern be better for that side?

Based on what you described I would not recommend the Diamond parting system, however it is always best to have a consultation prior to starting locs to determine the best starting method for your hair.

Hi. I’ve been natural for 5 years and hate all the daily manipulation needed. I’ve never been able to really do hair. I keep it in a puff on the top of my head or pulled back in a ponytail. My hair length is just below my shoulders and is fine textured. I exercise 5 days a week and really like the sisterlocks and microlocks. Which would you recommend for me????

Just based on your lifestyle if you decide to get locs, I would definitely suggest planning to maintain them with interlocking. The size will be dependent on your choice. If you would like to discuss further what would be best for you, I do offer Virtual Consultations and you can click here to schedule.

Hello Ms. Renee,
I am interested in sister locs or micro locs, but am so confused about which is better for me…My hair is thin and maybe about 7ins. I am in the DC area and I hear sister locs are in the $1k range. I am now overwhelmed with data from research…please help!

Thank you so much for your time.

Peace Rhonda! Thank you so much for reaching out. Cumulatively, yes Sisterlocks are definitely in the $1K+ range and do require consistent grooming. Hopefully, that helps to address your concern, but if not I would be more than happy to offer you guidance on which locking method(s) would be best for your hair. You can visit the link below and schedule a Virtual Consultation with me so that we can discuss 1on1:
Click Here to Schedule a Virtual Consultation

Hello Ms. Rhonda! I will begin my journey soon
(in the research phase) and would like a consultation, regarding which style would be best for me sister or micro. Would can you assist me?
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Thanks
Angela

Peace Angela! I can definitely provide more clarity about which locking method would work best for you. You can schedule a consultation directly online, either at NuGrowthSalon.com or by clicking here.

Hello! Good day. Thank you for your tips , I’ve read multiple articles of yours which helped me in my decision and establishment of at home microlocs via a two strand twist. I am currently still in the process and am projecting around 400 locs. My questions are in two parts– is there such thing as “too” small of locs in size/diameter? I do have type 4 hair , (4b) however it is naturally fine. Would too small of locs, be damaging or too small for my hair considering it’s naturally thin nature? I chose micros due to this reason and desiring fullness, but hoping to reduce any potential loc breakage, loss of locs or thinning of hairline issues. Thank you very much for your input.

Hi Erica! Thank you for reaching out and I am happy you were inspired to begin your journey with microlocs! To answer your question, yes there is absolutely a threshold of locs that are the right size and locs that are too small. If locs are started too small for the texture of hair they can cause thinning and breakage. With locs as small as yours (400+) you can only maintain them with interlocking; and you want to make sure you do it properly to avoid holes and/or weakening of the locs.

I cannot particularly advise if your current starter locs are “too small” without a consultation. If you are interested in scheduling a consultation you can do so by clicking here, or I would highly recommend investing in the “Interlocking Fundamentals” workshop to be sure you are properly grooming your microlocs. I hope that helps!

When micro locs are started with two strand twist does it swell do double its orginal size as it matures? I just finished parting my hair and i still haven’t decided or commited to begin interlocking from scalp to tiop or two strand twist which is a bit easier and interlocking the roots. My concern is that the two strand twist will swell too much or unreval i have 4c med dense hair and interlocking may be difficult to do properly due to the length of my hair and my range of motion if that make senses. Any suggestions

The twists will swell more than if the hair is started with interlocking but not be a whole lot. If you are desiring smaller locs, just part smaller and do the two-strand twists. Unraveling is normal and common with all locs (except instant locs) within the first 3-6 months. If they do unravel, just put them back in and keep going. You got this!

Thanks for this! I had traditional locs for 4 years. I cut them last year (July 2019) because I was frustrated with two things: (1) palm rolling was reverting my roots two quickly (within a week) and (2) I felt putting my hair in a ponytail/fitting in hats, etc. was too much a struggle… I don’t know if the locs were too think (pencil thickness) or my head is big, lol. I never actually counted my locs but I would guess around 80-100.

I want to re-lock with an interlocking style, not small like sisterlocs (no patience at all) but not as big as my previous, pencil-thick, traditional coil locs. Curious, would you recommend braids or interlocks to start? Also, I do not want my reties to be more than 3 hours and I want to be on an every other month in the salon schedule. Finally, my hair is naturally quite thick, but I am really not a fan of full hair (I am more into a sleeker look) Am I barking up the wrong tree? (are my expectations inconsistent with the style I am going for)? Thx!

Haha! Yes, I would say, from what you described, that your expectations are unrealistic. You want microlocs but don’t want to be in the salon long yet want to extend the grooming out 8 weeks and you have thick hair. You will need to compromise on the sizing and grooming frequency or accept that it will take longer than 3 hours.

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