Before using a crochet hook to start your dreadlocks, tighten your dreads or add extensions to your dreads you definitely want to practice on something other than your hair first.
Crochet maintenance on locs is a very efficient way to do your loc maintenance but it is a skill that takes some time to get the hang of. So you’ll want to practice first without risking any damage to the integrity of the dreadlock.
We recommend purchasing a pack of human hair similar to your hair texture at your local beauty supply or online to practice on.
How to instantly lock your dreads using a dreadlock crochet tool:
- First gather a section of hair that’s sticking out or has frayed around the root of the dreadlock and twist it together.
- Then take a small size crochet tool, typically 0.5mm or 0.75mm works well for most people, and insert it into the loc.
- Continue to wrap the loose hair around the hook and then pull it through while gently turning the hair and working your way down the shaft of the dreadlock.
- As you are working your way down the loc with the tool, try to stick it in different places so as not to insert it in the same place twice.
What the crochet tool is doing is pulling the loose hairs back into the inside of the dread.
Due to the curved hook on the end of the tool it will insert into the dreadlock with little to no resistance, but when you remove the hook it will grab hairs as you pull.
Make short strokes in and out of the dread, in a sort of jabbing motion. These small jabbing and pulling motions will pull hair into the dread and compact it. The ability of this method to compact the tangled hairs is what makes the dreads lock up.
And as you go down the loc with the crochet hook, you’re going to be pulling that hair inside the dread while smoothing the dreadlock out at the same time.
So if you want to get instant dreads with a crochet needle, then you’ll certainly want to try this method for fast results. Crocheting your dreads allows the hair to lock instantly and essentially speeds up the maturing process.
It’s great for those with an itchy scalp or fine hair that is hard to lock naturally. If you’ve had trouble with unraveling in the past from trying to loc using other methods, this may be an ideal solution for you.
However, it’s important to consider all that the crochet method entails, so we’ve listed a few of the pros and cons…
Pros & Cons of Crocheting Dreads with a Crochet Needle
- If you’re just starting on your dreadlock journey, your can have dreadlocks instantly and bypass the starter (a.k.a. “baby”) phase. Although, there is additional benefit in this stage that includes spiritual connection, personal development and self awareness *two cents*
- Locs are compact and consistently uniform
- Less painful than using a latch hook
- Can immediately wash, swim or otherwise get wet
- Doesn’t require the use of hair products (*benefit* avoid unsightly product build-up and lint later down the road) to hold the loc together
- Can be used to attach dreadlock extensions
- Locs look mature right away and don’t unravel
- A technique that requires practice to learn and master
- Not as widely used in the loctician community, so may be hard to find a stylist near you for regular maintenance
- Can hurt your hair and your fingers if used improperly
- Can harm children if left unattended
- Will be time consuming until you’ve mastered the technique
- Can weaken the loc if overused or used forcefully
- Cannot be combed out (as with interlocking method)
When starting dreads with a crochet needle, the process is very similar to the steps above except that the jabbing motion will be done simultaneously while twisting and forming the loc rather than just jabbing a fully mature loc.
Check out this video for a visual reference on starting locs with the crochet dreadlock method.
*Pro Tip* With this method, you must be gentle. The repetitive stabbing motion can hurt your fingers if you are too rough or forceful. If you encounter resistance trying to insert the tool through one area of the loc, simply move to a different area and come at it from a different angle.
What you don’t want to do is break or tear the hair trying to use the tool. If you can hear it snap, then you are being too rough with your motions which will weaken the loc over time and may cause it to thin out.
So again, practice first and be gentle — these are the best strategies for the instant loc crotchet tool method.
What size crochet hook should you use for dreads? For most people, a crochet needle of 0.5mm – 0.75mm is ideal for the installation, maintenance and tightening of your dreadlocks. It is small enough to easily insert into a fully mature dreadlock without creating holes, and also effective for intertwining the loose hairs of synthetic extensions and natural hair.
Using the crochet method for installing or maintaining your locs is just one of several loc maintenance methods. Others include palm-rolling, interlocking, freeforming, and backcombing.
So at this point you might be wondering whether or not crocheting is good for dreadlocks? The truth of the matter is, it depends. Factors like your patience level (no, seriously), your lifestyle habits, how often you maintain or re-twist your dreads all play a role in the method of dreadlock maintenance that will work best for you.
Which one you choose is not a matter of right or wrong, but more so involves consideration of your hair texture, lifestyle habits and general interest in the overall loc journey. i.e. the experience you want to have.
While there are some best practices regarding the health and longevity of your dreadlocks, don’t be bullied by hair dictators who demand that you cultivate your locs a certain way. The journey is different for each of us and we enter and exit at the appropriate time in our lives. Your journey is yours alone.
Hope this has been helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in the comments below.
Until next time…