During our recent research adventure into the world of everything locs, we became quite informative on a lot of different methods and techniques. One of the more controversial things we came across is interlocking, also known as latch hooking or root flipping. This is a hair maintenance process, when the locs are pulled to tighten new growth. Loctitians or individuals who normally perform this technique, achieve this method with a Nappylocsor, or interlocking rings, or using their fingers.
1How To Interlock Dreads
Interlocking typically is done with a latch hook (hence to the name latch hooking). This tool is similar to the type of latch hook that is used for crochet braiding and can also resemble the look of a regular crochet hook. There are specially designed hooks a salon or individual uses to perform this style. Primarily used for micro-dreads in African textured hair (whatever that might mean). The salon or loctitian will grab the bottom of the dread insert it into the tool on one end, and on the other end insert it into the root and pull threw. It is quick, easy and can show immediate results to tighten the roots and clean up loose hair from the scalp.
2Interlock Dreads – The Pros
There are a few pros to interlocking your dreads, like fewer trips to the salon for maintenance, you can go at least 8 weeks before having to get them maintained again. But that truly will depend on the rate your hair grow, your hair type and of course your personal preference. Interlocking also helps prevent the unraveling of the hair and it encourages it to stay in place. Interlocking is better suited for small and thin locs and is painful for people with thick locs.
3Things you Should Know About Interlocking
There will always be good and bad things about your hair and having locs is no exception. Interlocking is a very specific technique that requires someone professional to do it for you, as it potentially can really damage your hair and might lead to breakage and thinning. Despite all of this, this method, and for good reason, can lead to irreversible problems such as locs thinning out, and even breaking off, a braided or large knot that can split the roots and prevents the dreadlock from properly forming. Residue also tends to accumulate at the section where the interlock is located, likely to turn to into a weak spot over long term, which can sometimes break off completely. Alternatively, it seems to be ok in some cases as long as the dreadlocks have always been interlocked and surprisingly, they can be generally recognized in the dreadlock industry as an acceptable form of dreadlock maintenance and a way to start locs. Most problems with interlocking happen when a dreadlock that is already established is interlocked and then not maintained for an extended period of time and left to lock up naturally again or with a different method.
If you have larger dreads interlocking hould not be used, due to the fact that it can leave thin braided appearance. That braided appearance in the hair is not a true dreadlock, residue also tends to accumulate at the section where the interlock is located. The dread can also bend unnaturally, and the hair will never really dread. Even though this is a quick method, it’s only effective for short term results – long term results are almost always negative.
Salons perform the interlocking method because it’s a
standard practice, and many salons are inexperience with non-kinky hair types
and resort to this method. Their clients can also regret getting their hair
interlocked, and going to get the problem fixed can be difficult, time consuming
and often impossible to undo in to fix any problems that may occur properly.
4Palm Rolling Technique
If you are looking for additional options in maintenance techniques, you may try another method named palm rollng. Palm rolling your locs in a circular formation can help tighten them, a more defined way of understanding , is you will be forming the structure of your loc by molding any loose hairs that’s at your roots. Achieving this will help knots tighten before they are able to regress back to their natural state. Though it will take a while, it can help the formality of the locking process.
The great thing about palm rolling yourlocs, is that you can do it yourself, so people who would like easy maintenance can pretty much do this anywhere! Using dread wax or cream will essentially keep your hair in place, and when it’s time for maintenance it can make rolling your hair easier to control. There are also disadvantages to palm rolling; like thinning hair and even baldness by frequent retwisting. The bias side to this is that some people actually recommend it to be done every day, despite it being easy to over manipulate your hair. As others made valid points of this method being a waste of time as the loose hairs will eventually come loose right away. Another worry with palm rolling is the hair can easily become unraveled, especially if you’re not properly taking care of them at home or while doing physical activity.
5Palm Rolling Variations
There are different variations to palm rolling. You may choose to do either one depending on how you started and are maintaining your dreads. For dreads that are maintained by retwisting or even started with two strand twist, you can use the first variation called uni-directional. Essentially with this you will hold the dread with moderate pressure in between the palm of your hands and rubbing your palms in opposite directions you will roll or twist the dread in one direction. Preferably in the direction that tightens, and keep rolling down the entire dread length, keeping the motion going as you get to the edge of your palm. Just don’t forget to release the entire dread every so often to let the twist out, continue to follow the steps for 60 seconds without any product, and 90 seconds with your cream or wax.
For the second variation dreads maintained with retwisting
or started with twist, will not work as this method can unravel the twist. So,
if you started with, backcombing or strand twist you will be able to maintain
with this variation. With bi-directional you will roll the dread back and forth
and of course down the entire length of the dread. Following the same steps as
uni-directional palm rolling, except you will reverse the direction each time, you
get to the edge of your palm. The time you will spend on each dread is also the
same, with or without using your dread product. It is also a more preferred
technique of the two variations because it’s faster and slightly more
6Palm Rolling vs Interlocking
One of the things that really got us intrigued on the whole maintenance topic was which method that can not only loc hair faster, give less damage and which one is overall better. From what we have learned is that palm rolling would be better for your hair and doesn’t carry as much risk as interlocking does. It’s also time saving, most loctitians can do the process in less than two hours, where as interlocking can take up to 5 hours to complete, and that would be going to a professional who actually knows what they are doing. You can perform palm rolling by yourself with a little practice, however, you should get maintenance and how to tips to help prevent your hair from unraveling. But with interlocking, individuals with an active lifestyle can go freely without having to worry about their roots disentangled or promoting stray hairs. It’s also beneficial for less structured hair types as it will give you a better hold and no matter your hair type it can also strengthen the root area. Now there is information floating around that you perform both, but that will be ultimately up to. We have found that if you interlock your dreads (not so tightly) and not in the same direction you will still be able to palm roll without noticing a difference. Despite this being the great debate, it’s your hair and you can do what you want.
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