The daily choices we take for granted are literally destiny's hinges. Waking up a few minutes too early or late in the morning could make the difference between getting into or avoiding a car accident.
The number of strategic sacrifices that you endure or defer while launching a business will determine its chances of operational success.
The concept of choice can also be earnestly applied to the method you employ to develop and grow your dreadlocks. After all, the method you use to develop your dreadlocks will determine how fast they grow and the thickness of each dreadlock strand, amongst other factors.
And when it comes to dreadlock development methods, you have a lot of choices before you.
The most comprehensive method may be the crochet method. With the crochet method, you use a crochet needle or a crochet pick for dreadlocks to manually interlock and interweave hair follicles so that they will fuse and lock together tighter.
With the crochet method, you are turning your hair into prototype dreadlocks before they start developing into actual dreadlocks.
However, you must know how to crochet hair to employ this method correctly. You could overtighten hair follicles, rip, or damage them as you use this method if you don't know what you are doing.
To best explain the crochet method, we must first talk about the inner structure of a dreadlock strand. Understanding the internal dreadlock matrix will better explain why the crochet method is an optimum way to start dreadlocks.
And before we go in-depth in explaining the crochet method, we will also briefly explain some other ways to start dreadlocks.
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The Internal Dreadlock Matrix
We must discuss the internal dreadlock matrix to better comprehend why the crochet method is suitable to start your dreadlock development.
Each dreadlock strand is comprised of an internal latticework of interconnected, locked, and fused hair follicles. The exterior part of a dreadlock strand resembles a fuzzy and frizzy rope-like strand.
But if you could look inside a dreadlock strand, you would see a maze of interconnected hair follicle spirals and cross-patches that locked, fused, and intercrossed with each other.
Your dreadlocks grow longer as you twist the new growth of hair follicles at your scalp line. (Make sure not to twist your dreadlocks with too much force. Aggressively twisting and pulling on your hair in service of a hairstyle can cause a form of baldness called traction alopecia.)
And while we believe that the crochet method is a good way to start your dreadlocks, let's talk about some other techniques before diving deep into crochet dreadlocks.
Some dreadlock starting methods are more optimal in developing and fortifying the internal dreadlock matrix quicker than others.
Interlocking is a method of interweaving and threading the end of a dreadlock strand through the looser hair follicles at the scalp.
It takes practice to master this technique. You could thread the dreadlock strands too tightly and damage the follicles.
Freeform dreadlocks develop naturally when you stop combing your hair. After washing and drying it, just leave it alone.
You don't have to twist or comb your hair with the freeform technique manually. However, this technique will require patience since it will take longer for your hair to lock and fuse.
Jay-Z's large congo locs seem to have been developed partially with the freeform method.
Backcombing is the reverse action of traditional combing; instead of combing from the scalp to the end of your hair, you grab a strand of hair and comb from the ends towards the scalp.
The backcombing technique encourages your hair follicles to start fusing and locking together. You can also use the backcombing technique before employing the crochet method (more on that later).
If your hair is at least six inches, you can use the palm rolling technique to start your dreadlocks.
Take a portioned strand of hair and start rolling and twisting it between the palms of your hands.
You can just braid your hair and leave it alone until the hair follicles begin locking.
The crochet method is the quickest way to create a viable and stabilized internal dreadlock matrix.
The crochet installation technique requires you to complete two steps. The first step is choosing the correct base, in which there are many. According to ragingrootsstudio.com, the backcombing or rip & twist process works best (Crochet, ragingrootsstudios.com). The backcombing and rip & twist process will help create the knots needed to begin crochet dreadlocks. Once this is done, the next step you will do is pull the loose hair from the root of the dreadlock, to tighten the dread.
This is completed using the crochet hook. As the name states, you will need a crochet hook, 1 mm or smaller, to begin. Pulling the loose hair from the scalp and adding it to the dreadlock will give it a tight/firm cylinder shape, which makes the locs look mature.
What Does It Mean to Crochet Dreadlocks
When it comes to crocheting your dreadlocks, it’s a method where the crochet hook plays a significant role in styling and maintaining the locs. Keep in mind that the crochet method should not be confused with the Latch Hook Method.
Crochet dreads have been around for over a decade, but it has not been widely recognized by the dreadlock industry as an effective strategy to install and maintain dreadlocks. That means the majority of salons do not use this method, but it’s nevertheless growing in popularity.
What are some pros and cons?
- Less painful
- Works for 99% of any hair types
- Can attach extensions without a string
- Wash or swim after Crocheting
- No products needed
- Locs appear matured instantly, and will not break apart.
- Difficult to find a professional who can do quality work
- If done incorrectly can damage your hair
- Not as tight as the interlocking or re-twist method
- It requires more practice to learn and master the skills.
Well, this technique creates super tight and mature locs, almost immediately, making the locs look more sophisticated than they are. Also, it requires little to no maintenance and is said to be super sturdy. This means as they mature, the locs will be strong enough to handle wear and tear seen from constant pulling and tugging.
Additionally, the crochet locking technique is suitable for all hair types but typically used with curly/kinky hair. Please keep in mind –to refer to the section and sizing chart, when choosing the right locking installation for yourself.
To complete this technique, you must have a small crochet hook (1 mm or smaller). This is a good way to start dreadlocks with straight and textured hair.
This technique involves the following steps:
What you will need:
- Crochet Hook (1 mm or smaller)
- Residue-Free shampoo
- Comb – a rat tail comb may work best for this installation method.
- Dread Wax or Dread Cream
- Elastic bands (natural or rubber)
- Hair clips (small) depending on hair length
- Hairdryer (optional)
Step-by-Step Guide for Crochet Dreadlocks:
- Wash hair with residue-free shampoo. (Dry)
- Using the comb, part hair into sections starting from the scalp.
- Secure the sections.
- Once the hair has been sectioned, remove the bands and twist each section with your comb.
- Start from the middle and work your way down.
- Place your crochet hook between the hairs and pull.
Make sure the hair is dry otherwise the crochet method won’t work.
If you prefer a video, here's the best video explanation we've seen -
Credit: Luvin Locs
Micro Loops Vs. Crochet Wrapping
Here is some insight on Micro Loops and Crochet Wrapping, two methods for crocheting dreadlocks
This is a variation to create many tiny loops in repetition, leading to a solid cylinder and uniform knot. A lot of people would prefer to use these small and organized knots as "instant locs." This method is more flexible, and it works for all hair types and ethnicities.
This process involves pulling hair through a dreadlock with a crochet hook. Then you will wrap the hair around the dreadlock down the length of each loc, similar to the knitting process. This method does wonders for straight hair that is twisted or backcombed, but may not do very well with kinky texture hair.
How to Avoid Damage with the Crochet Method?
Use The Right Hook
Using a crochet hook that is too large can cause more damage and hair breakage, however, if it's too small, it can be very frustrating. Typically, 0.4 mm and 0.5 mm crochet hooks work very well. However, for beginners, it would be easier to start with a 0.6 mm hook. It’s highly recommended to use a soft touch crochet hook over the skinny ones because of the comfortable ergonomic grips, which you will have better control over the direction of the hook.
Avoid Aged Hair or Bleach
Bleached and old hair is usually brittle and damaged. These types of hair are not properly moisturized, so they are prone to damage. This is why you should avoid crocheting bleach or aged hair. Young, healthy hair is more durable and less prone to breakage. The new growth at the roots is the best hair to crochet because it’s healthy and strong.
Practice on Fake Hair
If this is your first time, it’s highly recommended to use the crochet method on fake hair. This can help prevent potential damage to your own locs. After all, you’re most likely to make a mistake if you were a beginner. With fake hair, you can intentionally break some of it to get a better idea of how it sounds and feels. Another advice is to wash the extension you make with the fake hair vigorously. Washing it will show you if your skills are effective or not. It’s easy to make dreads look good, but whether the tightness would last is an entirely different story.
Look for a Professional
It is virtually impossible to find a salon that has experience with this type of method. However, it’s still essential to seek out a professional for the crocheting method.
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