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.
Dreadlocks, Perfect. How to make dreadlocks. 26 11 2019. <https://www.perfectdreadlocks.com/>.
Making Dreadlocks - Learn how to start dreads and make'em grow! 26 11 2019. <https://dreadheadhq.com/pages/making-deadlocks-learn-how-to-start-dreads-and-make-em-grow>.
Mariuta. How to Start Dreadlocks. 20 01 2019. <http://lovelocsnatural.com/hot-to-start-dreadlocks/>.
Renee, Jocelyn. 7 Ways to Start Locs: Benefits, Drawbacks and What to Expect. 26 11 2019. <https://curlynugrowth.com/7-methods-to-start-locs-drawbacks-what-to-expect/>.