Method 2: Interlocking (Formerly called “Crocheting”)
(Update as of January 2020: I no longer recommend this method as the best method to start dreadlocks. It was helpful for me when I started my locs over a decade ago, but a better way to create and maintain locs is the crochet hook method because it’s faster and creates true dreads right from the beginning)
A quick visit to a bohemian hair salon in Ann Arbor, MI taught me this invaluable technique, which I use often to tighten the roots of some of my looser dreadlocks. At this point with my very mature locks, this is the technique I use the most at present for upkeep. However, many people use this method to start their dreads.
Here’s the kicker, and it may be a game changer for you: locks made with the crotchet method can also be called “latched,” and some schools of thought argue that this means your “locks” are not technically “dreadlocks.” In my case, this does not bother me in the slightest, simply because a quick crochet is often the easiest method to tighten a loose lock at its root. Shoot, it holds, and doesn’t require the use of messy wax, which often dries, flakes, and makes your hair look dirty. Your hair is essentials tied in knots, and those knots are not coming undone.
Check out this video from Lifeinklvideos that demonstrates the process on a head of straight hair. Thanks guys! Note the use of some back combing, as well as palm rolling. Often, forming dreadlocks takes a combination of techniques.
Crocheting works in African American textured hair, and also in straight hair. The hair stylist in Ann Arbor who recommended this technique to me was white, and yet had some of the nicest dreads I’d seen on someone with straight hair. You can adjust the size of the dreads when you section it. Quick tip: it may be wise to have someone else help you section your hair. This is one of the few areas I broke down and ask for help with when it came time to section my hair, and it’s paying off to this day.
Some do not recommend using this technique for tightening dreads made with other techniques because of the difference in texture between locked and crocheted hair, but I beg to differ. In my case, the difference in texture is very unnoticeable. Furthermore, it’s often the case that a loose dread needs a few quick crochets at the root, and then it will go back locking on its own. Just what the doctor ordered.