The dreadlock crochet method has been a growing topic in recent years. Many people say it breaks hair, others claim it’s the best thing since sliced bread! In this post we’re going to explain everything you need to know about crocheting dreads and how you can get “instant dreadlocks” with what we believe is the best dreadlock method – the crochet method.
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Crochet Dreads – what exactly is it?
To Crochet Dreadlocks is a method that uses a very, very small crochet hook to install or maintain dreadlocks. This method is not to be confused with latch hooking, which we will explain in greater detail within this post.
Although this method has been around for well over a decade, it has not been widely recognized by the hair industry as an effective way to install and/or maintain dreadlocks. Therefore you shouldn’t expect to walk into an everyday salon to get your dreadlocks crocheted, almost none of them have any idea what crocheting dreadlocks actually involves.
The majority of our clients come to us after a horror story from visiting a salon and we always manage to fix those problems for the short term AND the long term with this method. Hence, our conviction to crocheting dreads.
Despite the lack of this method in salons, it is growing in popularity and we’re very pleased about that. There are several reputable salons and individuals across the United States that crochet dreadlocks on a highly professional level.
Pros and Cons of Crocheting Dreads
- “Instant Dreadlocks”
- Tight and consistent locs
- Can wash/swim immediately afterward
- Works for 99% of hair types and problems
- No products necessary at all
- Often less painful than twisting or interlocking
- Can attach extensions without string
- Very difficult to learn properly
- Very difficult to find experienced professionals who do quality work without damage
- Can damage hair if used improperly
Different variations of the Dreadlock Crochet method
From what I’m aware of, there are two main variations of the crochet method.
- *Micro Loops
- *Crochet Wrapping
*These are unofficial terms we’re using within this article simply to identify each variation
This variation is used by creating many tiny loops in repetition to condense each dreadlock to a solid and uniform cylinder of knots creating what many call Instant Locs. This is the method we use because we believe it is the most effective compared to all methods.
We’ve proven this method to work for all hair types and all ethnicities 99% of the time!
This variation is the process of pulling hair through a dreadlock with a crochet hook and wrapping that hair around the dreadlock in a pattern down the length of each dreadlock, similar to a knitting process.
This method tends to work ok for straighter hair that is backcombed or twist and ripped, however I’ve learned that some Locticians have a very difficult time using this method with Kinky textured hair, limiting its use.
Crocheting is NOT the same thing as latchooking!
Be warned! Most salons consider interlocking (aka latchooking/rootflipping) to be the same thing as crocheting dreadlocks!
The reason salons mistake this term is because the latch hook is considered a crochet hook, however these methods are entirely different.
DO NOT allow a salon to “Crochet your locs”, no matter how confident they seem to be, unless you show them a video of the method and you explain yourself fully. Most salons have absolutely no idea what crocheting is and they simply misinterpret your request as interlocking.
Crocheting dreadlocks is a very refined skill that takes weeks to understand and years to master. So, if a salon has never crocheted dreadlocks but make you all kinds of promises I would recommend running in the opposite direction, which leads me to my next point.
Dreadlocks falling off because you crochet dreads!?!?
This is one of those controversial topics and I’d like to clear it up right now.
CROCHET HOOKS DO NOT MAKE YOUR DREADLOCKS FALL OFF! If your dreads fall off and you’re using a crochet hook that means YOU are the problem, not the method. You’re doing something wrong!
Saying crochet hooks make dreadlocks fall off is the equivalent of saying that forks make people fat. The problem is not the method or the tool used for that method, the problem is the person using the tool the wrong way!
If you want to learn to crochet dreadlocks, we highly recommend buying fake hair to practice on first. You’ll want to intentionally break hair and listen for the distinct “snap” so you know what breaking hair sounds like. And although that’s a great start, you can still damage old or brittle hair without hearing that distinct snapping. As a rule of thumb for crochet newbies, I recommend learning on fake hair first and then only crocheting your roots every 2-3 months. That’s a great way to avoid 90% of the damage you could otherwise incur.
How to avoid damage with the crochet method
1. Use the right size crochet hooks
Using hooks too large can actually cause more breakage than anticipated, yet using hooks too small can be frustrating for people just starting out.
We typically use 0.4mm and 0.5mm crochet hooks for the work we do on our clients, however starting out will be easier with a 0.6mm crochet hook. And we also recommend using the soft touch crochet hooks over the skinny ones because of the ergonomic grip, and you have greater control over the direction the hook is facing, which is important.
2. Avoid crocheting bleach or aged hair
The most brittle hair is bleached hair and old hair that hasn’t been moisturized. This hair is the most prone to damage and therefore should be avoided.
Young healthy hair is much stronger and far less prone to breakage. The new growth at the roots is almost always the best hair to crochet since it’s strong and healthy.
3. Practice on fake hair first
We always recommend to learn the crochet method on fake hair first. Doing this can really help you prevent damage to your own dreadlocks.
You’ll want to intentionally break some of this hair so you’re more familiar with how it sounds and feels.
Another thing we recommend is vigorously washing the extensions you make with the fake hair. Washing vigorously will show you if you’ve been effective or not. It’s very easy to make a dreadlock look good, but whether the tightness lasts or not is a different story.
4. Seek out a professional
This is easier said than done for most people. It’s virtually impossible to find a salon that is thoroughly experienced with this method.
We offer our crochet services to Washington DC, Baltimore, Northern Virginia, and the metropolitan areas surrounding these locations.
Visit our Dreadlock Service Page to learn more and to get set up with an appointment!
Will the Dreadlock Crochet method work for my hair type??
Yes! 99% of the time it works as long as you can find a properly trained or experienced veteran of the crochet method.
Many of our happiest clients include South Africans with crocheted dreadlocks!
South African Dreadlocks are my personal favorite dreadlocks to work with. The tight kinkiness of the hair works so well with our crochet methods and it is very easy to find bulk hair to match if we ever need to strengthen or re-attach Afro Dreadlocks.
In South Africa the crochet method is common and abundant. I’ve been told stories of crochet shops that compete with each other on the same street, and some people even grow out their dreadlocks just to sell them for profit. This shows the high demand for crochet dreads in South Africa.
Unfortunately, this method is much more scarce, forcing South Africans to struggle to find anyone who crochets dreadlocks the way they get it done back in their homeland. Many resort to twisting or interlocking methods which lead to their dreadlocks thinning out and breaking off. We’ve re-attached many South African Dreadlocks as a result.
We love our South African clients and hope to prevent many of these problems in the future!
Caucasian hair types vary drastically, especially in America with our “melting pot” of diversity.
Our entire business is based on finding a method that worked best for Caucasian hair types. I myself am Caucasian of German descent and after dealing with backcombing and wax with my first set of dreadlocks I knew there was a better way! So I did as much research as I could and started crocheting my dreadlocks. This was EXACTLY what I was looking for and I haven’t looked back since.
The crochet method will prevent or fix just about any problem you are likely to encounter with Caucasian Dreadlocks.
We’ve crocheted a variety of Asian Dread clients including Chinese, Filipino, Japanese, Korean, and Vietnamese.
Asian hair is among the most difficult to form dreadlocks with. The silky texture of Asian hair makes it completely impossible to use the twist/re-twist method or twist and rip, and it can be extremely difficult to backcomb as well. This leads us to crocheting, which is by far the most effective method for Asian Dreadlocks!
We’ve had many Hispanic Dreadlock clients who have had problems with salons only to seek us out to fix their problems!
Latino hair types can also vary quite a bit, we’ve had hair types that cooperate very well and then we’ve had a few that have been almost impossible to work with.
Hispanic hair types tend to be very diverse, just as Caucasian hair types are. Therefore, the crochet method is almost always the best solution since other methods rely on specific hair types to work well.
We’ve crocheted just about any mix of hair type you can imagine, including:
- Puerto Rican/Native American
- Korean/African American
- plus many more!
Almost all of our mixed race clients have the same story, they go to a salon for a re-twist or interlocking, and have problems later on that they hire us to fix.
This is an unfortunate trend that we see all too often, but at least we can fix their problems with the Crochet method that we use!
My completely BIASED rant as a dreadlock professional after working with ALL hair types:
- I believe that crocheting is 110% absolutely the BEST method
- ALL hair types can be crocheted
- Practically any problem can be fixed with crocheting
- There is no need for ANY product, in fact products are discouraged when crocheting dreads
- Tight dreadlocks are created almost instantly, especially for kinky hair
- I’ve been crocheting my own dreadlocks along with our client’s dreadlocks for over 5 years
- We’ve fixed many problems due to twisting and interlocking countless times
CROCHET DREADS SUMMARY:
Although this method is gaining in awareness and popularity, and it’s being sought after more and more, I’m still surprised at how rare it is for a salon to use this method.
I’ve been using ONLY this method for years because I learned very early on that it is hands down the most effective short term AND long term way to maintain dreadlocks for EVERY SINGLE HAIR TYPE!
There’s a reason I have such a high success rate with my clients and I have never had anyone unsatisfied with the work I’ve done by using a crochet hook.
I believe this method will slowly become accepted as the best way to maintain dreadlocks and Dreadlock Central is focused on helping to move the dreadlock community closer to this acceptance.
If you’re seeking professional help crocheting your dreadlocks you’ve come to the right place because that’s exactly what we do! To hire us to crochet your dreadlocks please visit our service page, select the service you want, read the page and fill out the form and we’ll respond with a custom quote!