In this article we will discuss the Pros and Cons of Interlocking Dreads (aka Latch Hooking Dreads). We will also outline why salons interlock dreads plus our experience with the method. You’ll also hear from one of our client’s and her opinion after getting this method done at a local salon only to have us fix it later!
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Interlocking Dreads – what exactly is it?
Interlocking Dreadlocks is a maintenance method which involves pulling the end of the dreadlock back through the base of the root. This method tightens each dreadlock by twisting the hair at the base of the dreadlock. It is also known as “root flipping” or “latch hooking dreads”.
Many salons consider “crocheting” the same thing as “interlocking”. This is because the Loctician will typically use a latch-crochet hook to pull the dreadlock through the root. To avoid miscommunication with a salon always ask “Do you use a “latch crochet hook to interlock” or if they use a “small crochet hook, without a latch, to create very small loops inside the dreadlock instead of interlocking”. Salons will also use the term “Latch Hooking Dreads” when they are referring to interlocking dreads.
Why do Salons interlock or latch hook dreads?
- Some salons use this as a standard practice for dreadlocks
- Certain kinky hair types work okay with regular interlocking maintenance
- Many salons are inexperienced with non-kinky hair types and resort to this method
- Quick, easy, and shows an immediate result
- Tightens the roots and cleans up loose hair from the scalp
- Generally recognized in the dreadlock industry as an acceptable form of dreadlock maintenance
Pros and Cons of Interlocking Dreadlocks
- Quick and easy
- No product necessary
- Holds tight
- Not very difficult to learn yourself or to find a salon to do it
- Creates a braided effect in the hair which is NOT a true dreadlock
- It’s only effective some of the time with short term results – long term results are almost always negative
- Can lead to the roots splitting into two sections if done poorly
- Residue tends to accumulate at the section where the interlock is located
- Likely to turn into a weak spot over the long term which can sometimes break off completely
My completely BIASED rant as a dreadlock professional after working with ALL hair types
I absolutely hate that some salons accept clients when they don’t know how to properly handle their hair type. This often leads to a “professional salon” damaging the client’s dreadlocks.
- All of our clients who have interlocked their dreadlocks in the past have regretted doing so. They’ve all come to us to fix their problems!
- Salons usually don’t know how to deal with non-kinky dreadlocks and this is a quick fix they often use to deal with hair types they are not familiar with.
- It is very difficult, time-consuming, and often impossible to undo interlocking in order to fix the problem properly.
- I’ve seen plenty of damage and detached dreadlocks directly caused by the effects of interlocking dreads.
- Some of our clients wanted to avoid interlocking, so they brought that point up to the Salon. Since some salons consider interlocking the same thing as “crocheting”, the Salon proceeds to interlock their dreadlocks anyways! The client is frustrated by finding out later that the salon did exactly what the client didn’t want them to do!
- Alternatively, it seems to be ok in some cases as long as the dreadlocks have ALWAYS been interlocked. From what I can tell, 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.
- After all the problems I’ve seen it totally baffles me that this method is still used so widely.
One of many negative experiences of interlocking from one of our clients herself:
“Recently I moved to the United States from South Africa and I was having a difficult time finding a salon to crochet my dreadlocks the same way as back home. Then I found a salon that had promised to do my dreadlocks just the way I wanted. When I spoke with the lady I told her exactly how I wanted her to do them with a crochet hook. She started interlocking my dreads which was not what I asked for and it was extremely painful. I told her that this is not what I wanted but she said that this is how they start (by interlocking) then she will do them just as I wanted. Once the lady finished interlocking she moved on to styling my hair and I was not impressed with this at all.
I personally feel that interlocking my dreadlocks was the worst thing I could ever do! My dreadlocks had big knots from interlocking and I noticed they were also holding residue build up. At this point I just wanted to cut my hair but instead I decided to try to find a Loctician one more time. I told myself that if I don’t have luck this time around I would definitely cut my hair. After looking online I ended up in the right hands of Dreadlock Central. I was so impressed with how they crocheted my dreadlock just the way I was used to back home! No products used and no interlocking dreads. They brought back my faith in my dreadlocks, and now I don’t want to cut them anymore since I found what my hair was longing for. I am very happy with Dreadlock Central and will absolutely go back again to them for crocheted maintenance.”
I personally despise this method, and for good reason! Interlocking can lead to irreversible problems such as dreadlocks thinning out and even breaking off, residue buildup at the interlocked location. Also, it often leaves the dreadlock in a “braided” or “large knot” that can split the roots and prevent the dreadlock from forming properly.
Despite these long term problems, salons love to use this method because it’s fast, easy, and shows immediate results. But it’s just that; a quick fix which more often than not leads to long term problems.
And once it’s done it can be very difficult or completely impossible to reverse the effects of interlocking dreads.
We highly recommend avoiding interlocking your dreadlocks for all of the reasons listed in this article. In our opinion Crocheting dreadlocks is the superior method. Crocheting is the only method we use no matter what hair type we are working with. If you’re seeking professional help crocheting your dreadlocks you’ve come to the right place! To hire us to work on your dreadlocks please read over our service page and fill out the form at the bottom! We strive to prevent ineffective methods from ruining your dreadlocks!