Many of the calls I receive on dreadlocks will often ask what I think of the
interlocking vs crocheting method. It is like asking what is the difference between planting flowers: they will all grow but each has its requirements. Many people swear all flowers come to them to die while others just seem to make them flourish! Hair care is similar to this, if you do what is best for the hair, it definitely grows healthy and long.
If you know anything about dreadlocks, you probably know that two of the main methods of
maintenance are crochet and interlocking. The terms began being used for each other because in the black hair industry, crochet braids use the same tool used in interlocking dreads. This tool is called a latch hook which is totally different from crochet hook which has a smaller head. Since the names are used this way, many people will call and say “I want to crochet my dreads”. Sometimes, what they really want to say is “I want to interlock my dreads”. Explaining to clients distinctly that you only use the crochet method brings up the question what are the differences between interlocking vs crochet method.
Interlocking method :
- involves pulling the hair through the root of the dread at the scalp in a particular order.
- Interlocking is faster but does not take care of the frizz on dreads.
- When the hair is interlocked, it is tighter at the scalp and pulls hair away from the face. Depending on who does your interlocking, it can be tight and painful. I have had clients who had dreadlocks pulled so tightly, their scalp developed scars where the hair was pulled out.
- One particular trait I have found in people who use the interlocking method is that their hairline recedes over time. The forehead becomes very prominent as they lose hair from the pulling. It is not noticeable at first, but if you were to pay attention to early pictures of the wearer, you would see it.
- The dreadlocks appears to have bumps along the length at the point where it was interlocked so it not as smooth as crochet or palm rolling.
- To keep the hair neater, recently I am now seeing some locticians using the interlock at the root and crochet for the frizz.
- involves using the hook to pull pieces of hair that come out along the length of the dread so it looks even all the way.
- Is more time consuming so it will cost more if the person doing it is not fast.
- I see crochet methods where the hair is pulled in the dreadlock using a back and forth motion. I prefer to pull the hair down the shaft of the dreadlock.
- The hair is neater in appearance and it gives a more natural look to the dread like palm rolling.
- It definitely hurts less because it is not as tight at the scalp.
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It is certainly a personal choice as to whether to use the interlocking vs crochet method. I prefer the crochet method and if asked would probably pick palm rolling as the alternate method just because I feel it preserves the hair better.
By Paula Barker, Silkie Locks Hair Design