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Making crocheted dreads allows you to lock up the fibers good and tight on your own, in an afternoon (or more, depending on how long your mane is). The result is all-natural dreadlocks that need no chemicals, and retain as much of the length of your natural hair as you can when dreading. To use the crochet method, you need at least 2 inches of natural hair, a big ol' boatload of patience, and a trusty crochet hook.
Plan your dreadlocks. If you don't have locks, you'll need to separate your mane into sections about 1 inch thick, and secure each with a hair band. To avoid rows, stagger the locks as if you're laying bricks, so one lock rests at the intersection of the two locks below it.
Remove the hair elastic from one section of hair to get started crocheting your first dread.
Backcomb using a fine-toothed metal comb. This hurts and tangles your hair, as it's supposed to. Push the comb backward from end to roots to backcomb it. Keep combing until you've pushed all the hairs up to create a tangle.
Push the crochet hook through the middle of the twisted hair. With the crochet hook in your hair, rotate the hair below it 90 degrees, so the back of the dread-to-be becomes the front. Don't twist the crochet hook though.
Reach down the tangled lock with your crochet hook to grab some hair from the area below yours. Thread the hook through a section of hair 45 degrees to the side of yours, grabbing the hair with your hook. Pull the hooked hair through the initial loop, or the place where you put the crochet hook through your twisted hair. Finish with the second loop still on the crochet hook, but having passed through the first loop.
Twist the hair below your crochet hook 90 degrees, or one half turn. Again, use the crochet hook to grab a section of hair 45 degrees away from the piece currently on the hook.
Pull this new section of hair through the second loop.
Twist 45 degrees and grab another section of hair, then pull it through the loop you're working. Keep going like this until you reach the end of your hair. On the last loop, pull the hair through the loop all the way, until you have a little loose end sticking out of the crocheted dread.
Start all over again with a new section of hair, backcombing the hair fibers to tangled, then crocheting down the tangled hair to dread it.
You don't need to secure the crochet dreads with hair elastics or anything, since the crochet method itself locks the new dreads in place.
Have a friend help you to make the work go faster!