Is Interlocking Better for Your Dreads?

Interlocked dreads look different from twisted dreadlocks.

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Don't be fooled, there isn't just one way to get a head full of pretty dreadlocks. While twisting your hair is the simplest method, it may not be right for every hair type. Interlocking, or latch hooking, is another totally viable way to create locks. While this method may make dreads lock faster on some kinds of hair, it does have its pitfalls. Before you attempt to use this as your go-to dread method, get all the details on how interlocking works and whether it's right for your hair.

How to Interlock

There's nothing too complicated about interlocking dreads. Just like when you create locks by twisting, start by dividing your hair into 1-inch sections and securing each section with a hair band. With two fingers, spread apart the hair between the band and the roots of one of the sections, forming a hole. Take the tip of that same section and pull it through the hole. Repeat the process over and over, making sure that each time you do it you change the strands of hair and the direction through which you pass the tip. Mixing up your direction each time will give you a nice, round dread with no holes. If using your fingers proves too cumbersome, use a latch hook to help you guide the tip through your hair.


For gals blessed with coarse or curly hair, interlocking your dreads means they're locked immediately. This means there's no waiting for a few days to wash your hair. Once you've latched each section, your dreads are done. Latching also doesn't require dread wax or dread cream to lock up the hair, so if you decide to use this method you may save a few bucks on products. It's also a much gentler approach for hair that's prone to breakage.


Unfortunately, the cons seem to outweigh the pros when it comes to interlocking. This method is not suggested on Caucasian hair because it takes forever to look fully locked -- especially if the hair is super straight and silky. Interlocking can also cause stress on the roots of your hair and in extreme cases the roots may split as the hair grows out. Latched dreads also look different than their twisted sisters. They have a tendency to be thinner and prone to bending awkwardly. Because of the way they're constructed, once latched, the pattern in the dreads is always evident. The result is a dread that lacks the organic randomness found in twisted locks.


Maintenance of interlocked dreadlocks is pretty straightforward. Once your roots begin to grow out you'll need to re-latch the new hair. This is done the same way you created the dreads -- by simply pulling the tip through the top of the lock. As with twisted dreads, it's best to wash your hair on a normal schedule with a residue-free shampoo to prevent build-up. You don't need to use dread cream on latched locks, but it can provide a good way to keep your hair moisturized and looking healthy.

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