Hair Interlocking: Everything You Need To Know About This Technique

Dreadlocks have gone mainstream in recent years, and there’s no question why. The style has adorned the heads of hot celebs like Lenny Kravitz, Bob Marley, Rihanna, and Zendaya. People love the style because it is carefree and it looks unique.

If you are considering starting or maintaining dreadlocks using the interlocking technique but are unsure about how it works, this is the article for you. We’ll cover nuances specific to the technique, several interlock pros and cons, and much more useful information you can use. Let’s get into it.

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What is Interlocking and Why Should You Care?

The interlocking technique, called latch-hooking or root flipping, requires pulling the ends of a section of hair (or a dreadlock) through the root of that same section. This creates a “lock” of sorts and holds the hair in that position while a dreadlock forms.

Watch this How-to video by GlamNaturalLife on how to interlock locs.

How to interlock locs the right way! | loc maintenance with amazing locking tool

Interlocking for Maintenance

When interlocking is used for maintenance, it tightens the new hair growth to the scalp and locks it over time. Interlocks can be done with fingers, a specialized tool (interlocking tool), or a latch hook. A common way to interlock dreads is to use a 4 point interlocking pattern, in which the ends are pulled through the root in all four directions (North, South, East, and West).

Interlocking To Start New Locs

Interlocking is often used to start new locs. Loose hair is repeatedly interlocked from ends to roots using one of the tools mentioned above. Depending on your hair type, condition, and density, it could take a couple of hours to interlock all of your hair. It takes anywhere from 6 months to 2 years for the hair to lock and look like mature dreadlocks.

Pros and Cons of Interlocking

There are several advantages and disadvantages of interlocking your dreadlocks. Let’s get into them here.

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This is a video tutorial on interlocking dreads (locs) with the crochet needle.

Interlocking dreads (locs) with the crochet needle


  • The method is relatively easy to learn how to do.
  • It’s not necessary to use a sticky product to help the hair hold its shape while it locks. L
  • The technique helps people with silkier, softer hair textures achieve dreadlocks. Other methods, like comb coils or twists, often unravel and leave clients with an undesirable result. People who are particularly active or sweat a lot will appreciate that interlocked dreads won’t unravel.
  • Interlocking produces a uniform dreadlock result.
  • You can wait a couple of months in between maintenance sessions. This is an extended amount of time compared to other methods like palm rolling or comb coiling, where you can rarely go more than a month between maintenance sessions.


  • When your dreadlocks are not done by a professional, you could experience loc splitting, thinning hair, pain, and/or alopecia.
  • Residue has the potential to accumulate where the divets in the interlocking pattern are situated.
  • Resulting dreads will be a bit thinner than dreads formed from other methods.

All in all, people prefer a wide range of dreadlocking methods, and there is no one-size-fits-all method. Hopefully, this article has provided you with interlocking method information you can use to make the best decision for you and your hair. If you have additional questions about interlocking, be sure to ask a loctician (a hairdresser who specializes in dreadlocks).