The debate about crochet dreads seems to be a controversial topic.
Some people say this relatively new technique is by far the best option. After all, what’s not to love about instant dreads? However, other people believe that this process can be damaging to the hair. They feel that since the crochet technique is not commonly found in salons, it may be a less safe option.
So what’s the truth behind crochet dreads? Here is your guide to everything you’ve ever wanted to know about this technique, and how to decide if they are best for you.
What Are Crochet Dreads?
Crochet dreadlocks very simply are installed using a small crochet hook to knot the hair using a specific technique.
One variation of this method involves the technician creating many tiny loops with the hook to pull the hair to the center and create the dread cylinder. This method works on any hair type and is extremely effective in creating strong dreads.
Another variation some choose to do involves using the hook to pull the hair through the length of the dreadlock, much like knitting. This method is a little more difficult and works best on extremely textured hair making it more limited in use.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Crochet Dreads
As with any hair technique, there are some good things and some bad things to consider.
The benefits of using the crochet method include instant dreadlocks that are relatively pain-free. It doesn’t get much better than that! This technique creates tight dreads that don’t require any product. And as mentioned before, they are a great option for nearly every hair type.
However, there are a few drawbacks to the crochet dread process. It can be difficult to find a hairstylist that is familiar and comfortable with installing crochet dreads, as it is a relatively new process. Technicians who aren’t familiar and well-trained can end up doing more damage than good to your hair. It also is difficult to learn how to do this method, in case you were wanting to install them yourself.
How Long Do Crochet Dreads Last?
The good news is that crochet dreads are relatively long-lasting. The only maintenance you will need to do on them is root touchup ups. As more hair grows at the root, the new hair is not included in the dread.
If you have more natural-looking dreads, you may be able to get away with only doing maintenance once a year. If you like a neater more maintained look, many people get their roots re-crocheted every 2-6 months, depending on growth.
The texture of your hair may also determine how often you need to maintain your dreads. Thick, kinky hair will need less maintenance and hold together better than hair that is straight or thinner.
Do Crochet Dreads Damage Hair?
Crocheting dreads is a relatively easy process on the hair and scalp, compared to other methods. There is less pulling and tug on the roots, and you are not tearing at the dread causing it to become weaker.
However, it is highly recommended to have your dreads installed by someone very familiar and experienced with the crochet method. If done incorrectly there is a chance of the dread becoming weaker and potentially breaking off.
Remember that this method is very new, so you can’t expect every salon near you to have a crochet dread expert. Make sure to do your research before you let someone attempt to dread your hair.
If you are hoping to install crochet dreads yourself, here are some suggestions to keep your hair healthy.
It’s important to use the right size crochet hook to install the dreads. Hooks that are too large can cause damage to the hair. To get comfortable you could start with a bigger hook and practice on fake hair until you can become comfortable with the smaller sizes.
Dry, damaged hair is more prone to breaking. It’s important to make sure your hair is in good shape before you begin installing crochet dreads. Bleached hair can become very brittle and is not recommended for dreading. Older hair may also be at risk of being dry and breaking off easily.
As mentioned earlier, it can be helpful to practice crocheting on fake hair. You can practice with the bigger hooks, and feel the resistance you will need to use before you break the hair. It will also be helpful if you wash the fake dreads you’ve made, so you can see how well they hold up. When installed properly, crochet dreads should stay tight and not loosen when washed even immediately after.
Are Crochet Locs The Same As Interlocking?
If you ask for crochet dreads at a salon, be careful that they don’t assume you are talking about the interlocking technique. While they sound very similar, they are two very different processes. Both use a similar-looking tool to install the dreads, however, the crochet tool has a much smaller head.
Interlocking involves pulling the hair through the root of the dread. This method is much faster, but the process can be very painful as the hair is being pulled so tightly. Hair loss is also a common problem, and many people say they’ve noticed a receding hairline as there is so much pull on the root of the hair. Dreads that have been installed with interlocking are also not consistent, can have bumps, and are also prone to be fizzy.
Crochet dreads are installed in a very different way. The hook is used to pull pieces along the length of the dread in, so they are neat and consistent all the way down. This process takes much longer, but looks neater and is easier on the hair. Dread also look healthier and have a more natural appearance.
To keep hair neat and tight at the root, but also eliminate frizz, some technicians have started to interlock at the root and then crochet the dread the rest of the way down. It would be best to talk with your technician to see what option will work for both of you.
How Much Does Crochet Dreads Cost At A Salon?
If you have been fortunate to find a good technician to install crochet dreads for you, you may now be wondering how much you will need to pay.
Unfortunately, that answer can vary greatly. Expect to pay at least a couple hundred dollars. Much of the price depends on how long your hair is, how thick it is, what texture hair you have, and the size you would like of each dreadlock.
Many technicians charge by the hour, and crochet dreads can be a very long tedious process. It is wise to have a consultation and agree on expectations and prices with your stylist before starting. Otherwise, you may end up being in the chair longer than expected and paying much more than you thought!
Can You Do Your Own Crochet Dreads?
The good news is that, with a lot of practice, you can also learn to crochet your dreads.
Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do.
- Wash your hair and make sure it is free of any residue. Crochet dreads will not be able to knot together if they are wet, so make sure your hair is fully dried after you wash it.
- Next, divide your hair into sections. If you have thinner hair, four sections will be enough. If your hair is thicker you may need to make closer to eight sections. Clip hair to make sure it is out of your way.
- Take out a small one-inch section (more or less depending on the size of dread you want) of hair starting at the back of your head.
- You can either backcomb the section of hair or twist the section with your comb. Then push the hook through the dread to the other side, grab a few hairs with the end of the hook, and pull the hook back to the middle of the dread. Keep repeating this as you work your way down the newly formed dreadlock.
- If you are twisting your hair down as you work, make sure to release the twist after working each tiny section, then regathering and twisting again before you begin crocheting the next part. That way the twist won’t get tighter and smaller as your work your way down, making your dread uneven.
- Once you have completed the loc, go back through with the hook again to tighten and clean up any loose hairs
- To blunt the end of the dread, hold the hook parallel to the dread and use the same method to pull the hair into the end of the loc. Keep working the hook until everything is tight and pulled in at the bottom.
This whole method could take many hours, or even a few days to complete.
As mentioned before, it would be very helpful to practice on fake hair, like an extension, before you work on real hair. This method takes time to perfect and can damage your hair before you are used to it. It would be better to not experiment on your real hair.
How Do You Maintain Crochet Dreads?
Once you have installed your crochet dreads, they are very easy to maintain. As mentioned before, regular maintenance to re-crochet the roots as your hair grows will be necessary. Usually, this is needed every 2-4 months, but for a more unfinished look, you can stretch this to 6 months.
It is not recommended to use any products with the crochet method. Your locs will be instant and should be tight and ready to go right away! Using products could potentially even loosen the hair.
Are Crochet Dreads Right For You?
Crochet dreads to seem to be the perfect solution to a lot of concerns about dread installation. They are instant, easy on the hair, and produce an extremely tight and even dread.
However, finding an experienced technician can be difficult, and learning to do them yourself can be very tedious.
We hope this guide has helped give you more information on if crochet dreads are right for you. Good luck on your dread journey!