Today we have multiple methods of forming locs including the free forming method, two-strand twist, comb twist, latch hook, and interlocking, all which will determine the maintenance and aesthetic of your locs as they grow.
Freedom to lock on its own with no additional support; traditionally tightly coiled hair is best for this practice. These are also known as organic locs. Now, let’s learn more about the different methods and how to make the best selection from Dr. Kari herself:
“When starting locs, I recommend the interlocking technique for my clients. Interlocking is when you take a small square, circular, or triangular section of hair that is crocheted into what looks like a round braid. The hair is locked counter-clockwise to maintain roundness and produce a look that is more consistent in size and shape throughout. No combing is required and the hair will go through the same mat and budding process as it does when the hair is twisted. The only difference is maintenance is recommended every 6-8 weeks; you can wash your hair by yourself without fear of locs coming undone. Additionally, all air pockets are removed from the loc during the interlocking process creating a smoother loc free from lumps that can sometimes form during the twisting process when hair starts to bud."
Two-strand Twist and Comb Twist
"Two-strand twists can be used to start locs, but it's important to know that because there are two sections of hair that are being twisted together, it may take longer for the hair to mat together, bud, and form a singular loc. Or once the loc does form, you may still be able to see the pattern of the two-strand twist in the loc. Starter locs (also called comb twists, or single-strand twists) is the most well-known method. With both of these twisting techniques, coarser hair textures with a tighter curl pattern hold well. When it comes to choosing twisting over interlocking, it's simply a matter of preference, but some advantages of using the interlocking tool are:
- You don't need beeswax or sticky solutions to hold your locs together
- Keeps the locs in a uniform pattern, preventing unwanted joining of sections or webbing between parts
- Tightens new growth without tension or stress (when done correctly)
- Allows for an active lifestyle with low maintenance
- You can shampoo your hair between grooming and still maintain a neat look (locs won't unravel if you shampoo your hair)
If your hair is fine or has a looser curl pattern, I recommend the interlocking method using a proper interlocking tool. Avoid metal latch-hook tools used for crocheting, because they snag and pull hairs from the scalp causing significant damage. A proper interlocking tool for the hair can be found at www.drkariwilliams.com/store."
Should you start your own locs?
While pondering the pros and cons for each method, it is equally important to determine who should do your locs. In our DIY society, many women consider doing it themselves, soliciting the help of a friend, or seeing a salon professional.
Here's Dr. Kari's advises: “I recommend seeing a professional to start your locs if you are looking for a neat loc, and want to avoid the damage that can happen when locs are started incorrectly. When starting locs, you have to take into consideration, the density of the hair, curl pattern, and hair texture. All of these factors are important to determine the size of the base for the loc and pattern.”
So take these different options into consideration when plunging into a long-term commitment of hair locking. If no maintenance and a natural look is what you are looking for, free forming might be your choice. If you have patience and want a tried-and-true method with ease, you could try the counter-clockwise palm roll. If a neat, clean look is your preference in little time, latch hook might be for you. For more information on latch look locs and tools, visit Dr. Kari Williams.Photo credits
Pictured: Dr. Kari Williams