Most people make the decision to lock their hair before they find the exact method they want to use. You can lock your hair through these methods: freeform, palm rolling, interlock method, crochet method, twists or branded designer techniques such as Sisterlocks (TM), Bradelocz or Microlocks. I’m writing this post to help those in question get a basic understanding of the different ways you can lock according to my experience. This does not include loc extensions.
Freeform: A way of locking that lacks uniform. Hair is left untamed to mat together over the course of time. No manipulations (combing, backbrushing or any use of tools) are required. Because there are no manipulations or uniform this can take a very long time. The time frame is usually six months or longer to develop a locking pattern.
Palm Rolling – A way of locking that involves winding of the hair shaft. This technique can be done from bottom to top or reversed. There are several ways to palm roll. There are techniques done with one hand, techniques with two hands, and one with one palm on top of the back of the hand. More advanced stylists secure this style temporarily with clips, interlocking techniques, rubberbands, thread or product.
Interlocking – this method is accomplished through a technique very similar to single crochet. In other words, a pattern of loops are stacked from the shaft of the hair up to the root. This is usually done with a crochet hook or specialized hooks that are found online. Variations of this technique include braiding, backcombing, or two-strand twisting the shaft and then using the interlocking technique for the roots and new hairs. Interlocking results vary based upon texture but take anywhere from one month and up to lock.
Crocheting (instalocs) – This is probably one of the most evolved and popular techniques used. Hair is tangled or teased by using fast strokes of a very small crochet hook – this results in the hair tangling very tightly. You could say that’s why they call the locks Instalocs because the hair is matted and locked the same day you initiate the process.
Twisting – Hair can also be locked through comb twist, finger twist or two strand twisting. These all include winding of the hair into a cylindrical shape. Comb twist, of course, are done with a comb. Finger twists are usually done with the pads of the fingers. Two strand twist are done with two sections of hair overlapping each other.
Other methods of locking that are considered a branded form of locking include Sisterlocks, Bradelocz, Twisty Locs and Microlocks. Of all these Sisterlocks is the most well known technique. These locks are micro thin and from a distance resemble natural flowing hair. Most people who get Sisterlocks have an average of 250-400 Sisterlocks overall. The Microlocks technique is a variation of the interlocking technique and on average a full head count is about 125-250. Bradelocz is an example of the interlocking technique at the roots but distinguished by a braid in the shaft area. Lastly twisty locks are a combination of two-strand twists combined with interlocking.
I hope this post was helpful to you. These are the most popular and efficient ways of locking hair. In the future there will be many more. It’s exciting to know these techniques will pave the way for even more creativity through future stylists!