Starting Locs: Interlocking or Tool Method

Interlocking Method: Technique For Starting and Maintaining Locs


The Interlocking method of starting locs is an alternative to the more traditional palm rolling loc method.  It’s one that I highly recommended because palm rolled locs are more susceptible to breakage due to the stress of repeated rolling and twisting of the hair at the roots.   Interlocking is also more ideal for individuals who have a finer hair texture, an active lifestyle or scalp discomfort that requires frequent shampooing.

Read: Starting Locs: Palm Rolling Method


The process of interlocking locs requires a tool appropriately called an interlocking tool. It is made from a durable, flexible plastic. There are some metal latch-hook tools used for crocheting that some recommend instead. But they should be avoided because they snag and pull hairs from the scalp causing significant damage. (A proper interlocking tool for the hair can be found at

Interlocking strengthens the lock at the base or root. Locs “gain weight” and get heavier as they get longer.  As they grow in length and increase in size the base of each loc should support the new weight of your hair. A small square, circular or triangular section of hair is crocheted into what looks like a round braid.  Hair is locked counter-clockwise to maintain roundness and produce a look that is more consistent in size and shape throughout.

READ: Shampooing and Conditioning Locs

No combing is required and the hair will go through the same matting 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.  Interlocking allows you to shampoo the hair on a regular basis without the concern of excessive frizzing and the need to re-twist.  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.

With interlocking, as your hair begins to bud, your stylist will maintain your locks by interlocking any new growth, training your hair to lock with existing buds and reinforcing the lock at the roots.

Can you interlock previously palm rolled locs?


I am often asked if you can alternate maintenance by twisting and interlocking your hair and the answer is, yes. For people who like the look of palm-rolled locs, I recommend interlocking the hair at least once a quarter to break up the continuity of the twisting and reinforce the base of the loc to prevent breakage.

For more information of the technique of interlocking and the proper interlocking tool, visit:

Leave any questions or comments about Locs below.


30 thoughts on “Starting Locs: Interlocking or Tool Method

  1. Elo

    Hey Tamara, I found this very helpful … thank you. I had one loc of hair break in half (sob sob sniff) and I suspected it was the much too frequent re-twisting I have to do because I exercise a lot and therefore have to wash my hair 3x a week.

    I will now start to inter lock my hair instead

    I’ll let you know how this goes

    Great website ! Keep up the good work


      1. Melody Hudson

        Hi. I started my locs with the two strand twist method. My twists have been in for about 2 months and are starting to loc but my roots keep unraveling. I’ve been palm rolling and it looks good but then when I wash my hair or go swimming my roots unravel again. I just bought a latch hook because I thought if I start interlocking my roots they will lock faster and neater. Please let me know what I should do. I need tips. BTW I am biracial mixed with white and black, so my hair has softer texture and looser curls.

  2. Veronica Outlaw

    I have soft, curly hair that is about two inches in length right now and I’m natural. I’ve tried sisterlocks and palm rolled locks before and neither worked for me. Do you think method would work for me? Do you have names of stylist you can recommend? I live in SC and am willing to travel.

    1. Tamara Post author

      Hi Veronica,

      I’m not a locitian but if Sisterlocks didn’t work in your hair, I’m not really sure what method will. I say this because Sisterlocks can be done of straight hair.

      1. Veronica Outlaw

        When I tried Sisterlocks it was several years ago and I doubt if I had 1.5 inches of hair. The stylist swore it would be fine. I went to bed that night and the next morning the entire back side of my head was a puff…all the locks had come down. I measured again this week before getting my braids installed all d I’m over three inches now. I’ll wait for more length before looking into loving again. Right now I’m enjoying my journey. Thanks Tamara.

      2. Veronica

        Of course not, but you know Tamara, when folks do people wrong, they don’t prosper so I’m good and have been blessed in spite of.

    2. T Rose

      I have very soft curly hair as well. My first time starting locs was back in 2008. I was frustrated because the locs kept coming out especially when I washed my hair. It took about a year or two before they started budding. That was with the finger coil/palm rolling method. I had my locs for 5 years before taking them a loose. I just restarted using the same method back in May. But to cut out using products (especially since I’m on a strict budget) and because I have a tender and very dry, sore and itchy scalp, I started using the interlock method. If someone used this method or did sister locks on your hair and it came out, they did something completely wrong.

  3. SwapMeat

    I am caucasian and I used this method to start my locks. I will say at this point the dreads are getting “hairy”. They started out so smooth and tight and now it’s like a cat’s tail with mange. My stylist did tell me to palm roll however and these loose ends would go back into the dread. True or not true?

  4. Eric Evans

    Hi Tamara,
    I am currently looking into different methods to start my journey. How long does my hair have to be to start the interlocking process?


    Good day
    Tamara Iam Kelebogile from kimberley south africa.I have transitioned my hair from relaxed to natural since April 2015 now i started dreadlocks in september just to gain that growth up to my ends, So what conditioner must i use as iam currently using pure coconut oil.

  6. eldon peters

    hey my name is eldon wyre from the caribbean, i just started the lock process in my hair, she twist them with the comb first then i had to wait one week to see her again for her to interlock them , she interlock them the next week and now i need to know if i wash my hair will the locks come out

  7. Jesse taylor

    Ive been interlocking for a year now. I have finer hair, amd cant seems to get my tips to dread properly. The rest of my interlocks are perfection. Just the tips are the issue. Any advise as to how to get them full and rounded?

    1. Veronica Outlaw

      I’m looking for a stylist? Are you near the SC area? I’m looking for folks with fine, soft hair to see their results before I start the process. Any advice?

  8. Tyanna

    I just started my locs I did the interloc method. What kind of oils do you recommend when it is cold or I you have dry hair?

    1. Veronica Outlaw

      Are you pleased with? What’s your hair type? Would you recommend your stylist? I live in SC and an willing to travel if I can count on the stylist. I have soft, fine hair. I’m hoping this method will work for me.

      1. Tyanna

        Yes! I love it and I am glad that I made this decision. My hair is soft and curly. I would definitely recommend my stylist she is awesome and the shop specializes in locs. I have an appointment today so if you want to keep in touch I can definitely link you up with her for a consultation.

  9. Natalie

    Hello, my name is Natalie. I have interloc hair. I’ve put in interlocks in my hair. Its now my 4 months anniversary. However its very frizzy right now. How can this be corrected. I don’t want to palm roll it. I read that palm rolled hair might break off. What natural products are recommended. I have 4b and 4c hair.

  10. Andi

    Katura Locs
    Hey everyone! You guys are thinking too hard into the locking process. Just twist I up and let it grow. It is a process. Be patient and enjoy the journey. The more you worry about your Locs, the slower they will grow!

    1. Natalie

      I don’t have a growth problem I have a frizz problem. I am a black Jamaican girl with 4b and 4c hair. Do I palm roll or what?


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