To Crochet or Knot to Crochet


So, I've been doing some research. I've been wanting to do some more reading abut the case against crocheting dreads and I feel like I have enough information now that I can write an informative and intelligent article about it here! As most you probably know I have crocheted my dreads and really liked the results as it left them all nice and tight and really tightened them up especially at the roots where they are often resistant to locking, especially so young.

The long and short of crochet is that no matter how careful you are you will be breaking hairs when you use this technique. Your expertise and awareness of what you are doing will certainly affect how badly it breaks, however. The second more important factor is to make sure that you are using a SMALL crochet hook, that means 1mm or less!! At the time I started to crochet (and in the video I have included below) I was using a 1.3 mm hook because it was the smallest I could find at my local craft store. After doing more research last night I decided to spring on a 0.6 mm hook with a nice, fat handle to prevent fatigue for when I do touch-up my dreads.

The general consensus about crocheting is that it is difficult to stop once you start. Because crochet does have a tendency to cause broken hair once the tightness you get from crochet begins to wear off the broken hairs become more visible as frizz and loose hairs. This means that crocheting begets crocheting and it's probably not wise to start doing it unless you plan on doing it regularly and relatively often. You can stop, of course, anytime you want but you may have to deal with a lot of frizz before your dreads start to lock up naturally again. TOO much crocheting, especially if done incorrectly, can actually break dreads so badly that you will seriously compromise the strength of the entire dread. The strength of a dread or rope comes from the length of the fibers, which is why hemp is so much stronger than wood fiber. However, if you begin breaking the fibers you compromise the overall tensile strength.

My official opinion on crochet at this point is that crocheting is okay IN MODERATION! I wouldn't recommend crocheting any more frequently than once a month. More than that and I think you seriously need to worry about the breakage you may be causing. Granted, for some people they are willing to compromise a little strength for tight, neat looking dreads. That is a personal decision that I can't make for you, of course, but I CAN warn you about the pros and cons and encourage you to think long and hard before you decide one way or the other! Ultimately, don't start crocheting unless you are aware of how often and how long it will take you to maintain it that way. I can tell you that it took me about a total of 15 hours over the course of a three day weekend to crochet all my dreads like you will see in the video below. I plan to touch-up in a week or so any that really need it, but I am trying to really minimize how much I do. Crochet is a great way to get neat, well-manicured dreads, but be prepared to keep up with it or things might get a little crazy!

If you still really want to crochet (and I still am so I haven't been totally scared off by what I've read!) I have posted a video I took of myself crocheting my dreads so you can see how crocheting tightens the dread and how to do the technique. When you first start do it in front of a mirror so you can see what you're doing and definitely do it in silence. This way you will be able to hear and feel hair breaking if you are being excessively rough and adjust accordingly! And, this is important, DON'T make your dreads super tight! It prevents them from locking, not to mention how rough it is on your scalp! Below, in case the audio is too low for some to hear are the basic instructions on how to crochet your dreads.



MATERIALS NEEDED:

1) Crochet hook (1mm or smaller) - some say the larger size is easier to learn on and then go smaller once you become more proficient in the technique.

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Choose a dread to crochet. I recommend starting in the front where you can see what you're doing before you start moving to the back ones.
  2. Grasp the dread with your thumb, forefinger, and middle finger with the thumb underneath and other two fingers on top.
  3. While you are crocheting you will insert the crochet hook always in the small area between all of your fingers as this helps to compress the dread as you are going.
  4. Begin inserting and pulling the crochet hook out of the dread starting near the roots of your dread and working towards the tip. Make sure you are rotating and rolling the dread around in your fingers as you work your way down. As you go you should be able to feel the dread tightening up and you'll intuitively discover when its time to move onto the next area.
  5. Once you reach the end of the dread I will usually insert the hook a little bit more vertically and parallel to the length of the dread to attempt to pull in some of the loose hairs at the tip. In this video I show how to pull in loose hairs a little more purposely. Since this video I have come to the conclusion that this is MUCH easier done with the DreadHeadHQ Loose Hair Tool v2.0. I will post another video at a later date on how to use the loose hair tool to blunt the tips of your dreads.

There is some conjecture out there that the Loose Hair Tool causes holes in mature dreads because of its size. Perhaps I will review the information out there on the safety of the loose hair tool in another blog! I, however, LOVE my loose hair tool and I doubt anything anyone says will sway me against it. In the meantime, I hope this blog has been helpful and informative for all my readers!

7 Response to "To Crochet or Knot to Crochet"

  1. Betsy Martin Says:

    nice :) the one thing i read / researched / learned is you shouldnt use it on the root at all....but on the body or tip of the root....

  2. ld Says:

    Hello,

    Saw the link on HQ's facebook. Thanks for the article. I am very tempted to crochet my dreads now. I saw on dreadhead that you aren't supposed to crochet the roots, but that is where all my problems are. I've had my dreads for 8 months and many dreads have OVER 2 inches of loose hair at the root. I've tried clockwise rubbing, but it isn't cutting it. Do you think since I have so much loose hair, I could crochet starting about an inch down from my root?

  3. KnottyMama Says:

    I would say 'yes', although I'm not exactly the foremost expert on the subject. Definitely keep at the cw rubbing and if you aren't already try putting Lock Peppa on your fingers when you do to encourage knotting even more!!! I <3 Lock Peppa!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I like you!

  5. Christina Daniels Says:

    I'm not completely against crocheting your dreads, but like the comment before, I think it should only be done on the body, not the roots. clockwise rubbing doesn't really do anything at all for your dreads. If you make them tight at the root, they become weak and could break off very easily.
    It can take up to 2 years for dreads to become mature (in some cases). No product, or instrument can change that fact. Most the time those same products and instruments that promise quick results are actually hindering the nature process of your dreads. If you expect real dreads to be nice and perfect and unfrizzed - you should just give up and get synthetics. (Which I'm not against either) Synthetics look nice, neat and clean.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    I've heard sea salt spray works for tightening dreads. I guess your supposed to spray it on your hair and let it dry then wash it out later with water to get the salt remnants out of your hair.

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