The Loose Hair Tool: God's Gift to Dread Heads

God must have smiled on Knotty Johnny Clean and all dread heads around the world when he developed the wonderous thing that is the DreadHeadHQ Loose Hair Tool (version 2.0). In my opinion, it is the single most useful dread-related item ever invented. However in my travels across the interwebs, I have received multiple messages and e-mails requesting that I post a blog about how to use it. So, here it is!

The DreadHeadHQ Loose Hair Tool is pretty much a latch hook with a pointed end to help the user to insert it neatly into the dread. Some sites have claimed that, especially in mature dreads, using it can create holes. My dreads are only 11 weeks old, but I haven’t had any issues with holes yet. Considering that it isn’t recommended to use crochet hooks bigger than 1 mm for the same reason, it only makes logical sense that the Loose Hair Tool would do the same. Naturally either they cause holes or they don’t, but I haven’t heard any complaints from anyone on the DHHQ Facebook page yet. I plan to continue using it unless there comes a serious hole issue.

I mentioned in my entry about crochet that I don’t recommend doing it anymore frequently than every 4 weeks. More frequently can cause breakage (which adversely affects the overall strength of the dread as its strength comes from the long fibers) and prevent the dreads from locking (because you are continuously moving the hair around instead of letting it do its own thing). So, these techniques, particularly in the middle of my dreads, is how I tide myself over between crocheting, which honestly I do VERY little of at this point. More or less, this is ALL I’m doing now, so pay close attention so you can put the Loose Hair Tool magic to work for you!

Ultimately, there are three different places you can use a loose hair tool: the tips of your dreads, the middle of your dreads, the roots of your dreads. If you have dreads you either are of two general philosophies; loose hairs are unsightly, or loose hairs add the character of the dread. If you are of the latter school of thought than read no further and leave those loose hairs alone. I personally like my dreads to look really neat and this technique helps me achieve just that. Anyway, three different places. No matter what part of the dread you are working on with your tool, the technique is the same. The only difference being the manipulation of the tool because of your head being in the way, LOL.

I already have a video I posted on YouTube about how to blunt the tips of your dreads. Here is the first video I posted to help you out. The second one, which I recorded just last night, talks about it, too, but in less detail. If you are just starting out pulling in your ends I suggest the first. If you are just doing touch-ups where you already pulled in the tips the second video will suffice. If you are super bored you could, of course, just watch both.

Now, of course the first step of using your Loose Hair Tool is to find the dread(s) that need some work done. Usually I do my maintenance when I am in the bathroom after doing my business. I usually will start to inspect my dreads and subsequently find some hairs that I absolutely MUST fix right then and there before I loose track of them. This results in a nearly endless quest to find every single loose hair to pull in and fix…. I could get stuck in front of the mirror for hours, I swear. So, I’m not really picking out every dread that needs it in advance. I just do it as I find where its needed.

Now, I HIGHLY recommend Lock Peppa. As I say in the beginning of this second video, the Loose Hair Tool and Lock Peppa are my absolutely FAVORITE maintenance tools. How anyone can live without them in their maintenance routine is mystifying to me. Lock Peppa just makes everyone so much easier and helps all that hard work you are doing to stay put instead of just coming undone. (Keep in mind, though, that your natural hair texture can make maintenance and dreads in generally harder work -- silky, slippery hair being a good example.)

Once you have those things set up you can get started. Here is the video I created to illustrate to you how to use your Loose Hair Tool. Per usual, there are text directions after the video, although honestly I think it would be PRETTY hard to grasp this technique without the visual examples shown in the video.

  1. Find a dread that needs loose hair pulled in.
  2. Isolate the hairs and hold them in place while dipping your fingers (thumb and index finger) into some Lock Peppa. Use the covered fingers to twist the strands into a small knotty lock and hold them in place while getting your Loose Hair Tool so you don’t loose track of them.
  3. Pick up your Loose Hair Tool. Guesstimate how far up the dread the loose hairs would be pulled and insert your Loose Hair Tool into that spot, feeding it down towards the loose hair lock.
  4. You want the Loose Hair Tool to poke out in the middle of all the hairs you are trying to pull in.
  5. Feed the loose hairs into the latch hoop and close the latch hook around them. While holding the Loose Hair Tool, pull the loose hairs taut within the hook to make sure the entire strand is pulled in.
  6. While keeping very gentle pressure on the strand to make sure it is entirely pulled in, pull the Loose Hair Tool back through the dread the way it was inserted bringing the loose hairs with it!

I recognize in the video and will re-iterate here that the hardest part of learning to use your Loose Hair Tool is discovering how to comfortably and efficiently manipulate the tool to operate it. I think many people have difficulty getting the hair into the small loop, (1), and (2) have a problem closing the latch over it once they do. All I can say here is that like many other things in life, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!!! If people still have major issues with this after viewing this blog entry and the included videos, I will attempt to do another video that captures more detail (closer up) of how I get the hair into the tool while I am using it.

So, the Loose Hair Tool is a godsend. It is the best tool ever created for the maintenance of dreadlocks, in my humble opinion. For those who have crocheted and are going crazy with all the frizzies and loose hairs that have come loose since your last crochet, give these techniques a try and I think you will find it makes a HUGE difference and make for some kick-ass, tight dreadlocks!!!`

4 Response to "The Loose Hair Tool: God's Gift to Dread Heads"

  1. ld Says:

    You are awesome. Where are you from? I would pay you to help me out with my dreads. haha. Honestly though, thanks so much for posting these. I hope you don't mind if I come to you with dread questions. HQ videos are great, but JC's dreads are so mature, it's hard to understand since you don't see him actually going through the process. it's nice to see someone with newer dreads.

  2. KnottyMama Says:

    I live in CT. I just posted on facebook (on the DHHQ wall) that the first week of July I am thinking of doing a NY State Dreadlock Tour... I am going to post more info about the possibility of it on my blog shortly. ^_^

  3. Matapaepae Says:

    Thanks alot amie i am so glad you have been here to give me advice its soo cool that you know and understand the workings of the dread and are able to inform us more fully with this info...i so wish you were in good ol NEW ZEALAND but cool that you can give advice on the net for us...thanks heaps <3

  4. wevskys girl Says:

    thanks for a great video , im deffo gonna get the loose hair tool now , my dreads will finaly lose there fuzz with it :)

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