How To Use Dread Locking Tool

If you’re curious about how to use a dread locking tool, you’re in the right place. In this article, I’ll be giving you a clear and concise answer to help you understand the process. Whether you’re a seasoned dread head or just starting your dreadlock journey, this guide will provide you with all the necessary information to successfully use a dread locking tool. So, let’s dive right in and get those dreads looking their best!

How to Use a Dread Locking Tool

What is a Dread Locking Tool?

A dread locking tool, also known as a dreadlock crochet hook or interlocking tool, is a specialized instrument designed to create and maintain dreadlocks. It consists of a slender hook with a needle-like tip and a handle for easy grip. This tool is specifically designed to weave and tighten the hair, allowing it to form into tightly coiled sections, known as dreadlocks.

Why Use a Dread Locking Tool?

Using a dread locking tool provides several benefits for individuals who want to create or maintain their dreadlocks.

Firstly, it allows for a more precise and efficient method of dreadlocking. The hook-like tip of the tool helps in guiding the hair strands through the existing dreadlocks, ensuring an even distribution and a neat appearance.

Secondly, the use of a dread locking tool minimizes damage to the hair. Compared to other methods that involve twisting or backcombing, using a dread locking tool puts less strain on the hair, reducing the risk of breakage and frizz.

Finally, using a dread locking tool allows for versatility in styling. With this tool, you can easily manipulate the size and shape of your dreadlocks, creating a customized look that suits your preferences.

Choosing the Right Dread Locking Tool

When selecting a dread locking tool, there are a few factors to consider:

  1. Size of the tool: Choose a dread locking tool with a hook size that matches the thickness of your hair. This ensures that the hook can easily maneuver through your hair without causing any discomfort or damage.

  2. Material: Dread locking tools are commonly made of metal (such as stainless steel) or plastic. Metal tools tend to be more durable and long-lasting, while plastic tools are lighter in weight and more affordable. Consider your personal preferences and budget when choosing the material.

  3. Grip and handle: Look for a dread locking tool with an ergonomic handle that provides a comfortable grip. This will make the process of creating and maintaining your dreadlocks easier and more enjoyable.

Preparing Your Hair for Dreadlocking

Before using a dread locking tool, it is important to prepare your hair properly:

  1. Cleanse your hair: Start with clean hair by washing it thoroughly with a residue-free shampoo. It is essential to remove any product buildup or excess oils as they can hinder the locking process.

  2. Dry your hair: Ensure that your hair is completely dry before using the dread locking tool. Wet hair can be more difficult to work with and may lead to unwanted stretching or breakage.

  3. Section your hair: Divide your hair into small, manageable sections using clips or hair ties. This will make it easier to work through your hair with the dread locking tool, ensuring that each section is properly locked.

Step-by-Step Guide to Using a Dread Locking Tool

Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to use a dread locking tool:

  1. Take a small section of hair: Start by selecting a small section of hair that you want to dreadlock.

  2. Insert the hook: With the hook facing downward, insert the needle-like tip of the dread locking tool into your hair, close to the root of the section.

  3. Pull the tool through: Gently pull the tool through the section of hair, starting from the root and moving towards the end. This action will create a small loop within the hair.

  4. Repeat the process: Continue inserting the hook at the same spot, pulling it through the hair section multiple times until the loop tightens and forms a solid knot.

  5. Move on to the next section: Once the first section is properly locked, move on to the next section of hair and repeat the previous steps. Continue this process until all desired sections are dreadlocked.

  6. Tighten and maintain: After creating the dreadlocks, use the dread locking tool to periodically tighten and maintain the knots. This will ensure their longevity and neat appearance.

Maintaining Your Dreadlocks

Proper maintenance is crucial for the longevity and health of your dreadlocks. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your dreadlocks:

  1. Regular washing: Cleanse your dreadlocks regularly using a residue-free shampoo. Be gentle when washing and avoid excessive rubbing or scrubbing to prevent the unraveling or loosening of the knots.

  2. Moisturize: Keep your dreadlocks moisturized to prevent them from becoming dry and brittle. Apply a small amount of natural oil or conditioner to the length of your dreadlocks, focusing on the ends.

  3. Avoid excessive manipulation: Minimize the amount of touching, pulling, or twisting your dreadlocks, as this can cause them to weaken or unravel. Be gentle when styling or repositioning your dreadlocks to prevent damage.

  4. Regular retightening: Use your dread locking tool to retighten any loose or unraveling sections of your dreadlocks. This helps to maintain their shape and prevent the formation of gaps.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When using a dread locking tool, it is important to avoid the following common mistakes:

  1. Using excessive force: Applying excessive force or pulling too tightly with the dread locking tool can cause discomfort, pain, and damage to your hair. Be gentle and take your time when working through each section.

  2. Neglecting proper washing: Failure to regularly wash your dreadlocks can result in buildup, odor, and an unhealthy scalp. Proper cleansing is essential for the health and appearance of your hair.

  3. Skipping maintenance: Neglecting regular maintenance, such as retightening loose sections, can lead to untidy or weak dreadlocks. Keep up with maintenance to ensure the longevity and neatness of your dreadlocks.

Alternative Methods of Creating Dreadlocks

While a dread locking tool is an effective method for creating dreadlocks, there are alternative methods available. These include:

  1. Twisting method: This involves twisting and palm rolling the hair sections manually to encourage them to become locked together over time. This method requires patience and dedication to achieve desired results.

  2. Backcombing method: Backcombing involves teasing sections of hair toward the scalp using a fine-toothed comb. This encourages the strands to intertwine and form dreadlocks. Regular maintenance is required to keep the dreadlocks tight and neat.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a dread locking tool on all hair types?

Yes, a dread locking tool can be used on all hair types. However, the process may vary slightly depending on the texture and thickness of your hair. It is important to choose a dread locking tool that suits your hair type for optimal results.

How long does it take to create dreadlocks using a dread locking tool?

The time required to create dreadlocks using a dread locking tool can vary depending on several factors, such as the length and thickness of your hair, as well as your experience with using the tool. It can take several hours to complete the initial process, and regular maintenance is required to keep your dreadlocks in shape.


Using a dread locking tool is a convenient and efficient method for creating and maintaining dreadlocks. With proper preparation, technique, and maintenance, you can achieve beautiful and long-lasting dreadlocks. Remember to choose the right tool, follow the step-by-step guide, and avoid common mistakes to ensure the health and appearance of your dreadlocks. Whether you have naturally coarse hair or want to experiment with a new hairstyle, a dread locking tool can be your key to unique and stylish dreadlocks.

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