Locs 101: New Growth: Interlocking Vs. Palm Rolling

Ok, so this was promised 2 Mondays ago. No explanation or excuses, let's just get straight into Fiona's post:

Guest blogger Fiona

Hey peoples! I know my post is overdue (blame Nibi!) but better late than never, non?

Let’s jump right in….

New Growth: Interlocking Vs. Palm Rolling

Maintenance is an important part of having healthy locs and part of loc maintenance is the regular re-twisting of your new growth, which ensures that the hair continues to loc.

The palm rolling versus interlocking debate can be a heated one and varies wildly depending on whom you speak to. I have spoken with locticians that favour one and disparage the other and some that use both techniques. The main issue, as I see it, is lack of proper “how-to” knowledge, either on your part or your loctician’s, leading to damaged locs. Don’t be fooled into thinking that everyone that dons the title “Loctician” knows what he or she is doing.

So what is the proper way to re-twist new growth? I think this boils down to personal preference; both techniques have their pros and cons. Palm rolling will give you a lovely cylindrical look, while interlocking produces a ropeier but tighter loc – no unraveling. I started my first set of locs with palm rolling and eventually switched to interlocking (myself), as I had a lot of slippage with the locs in the middle of my head. This time round I do both, interlocking every 2 to 3 months and palm rolling as needed.

The procedure for palm rolling is exactly as it sounds: rolling the loc in your palm, with the aid of a light gel, loc butter or even plain old water. The key is to always, ALWAYS roll your locs in the same direction in order to train your roots and to avoid warping the rest of the loc.

Palm rolling is demonstrated in the video below, but note she doesn't discuss direction, washing or clipping after you roll (not that clipping is a neccessity):

Interlocking can be done with your fingers, a latchhook or crotchet needle, using a 4 point or 3 point method i.e. passing the tip of the loc through the root (as if it were a clock face). Enter the loc at 3 to 9, 12 to 6, 9 to 3, 6 to 12.  (3 point: enter from 9 to 3, 12 to 6, 3 to 9). 

For all the "visual learners", interlocking is demonstrated here, however note she doesn't discuss the small flyaway new growth or what happens if you go the wrong way when interlocking. She also suggests you only complete one rotation, which is great if you only have a little bit of new growth but otherwise, you'd have to keep going till you get close to the root (without over tightening):

The point is to NEVER pass the tool in the same direction, as this will leave a "Y" part at the roots that you definitely do not want. Essentially, you will have split the root into two. I made this mistake once; with my first set of locs and boooooy was it a complete   [insert expletive]  to undo. After creating the Y, in an effort to back track, I ended up making a knot at the root of my loc. I did eventually unravel it, after much cursing and a temper tantrum that would have made any toddler proud!
With either technique you need to be gentle with your locs. Don’t over twist with palm rolling or interlock too tight, as this will lead to a painful scalp or worse, weak and or broken locs.

Re-twist Bantu Knot Out Experiment

Due to a bout of extreme laziness, (don’t judge me, it happens), I decided to try a clip free method of palm rolling. After washing my locs, I sectioned into four bunches and then palm rolled each loc before twisting into a Bantu knot.

I wore the Bantu knots for two days and then pulled them out into a new curly do. I admit that despite my initial apprehension of too much forehead with the Bantu knots and medusa curls on the pull out, I quite liked the end result with both stlyes. 

Until next time...

Don't forget to follow Fiona on Twitter @fifipommes

This year so far, I have mostly...

Seeing as we're now half way through the year, I figured I should, you know, fill you in on what's been going on with my hair since you last saw me as, well, this IS a hair blog and all. Hopefully this can, kinda sorta, make up for me breaking my promise for regular updates!

So...this year so far, I have mostly worn my hair out, actually. Naughty, naughty, I know. But as I've mentioned, I am not that bothered with length retention at the moment, so have just been having fun with it.

The old reliable twistout

...and more twistouts

Tried my very first bantu knot-out

...and loved it

Battled dryness in London

Faced humidity in Lagos

Tried to master the art of capturing braidout fabulousity in photos...and failed

Once in a while remembered to protective-style

Embraced shrinkage

Did a couple of wash-n-go's

...and generally just had fun with my hair

So there you have it. 6 months of my hair in one post!

Humidity has gone into overdrive again with the rainy season, so I'm back in twists for now. I've also modified my regimen again, so update on that coming up soon.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!