The fan pattern is, in our opinion, the best in that it allows for the least operator error. Due to the way each subsequent row falls between the one beneath it like fish scales makes for a highly regular pattern that is easy to work with and, even better, makes for the best scalp coverage. Since this pattern has no straight lines in it whatsoever, the visibility of the scalp is highly minimized. As you can see in the photo in the section on the brick-lay pattern, even though in theory all vertical section lines should be covered by the row that falls above it, sometimes there are still areas that do not cover perfectly. The fan pattern, in my experience, eliminates that issue for all the above reasons.
This sectioning is completed section by section, unlike the previously two patterns where an entire row is carved off first. (Check out the page about section sizing to determine what section size to choose.) Begin by carving off a single section. (See photo at above right.) Make sure to leave approximately enough room in the rest of the ‘row’ for each section to be approximately the same size as the first one. Once the first row is complete, carve out the first section of the next row so that it falls in the depression that was made on the side of the section beneath it (assuming you start at one side). All sections should fall between the depression made by the two below it.
Once you reach the crown of the head (this spans from the row that finished at the top of the temple and upwards to cover the entire top of the head), the section of hair remaining to be sectioned into smaller sections is a scalloped ovular shape. You’ll want to do one more row ABOVE the temple (unlike the previous patterns) that wraps around to include the dreadlocks across the front hairline. Once you have created an addition ‘ring’ of sections around the crown of the head, begin carving off sections across the top of the head (ear-to-ear again) from back to front. (see photo above) You should end with a row of more diamond-shaped sections where your rows ‘intersect’ with the row you already carved off in the front.
(See photo at above left. NOTE: This was a new set of dreadlocks that has rubberbands in it still, which is why the section lines are so visible. After a few weeks and when the rubberbands are removed the dreadlocks relaxed and the lines cannot be so easily seen.)