Although the title of this page is “Loose Hair Tool”, it would more accurately be titled “Latch Hooks” but we were afraid that folks might confuse it with interlocking which is also sometimes called “latching” dreadlocks. The loose hair tool (version 2.0), specifically, is a tool that was created by DreadHeadHQ. It is similar to a small latch hook except that the tip of it has a blunt point for helping the user insert it easily inside their dreads. The loose hair tool, appropriately given its name, is for helping dreadheads pull loose hairs into their dreads. We also use, and prefer in most cases except where the amount of hair that needs to be pulled in is too large, a “micro-latch hook”. Micro latch hooks are typically made for putting “fusion” extensions in normal hair, but has great applications as it comes to the maintenance of dreadlocks. We find latch hooks to be an invaluable tool if you are especially into the neat and tidy look in your own dreadlocks. We use it QUITE a bit in our own dread work and on others.
No matter whether you are pulling in loose hair at the roots, body, or tips of your dreads the process is the same. Isolate the loose hair that needs to be pulled in making sure it does, indeed, belong to the dread in question. If by chance you DO pull hair in that does NOT belong in that dread it will more than likely be painful unless you undo it (which can be difficult). Once you isolate the hair(s) I will usually twirl them a bit to hold them together. Next estimate how far up the dread the hair will get pulled (if the hairs are particularly long I might do it in a couple steps) and insert the latch hook in at that point. Feed the latch hook through the MIDDLE of the dread and poke it out in the middle of the loose hair. Place the loose hair in the hook and close the latch. Holding the loose hair taut, pull the latch hook back up through the dread pulling the loose hair with it. Repeat as desired.
Latch hooks, in our opinion, are a great way to control and manage loose hair between crocheting sessions if you are using crochet regularly. Even if you DON’T crochet, the loose hair tool is a great way to keep things looking tame. However, like crochet if you overuse it you CAN stunt the locking process. Every time you force the tool through your dreadlocks you displace knots that may already be established, so we don’t recommend using it any more frequently than every 4 weeks. That said, however, a micro-latch hook (approximately 2mm in diameter) is MUCH less disruptive than the loose hair tool (approximately 5mm in diameter), which is the main reason why we prefer it over a traditional loose hair tool.
If my instructions here are confusing (and I expect they will be for most… even those who have used the loose hair tool before!) please watch this video I created to show you how to use the loose hair tool to get some sweet, tidy-looking dreads! Note that the same technique applies to the use of a micro latch hook.