People who want to do minimal, easy maintenance opt usually for palm/pinch rolling. It is the easiest technique, but in order to be truly effective it needs to be done at least daily. DreadHeadHQ recommends it be done for 30 seconds on each dread EVERY day. All you do to palm roll is take the dread in your hand and lay it across your palm perpendicular to your fingers and then press your hands together as if praying and roll the dread all the way down its length.
The theory in palm rolling is that it will compress the dread and help train the hair to stay tightly compressed. The theory is similar to how if you braid your hair when wet, and take it out once dry the hair will have a wave to it. Some claim that palm rolling is futile because the hair springs back up again pretty much right away. It’s ironic that those with this opinion are generally those who are going the neglect route with their locks and tout patience as being key. It is true that palm rolling doesn’t give instant results, but as with a lot of dread maintenance things seem to always be two steps forward and one step back. It may spring up after, but over time it DOES help to increase the friction and compression your dreadlocks receive, therefore accelerating the locking process. It is something that works gradually over time and requires patience to see noticeable results.
On the subject of our opinion, we feel the need to share with all of you my own modified palm rolling technique that we call ‘pinch’ rolling. To use this technique, place the back of your hand against your scalp with the dread you’re working on ‘pinched’ between your index and middle finger. Then, place you other hand with the palms together and the dread also between the index and middle finger of that hand. While squeezing the dread between your fingers firmly, begin rubbing your palms in a circle rolling the dread down its entire length. If my text instructions are confusing (and weI think they would be if we didn’t already know what we were talking about) please view this video we created showing how to utilize this technique!
It is important to note that there is a time and place for both of these techniques. Palm rolling is best for freshly crocheted dreadlocks to help keep them as nice and tight as the crocheting got them to be. Pinch rolling, on the other and, is best suited to non-crocheted dreadlocks or crocheted dreadlock that have a lot of fuzzy, loose hair on the surface. Pinch rolling will encourage the loose hair to wrap around and lock into the dreadlock and also helps to create knots in backcombed dreadlocks that may have sections of loose, straight, undreaded hair in the middle.. Pinch rolling is also GREAT to do after clock-wise rubbing to help the knots lock up.