Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why I need a Latching 101 Lesson

If you've been tuning in to Loc Rocker since I first started latching my locs, you know that I LOOOOVE this method. I went from palm rolling to latching simply because it:

a) allows me to work-out without fear that my locs will drop or unravel.
b) minimizes the amount of product that I WOULD be using if I were re-twisting. This is a big deal b/c I already have build-up issues.
c) is quick and can be done any time and I don't have to wash my hair to latch.

Latching just fits my lifestyle but I'd be lying if I said I knew what I was doing. From a quick glance my newly latched locs look okay.

But a closer look shows that they look a little funky...

Errr...I mean, what IS that? I'll admit that I do think my locs look better when re-twisting. But I'm not going back that route so I've got to learn how to make some good latched locs because I'll be doing this for many years to come.

My biggest issue with latching is this:

Some of my locs get the Y-shaped thing going on. I HATE this. And while I've done my research and watched videos on how to correctly latch, I am still crazy confused. I've seen fellow loc'ers talk about entering the latch tool in different rotations by using a clock.

For example...

"Enter at 12 o clock and end at 6 o clock"

WTF?! This sounds good in theory but I soooo don't get it. LOL! It's so difficult to understand. Here's the latching tool that I use.

Yeah, it ain't nothin' but a paper clip. Some folx use a Nappylocs tool but are you kidding me? That thing is like $16. <--Cheapy McFree strikes again. I know it's not my tool that's the problem. I've seen many ladies latch with a paperclip. *sigh*

It's me. My method is alllll wrong. I'm thinking of visiting my loctician for the first time in 6 months and asking her to help a sista out. I wonder if she'll show me without being upset that I haven't seen her in forever. Man.... Any latchin' sisters out there that can help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it!


V @ Locks-N-Motion said...


Sorry you are having trouble with the whole latching issue.

Not sure if you have taken a look at Kalia-Dewdrop's videos but her videos are very clear and informative.

Here is her website

She has videos of he using the latchook itself and the nappyloc tool. You can find those videos on the right sidebar. I hope this helps, if I can think of anymore videos or instructions, I'll be back to post them.

Take Care,

Love your nails, btw

*Coop* said...

Yes, Brown is right. Dewdrop's videos are a must.

The clock method seems to work pretty well. Imagine that your holding your loc straight up in the air and you're looking down on it. You'll see just the round loc. That's the clock.
You know how to begin with the end of the loc in the "eye of the needle". Push the round end of the tool into the root of the loc at 3 o'clock and out at 9. Pull it all the way through. Then enter at 6 o'clock and out at 12. Now enter at 9, but DO NOT PUSH THROUGH THE SAME HOLE. Move a few strands of hair to make sure you're not passing through the same space twice. Then, enter at 12 but, again, DO NOT PUSH THROUGH THE SAME HOLE!. That's a single rotation.

Keep doing that until your loc is tightened to your liking.

I hope this helps. It's really, really important that you don't go through the same part of the loc twice. I used Saabira8's post ( to learn how to retighten my locs.

Good luck sis, and don't hesitate to ask us questions. We're here for you!

PhePhi said...

i totally understand ur frustration. i too have this issue, however, i've found a way that works for me. i find some instructions to be confusing as well. whenever i have a Y-shaped gap or hole, i take my nappyloc tool back thru it going from left to right or vice versa until VOILA, the hole is gone. i start at the base & work my way up. this works for me.

NubianLockedPrincess said...

I just switched back to the 4pt from the 4pt because of the excess stray hairs. The key to avoid going through the same hole: Before you pull through your loc, push your tool down toward the locked hair. This helps to tighten the pattern and close the gaps in between rotations, minimizing your chances of entering a hole again.

NubianLockedPrincess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NubianLockedPrincess said...

Oops!To 4pt from 3pt.

Kelly said...

I can offer no assistance but to encourage you that your nails are on fire!!! They look professional and gorgeous.

Radical Selfie said...

Yeah, um, so your nails totally stole the show for me too! I also use a paperclip as my "professional latching tool", and I do occasionally get the Y loc issue, but it is b/c I went through the same hole twice b/c when I latch my daughters' hair, it never happens. Also, the comments on this post were super helpful, so shout out to your readers!!

Happy latching!

Kumina said...

Nubianlockedprincess showed how to use a yarn needle like a nappyloc tool, it changed my life! I get the blue plastic ones from either Michaels or JoAnn's (they come 2 to a pack) and cut it to the length I want and use an emery board to make the end kinda rounded pointy then take the end of a pencil or a rattail comb or something rounded push thru the eye of the needle (careful not to break the needle) to make it large enough to fit a loc thru and for less than 3 dollars you have 2 loc tools that will last a long time.

For directions for my 4 point I found a picture of a compass on the internet and printed a picture of it to use as a guide and I go
E to W
S to N
W to E
N to S

I think I have a picture of my cheat sheet on my blog.

Hope this helps!

msfullroller said...

Hey Sis as far as the north south direction goes, I just say enter from the right side, then from the top, then enter from the left and finally enter from the bottom. Pay attention to the point that you are entering the loc from so when you are ready to go in from the opposite side you want to move your entry point over just a bit. This will keep you from going through the same whole twice. Also as Nubian said make sure the tool is all the way down to the locked portion of the loc.

To close up the hole you will do the same kind of latch rotation but you may have to use a safety pin or something to help create an opening through both legs of the Y so that you can get the loc through. Sometimes one or 2 directions is enough to close it up significantly.

I have a latching video in a post on my blog under the tag maintenance. This just shows how I do my latching and of course it's with a paperclip. It's the same one that's on my YouTube page just without the update at the end. I did not do a video on the loc that I had the hole but it was the result of combining two locs together and had formed a hole between the new latched after combining and the budding/locking ends. That's where the safety pin came in handy. This is also why I use mirrors so that I can see what I'm doing. It slows the process down a bit but as far as I can tell I don't have any more holes.

Hope that helps!!

Lisa B. said...

I've taken to latching some of my locs but I just use my fingers, no tool. What I do is: I take the dread, make a little space in the new growth with my fingers and turn the dread in on itself through that little space. Then I do it again, parting the hair on the side of the dread (as opposed to the "top") and turn it in on itself through THAT little space.

Rinse and repeat, girl, til you can't turn it in no mo' ;-) Works for me!

Anonymous said...

I do exactly what !i$@ Bee does and I rarely end up with a "Y". Keep in mind that I have been latching about a yr or so now, locs for 4 yrs, so I had some trail and error with this process. I also don't latch all the way to my scalp, cause it will hurt. I just twist that amt and call it a day. So I actually do a latch/twist combo.