Switching Between Palm Rolling & Interlocking Without Causing Damage

Can you switch between palm rolling and interlocking?

This is a great question, especially if you are someone that has an active lifestyle, thinning roots, or desire firmer locs! The short answer, when switching between palm rolling and interlocking, is that it is possible— with caution and care. However, it is important to understand the purpose of each technique to decide if switching between palm rolling and interlocking is a good option for you.

Interlocking Compared to Palm-Rolling

Locs Maintained With Interlocking

The Purpose of Palm Rolling & Interlocking

The purpose of palm rolling is to use the palm of your hands to manipulate the loose hairs at and around the root toward and into the shaft of the locs. Essentially, with palm rolling the hair is “doing the work” of locking over a period of time.

Whereas, with interlocking the purpose is to intertwine the loose hairs at the root to resemble the internal structure of the shaft of the locs. Essentially, the process of interlocking weaves the loose hair together by bringing the end of the loc to the root.

You can think of palm rolling as forming the outside of the locs and all of your shed hair accumulates into that structure. Alternatively, interlocking forms the inside of the locs and your shed hair builds in and around that structure.


Reasons To Consider Switching to Interlocking

The interlocking technique is very appealing to most individuals for three main reasons.

1. Active Lifestyle. If you’re constantly working out or swimming, interlocking would be an ideal technique to use because it allows you to shampoo your hair and cleanse your scalp more often with minimal unraveling or stray hairs.

2. Thinning Locs. If you’re experiencing thinning at the roots, when performed correctly, interlocking will help to reinforce the hairs together and minimize the possibility of breakage.

3. Loose / Soft Hair. With fine and wavy textures, the process of locking takes longer, but with interlocking you can help the hair stay in place, stimulate the locking process, and produce a firmer loc.

These are all good reasons to consider switching between the two different hair locking techniques. However, you should also consider the change in size and appearance that occurs when you switch from palm-rolling to interlocking. Ultimately, it will be up to you to decide if the benefits of interlocking outweigh the reshaping of the locs for your lifestyle.

Interested in learning the proper techniques for maintaining your locs with interlocking?
Visit Digital Loctician Academy and enroll in the “Interlocking Fundamentals” online training.

Is It Better To Retwist of Interlock Locs?

Switching Between Retwisting and Interlocking

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

[…] with interlocking, you can maintain them with palm-rolling or vice versa (but please read “Switching Between Palm-Rolling & Interlocking Without Causing Damage” […]

[…] Next week, I’ll be sharing the answer to another common question “Can You Switch Between Palm Rolling and Interlocking?“. […]

After have been in total stress the last few days, I started to cry when I read this. I will miss this very much, but it’s always better that you feel that you can rest without having a lot of things to think of. I hope you will feel much better soon!!lots of loseeJov,fin

Will the size of my locs change if I started palm rilling and interlocked once?

Yes the size will be different.

Does the time it take micro locs to loc depend on the size of the loc? (ie. do smaller starter locs locs quicker)

No the size does not have an effect on the timeframe of the hair locking, it depends on hair texture, hair density, product usage and maintenance techniques.

[…] Please be aware that if you maintain your locs with palm rolling you should NOT constantly switch back and forth between interlocking because it can cause weakness and inconsistencies in your locs. RELATED ARTICLE: How to Switch Between Interlocking & Palm Rolling Without Thinning Your Locs […]

I have microlocs very small locks I use interlocking method however my locks have been popping off can I switch to palm rolling method would this help ?

Palm rolling would not help you need to interlock to reinforce the locs. However you may be doing it incorrectly or there are other factors that are causing the thinning (poor product choices, hair color, no moisture, etc.) I would highly recommend the “Interlocking Fundamentals” workshop.

[…] ARTICLE: Switching Between Palm-Rolling & Interlocking Interlocking […]

This article came along at the perfect time for me – I’m writing this in mid-April, as spring has arrived here in New England. I am fairly active, walking several days a week, using an elliptical trainer, etc, and I know I sweat a LOT in my head during the summer. I’m going to take the advice from this article and the one on the best loc tools and try interlocking my hair just during the warmer end of Spring and in the summer.

I’ll be careful not to go too tight, and some of my locs are a little larger than a pencil, so I’ll be extra-careful with those. I like the idea of being able to wash my hair more often and not retwisting every single time I wash.

I’ll report back and let you know how it goes!

I’m in the same boat. I started my locks with two strand twists and I believe they are developing “textbook”. But, I’ve recently started working out, and I sweat a lot in my head too. I live in Texas, I love to swim, and I plan on going on vacation where I would be swimming quite a but, and far away from my loctician. I think I’ll interlock just for summer vacation and then biannually or once a quarter after that. But I will get a consultation before making a decision.

Can you please respond to my question by sending to my email…. I have been on my Loc journey for 4 years palm rolled… I have noticed that my root is thinning with some of my locs… Is it good if I switched to interlocking?

Can you start your locs with interlocking and maintain with palm rolling??? Or switch between them both?

I’m trying to start my locs next month before I go to do a 6 week graduate program in Mexico. I workout a lot and sweat a lot so I was recommended two strand twists or interlocking when I went to the Loc consultation. Now it’s my choice to choose between them. I asked a bunch of questiOns there and now I have more lol but after my program I was going to stop through Atlanta (out of state for me) and have my cousin retwist via palm rolling. I wanted to know if it was okay?

If you started with twists that should be okay, especially if you have traditional sized locs. If you have anything smaller you should stick with interlocking.

My graying hair grows outside of my locs. My hair also curls instead of locing. I use the interlocing for my locs. Any suggestions to help my lics grow within the locs I have already???

Hi Lawanda, I share tips for locking silver hair in one of my recent article, Tips for Embracing Grey Hair with Locs.

I started my locs with two stand twist my hair is fine soft and wavy/curly. I went to get a professional maintenance after doing it myself for some time and the loctition interlocked all my roots im wondering if that will effect the overall look of my locs and I want to know if I could continue my loc journey with palm rolling because it gives me a fuller look and I just like the look better.

Hi so I had a stylist interlock the middle of my hair, without my permission or consulting with me first. She claimed my hair in the middle was too soft to lock I have 4b and 4c hair, now that the middle of my hair is stuck would it damage my hair if decided to palm roll from this point on? It’s been interlocked once.

I want to lock my hair, I have been doing my research, but I don’t know what to do because of the various information I have been given. I have medium to thick 4C hair with high porosity, I am normally an active person, always moving. I don’t want my locs to be too big or two small. What would you recommend for me as a first timer?

I switched from interlocking to palm rolling after I felt I had enough length. I like the way it looks and it is easier/faster for me to do. I only use oil and water though. Might use gel in the front (flaxseed) for baby hairs or uncooperative locs.

Hi I started my Loc journey with coils. I decided to interlock and since I’ve done that all of my locs are different sizes. Also my ends are fat from when I started my loc journey. How can this be fixed. My loctician said give it at least 6 months to a year because I basically had to start over is this true?

I’ve just interlock my locs and next week will be my 3 month. I was wondering if I interlock to early, I want my loc to be thicker. Will they still get bigger with time or did I stopped that process with the fact that I interlock now. Can I go back to palm rolling, since I only interlock once

I have been palm rolling for 10 years. Will my locs break if I start to have the interloc process done now?

Typically no because interlocking helps to strengthen the roots, however health, length, and proper technique all play a factor. If you need guidance with the interlocking process, check out this DIY Interlocking Workshop but if you are going to a professional be sure to find out which rotational pattern they are using and WHY!

Does anyone have a picture of matured locs using the two methods? Do the locs look different depending on which method you choose? I want to compare someone who only interlock to someone who has only rolled to see how the locs look.

I am an example of locs started with two-strand twists. You can also check out my Pinterest board for inspiration.

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