Inside: If you’re wondering how to combine your locks and make your locs thicker or stronger; this article is going to show you how.
What started out as skinnier-than-spaghetti-sized locs, ultimately ended up straw or pencil-sized locs.
This didn’t occur because my super-thin locs “magically” became that size on their own, but rather; over the years, my aesthetic changed to the point where I’d all but drool over locs that were thicker in size than mine were, and I combined them to make them thicker.
Not only that but, honestly? I got lazy. Tightening 400+ locs takes a toll on you after a while, and back then, I really didn’t want anyone touching my hair but me.
So, yeah… I needed to cut that number down a bit.
- You aesthetically prefer larger locs…
- Your locs are weak and you want to make them stronger or…
- You want to cut down your maintenance time
In this article, I cover:
- Three steps to easily combine your locs
- The question of your locs losing the “twisted look” from combining them
- An alternative to making your locs thicker without combining (twisting) them
- “Two-headed dragons”, what they are, and what to do about them
How to Make Your Dreads Thicker
Back in 2009, I recorded a video demonstrating how to combine your locs, so you can watch that if you want to. Otherwise, scroll down and keep reading.
What you’ll need:
- spray bottle of water
- small bands
- cowry shells (optional – see Step 3)
- loc cuffs (again, optional – see Step 3)
Step 1: Decide how big you want ’em
This is important because, the number of locs you’ll need to combine will be predicated upon the size you want your locs to ultimately be.
For example: If you want just a little thicker than they are now, then you’ll probably be able to combine two locs. But if you want them pretty large, then you may find yourself combining anywhere from 3-6… it just depends on how big you want to go.
So, play around with different sizes, by putting various numbers of locs together, to determine the right amount for the right size.
Step 2: Twist them together
Once you have your number, lightly spritz with water and begin twisting them together.
How to combine multiple locs:
If you have an even number of locs (4, 6, etc.), divide them in half and twist them together.
If you have an odd number (3, 5, etc.) you can braid them, but be aware that the braid pattern may take longer to go away, if it goes away at all. Much of that will depend on how thick your locs currently are, as well as how loose your curl pattern is.
Tighter, more coarse textures of hair seem to lose the braid or twist pattern easier and quicker than looser patterns.
Another option for odd-numbered loc combining is to twist two locs with one (or two with three, etc)
Step 3: Secure the ends
Once you’re down to the ends, it may not be clear what to do with them. If your loc tips are kinda loose, then you might be able to get away with just braiding the ends.
But whether your ends are loose or solid, I suggest securing them to ensure they don’t unravel.
A few options are:
- Bands – Use small bands to secure the ends of your combined locs. You can use the black, brown, or tan ones or you can go with the odorless, snap-proof, clear bands.
- Cowry shells – One of the things I did was to insert a small band into a cowry shell, loop the band through itself, then tie the band loop around the ends of my combined locs. This is also an option if you want to go with that.
- Loc cuffs – If shells aren’t really your bag, then another adornment you can use to secure your ends are loc cuffs. Just open it up at the seam, put it on the combined ends, then close it up. You may consider banding, then applying the cuffs for extra security.
- Needle and thread – One alternative to bands and embellishments is good ‘ole needle and thread. You will basically sew the ends together, using thread that closely matches your hair color. In the past, I used weaving thread, which is heavier than sewing thread, but sewing thread is less detectable. Just be sure to reinforce it so that the thread doesn’t break over time with shampooing, etc.
I recommend watching the following video, which will start right at the point where I am talking about securing the ends, in order to see how to apply the cowry shells and/or the loc cuffs, if you decide to go that route.
And while I mentioned sewing the ends together, there is also the option of sewing the entire length of the locs you want combined or even wrapping the locs with thread. I’m not all that versed in either of those, but I know that loc wearers have done both.
Will Combined Locs Lose That Twisted Look?
While you may walk around with two-strand twisted locs for a period of time, it won’t be like that forever. Your locs are more than likely going to end up fusing together and, eventually, losing the twisted appearance… at least that’s been my experience.
How to Make Dreads Thicker Without Combining Them
Some people have inquired about making their locs thicker without combining them.
Now, I can only assume that this means not binding the full length of your locks together. But they will have to (technically) be combined, even if only at the roots.
However, you can do so without having to intertwine the entirety of the locks.
There are actually a few ways you can do this:
- Twist only the roots. Allow at least a 1/2 inch of new growth to come in, then twist only at the root. The only difference is, you’ll be rolling two (or more) root beds together as opposed to just one. Having the new growth (the more the better) will make this easier.
Now, keep in mind that when you shampoo or otherwise get your hair wet, they may unravel, so you may want to secure the area using one of the methods described in Step 3 above.
- Interlock the roots. An easy way to do this is to, again, allow some new growth to grow in, then take one of the locs and thread it through a neighboring loc’s new growth. The ends will be left loose, but the roots will be connected.
- Allow the locs to “marry” together where you want them thicker. You can separate surrounding locs, but don’t separate the ones you want to eventually fuse together.
The Two-Headed Dragons
When you either combine your locs at the roots only or allow them to naturally join up; you will end up with “two-headed dragons”.
Basically, this is where the locs have fused together into one solid loc, but as you get further down the loc shaft, it splits off into two.
Now, some people get a little too hasty and snip off one end before it’s time. Don’t do that. Wait until the combined loc has had a chance to mature and grow out before cutting one of the “dragons” off, leaving one.
Hopefully these tips have been helpful for you in one way or another to get your locs to the desired size.
My last piece of advice is to be sure in your decision to make your locs thicker… I know all too well what it’s like to get there, then end up starting all over again when I began to miss the fullness of thinner locs.
So be certain, examine your reasons, and if you’re positively sure; go for it!Blessings & Warmest Regards,