August 05, 2009

NL Tool, Latch-Hook or Both?

Ever since my last tightening session my vote has been for both. Before that it was just the NL tool, but let me explain why.....

I've been using my nappylocs tool ever since I ordered it about 2 years ago and it works like a charm, however, I did things a little differently this time around. Ever since I combined several of my locks they became a little larger, and it's harder for me to pull the short nub through the new growth since my small-sized NL tool isn't made for 2-headed dragons . I don't want to order a larger tool if I don't need to. Anyway, I went back and found my good old latch-hook tool, which i've had since I first grew out my napps, and used it for my larger locks and I realized two things: 1) Latching my larger locks is so much easier, especially on my fingers and, 2) My rotations are faster. So what I did was use the latch hook on roughly 75% of my locks and used the NL tool on the other 25% (mainly the ones that were thinner or had a smaller root bed).

Funny enough, somebody recently asked me if it took longer for me to tighten my locs because of my current length, and I replied that it didn't. It still only takes me a few hours over a 1&1/2 day period, but when I used my latch hook I noticed that I went through my rows a lot faster because I didn't have to stop to restring each lock before tightening. This last latching session really made me think about my future latching sessions if I continue to grow my locks out, and how I could achieve the shortest time possible with additional length. For now, I will continue using the NL tool around my edges because they are smaller and easier to tighten with this tool, and continue using the Latch-hook for the remainder of my locks since they are a little bigger and I have several 2-headed dragons. What are your thoughts, what works for you right now, or, what influenced any changes that you made?

12 comments:

Naturally Sophia said...

Kalia,

Thanks for posting this. I have only retightened my entire head once. I used both tools. I like the latch hook because I don't lose it and my hands hurt less. However, the NL tool was great for tightening my hairline which has teeny locs with silky hairs hugging and kissing each other.
I like them both!

Here's my question to you: Do you pull your locks apart to retighten them or take a tiny scissor and cut in between your parts? Or does this affect you at all? My new growth tends to matte together a bit.

Queen Nat said...

I still use both. The NL tool is getting harder to use on most of my locs that have bunched ends. It's hard to thread them through the tool. So I always kept my latch hook handy when retightening those. But I do find myself using more of the latch hook right now.

As for Sophia's question, I'd like to know your answer as well. I have to use scissors to cut in between mine.

Kris said...

I use both as well. But I perfer and use the latchook, because its much easier. The nappylocs tool hurts my hands and takes too long to insert each lock. I keep my nappy locs tool with me in my purse though, it's great for when I run my fingers through my hair and fine a lock (usually at the nap) that is really loose.

dewdrop said...

@NS: I don't have any problems with my new growth matting together due to the size and spacing of my locks, unless I accidentally latch a hair strand from a neighboring lock into another lock. In this case I do pull, pop or snip if I need to, and I rarely pull my locks apart before retightening them.

@QN: If I have some really thick strands that won't pop no matter how hard I pull them, then I will snip them in half. I'm finding it easier now to just use my latch hook, especially when my ends are too bunched up or too thick to fit through my NL tool.

@Kris: I agree with you when you say that it takes too long to insert each lock sometimes.

BrownSuga said...

Dewdrop, thank you for the compliments you left on my blog. I've learned a lot by following you on your journey.

I also use my latch hook in addition to my plastic yarn needle, that I started using about four months ago. Some of my ends are too fat to go through the yarn needle and that's when I pull out my latch hook. I plan on using both for that reason.

Some of my smaller locs tend to get mangled together. If it's just a few strands I just pull and snap apart but there are some that I've had to snip a couple a few times. I try to prevent this by pulling apart my hair after I wash it but sometimes they still creep together.

Anonymous said...

I've been enjoying the Nappylocs tool. Goodbye Sisterlocs tool! Nappylocs is WAY easier. Still, my DIY retightenings take about 10yr over 2-3 days. How long do other people's retighenings take? The hardest part for me is clipping/parting/tying the other locs hair away so that I can focus on each individual loc and not get them intertangled.

dewdrop said...

@BS: Our locks creeping together is inevitable but at least we do our best to work with our hair so keep up the good work and i'm glad that you've learned so much.

@Anon: If you go to a consultant then the time is shorter (3-5 hours), but if you maintain them yourself than the hours will range anywhere between 2 days to 1 week. I've read that the average was 3-5 days (if you work on a little every night), but I don't have that kind of patience so I prefer to finish in 1 and 1/2 days. :-)It also depends on how fast your hair grows and how much thickness or density you have.

nicole is the new black said...

i have heard women use the term "pop" before when referring to sisterlocks. what does it mean?

dewdrop said...

@Nicole: If I am correct, I believe that the term refers to popping your locks if any of them marry together. Popping is done before your next re-tightening only if you have a few loose strands that are hugging neighboring locks. If this is not what you are asking about, then i'm not sure what else it could be.

clpoolea said...

Hi,
I really love your site. It is so informative. Your locks are so beautiful. I really wish you could do a video using the latchhook on your sisterlocks. I hope you will consider. I can not imagine retightening sisterlocks with a latchhook because of the size. Would be nice to see. By the way what size are your locks? Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experiences

dewdrop said...

@Clppolea: Thanks! I use my latchhook in the same way as my NL tool, but only on my larger locks (combined ones). During my last re-ti, I used my NL on every lock so I guess i'll be going back and forth depending on my mood. There are many videos on how to use the latchhook, but none really on the NL and my video happens to show how I use it. I'll take your request into consideration though. My locks are actually size small, with a few micros, but my natural thickness and density have made them fuller and expand 3x from their initial size.

nicole is the new black said...

hey dewdrop
yeah i think that must be it, i once heard a consultant say her appointments would go faster if her clients "popped" their locks before their appointment. i think your definition is spot on.

thanks,
nicole