i met someone who latches their locks and her hair looks awesome. anyhow, i found an article explaining how to do it, i did it, and my new growth is FINALLY under control. i'm soo happy. you're supposed to use a latch hook similar to the ones used to make latch hook rugs but i just used a crochet needle...anyhow, on with the instructions
Although you can tighten the locs dry, if possible start out with hair that is slightly damp. This can be after you've shampooed or you can have a spray bottle filled with water (and a little oil if you desire it) on hand to spritz your locs as you tighten. I've found that manipulating the locs (or natural hair, period) when wet/damp is better than manipulating when dry as our hairs are more pliable when wet as opposed to when dry.
1. Grab one of your locs.
2. Take the latch hook into the other hand and insert the hook sideways (horizontally) into your new growth. Be sure to insert it in an area that is close to where the locked hair starts and not closest to the scalp because you will be working your way towards the scalp as you tighten.
3. As you insert the hook into the new growth, make sure that you push the hook in until the little latch is out past the OTHER side of your hair.
4. Now, take your loc and lay it right across the top of the latch hook. Flip the little latch up into "closed" position.
5. Gently pull the hook, along with the loc, back out.
6. Now, you'll want to insert the hook in from the underside of your new growth (vertically). From either the left side of the new growth to the right side or vice versa. The reason for this is because I found through trial and error that if you keep inserting the hook in the same way over and over without alternating the direction in which you insert it, you will end up with a gap in your locs.
7. After inserting it in vertically from the underside to the topside of your new growth, follow steps 3-6.
Depending on how much new growth you have, you may find yourself able to do about 3 or more "runs" of the above steps.
You don't want to tighten it TOO much to where it's hurting, although there may be some slight scalp tenderness after a tightening.
Practice makes perfect and once you get the "feel" of it, you'll be able to do this with your eyes closed or while watching t.v.!
There shouldn't be any knots or anything unusual when you retighten a lock. If there is, you've done something wrong. Just keep practicing until you get the feel for it.
Also, be careful not to join two locs together!
By all means, if this method doesn't suite you, discontinue using it and use the method that makes you most comfortable.
Now remember, if these instructions were not detailed enough for you or if you still find it somewhat puzzling to picture this procedure, you can get even MORE detailed instructions, clear, consise photo illustrations of the process and more by ordering my guide (in either PDF download format or a printed manual) at http://herspecialhair.com/latchin.htm