How To: Interlocking Patterns with Clock Diagram

5:27 PM

Interlocking Pattern
Below are interlocking patterns I have gather from all over the web, YouTube and every other social media venue. The common pattern is "pattern 4" and that is suggested for tightly curled hair, and Pattern 3 is recommended for looser curled hair. The least used pattern is "pattern 4 reversed" which is used for locks that are prone to slippages and unraveling. To find out how to start your locks click here.

Below are an examples of what I mean.

4a/4b ( Tighly Curled) Pattern 4
For tightly curls hair go with 9, 6, 3, 12

3b/3c ( Tighly Curled) Pattern 3
For loose curls hair go with  9, 6, 9, 12

Prono to Excessive Slippage
Go with 3, 6, 9, 12

Now the above are examples of patterns. The numbers that are being referred are the rotation via the clock dial. For example, once you have created a starter lock using either the backcomb method or if you tightening up the new growth from the braidlocs, you would enter your lock in the direction of the 3`o Clock to 9` o clock (east to west). Then you will enter from 6` 0 clock to 12` 0 clock (north to south), and then again enter from  9` 0 clock to 3` o clock (west to east) and finally 12` o clock to 6` o clock (south to north). From reading my directions, you should have done Pattern 4.

Below is a step by step illustration of the pattern 4. Green arrow is your starting point, and the red arrow is your end point. If you want a example of this, check out this video.

Step 1
Enter the loc at the scalp at 3`o Clock to 9` o clock (east to west).  Note: Make sure you push loop down towards the lock to eliminate gaps in your locks.

Step 2
Enter the loc at the scalp at 6` 0 clock to 12` 0 clock (north to south).

Step 3
Enter the loc 9` 0 clock to 3` o clock (west to east).

Step 4
Enter the loc at 12` o clock to 6` o clock (south to north).

Step 5
Repeat until you are at the scalp, and cannot complete another rotation. Your final "interlocked" lock should resemble a fishtail, and feel like a tight cord. NEVER insert the tool in the same direction, because that causes holes and gaps in your lock.

I got most of information from Nubianlocks Blog and a little from Nappyloc site, and I modify the information a little since I'm slow, and it took me a while to do this correctly. So I hope this post can help you as it did me. Please visit how to start your microlocks or interlocks post first.

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  1. Hi, your locs are PHENOMENAL. Could you tell me the rotation for the double 3 pattern? I use to have sisterlocks and had them removed and now I've started braidlocs.

    Thank you,


    1. HI Tanya

      I have no idea what the double 3 pattern rotation is, because my consultant never shared that with me, and I also believe she is not allowed to share that :(.

      I can only suggest to I start off with the 4 pattern that I mention above, and switch it to the 3 to see if one gives a more fuller option. The above rotations are the ones I found on the web, and what most people interlock with.

  2. I'm wondering why doing the reverse 4 helps with slippage. It seems like it'd be no different than the regular 4 pattern since it's simply done going clockwise vs counterclockwise. I want to start locs on my daughter and will be more precise than I am with my son's locs. So I want to make sure I understand all the options precisely. My son's dreads I started with pinch parts and coils and now I do a 4 point interlock with a latch hook. I didn't think it mattered whether you do 3-6-9-12 or 9-6-3-12 as long as you did the whole head the same way. With my daughter's I will do very precise parting and starting of the locks and then interlocking, versus my son's dread style (which I intentionally wanted a freer, wilder look on him). I chose to do the clockwise pattern (3-6-9-12) simply because it felt easier and more natural to start by entering from the right for me. But if that's not how I should do it on my daughter's microlocs, I really want to figure this out! - Kendra

    1. I too wonder about why each pattern is used for different type of hair as well. Most of these came from people who have been interlocking for a while now. I would start off doing what you fill comfortable with, if you are experience issue, than switch. Once the lock is mature I doubt you will notice the pattern started out one way and end up being another.

      If you ever figure out the different, I would love for you to come back and share your thoughts on this.

  3. I find your info very helpful. but I still do not know how to start. I have hair about 10"long . should I start by platting/braiding it. or how? .........danilia

    1. I have a post of examples of how to start of your interlocks. Check it out here

  4. Hello, I was curious as to why is pattern 3 recommended for 3b hair, what difference does it make? Can't seem to find this answer anywhere.

    1. That information won't be available on the blog, because that is something that consultant can't share.


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Blog Archive

Hair Status

Big Chop - January 24, 2009
Install - August 18-20 2009
Retighten Time - 4 - 4 1/2 hr
Total Locks - Over 750
Pattern - Double 3
Texture - 4 A/B (Thick & Coarse)

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