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Soft Locs Vs. Butterfly Locs: What Are The Differences?

The soft locs vs. butterfly locs are the most trending dreadlocks hairstyle. Some people use these terms interchangeably while they do not refer to the same type of locs style.

There are some distinct differences between soft locs and butterfly locs in the appearance and the techniques used to achieve them.

In this article, we will compare soft locs and butterfly locs to bring out their differences and similarities. This comparison will help you choose the style that’s better for you.

What Are Soft Locs?

soft locs
Soft Locs, (Source: saithestylistt/Instagram)

Soft locs are a distinct category of faux locs, but they’re more delicate than other locs. The installation method involves plaiting the hair, installing crochet locs, and wrapping them.

Soft locs use pre-made crochet locs that are installed on the plaited hair. You can plait completely or halfway when braiding natural hair for soft locs.

After installing the pre-made crochet locs, the hairdresser wraps each loc with a hair extension. The main hair extensions used for soft locs are kinky and afro kinky.

Pros and Cons of Soft Locs

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of soft locs:


  • More natural look compared to other variants of faux locs
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Easy to recreate
  • Easy to remove the locs


  • They require intensive maintenance
  • Can irritate or create scalp tension

What Are Butterfly Locs?

butterfly locs
Butterfly Locs, (Source: tressed_bytrish/Instagram)

Butterfly locs are another variant of faux locs designed using the crochet method. When installing butterfly locs, hairstylists use a crochet needle to loop wavy hair into a braid. Then, they loosely wrap the hair to achieve a distressed or unraveled look.

The secret to a signature look in butterfly locs is to make them messier. Butterfly locs are a mixture of passion twists, and goddess locs that offer a stunning boho look.

Pros and Cons of Butterfly Locs

Here are the advantages and disadvantages of butterfly locs:


  • Low maintenance
  • Less pain and scalp tension
  • Protective style
  • Easy to install for beginners
  • An ideal style for upgrading traditional locs


  • Causes oil buildup
  • It takes longer to install
  • They can cause hair damage if they last too long

What Do Soft Locs and Butterfly Locs Look Like?

soft locs and butterfly locs
Soft Locs Vs. Butterfly Locs (Source: nicoleamour | beautyyunleashed)

Soft locs are straight, tight, and more neat-looking, while butterfly locs are loopy and loose and feature a messy modern trend.

The pre-made crochet locs allow the soft locs to achieve a more natural look. For butterfly locs, stylists crochet and wrap them to make them appear casual, undone, and textured.

The curly loops or wing-like distress in butterfly locs give them their signature look.

Differences Between Soft Locs and Butterfly Locs

Despite their distinct appearances, there are several other ways to differentiate soft locs vs. butterfly locs. So, let’s see how the two hairstyles compare.

Hair Size

The size of soft and butterfly locs varies depending on the user’s preference.

Soft locs are longer than butterfly locs and are best suited for hip-length hairs. When installing soft locs, you can choose from various lengths: 14”, 18”, 24”, 30”, and 36”. They can be longer than your hip length.

The packs of Bobbi Boss Nu locs required when extending soft locs, depend on the size you want for your hair.

For example, you’ll need eight packs to get 18 inches of soft locs. You’ll require four packs if you wish to have super long soft locs like 36 inches.

On the other hand, butterfly locs are best suited for bob-sized or shoulder-length hairs. Like soft locs, you can choose hair length ranging from 22 inches to 28 inches. You’ll require 6-8 packs of wavy hair, depending on the desired length.


Soft locs derive their name from their soft texture. They’re softer than butterfly locs, thanks to the pre-made crochet locs used and the unique method of wrapping.

The curly loops in butterfly locs offer them a harder and stiffer texture. Their texture and appearance come from the looped wavy hair that’s loosely wrapped to achieve the looks of butterfly wings.


The technique used to design soft and butterfly locs differ.

When installing soft locs, you’ll need to plait the hair, install crochet locs, and wrap them. Installing butterfly locs involves looping wavy hair into braids using a crochet needle and loosely wrapping them.

When wrapping soft locs, you’ll need kinky or afro-kinky hair extensions. Sometimes, hairstylists will use water wave passion twists. You’ll need a FreeTress water wave as your hair extension when designing butterfly locs.

Required Products

The tools required when making soft locs include the following:

  • Crochet needle
  • Rat tail comb
  • Shine n Jam
  • Bobbi Boss Nu locs
  • Spring twists
  • Mousse

When styling butterfly locs, you require the following products:

  • Crochet needle
  • Edge control
  • FreeTress water wave hair
  • Shine n Jam
  • Rat tail comb


The cost of soft locs vs. butterfly locs depends on the length of your locs, the hairstylist, and your geographic location. It’ll cost you between $200 and $400 when a stylist installs your soft locs.

On the other hand, installing butterfly locs costs $150-$500. However, if you’re DIY-styling the locs, it will cost you around $50-$100.


The size of the locs will determine how heavy they feel on the head. All faux locs are heavy, but soft locs are lightweight compared to others. Butterfly locs feel heavier on your head.


Soft locs require extreme care and maintenance. When maintaining soft locs, remember the following:

  • Wear a silk or satin cap while sleeping
  • Don’t use shampoo when cleaning the scalp
  • Instead, use apple cider vinegar plus water
  • Use a shower cap while showering

Unlike soft locs, it’s easy to care for and maintain butterfly locs. This is what you need to do:

  • Clean with shampoo once a week
  • Apply a mixture of water and apple cider to prevent irritation

Soft Locs vs. Butterfly Locs: Comparison Table:

Soft LocsButterfly Locs
Appearance Straight, tight, and more neat-lookingLoopy and loose with a messy modern trend. 
Hair sizeLonger than hip lengthSuited for Bob-sized or shoulder-length hairs
TextureSoftHarder and stiffer
TechniquePlait the hair, install crochet locs, and wrap themLoop wavy hair into braids and loosely wrap them. 
Required ProductsCrochet needleRat tail combShine n JamBobbi Boss Nu locsSpring twistsMousse Crochet needleEdge controlFreeTress water wave hairShine n JamRat tail comb 
Cost$200 to $400$150 to $500
MaintenanceIntensive maintenanceEasy to maintain

Are There Any Similarities Between Soft and Butterfly Locs?

Both soft and butterfly locs are variants of faux locs. When styling them, you’ll need to crochet and wrap the hair.

Both hairstyles require similar tools and products such as crochet needles, rat tail comb, and Shine n Jam.

Lastly, both require maintenance to ensure they stay in good shape while protecting your scalp and hair from damage.

How Are Goddess Locs Different?

soft locs vs butterfly locs vs goddess locs
Soft Locs Vs. Butterfly Locs Vs. Goddess Locs (Source: saithestylistt | shesdoper | danibraidsblack)

Unlike soft and butterfly locs, goddess locs have distinctive curls at the last few inches. They’re designed using kinky Marley or synthetic extensions to achieve a more bohemian look.

Hope you have enjoyed this article. Now you can select soft locs for a more traditional look, or butterfly locs for a more modern (boho) look.

While choosing one over the other can be confusing, picking the style that matches your personality and habits is advisable.