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Soft Locs Vs. Faux Locs: What’s the Difference?

Faux locs and soft locs are two of the most popular protective hairstyles that enhance beauty, appearance, and confidence. Although both locs are made from hair extensions, they have significant differences you should be aware of.

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences, pros, cons, and similarities between these two locs.

What Are Faux Locs?

Faux Locs
Faux Locs

Faux locs are a temporary protective style that mimics dreadlocks. These locs are made from synthetic hair, human hair, or yarn.

They are an excellent installation for those who want dreadlocks without the commitment of dreadlocks. With faux locs, you do not lock your hair. Instead, you loc the hair extension.

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons of faux locs.

Pros of Faux Locs

  • They require less commitment than dreadlocks.
  • They are low maintenance.
  • You can wear faux locs for a long time. Temporary faux locs can last up to three months, with others lasting up to 6 months.
  • They look better with age.

Cons of Faux Locs

  • They can get too heavy, weighing down and damaging your hair. These locs can be uncomfortable for your neck and shoulders.
  • The locs tangle easily.
  • They can take up to 9 hours or more to install, depending on the installation technique.

What Are Soft Locs?

Soft Locs Hair
Soft Locs

Soft locs are a variation of faux locs. They are easily distinguishable by their soft outward appearance. They are a protective hairstyle that uses softer synthetic or human hair to wrap your hair into a lock.

Now let’s discuss the pros and cons of soft locs.

Pros of Soft Locs

  • They take a short time to install (approximately 5 hours).
  • They look like locs made from your hair.
  • They are lightweight and bouncy right from the installation.
  • They are easy to take off.
  • You can reuse the soft locs.

Cons of Soft Locs

  • Soft locs are longer, restricting the variety of hairstyles you can wear.
  • The locs tangle as they’re made from kinky hair.
  • Soft locs are costly.

What Do Soft Locs and Faux Locs Look Like?

What Are The Differences Between Faux and Soft Locs
How Soft Locs Vs. Faux Locs Look Like

When installed, faux locs have a smooth, shiny, and stiff appearance. Faux locs loosen up as they age, making them look and feel like natural locs.

Soft locs are more loose, giving them a more natural look and bounce from the beginning. They achieve this natural look since soft loc extensions are made from premade faux locs wrapped with loosened water waves twist or afro hair extensions.

Major Differences Between Faux and Soft Locs

Now, let’s look at the differences between faux and soft locs.


The installation cost is crucial when comparing soft locs vs faux locs.

Soft locs cost about $200-$300. The actual installation cost depends on your location, loc length, and the stylist. Faux locs are much cheaper to install, costing between $150 and $300.

Hair Used

Another key difference between soft and faux locs is the hair used. Both locs use human hair or human hair blend, water wave passion twist, crochet faux locs, and afro kinky hair extensions.

For faux locs, hair stylists use Marley hair, human hair, crocheted fake hair, or Kanekalon hair extensions.

Kanekalon is the most affordable and readily available hair extension but has the least natural look. Marley hair is more expensive but gives the most natural-looking faux locs – similar to what you would achieve with human hair extensions.

Crocheted faux locs are the easiest to install since they are crocheted directly to your hair.


Soft vs. Faux Locs - Method

Faux locs are installed in two ways; braid-in and crochet methods. The braid-in technique involves box braiding your natural hair and wrapping it in the loc extension.

In the crochet method, you cornrow your natural hair, then crotchet the faux locs onto the cornrows.

Soft locs are installed by first plaiting your natural hair and then wrapping each plait with soft loc hair extensions.


Soft locs last about 4-6 weeks. Leaving them in for longer creates the risk of damaging your hair roots, thanks to the added weight of the hair.

Therefore, you should take your soft locs off as soon as your hair grows significantly. You can reuse the extensions for a future soft loc installation.

Faux locs can last up to 3 or 6 months. For these locs to last long, they require regular maintenance, including scalp cleansing and moisturizing. You can turn some faux loc extensions into permanent dreadlocks.


Adding loc extensions to your hair increases the hair’s weight. Soft locs are comparably lighter than faux locs of the same length and thickness.


Loc length is another vital consideration when comparing both locs. Faux locs are more customizable, therefore, can be made shorter or longer depending on the size.

Soft locs, on the other hand, come in fixed sizes, especially the crocheted faux locs. You cannot shorten them.


One of the reasons people go for fake locs is their low maintenance compared to natural locs. Soft and faux locs don’t need re-twisting or shaping when they are on. However, you still need to care for the natural hair underneath and on your scalp.

Maintenance involves cleansing your scalp and moisturizing both your scalp and hair. It also involves wearing a silk wrap or sleeping on silk pillows to protect your locs from damage due to friction.

If your faux locs are prone to tangling, detangle them by running your fingers through them. Synthetic hair locs from human hair require regular shampooing, conditioning, and moisturizing.


Both faux and soft locs give you a variety of styling options. You can introduce color within the locs or accessorize with beads and other hair jewelry.

That said, faux locs can limit your styling options, particularly in the first few days, as they loosen and become more flexible.

They are also heavier, especially if you wear longer faux locs, making it harder to style your locs in an updo.

Let’s have a look at the differences between soft locs and faux locs at a glance.


Soft Locs

Faux Locs

Installation Cost

Installation starts at $300

Installation starts at $150

Installation time

About 5 hours

5 – 9+ hours, depending on the installation method

Hair Used

Human hair, human hair blend, water wave passion twist, crochet faux loc, and afro kinky

Marley hair, crochet faux locs, Kanekalon hair, and human hair





Less customizable

More customizable


Between 4-6 weeks

Between 4-6 weeks (synthetic) or 3 to 6 months for human hair


Scalp cleansing and moisturizing

Scalp cleansing and moisturizing

Are There Any Similarities Between Soft and Faux Locs?

So far, we’ve looked at the differences between soft and faux locs. But you will discover a few similarities when comparing soft locs and faux locs.

The most obvious is that both are temporary alternatives for those who want locs without the years of commitment required to maintain healthy natural locs.

Both locs are easy to maintain and offer a variety of styling options. Another aspect they share is protective styling.

Whether you wear faux or soft locs, your hair will be wrapped inside the extension and protected from environmental pollutants, heat, and other unfriendly elements.

So, Soft Locs vs Faux Locs: Which One Is Better?

Ultimately, the choice between soft locs vs. faux locs lies with you. If you are going for longer-lasting temporary locs, choose faux locs.

Faux locs are also significantly cheaper and offer the option to go full-in on permanent locs. However, if you want lighter and bouncier locs, go with soft locs.

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