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Soft Locs: What a Loc Expert Wants You To Know

Soft locs are becoming increasingly popular today, and for a good reason. Besides being gentle and attractive, these locs are less damaging to your hair due to less strain.

This hairstyle offers various material alternatives, installation techniques, and design modifications. If you want to commit to soft locs hairstyle, check out this post to learn all you need to know.

What Are Soft Locs?

soft locs

Soft locs are a popular hairstyle where you bond individual strands to accomplish a complete head of faux locs. Hair stylists weave these locs in a way to make the strands appear soft and relaxed.

You can create this hairstyle using several methods. However, the most common tactic is to use a wrapping technique that will install authentic crochet hair.

These locs work to decrease tension in the hair and protect against damaging elements such as pollution or humidity. The length of soft locs can reach up to three feet, which typically surpasses the hips.

Before soft locs developed into their current natural-looking and soft appearance, faux locs were rigid and generally unflexible.

Soft locs are quite the opposite, providing bouncy and loose characteristics. Any faux crochet locs that are soft or not as firm may be categorized as soft locs.

How To Install Soft Locs

How To Install Soft Locs

Numerous soft locs installation procedures are available online, with just minor variations in specifics. Here, we focus on the most popular technique, which generally involves braiding, crocheting, and wrapping.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to install soft locs:

Step 1: Twist or Braid Your Hair

Select a parting pattern, then twist or braid your hair. Utilize Shine and Jam or any other edge control to maintain the cleanliness of the parts. Alternatively, you may opt to utilize rubber bands.

Step 2: Prepare Your Water Wave Hair

You can complete this phase as you proceed with other steps or perform it entirely at the beginning. Just separate two strands of water wave hair to ensure you achieve a fluffy but relatively cohesive outcome.

Step 3: Crochet Hair Into the Bottom of Your Twist or Braid

Insert the crochet needle through the bottom of your braid near the scalp. Place the separated hair into the needle’s hook, lock it, and drag it through. Start wrapping with about three-quarters of the water wave hair to one side.

Step 4: Begin Wrapping

Take the shorter section of the water wave hair and secure it with a braid. Then, continue winding the longer strand of water-wave hair around the braid and the shorter piece against it. You should wrap the root five to six times to hold it firmly against your scalp.

However, avoid applying excessive tension. Utilize the thumb technique to generate loops as you wrap.

The Thumb Technique

Wrap a section of the water wave hair snugly around the thumb as you keep looping it down 2-3 times. This procedure provides the signature loops to your loc.

Some stylists recommend performing three standard wraps, then entering the thumb to ‘grab’ some hair before returning it to the wrapping portion.

Step 5: Seal the Locs’ Ends

After the loc has reached the ideal length, it should be closed and the ends sealed. Create a little loop with your finger at the base of your braid, then wind the remaining hair up until you no longer have the water wave hair.

As you wrap the last few inches, you could utilize nail adhesive for additional hold. The loop is crucial since it offers your loc a great finish and keeps it secure. Avoid burning the ends.

Soft Locs vs. Traditional Dreadlocks

Soft Locs vs. Traditional Dreadlocks

So, what distinguishes soft locs from traditional locs? In either instance, you will obtain a fun, fashionable, and authentic loc style that you will adore.

The locs style and installation procedure choice depends entirely on the individual’s care and protective styling preferences.

Other factors that differentiate traditional locs from soft locs include:

Softer Feel and Appearance

As the name implies, soft locs have a softer appearance and texture than other traditional loc styles because of their distinct wrapping technique.

Reduced Tension

Unlike traditional locs, soft locs are considerably less rigid and stiff. Whereas soft locs could offer the flexibility and mobility of natural locs, it may take some days of styling and care for your artificial locs to lose their hardness.

Lighter Weight

Traditional locs are often slightly heavier than soft locs, which could increase tension or damage your natural hair when not correctly maintained.

Also, if you choose soft locs, you will probably have more flexibility in determining your locs length. While traditional locs come in various sizes, they are not customizable.

On the flip side, you can trim your soft locs for a shorter look.

How To Maintain & Care For Soft Locs

Soft locs free you from detangling and styling your hair for weeks or even months. Nevertheless, you should adopt some care guidelines to ensure they last longer and preserve their aesthetic appeal.

Protect Your Hair Throughout the Night

Rubbing your hair against rough bedding like cotton is inappropriate if you want to avoid frizz and loosening.

Wearing a satin hat or silk scarf can help your soft locs last longer by preventing the wrapping hair from sticking out in the morning.

Wash Your Locs Frequently, but Not Very Often

You should maintain a clean scalp for any protective hairstyle, whether soft locs or comb coil. Nonetheless, you should not wash your hair now and then.

Constant washing, blow drying, and styling products could make your hair brittle and dry. Remember that moderation is always the best approach, even regarding hair hygiene.

Hair Drying

Utilize a towel to squeeze out excess water from the locs before allowing them to air dry. You could also use a blow or bonnet dryer to expedite the process, but do not miss to apply a heat protectant to the roots.

Conditioning

Regular moisturizing cream is required to preserve the health of the scalp and hair roots. You can use a conditioner or hair-friendly oil designed for locs and braids.

Spraying the hair with nourishing and hydrating cocktails is also an excellent alternative.

How To Take Out Soft Locs

How To Take Out Soft Locs
Instagram/@Krissi Love

Follow the steps below to remove soft locs gently:

  • Take off any hair accessories so that you avoid snuggling your natural hair
  • Loosen the hair’s loop on top
  • Pull the hair and crochet through the top loop gently
  • Pull out the locks and secure the hair braid
  • Detangle the hair
  • Apply conditioner to each region of hair so that it remains wet

If you have been thinking of wearing soft locs for some time, you now have all the necessary information to achieve your desired look.

Soft locs are ideal if you want to try out a protective hairstyle that will keep your hair healthy and intact. With proper care, your soft locs can last longer than most hairstyles.

Soft Locs Hairstyle Ideas

1. Side-Swept

soft locs hairstyle with beads

Stand out from others by opting for a long hair length. Add loose curls using flexi rods on wet strands overnight and tousle them on one side by parting the mane just above the ear.

Place shiny hair cuffs all along the length and swoop down the edges for a chic finish. Tada!

2. Piled-Up Mess

hairstyle for soft locs

Recreate this soft locs hairstyle by going for tight curls midway to the ends and dyeing some of the chunks brown for a highlighted appeal.

Pile up half of the hair for the curly ends to fall forward around the face like a pineapple updo and secure with pins.

3. Elegant Updo

updo with soft locs

Black ladies can keep it elegant on formal events by twisting back their side locks with a middle or side part and wrapping all the strands in an updo at the back.

Coming towards the hair color, a dark to light brown gradient is worth a shot.

4. Half-Up Locs

half up soft locs hairstyle

Why complicate when a simple hairdo is enough to turn around some heads? Apart from leaving those curly locs on the loose or wrapping them into an updo, take the front ones and create a high half-up ponytail for a change.

Experiment with half-up space buns too and you won’t regret it!

5. Casual and Carefree

soft locs for oval face

Adding curls to soft locs is really fun as they continue to loosen up and change their pattern resulting in a new look every day until your next wash.

Style them into Bantu knots and you are sure to be surprised by the curls you’ll achieve when untying those little buns.

6. A Hint of Blonde

medium length soft locs hairstyle
znubim/Instagram

Use blonde extensions in between black ones to mimic highlights. Create a messy texture for a more realistic look by teasing and tousling the strands along the length while they are wrapped neatly near the roots.

Use some mousse and a toothbrush to settle down those baby hairs and done!

7. Burgundy Perfection

burgundy red soft locs
kecibeauty/Instagram

Rocking vibrant hair colors and opting for whatever length you want while protecting the hair are the biggest advantages of getting soft locs.

Ask the hairdresser to produce thin locs with pre-formed crochet extensions in a burgundy tone and observe jaws drop around you.  

8. High Ponytail

ponytail with soft locs
hair2pleaseyu/Instagram

A super high ponytail is ideal for making a style statement worth remembering. Leave a strand or two loose to frame the face while wrapping some chunks around the base of the pony.

Twist the locs around one another with stacked ends and voila!

9. Curly Bob

short soft locs hairstyle
nikfrenchie/Instagram

Long crochet locs look sexy without a doubt but a short bob doesn’t look anything less too. Add a subtle hint of blonde and layer the strands to avoid a blunt look.

Leave the strands simply straight or add curls with a deep side part. The choice is yours!

10. Jumbo Bun

bun with soft locs
hairbykalifa/Instagram

Another hairstyle to flaunt those freshly done soft locs. The chunks are twirled and twisted around into a jumbo bun sitting on the top of the head.

Spare a single loc on both sides of the head and wrap each along its length to dangle around freely giving off some strong tribal vibes.

11. Highlights + Twist-Back

long soft locs hairstyle
hairbytaedione/Instagram

Refresh your look at home by getting yarn in two different shades and wrapping it around the locs resulting in a hot mix of dark, medium, and light chunks.

Twist the front strands and pin them at the back while keeping the remaining loose. Gorgeous!

12. Funky Faux Hawk

mohawk hairstyle with soft locs
jstylingz/Instagram

Those who’ve got any kind of dreadlocks but haven’t tried a faux hawk hairdo yet are truly missing out!

Create multiple buns in line from front to back and secure them in place with pins. Don’t worry about the mess, as it adds up to the look. It can’t get any easier!

13. Accessorize

soft locs hairstyle with hair stick
yagabbssdidit_/Instagram

Adding some hair accessories is the easiest way to spice up your soft locs hairstyle.

Whether you keep your hair loose or style it in a high ponytail or bun, add some hair rings, cuffs, beads, or hair sticks as depicted here and get ready to become the center of attention wherever you go.

14. Top Knot

half up bun with soft locs
252unstoppablebraider/Instagram

A top knot bun is a must-try when getting soft locs. Just swirl half of the strands on top of the head leaving the remaining loose on the shoulders.

Take a step ahead and recreate this hairstyle with an undercut and shaved design along the sides. You are going to love it!

15. Gold Glam

blonde soft locs hairstyle
blackownedbusinesss/Instagram

When you can’t think of any particular hairstyle, take things up a notch by choosing a unique color when getting your crochet extensions.

There are so many options to choose from like this hairdo that is all about the neatly carved-out square sections of hair and the right shade of gold of course!

Conclusion

If you have been contemplating this trendy hairdo for some time, you now have all the necessary information to achieve your desired look.

Soft locs are ideal if you want to try out a protective hairstyle that will keep your hair healthy and intact. With proper care, your soft locs can last longer than most hairstyles.

FAQs on Soft Locs

What hair type is used for soft locs?

Most stylists suggest utilizing a spring twist or passion twist for wrapping. Other common hair types used include crochet faux locs or afro kinky hair.

How long will soft locs last?

Soft locs could last between 4-6 weeks and are ideal if you want to provide your hair with a rest from heat styling and other treatments.

Some people keep their soft locs for extended periods, but this is not advisable as the extra weight on your head could tug hair roots. This pulling creates severe tension on the scalp and can cause fragile roots and even breakage.

How long does it usually take to install soft locs?

Soft locks can be quite quick to install, unlike traditional dreadlocks. Expect your session to take about 2-5 hours, based on the size and length of your locs.

How much are soft locs?

Soft locs could cost anywhere from $200-400 to install, based on your location, the stylist’s expertise, and the length and size of your locs.

While this might seem pricey compared to other hairdos, soft locs are an excellent option if you desire the appearance of natural dreadlocks.

Can soft locs be washed?

Yes! You can wash your soft locs, but ensure you do so in moderation to avoid damaging them. When washing, gently rub the scalp to keep it clean and rinse the locs with water and maybe a conditioner.

What’s the difference between soft locs and faux locs?

There’s no distinction between faux locs and soft locs. Faux locs is a general term for artificial locs. Soft locs, such as boho distressed locs and butterfly locs, are subsets of faux locs. Locs that are not genuine dreadlocks are all referred to as faux locs.

Do soft locs hurt?

Yes, soft locs can hurt if fitted excessively tight. While braiding hair for soft locs, it is not recommendable to braid too firmly. Soft locs could also be rather heavy, which stresses the hair roots more, causing discomfort, and could harm your follicles.

Can you loosen up soft locs?

Yes, you can loosen your soft locks with warm water. Soak a face towel in hot water and place it on your hair after squeezing out the excess water.