You love dreadlocks but at the same time want that versatility with your hair styling. I have just the thing for you! Soft loc hairstyle gives you the same look as dreads except with far less time, and you could take it out in seconds.
Intrigued? This article will give a detailed step-by-step process to achieve this look.
Hair extensions known as “soft locs” can be washed and retouched, and braided loosely rather than firmly. The soft and natural appearance you’ll get after installing the loc addon is how it got its name.
What type of hair extension can you use for soft locs?
The type of hair extension is the key to getting that soft and tension-free locs. Two types of hair extensions are required for soft faux locs.
The locs itself and wrapping hair; you’d get to see why this is necessary as the article progresses. Feel free to experiment with several hair extensions, but I would recommend trying out these:
- Crochet Faux Locs
- Kinky Wrapping Hair or Afro Kinky Hair
- Water Wave Passion Twist Hair
- Human Hair Blend / 100% Human Hair
The best hairstyle to choose if you want to give your hair a break is one that reduces manipulation and tucks the hair ends away. That’s exactly why Soft locs are a protective hairstyle; it safeguards the hair from environmental factors that could result in hair breakage. Soft locs can be done on wavy, kinky, and curly hair types.
Pros and Cons of wearing locs as a protective hairstyle
- It is cost-effective and could stay on for up to 6-8 weeks.
- It is very lightweight and could get a bit heavier above 20 inches.
- The older it gets the more beautiful it becomes.
- Wearing certain styles can put tension on your nape, edges, or sides. Be sure to avoid over-styling.
- The bulk of the hair makes it difficult to shower and sleep.
- The wrapping hair could snap on your jewelry.
- If the locs are not installed correctly, you would experience difficulty taking them out which could be damaging to your hair.
How to install Softlocs, DIY
Before installing, ensure your hair is clean and remove product buildup. You also want it to stay hydrated and moisturized because it would be tucked in faux locs.
Start by washing your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo
Sulfate in shampoos helps in removing product buildup and dirt from the hair. The only drawback is that they do their work so well that they remove all the moisture and hair oils that the hair needs to keep healthy.
Using a sulfate-free shampoo allows your hair to stay moisturized.
Deep conditioning treatment
Your hair needs to be hydrated, and a deep conditioner is a sure way to do that.
Deep conditioners penetrate the hair cuticle’s inner cortex and work their magic from the inside out, unlike regular conditioners, which are made for everyday use and can only penetrate the hair cuticle’s outside layer.
After shampooing, apply your deep conditioner to your hair shaft and work your way up from tips to roots. Because the hair scalp doesn’t necessarily lack moisture, conditioners shouldn’t be used at the roots. But always make sure to concentrate on the roots when shampooing.
Next, using your fingers spread the conditioner evenly throughout the hair ends.
Use a brush, fingers, wide-tooth comb, or anything to delicately detangle conditioned hair and smooth out the knots without causing hair breakage.
Now that the washing process has been taken care of, start by sectioning your hair.
Sectioning is when you square off your head into a chess board arrangement. When you are done doing that, it’s time for the locking process. There are two locking techniques: the braid and the crochet method.
After properly dividing your hair into sections, take one fraction and braid it halfway, do it for all sections. Spray hair oils on the scalp once the braiding process is complete to keep it hydrated.
Depending on the length you want and the thickness of your hair, you’d need between 4- 8 packs of loc extensions. Open the loop on the loc, attach it to the third strand of the braid, draw it in, and go on braiding with the loc. When you’re finished, you’ll see that the braid and loc are separate.
With the aid of a crochet needle, pass your wrapping hair through the braids’ roots. To achieve that knot-free, natural look, pull so that one part appears longer than the other and wrap tightly twice at the roots. Then, as you work your way downward, wrap loosely. It is up to you whether you wrap left or right.
After wrapping hair around the locs, make sure to palm roll each locs.
Two methods exist for crocheting locs. The quality of your soft locs depends on how neatly you section. After dividing your hair into sections, take a section and braid it down. Spray hair oils into your scalp next to keep it hydrated.
First Method: To begin crocheting, open the locs loop, attach it to a crochet hook, and pull the hook through the braid roots. The lock and braid are then wrapped from the base to the tip using wrapping hair.
Second Method: After braiding down, insert the crochet needle, push it through your braid a couple of rows from the roots, attach the crochet locs through your braid, and pull it in.
Next, using the crochet needle, take your wrapping hair, pull it through the roots of your braid, and wrap. You don’t want to wrap too tightly but ensure to wrap correctly.
If you run out of a piece for wrapping, take a small piece and place it over the ending piece, make sure to secure it, and then continue wrapping. Palm roll once finished.
Keep in mind the following when installing the soft locs:
- After you’ve inserted the locs, feel them by lightly pushing them in various directions to check for tightness.
- To make the locs seem nicer and ease tension in particular regions, use smaller pieces around the ears, sides, or temples.
- Any hair poking out from the locs should be trimmed with scissors.
Are soft locks washable? Yes! It’s not as challenging as it seems. The best way to wash soft locs is to keep your fingertips on the scalp only, allowing the shampoo to wash down the locs. This will prevent you from applying too much friction, which will eventually cause the locs to loosen and fall out.
Soft Locs Hairstyle Maintenance Tips
- If you plan to keep your locs in for more than four weeks, wash your hair as usual.
- If you don’t intend to wash your hair, use a dry shampoo or an apple cider vinegar hair rinse to eliminate dirt and product buildup on the scalp.
- Apply mousse to your braids to tame flyaways and occasionally add shine.
- Wear a silk bonnet or scarf as you sleep at night.
How to Remove Soft Locs
If the installation was done properly, there is no need to worry about the removal process causing damage to your hair.
But, to prevent hair breakage, you must exercise care when removing the soft locs.
Cut the locs at the base first, then gently pull the wrapped hair apart. The braids below should then be undone. To prevent hair loss, it is best to keep some oil or a spray bottle on hand to assist in loosening any buildup.