Distressed locs are the epitome of beautiful chaos. Heavily textured and often wildly accessorized, these locs embody a sense of freedom and self-expression.
For many, locs are a way to connect with their heritage and culture. But for others, they are simply a way to express their unique style. No matter the reason, locs like distressed locs represent a bold and beautiful statement.
Distressed locs may be easy to maintain, but they are also notoriously difficult to perfect. From unruly flyaways to frizzy ends, distressed locs can often seem more trouble than they’re worth.
But for those who embrace their imperfections, distressed locs are the perfect way to stand out from the crowd. So, if you’re one of the gals who want to learn how to get this look, reading this distressed locs styling guide is a definite must.
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What are Distressed Locs?
If you’re new to the world of locs, you might have come across the term “distressed locs” and wondered what it meant. Distressed locs are a type of twisted locs style that is achieved by adding a messy texture to twisted hair.
Textured locs is a pretty new loc style variation, and it comes in different variations like butterfly and soft locs. Overall, these protective locs aim to look like dreadlocks but shinier and bouncier depending on the style.
Can You Install Distressed Locs at Home?
Yes, if you have the time and patience. But any type of braids and locs installation takes time to learn and perfect. So, if you don’t have the time and skills to do so, I suggest that you visit your local stylists or locticians instead.
They’ll be able to help you achieve the exact look you’re going for and save you time, energy, and money in the process. Skilled locticians can also create more intricate partings and styles that you can never do on your own.
But if you’re happy with your skills and whatever outcome, here are the tools needed.
Distressed Locs Installation: Tools Needed
Combs and Brush: Rat tail comb & Edge Comb
While some people may choose to install their locs with only their fingers, combs is an important tool in creating a professional-looking style.
In particular, rat tail combs can be used to create partings and help distribute product evenly throughout the hair. Edge combs can also help achieve neat, defined lines and curls around the hairline.
Styling Jam & Gel
Styling gels help to hold the locs in place while providing a natural, textured look. The best products to use are ones that are specifically designed for locs, easy to apply, and provide long-lasting hold without weighing down the hair.
Hair Accessories: Clips, Ponytail Holders
Hair accessories are indispensable when installing any form of locs. Clips and ties help to keep the hair in place while you work, and they also prevent the hair from tangling as you manipulate it into position.
Rubber bands can damage the hair, so it’s important to avoid them if you want your locs to stay healthy and strong.
Hair scissors will be needed to cut the ends of faux locs or hair extensions once you’re done with each section.
A crochet needle is a hand-held tool used to create loops in fabric or, in this case, your hair. It helps you pull in the extensions or faux locs into your roots.
Water Wave Hair Extension
- 6-10 packs for long hair
- If you want shoulder-length locs, you will need one water wave strand per part. But if you want longer locs, you will need two or more.
Curly Hair Extension
- Any coarse textured braiding hair like Cuban twists or Jamaican twists
- 2-3 packs for around 30 sections.
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Distressed Locs Installation: Step by Step
Step 1. Sectioning
When installing dreads or locs, it is important to section the hair in order to create an even, consistent look. This can be done by parting the hair into small sections with a comb, and then securing each section with a hair tie or by twisting and braiding them.
Once the hair is divided into sections, it will be easier to work with and manage during the installation process. Sectioning also allows you to create symmetry and balance in your dreads or locs, which can be difficult to achieve if the hair is left unparted. In addition, parting the hair into sections can help you to avoid tangles and matting, which can be difficult to fix once the dreads or locs are installed.
There are a lot of types of parting, but the easiest and most commonly used is the box or brick-layer parting. But if you’re a beginner and if you want to achieve a messy style, you don’t need perfect boxes. They can look like diamonds or circular when you’re done.
Step 2. Preparing Your Locs
Once you’ve finished parting your hair into sections, the next step is to prepare each loc section. Brush the first section and get it a little slick with jam or gel.
Then, get the curly or Marley hair and braid it with your natural hair.
Step 3. Weaving the Water Wave
Get your water wave bundle. Separate each piece, stretch and fluff it out all the way down and remove the tangles.
Once the hair is stretched out, use a crochet needle to pull it through your roots. Then, wrap the water wave tightly three times on the roots to secure it.
Step 4. Creating the Distressed Locs
Just like twists and extension installation, the next step is wrapping the water wave locs downward.
The only difference is from time to time, you need to wrap the water wave hair over your thumb. This step will create the bump or distressed look on your locs.
One of the best things about installing distressed locs is that you are free to install these bumps/stress in any section of your hair. You can add them 10 times on one part or 20 times on another. It all depends on you.
In addition, you can also control how your locs will look depending on the strength of the wrapping. If you wrap your water wave too tight, this will create a straighter and stiffer look. But if you wrap them lightly, this will create a softer and bouncier look.
Step 4. Finishing
Once you’ve reached the desired length of the hair, leave a little piece of the water wave. And instead of continuing downwards, fold it up and wrap it upwards tightly. This will secure the ends without the need for a gel or hair tie.
After this, cut the extra curly hair off and gently rub the ends of your loc, so it doesn’t look bluntly cut.
Step 5. Repeat.
Once you’ve secured your loc, just repeat the same steps on the next loc section
There are a lot of variations when doing distressed locs. But the steps are overall the same; you still need to part your hair and have two types of hair extensions. One variation is using premade butterfly locs and wrapping spring twist hair for thicker and more distressed looking locs.
Styling Your Distressed Locs
Now that you have gorgeous distressed locs, there are many different looks that can be achieved. There are elegant ponytails to playful highlights and accessories. If you’re looking for a sophisticated style or something more fun and funky, you’re sure to find them in the distressed locs styles guide below.
Butterfly Locs in Ponytail
Butterfly locs style is a type of distressed or textured locs. It tends to be larger and softer, like a butterfly’s wings. To create this look, you can use thicker curly hair per section. And make sure to wrap the water wave hair softer to make the locs look bigger, thicker, and curlier.
Soft locs is another variation of distressed locs. Unlike butterfly locs, it looks like shiny dreadlocks because of the subtle textured appearance. Soft locs tend to look straighter and stiffer as well. That’s why it looks better longer with down do’s.
Distressed Locs with Highlights
When it comes to personalizing your locs or dreads, adding highlights is a great way to add some visual interest. Highlights can be any color, but they are typically a few shades lighter than your natural hair color.
Peekaboo Distressed Locs
Peekaboo hair color is achieved by coloring small sections of your hair a different color than the rest of your locks. It is a great way to add some fun and creativity to your look. Peekaboo hairstyles can also help to accentuate your locs.
If you have black hair, brown peekaboo hair color can make your locs stand out. Red peekaboo hair color can give you a striking look if you have blonde hair. No matter what color you choose, peekaboo hair color will surely add some pizzazz to your dreadlocks!
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Half & Half Hair Colored Locs
There’s something extraordinary about half-blonde, half-black hair. The sharp contrast between the two colors makes for a stunning look that is eye-catching and unique. And while it may seem like a bold style choice, split hair dye is surprisingly versatile.
Best Accessories for Distressed Locs
As anyone who has ever had dreadlocks knows, they require careful upkeep to look their best. One of the most critical aspects of dreadlock care is choosing the right accessories. Thankfully, many fashionable options are available for women who want to jazz up their dreads.
For a funky and fun look, try adding some colorful dread ties. These can be used to add variety to your hairstyle, and they come in various colors and patterns to suit any taste.
If you prefer a more natural look, beads made from wood or bone can add a beautiful touch to your dreads. On the other hand, metal beads are a great way to add some personality to your dreadlocks. They can be used to create patterns or add a bit of flair. Adding metal beads is relatively simple – check out this guide to learn more about dreads and beads: Dreads With Beads Guide + 7 Best Hairstyles.
And for a truly unique look, seashells make an excellent accessory for beach lovers or those who want to add a bit of natural flair to their hairstyle. No matter your style, there are plenty of ways to accessorize your dreadlocks.
FAQs about Distressed Locs
What’s the difference between distressed locs and butterfly locs?
Distressed locs is a type of protective black hair styling that can be achieved by twisting two kinds of hair and adding texture. Butterfly locs are a type of distressed or textured locs. It’s bigger than usual and looks curlier and more vo·lu·mi·nous. Normal distressed locs are sometimes wound up tighter, making them look like straight traditional braids and dreads.
How long does distressed locs installation take?
It can take anywhere from 3-5 hours, depending on the length of your hair, the type, or the skill of your loctician.
Can distressed locs get wet?
Yes! Distressed locs can absolutely get wet, and there’s no need to worry about damage or breakage.
Are distressed locs heavy?
Regardless of how they’re achieved, distressed locs tend to be heavier than other types of locs due to their dense texture. This can be a problem for some people, as heavy locs can strain the scalp and cause headaches. If you’re struggling with the weight of your locs, try using lighter products and avoiding styles that pull on the roots.
If you’re looking for a unique and eye-catching hairstyle, then distressed locs might be right for you. Once you’ve got the hang of creating this style, you can experiment with different ways of wearing it. So go ahead and give it a try—you might just end up loving this distressed look!
Mel is a licensed Chemist in New Jersey who has worked in several cosmetics companies and has years of experience formulating hair care and beauty products. She uses her knowledge in cosmetics to distinguish and find the best products to recommend to Union Of Barber’s readers. When Mel’s not writing, you can find her walking her dogs or cooking and baking at home!