When it comes to stylish and eye-catching hairstyles, few can top loc braids. A fusion of traditional braids and dreadlocks, loc braids offer the best of both worlds.
Braids and dreads have a long history, dating back thousands of years. Both of these rope-like hairstyles look the same and were initially worn by African tribesmen to show social status.
In addition, both are protective hairstyles, but braids are faster to install and have a neater look. Dreads, however, have a distressed look and require a longer commitment.
Nonetheless, braids and dreads can help protect your hair and be worn loose or in various updos. So, if you’re looking for a new way to wear your hair, this loc braids guide and style inspiration is for you.
Loc Braids Overview
There are three ways to incorporate braids in dreadlocks.
Braids as Starter Locs
The braiding method is one of the least popular ways to start your dreadlock journey. But if you have kids or straighter hair prone to unraveling, braids are the best starter locs for you.
One of the main reasons braids are avoided is because they usually develop into flat-looking ropes and typically take time to mature. They also require that you have at least 5 inches of hair braided, unlike twists which only need at least 2 inches. So, if you already have kinky hair, twists, and coils are the best options for you.
While it does take longer for the braids to mature into locs, this method allows you to get your hair wet regularly.
How can you turn braids into dreadlocks?
Start by braiding a small hair section and leaving the ends unplaited. Get your crochet hook and start interlocking the hair one inch from the roots. Combine the hair from side to side, creating texture and allowing your hair to loc-up. Keep building the texture down to the ends of the hair.
Once you’ve reached the unplaited tips, pull them upwards and combine them with the braided hair. This will create neater and rounder ends.
Braids with Locs Hairstyles
Another way that braids are incorporated into dreads installation is during hair sectioning. You can use bands or braids to keep the hair in place.
In addition, if you want temporary locs, you can easily braid in synthetic dreadlocks with your hair.
If you have dreadlocks, weaving them together can create classic and edgy loc braids styles. There are a lot of styles to choose from, including cornrows, crown braids, and fishtail braids!
Below I’ll show you some of the best loc braids styles and how to achieve them.
Best Loc Braids Styles
Braiding dreadlocks is a great way to style dreads and keep hair tidy and out of the face. There are many ways to braid dreadlocks, from simple single braids to more complex fishtail braids.
Long Braided Locs
Single braids are the easiest to do and can be done on any length of hair. To do a single braid, start by dividing the hair into three sections. Take the outermost section and cross it over the middle section, then take the innermost section and cross it over the middle section. Repeat this process until you reach the end of the hair.
Cornrow Braided Dreadlocks
Cornrow style braids are more complex, but they look very stylish. To do a cornrow braid, start by dividing your locs into parallel/cornrow sections.
Take one section and divide it into three smaller sections. Cross the outermost section over the middle section, then take the innermost section and cross it over the middle section. Repeat this process with each section until you reach the end of the dreads.
Loc Braids for Short Hair
But if your hair is too short, you always opt to do a freestyle braiding method. This means that you don’t need to use any pattern or type of braiding pattern. You can braid your locs in any direction. The only goal is to keep your locs down and style neat.
Spider Loc Braids
Spider braids are created by splitting your locs into four or eight sections and then braid each section separately. The result is a braid that resembles spider legs hanging over your head. Spider braids can be worn with scalp braids resembling a spider web. They can also be decorated with beads or other accessories.
Bubble Braided Locs
Bubble braids are a type of hairstyle achieved by tying multiple elastic bands in one section of your hair to create the appearance of bubbles. Bubble braids can be made with any hair, but they are especially well suited for those with curly or Afro-textured hair and even dreadlocks.
Fishtail Braided Locs
Fishtail braided dreads are among the most popular ways to style your dreadlocks. Instead of using three sections of hair to form braids, you only use two sections. Then you feed in the center smaller strands from the outer sides of the hair.
You can create one giant fishtail dread or multiple braids. Some locticians can create more intricate patterns of fishtail braids. Just know that this type of braid can be challenging to achieve alone, especially if you’re a beginner.
Halo Braided Locs
A halo braid is styled by pulling the hair into a braid that encircles the head like a halo. Just like on regular hair, it’s a neat way to keep your locs neat. Halo braids are often worn as an alternative to updos, ponytails, or half-up, half-down styles.
Best Locs with Braids Hairstyles
Braided Faux Locs
Faux dreadlocks are a great way to add interest and personality to your hairstyle. If you’re thinking about adding them to your hair, you should know a few things.
First, you must choose the right type of hair for your dreadlocks. Synthetic hair is a good option because it’s easy to work with and maintain. You’ll also need to decide on the length and thickness of your dreadlocks.
Once you’ve selected the hair, you must braid it into your natural hair. Start by dividing your hair into sections and then braiding each section tightly. As you braid, add some tension so the dreadlocks stay in place. Once you’ve finished weaving, secure the ends with hair elastics of the same color as your braids.
Dyed Dreads with Cornrow Side Braids
What could be more fun than dyed dreadlocks? Whether you want to add a splash of color or go for a more subtle ombré effect, dyeing your dreads is a great way to express your individuality. When it comes to choosing a hair color, the sky’s the limit. If you’re looking for a unique loc braids style, try incorporating cornrow side braids.
Colorful Locs with Braids Style
Dyed dreads are a great way to add color and personality to your look. But it can damage your hair if not done correctly. And permanent hair dyes are a commitment, so read our dyed dreads guide before dying your hair at home.
If you’re not ready to commit, temporary hair dye like Peculiar Roots Color Pomade for locs is an excellent option. Installing faux braid extensions is another option too. You can get pre-stretched braiding hair as well to match your locs.
Caring for Your Loc Braids
Looking after your loc braids or dreadlocks isn’t as complicated as it may initially seem. In fact, with a little bit of know-how, it can be easy to maintain healthy and beautiful locs. Here are some loc maintenance tips:
Wash your hair regularly
Regular cleansing is key to keeping your locs healthy. Contrary to popular belief, dreads must be washed regularly, just like your normal hair. Make sure to use shampoo for locs, as this will help remove dirt and buildup and keep your scalp clean and healthy.
It’s important to keep your locs moisturized, especially if you live in a dry climate. Use light grease or cream to avoid weighing down your hair.
Apply it sparingly on damp hair, focusing on the ends of your locs. Avoid applying on the scalp to avoid product buildup.
Light oils, such as jojoba or grapeseed oil, help seal in moisture. But if you want to grow your hair, you should look for the best hair grease for black hair growth.
Braiding your locs is one of the best ways to protect your braided dreadlocks while you sleep. This helps keep them from tangling or getting pulled while you move around in your sleep. You may also want to cover your head with a silk scarf or bonnet to further protect your hair.
Locs can become loose over time, which can lead to them unraveling. To prevent this, it’s essential to retwist them every 4-6 weeks. This will help to keep them tight and neat.
By following these simple tips, you can easily maintain healthy and beautiful loc braids.
Show Off Your New Loc Braids
Braided dreadlocks or loc braids are a fashionable and practical way to style your hair. With a little practice, you can create a variety of looks that are both stylish and unique.
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!