Soft locs are a type of locs made with synthetic crochet loc extensions installed individually with hair wrapping. Soft locs are similar to crochet locs, or faux locs, but the only difference is that they are called soft locs because of how they are installed and how soft and flexible they are, compared to faux locs.
Soft locs are trendy and in style now; you must wonder why everyone loves them! Soft locs are lightweight, easy to install, and versatile. So, if you haven’t hopped on the bandwagon, now is the time!
Keep reading for a complete guide on wrapping hair for soft locs and how to achieve soft locs. You’ll have everything you need to know about soft loc styles by the end of this guide.
Materials Needed to Achieve Soft Locs Hairstyles
To achieve soft locs, some essential tools are needed, and they are as follows:
- A crochet pin: you will need a crochet pin to install the hair wrap at the roots of the hair to keep it secure and avoid the wrap from slipping.
- Scissors: Scissors are needed to cut them into a length that makes it easy for you to wrap (it is easier and faster to wrap with a shorter length).
- Parting comb: parting comb is used to create sections of your natural hair.
- Leave-in conditioner: it is essential to add a leave-in conditioner to your hair because your natural hair would be in a protective style for a while and needs to be moisturized.
- Braiding gel: braiding gel can be used to get precise and neater partings.
- clips: there will be a lot of hand movements while wrapping soft locs, so clips are needed to hold other parts of the hair up while you’re working with one part.
What Type of Hair is Used For Soft Locs Styles?
Wrapping the hair is needed to achieve soft locs, and there are different types you can choose from. The following are the different types of wrapping hair for soft locs:
Spring twist hair
Spring twist hair comes in a tight curl pattern. If you choose to use spring twist hair to wrap your soft locs, it has to be unraveled and fluffed out to get the desired results.
Water wave hair
Water wave hair is usually used for either passion twists or butterfly locs, but it can also be used to wrap soft locs. Although, it is not advisable to use water wave hair for soft locs because of how silky the texture is, and there is a tendency for it to slip off the loc. If you choose to use water wave hair for your soft locs, you have to fluff the hair out with your hands or a brush, and you may need to use nail glue or a holding spray to secure it after wrapping.
Afro kinky hair
Afro kinky hair is the best for wrapping soft locs because the texture usually matches the crochet loc extensions the most and loc extensions the most, and it always stays in place after it has been wrapped.
Crochet Loc Hair Extensions
Now, for the actual locs, you’ll need crochet loc extensions with a loop. This crochet method comes in different extensions you can choose from based on what soft locs look you’re going for. Depending on how many locs are in a bundle or pack, you will need between 70- 90 strands for a full head.
These crochet loc extensions also come in various colors ranging from single to ombré colors. You can get any of these soft faux locs or extensions from Amazon, your local beauty supply store, or an Instagram vendor.
These are examples of crocheted locs extensions you can choose from:
Crinkly soft loc extension
Spiral soft locs extensions
Soft loc extensions with curls
Straight soft loc extensions
How to Do Soft Locs
One great thing about soft locs is that different methods can be used to achieve it, and you can pick the most comfortable. Whether you’re using any of these methods for installing soft locs, follow these essential steps:
Starting with freshly washed hair, section the hair for individual braids with any parting pattern of your choice. The partings could be box parting, triangle parting, or free parts. The next step is to braid the natural hair into individual braids or two-strand twists. Afterward, you can secure the braids or twists with a hair packer or a clip to avoid disturbance while the hair is being wrapped. After taking these essential steps, you can choose the preferred method to install the locs.
- Pick a strand of the braids and insert the end of the braid into the loop of the crochet locs.
- Fold the braid into two and use a crochet pin to pass the end of the braid through the top part of the braid, close to the roots (passing the braid directly at the roots may make the loc too bulky and hard to take out)
- The next step is to grab a small piece of the hair and pass it through the base of your braid with a crochet pin, leaving a longer length on one side.
- Now, use the longer side to wrap the braided hair until it cannot be seen.
- You can extend the wrapped hair to the actual loc extension to create a smooth blend.
- After wrapping, roll the part of the loc where the wrapped hair stops on the loc to secure it.
Note: if you have short hair and want to try this method of installing soft locs, you can add some extensions to make your hair long enough to fold.
- Pick a strand of the loc extension and put a crochet pin through the loophole.
- Put the crochet pin through the middle of a braid and pull the loc extension through.
- Insert the crochet pin back into the loophole and use the crochet pin to hold the end of the loc to pull it through the loop.
- Pull the loc until it forms a knot and is secured
- Use the crochet pin to pass the hair through the root of the braid and wrap until the braid is not visible anymore.
- Palm roll the loc where the wrap stops to secure it.
It is not advisable to use the method if you have short hair because the loc extensions may slip out after a short time.
For this method, making natural individual braids on the whole hair is optional because of the installation process. This method is also excellent for achieving a flat look as the knotless soft locs.
- The first step is to section the hair into your preferred parting pattern, as stated earlier.
- Now, take a portion of the hair you have sectioned and start a three-strand braid.
- After braiding down about 4 – 6 steps, insert the third strand of the braid into the loop of the crochet loc extension.
- After the loc extension has been secured to the braid, continue braiding down to the top of the hair. That way, the loc extension would hang on the braid and not slip off while you have the soft locs in.
- Now, use the crochet pin to pass the wrap through the root of the braid.
- Start wrapping the hair around the braid until it is not visible anymore.
- Palm roll the loc where the wrap stops to secure it.
Why You Should Get Soft Locs
Soft locs are not only gorgeous, but they have great benefits, and these are five reasons why you should get them:
- Soft locs are lightweight.
- They can last for a long period of time.
- Soft locs are a protective hairstyle, so while your hair is being protected for the time you have the soft locs on, your natural hair will significantly grow after you take your locs out.
- Soft locs are low maintenance and save you the stress of styling your natural hair every morning.
- They are versatile and can be styled in many different ways.
How to Maintain Soft Locs
One thing to love about soft locs is that they are low maintenance. They can be kept in for several weeks, but some maintenance still has to be done. The most important thing to do is to always oil your scalp to avoid it oil your scalp to prevent it from being dry and flaky.
Even though soft locs still look great after a while, they might get frizzy, and all you have to do is apply some moose on the locs to make them look smooth again, and that’s about it! Also, if you want a fresh soft loc look without taking out your old soft locs, you can get a touch-up by your stylist or even wear the DIY gloves and do that yourself.
All that is needed to touch up your soft locs is to wash the roots of your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to remove any product buildup before adding products again. Then rinse your hair with enough water and either air dry it or use a bow drier. Afterward, comb the roots and add a braiding gel to refresh the partings.
Get a small piece of the wrap and wrap it over the exposed roots of your natural hair. Palm roll where the loc stops on the crochet extension to secure the loc, and repeat this process over all the locs you want to refresh.
Note that you may only have to refresh some of the locs on your head. Instead, you can only do a touch-up at the front, back, and sides of your head. Also, note that you should only have your soft locs in for a short while after the touch-up, to avoid your natural hair from matting up underneath.
Soft Locs Takedown
You have everything you need to know about wrapping hair for soft locs. Now it’s time to learn how to take down your locs. This is the part that everyone does not like! Having to take it down after a while can be difficult. Do not worry. You will have a stress-free experience with taking your soft locs out if you do it properly by following these steps:
- First step is to twist the loc in the opposite direction that it was wrapped.
- Keep twisting the loc until the braided natural hair is visible.
- Pull out the braid and separate it from the extensions.
- Cut the wrapping extensions.
- Carefully pull out the wrap that was installed at the root.
- Spray your roots with water or oil to loosen up any build-up.
- Then, use a parting comb to take out your braids.
It is also advisable to let another person help with taking out your soft locs to avoid cutting your own hair or, better still, go to your hairstylist if they offer to take down services.
Taiwo is a website content writer and a hairstylist specializing in protective hairstyles. She owns a hairstyling business based in Lagos, where she creates content and markets through social media. Check out her Youtube channel, Stylistondutyng, where you can see her passion for braids in her videos.