Are you looking to install some soft locs in your hair for luxurious, beautiful results?
We want to go in depth in this article about soft locs and how you can use them. We will show you how to install the locs, how to keep them looking beautiful, and even talk about which kind of hair works the best for soft locs.
There’s a lot of substitutions and alternatives you can try that deviate from what we’re offering here. This should just serve as a base guide to get you started, and you can do so much more than we’re going to show you.
However, there’s a lot of groundwork to lay if you’ve never tried putting in soft locs before, so we’re going to cover as much of that as we can to give you a comprehensive guide on the basics of doing soft locs for your hair.
What Are Soft Locs?
These are locs that are designed to be incredibly soft, as you might realize from the name. More specifically, there are locs that are either faux locs that don’t have any stiffness to them or crochet faux locs. The crocheted locs are typically always soft.
Soft locs weren’t something that you could always have for your hair. There was a time where all synthetic locks were very stiff. This helped them retain their look and style, but it could be very uncomfortable, especially if you wanted to sleep with them still in.
Typically, you will wrap your natural hair with the locs to interweave them and create a unified look.
Because they are so soft, these locs are able to move freely and replicate the natural fluidity of your authentic hair. They don’t look as synthetic as traditional stiff locs, so they’re perfect if you’re going for a more natural appearance.
Crocheted locs will have to be installed individually, and that creates a hair type known as faux locs.
They tend to be really long, usually between 30 to 36 inches. They will often reach down to your hips, and that can create an incredibly luxurious look because of how long and free flowing they are. As soon as you install these locs, there’s no stiffness to deal with.
How to Do Soft Locs
Let me share with you a method for putting in soft locs that is called the knot method. This creates a knot at the root when you do it this way.
Begin with clean hair that has been moisturized and straightened. It should be parted into separate sections and then you can work at the roots with a conditioning gel like Shine N’ Jam. This will help to get the roots under control and handle any fly aways, creating neatly parted sections of hair.
Once you have separated the hair into sections, you should then make plaits out of each part as you braid your hair. It’s up to you whether you want to braid the hair only partially or all the way through. You can also choose between box-like parts or freestyle parts.
The next step is to loop the loc through the plait using a crochet needle. You will only be looping in part of the loc (the part with an opening). One the loc is opened, you insert the plait into it. Then, pull the plait through to “lock” the loc in place.
From there, you can crochet in the rest of the locs and then use spring twist hair to wrap around each of the locs. Afterwards, lay the baby hairs and finish up by moussing the locs.
How to Take out Soft Locs
I showed you how to insert the locs, and now let’s talk about how to take them back out when you are ready for that.
There are a couple of different ways you can go about removing your locs. Let me share one with you that involves gently pulling them out.
Start by taking out anything in your hair that is not locs- bands, clips, hair pins, bows, etc. These can get snagged on your hair as you remove the locs, so you want them out of there first.
Then, loosen up the hair on the top of your head and begin pulling the crochet and the hair through the loop from the top. Pull gently so you don’t damage your hair or hurt your scalp. This can be a practically pain-free process if you are careful.
Next, pull the dreads out and check the hair braid to ensure it is intact. Then unravel your hair and moisten it well with conditioner. Make sure you are drenching the hair well and keeping it moist the entire time.
This will allow the locs to come out more easily and keep them from snagging or matting as you work. If you’re looking for how to loosen soft locs, this moisturizing, gentle pull method is the way to go.
How to Take Down Soft Locs
That’s not the only method you can use for how to remove soft locs in your hair. Let me share another one that works really well too.
If you don’t want to use the same locs on your hair again, the cut and unravel method is the best option to use. It is fast and an easy method of faux locs removal.
- Start by cutting the locs from the end and then pull them out and let them unravel as you loosen them from your hair.
- Then, add in conditioner at the roots, moisturizing the hair so it moves more easily for you.
- Once the conditioner is in, you can twist the locs in the opposite direction.
- Pull the crochet hair out of the braid and then cut it.
- You could also twist it out for the braid and then snap it off from there.
Make sure you are taking your time with the cuts so that you don’t cut your own hair in the process.
Finally, pull the crochet hair that’s left in, tugging from the roots, and ease it out.
What Hair to Use for Soft Locs?
If you are going to be putting soft locs in your hair, you want to use the right kind of artificial hair for it.
What hair do you use for soft locs? You can purchase any kind of hair labeled as soft locs, faux locs, or nu locs.
How many packs of hair for soft locs? It typically takes 4 packs of 36” locs or 8 packs of 18” locs.
You’ll also need a crochet needle, spring twist hair, mousse, a rat tail comb, and a conditioning gel like Shine N’ Jam.
How Much Do Soft Locs Cost?
The cost really depends on which brand of locs you get. The name brand ones will cost more.
Bobbi Boss Nu Locs cost $24.97 for a 4-pack of 18”, so you will need two of those 4-packs for soft locs, costing you about $50.
If you opt for a non-name brand option, you can get them for much cheaper. Some of the less expensive brands cost about $30 for all you need to style long soft locs into your hair.
Keep in mind that cheaper ones may be cheaper quality, so they may not last as long or may not be as easy to work with. If you’re just planning to cut them out when you are done, though, it may not matter much to you.
How to Style Long Soft Locs
How you style you locs will depend on what look you are going for. One of the easier styles is crocheted locs, and I’ll show you how to do that.
- Start with distressed faux loc crochet hair and then take each individual strand and split them into three strands. You’ll be doing this one at a time, so don’t get ahead of yourself.
- Each one of the three split strands will be used to wrap each of the faux locs.
- Stretch out the strands to help them seal together at the end.
- Then, use the latch hook and place it inside the crochet loc loop and bring the wrapping hair through.
- Follow that up with sectioning your hair with a rat tail comb, braiding a little on the base and then give it a little twist for easier integration.
- Next, you will use the latch hook to hook the braid base, and then attach the faux loc to that. Pull the braid through and make sure there is a small length left over on the side of the crochet faux loc- about the size of your finger width.
- Wrap the hair by starting from the roots and wrapping two or three times to hold the loc in place. Work your way down but don’t overlap as you wrap. There should be some natural air showing through every so often. Continuously shift the hair up as you work.
- Wrap the locs as far as your natural hair goes, and then you can stop, or go further if you want.
- Wrap about an inch beyond your natural hair and then wrap upwards until there is only a small amount of hair remaining. Seal the hair off by tying it.
This is just one style you can try, and there are tons more. You can get some ideas and tutorials all over the internet with a quick search.
How to Maintain Soft Locs
You can apply conditioner and oil to your locs to keep them from looking untidy. The hair oil can be applied daily or weekly, and you just apply it by hand using your fingers. Add more to the edges (the baby hairs) to keep them in place and nourished.
Moisturizing conditioner can be used as well to keep the edges laid down. You don’t need a special conditioner for this; the same moisturizer you use in your hair regularly will work fine.
Be careful about using hair accessories while you have the soft locs in. They can tug at the locs and pull them out or make them look frayed. They can also cause tension in your hair, damaging the roots and making your hair more fragile.
Try holding your hair in place with silky scarves instead of some of the other hair accessories so that you are gentler on your hair.
How to Keep Soft Locs from Unravelling
If you’re not careful with how you sleep at night with the soft locs in, they can come out and you will lose a lot of your work. To help keep them in place, your nighttime routine is very important.
You should detangle the locs by hand to make sure they don’t stick together.
You can also tie the hair up with a satin bonnet so that the locs don’t tangle. Any artificial hair that is sticking out can be cut off and then gelled to keep it together.
How to Refresh Soft Locs
Your locs can start to get untidy after a while. They can last for 4-6 weeks, but after all that use, they may not look as good as when you first installed them. How do you give them an update and help restore their look so that they are as tight and neat as when you first put them in?
Trimming the frizzy hair ends is the most helpful thing you can do. When hair starts to stick out a bit from your locs, you should snip off those untidy ends and then wash them out, as there will be little pieces left over in your hair from where you cut. Then, gel everything back into place in those key areas you cut.
How you refresh your locs will depend on how they were installed, though. You can work wrapping hair in there to wrap the roots again, and then lay the edges down.
If you used a cornrow method, though, you will probably need to pull some of the locs out at the edges and then add in some new locs to take their place.
I’m Jennifer a beauty and wellness expert. I believe in promoting a sustainable and healthy lifestyle from within. Helping people feel good is my passion; whether it’s teaching yoga or offering skincare advice.