Natural hair is one of the most versatile textures that lends itself to a variety of styles. From tight curls and curls to straight curls with extensions, the choices for natural looks are almost endless. But as well as housing a range of options, it also often needs to be stowed in protective clothing to maintain health despite environmental influences such as heat and humidity. In these times when the weather and the use of hot tools are taking their toll on their strands, most naturals resort to hairstyles like braids. But this summer, soft locs — a fake dreadlock style — are quickly becoming one of the most popular protective styles.
In keeping with the “soft girl” aesthetic, these locs have an understated feminine feel that the internet has happily embraced. That means you’ve probably seen them on your social feeds before (or twice). Featuring custom crocheted faux-locs, the look is more flexible than traditional dreadlocks or braids and is much easier to attach and style.
With the summer season rolling and you’re looking for a new look to try, why not consider one of the many styles that soft-locs can offer? To help you browse the options, we’ve rounded up 10 looks to take with you to your next appointment.
High ponytail and side bang
Thanks to their subtle and natural texture, soft-locs are the perfect protective style to recreate that popular 90’s look. To achieve the full effect of a slicked-down pony, slick each curl to the side and secure them tightly at the back of your head with an elastic band.
Mid-length butterfly locs
Although many protective hairstyles like braids and cornrows are popular in summer for their hip-hugging looks, some styles like butterfly locs work best on medium lengths. With a texture more reminiscent of natural curls, butterfly locs add the illusion of volume, making them ideal for shoulder-length styles like this lob.
Half up, half down
The simplicity is why this style continues to be a favorite no matter the length. Whether you are in a hurry or aiming for a casual look, you can never go wrong with a half up half down hairstyle.
Take a page from Ciara’s book and get creative with colorful locomotives this season. Even if you’re not ready for an all-pastel look like the singer recently sported, an ombré style is an easy way to add a beachy feel to your tresses. For a sun-kissed look, try different shades of hair that gradually lighten towards the ends of the curls.
Boho soft locks
This summer, the boho trend extends beyond knotless braids to other styles for a vibrant look ideal for breezy days. Similar to the braided versions, boho locs feature tiny tendrils of curls radiating from each loc to create a unique style.
Half bun hairstyle
Unlike braids, which can have a rigid look, soft locs are meant to be flowy and can be placed in top bun styles. Take this casual half up and half down style for example.
Despite the durability of Soft-Locs, there are days when your edges need a little extra care. But that doesn’t mean your appearance has to suffer. Instead of reaching for your favorite hat, try styling your tresses with a colorful head wrap to add a pop of color to your look.
If you like the bohemian look but need a style that’s a little more low-maintenance than free-flowing tendrils, opt for a wavy soft-loc style. The loose curls not only add volume, but they can also be quickly brushed to one side for an effortless look.
Extra long lengths
For meaningful length, soft locs are an ideal protective style as they put less tension on the hair root and are much lighter than braids. It also takes a lot less time to get dressed and undressed, so you don’t have to feel guilty about the shorter wearing time if you’re just planning them for a special vacation.
Keep things simple with a raised ponytail like this Y2K-style one with tendrils framing the face. With a style like this, care should be taken to keep the hair fresh around the parting. Wearing a soft silk scarf while sleeping is essential.
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