Here's Everything You Need to Know About Butterfly Locs

If you're looking to keep your natural hair tucked away to promote growth and prevent damage, there are lots of cool protective styles to choose from. However, there's one style that's increased in popularity lately: butterfly locs.

I'm sure the cute name has you intrigued. So, what are butterfly locs and how do they differ from regular faux locs?

According to Erinn Courtney, a StyleSeat hairstylist and loctitian, butterfly locs are a distressed loc style with wing-like characteristics throughout the shaft of the lock. "They differ from regular faux locs because of the wing-like distress which is created by holding a piece of hair outward while the rest of the hair is wrapped tightly around the shaft of the loc," says Courtney.

Feel like giving butterfly locs a try? Below, Courtney explains everything you need to know about this trending style.

What makes butterfly locs a good protective style?

Apart from the fact that butterfly locs give you that boho-chic vibe, Courtney says they're a good protective style because, like regular faux locs, all of your natural hair is bound and protected by the hair wrapped around it. This leaves it unexposed to breakage caused by the environment.

Another great thing about butterfly locs is that the messier they get, the better they look. So no need to worry about keeping them super-neat.

How long does it take to install butterfly locs?

The speed at which it's completed depends on your stylist, the size you want, and the length of your locs. On average, it can take anywhere from three to six hours to install this style.

How are butterfly locs installed?

Most hairstylists use synthetic braiding or twisting hair to create butterfly locs.

"Depending on the desired look, either straight or textured hair can be used," says Courtney. "Butterfly locs are created by periodically holding pieces of hair outward, while the rest of the hair is wrapped tightly around the shaft of the loc."

How long do butterfly locs last?

Butterfly locs can last anywhere between four to six weeks before the natural roots start to lock and the style becomes frizzy.

VIDEO: How to Protect Your Baby Hairs While You Have in a Protective Style

What’s the best way to care for butterfly locs?

If you want to ensure this style lasts at least four weeks, Courtney says to sleep with the locs up in a bun at night. "I also recommend wrapping the edges of the hair with a silk or satin scarf and sleeping on silk or satin pillowcases," she says. 

Synthetic hair tends to draw the moisture out of the natural hair, so it's also good to have a spray bottle filled with jojoba oil and water to periodically spritz your locs and replenish the moisture of your natural hair.

What’s the best way to wash butterfly locs?

The best way to wash butterfly locs is to work gently and slowly: Focus the pads of your fingertips directly on the scalp without manipulating the shaft of the lock. "Just let the shampoo wash down the shaft of the loc while rinsing," says Courtney. 

How do you know when it’s time to remove butterfly locs?

If your scalp becomes itchy or irritated, or if the root of the natural hair starts to lock and dread, it's time to remove them. Also, if the style has become too fuzzy or messy for your desired look, it's time to say goodbye.

What’s the best way to remove butterfly locs?

"The best way to take them out is to cut the end of the lock and unravel the hair from the bottom," says Cortney. To prevent cutting your natural, she says to cut the loc a few inches below the end of your natural hair.

How much does it cost to install butterfly locs?

The price of the butterfly locs depends on your location and the skill level of the hairstylist. However, on average, it can cost between $150 – $500. 

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