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Different types of locs

By :Thando Mavuso 0 comments
Different types of locs

One of the most common forms of natural hair “styles” are locs, for a long time locs were referred to as a permanent hair style but in essence they are just a form/type of natural hair. As much as locs look simple and easy, they are complex and different. How they are started and maintained determines the kind of locs they are. This article goes into the basics of different types of locs.

One of the things that majorly differentiate locs are sizes, they can be grouped into big locs and micro locks. Big locs are often medium sized to jumbo sizes whereas micro locs can go from small in size to extra small - which can even be an eighth of an inch in size. First, we can start with the most familiar ones and what some would call the OG locs - the dreadlocks. It is important to mention that all types of locs are generally referred to as dreadlocks however they have other defining names. The dreadlocks we are talking about now are the traditional locs which are often done through palm rolling or comb coiling. These are often standard sized - like medium sized box braid but can be as big as jumbo braids (often less than 10 locs on the head). 

The second most familiar form of locs are micro locs, these are smaller in size and differ in the way they are started and maintained. There are micro locs which are started using the gel palm rolling method, this is a process where gel is used in a twisting motion or rolling in the palms. The gel locks the hair in the form and as time goes the stands tangled around themselves enough to form the loc. Gel palm rolling locs can be made into bigger sizes however the maintenance would be much more frequent to ensure the hair locks in the desired form. Another form of micro locs can be started/created using two twist strands, this process is done through parting the hair into small sections and doing two strand twists and leaving them in that form till the hair tangles around the two strand twist  creating a loc. The last form of locs that are differentiated by the forming process are interlocked locs, these are done through a process of interlocking where a tool is used to kind of tie the hair around the strand to create a loc. interlocking is one of the most recommended technique for locs as it is painless and has little to no tension on the hair. 


Another popular form of locs are the sister locs, these fall under micro locs which are created through interlocking. They are much smaller in size and are often done by a professional. Sisterlocks get their name from the process of getting them done and early maintenance. As sister locs are always recommended to be done by professionals, the time spent between the hairdresser and yourself can create a relationship between you like that of sisters. Sister locs are becoming much more popular because they are the least painful in starting and maintaining, the ability to make them as small as you desire often means they have vast styling ability such as box braids differing in sizes. 

One of the unpopular ways of getting locs is the crochet technique, this is when faux locs or a persons old locs get crocheted onto their short locs to create longer appearing locs. This method is not often used as it can be unhygienic but people are drawn to it because it gives the illusion of longer locs while growing your shorter locs underneath, some people just use their older locs which they cut and kind of continue growing locs by merging their old ones to the new ones. This technique is best done by a professional who can monitor and maintain it without getting your scalp damaged. 

The above mentioned locs are all permanent pics, a form of temporary locs that can help you determine what kind and type of locs you want are called faux locs. These locs are made of synthetic material and are often installed via crochet on braided strands. Different hair stylist install them different but fundamentally, these are installed as a protective style on your hair. Faux locs come in different sizes and looks, ranging from large to small. Extra small faux locs are not widely available unless you get a hair stylist to make and install them for you. 

Even though the type of locs can be determined by the process used to create them, the process of maintenance can change over time. This means that one can change the maintenance in regards to locking overgrowth from one technique to another depending on what works best for them. For example, one can create their locs using the gel palm rolling method but change it to interlocking after a while -  this doesn't mean that the loc will have to be detangled and started over from scratch.

Locs are still maintained like natural hair, however there are a lot differences in the maintenance such as no detangling for locs and needing more clarifying shampoo washes; with all that being said, a large population of the locs community can agree that locs are definitely easier to maintain. It's important to recognise that there are new ways of creating and maintaining locs which means that there is still a lot of information about locs that we are yet to uncover. 

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