If you’re searching for a no-fuss, free-spirited hairstyle, look no further than butterfly locs. This messy faux loc look will protect and celebrate your natural hair. If you spend any time on social media, you’ve definitely seen beautiful women wearing this trendy style. But are butterfly locs right for you?
Let’s address what you need to know before getting butterfly locs: How much they cost, how to take care of them, and how long they last. Below, you’ll find the answers to all of these questions about butterfly locs – and many more.
Butterfly Locs Basics
Faux locs have been around for years, but are ever-evolving into creative new designs. Butterfly locs are another interpretation of faux locs with a box braid foundation. This new style is in high demand because of its effortless appearance.
What are butterfly locs?
Butterfly locs are a new take on distressed locs (wavy faux hair wrapped into natural plaits). Some people say butterfly locs look like a combination of goddess locs and passion twists, but what makes butterfly locs unique?
- They put significantly less tension on the natural hair.
- Their curly loops give them their signature look.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about these trending tresses.
Do butterfly locs damage hair?
Butterfly locs do not damage the hair more than any other faux loc style. That being said, faux locs do add weight to the hair and may pull on your natural strands. If there is too much tension, the butterfly locs can damage or break the hair. If you already have damaged hair, it’s better to avoid faux locs for now.
However, if your hair is healthy and you don’t go too heavy with your butterfly locs, you shouldn’t see any lasting damage to your hair. (Keep in mind that your butterfly locs will be heavier when wet.) In order to prevent damage:
1. Don’t use too many extensions.
2. Don’t install them too tightly.
3. Care for them properly while you wear them.
In fact, when executed correctly, butterfly locs can protect your hair.
Are butterfly locs a protective style?
Yes, butterfly locs are considered a protective style, just like other faux loc options. It requires braiding the natural hair and then crocheting extensions to the braid. The hair is wrapped together, so the natural hair is somewhat shielded by the faux hair.
This textured, carefree look keeps the ends of the hair tucked away so you aren’t constantly brushing and pulling on your hair. When you manipulate your hair less, it will break less. Wearing butterfly locs can be a good way to let your hair grow uninterrupted.
If you install your butterfly locs with plenty of moisturizing product, you may also be protecting your hair from harsh weather conditions. Not only are butterfly locs a cute protective style, but they’re also exceptionally low-maintenance because as they become messier over time, they look even better!
Do butterfly locs hurt?
Butterfly locs should not hurt as much as other faux loc styles. Butterfly locs are considered a low-tension faux hairstyle, and they’re installed using the crochet method, which is tensionless. To make sure you’re comfortable, don’t install the locs too tightly and don’t use too much extra hair. If you’re getting them done in a salon, share your concerns with your hairdresser.
If you do experience tightness or pain, however, don’t ignore it. Here are some ways to handle it:
- Water: While wetting your butterfly locs will decrease their lifespan, it will also prevent tension, pain, and hair breakage. You can take a shower, spritz your hair with a spray bottle, or wrap the hair with a wet towel.
- Massage: With or without water, try gently massaging the hair at the roots to loosen up the locs. You can use your fingers or a pencil tip (sticking it in the center of each tight braid). Use caution, because this method may disrupt your locs significantly. If you’re worried about your locs, start by massaging just the exposed bit of scalp with the fingertips to reduce the pain.
- Un-style: Are you wearing a high ponytail or bun? Take it out! Avoid tight updos in order to release as much tension as possible. Try a messy braid or loose low bun instead.
- Hydrate: Apply a small amount of leave-in conditioner to the fingertips and gently massage it into the root of every braid, one by one.
- Medicate: Take some OTC pain relievers to temporarily ease the pain. This solution may work if you just recently installed your butterfly locs. The style should loosen within a day or two. However, if the pain is consistent, medication is just a band-aid – not a solution.
Beauty is pain, but it’s not worth suffering over, and a temporary look isn’t worth permanent hair damage. If these methods don’t loosen up your locs, it’s best to remove them.
What hair is used for butterfly locs?
Any wavy faux hair can be used to create beautiful butterfly locs. Try FreeTress Water Wave Braiding/Crochet hair. Some people also use Marley hair to add thickness around the base braids.
Prepare to purchase 6-8 packs of hair, or more depending on how much length and volume you want. Remember, mistakes can be made, so it’s better to buy too many packs than too few.
How long do butterfly locs last?
You can rock your butterfly locs for 4-6 weeks, although some people try to wear them for up to two months. If you try to wear the hairstyle much longer, your hair might become matted.
If you’re going to wear the style as long as possible, it’s important to maintain it properly, including regularly cleaning and moisturizing the locs.
Are butterfly locs hard to take out?
When you’re ready to remove your butterfly locs, here’s what you need to know.
First of all, taking down faux locs is much easier than installing them! However, some women still have trouble removing the locs. We’re here to tell you that as long as you avoid fighting your hair, the removal process should be simple. Here’s what to do:
- Gather your tools: leave-in conditioner, hair shears, a spray bottle, water, and oil.
- Snip the ends of your locs.
- Unwrap the hair patiently.
- When the hair becomes tangled, slide and pull out the wrapping hair from the root.
- Pull apart any existing buildup.
- Drench the unraveled section of hair with conditioner. It’s important to keep them moist so they don’t become a dry and tangled mess.
- Carefully brush the section downwards, starting at the ends and moving up to the root.
- Repeat to remove all your butterfly locs.
Getting Butterfly Locs
Low-tension, protective, and beautifully customizable… it’s no wonder you’re considering butterfly locs. They can be installed either in-salon or at home. Whether you want them thick and messy or defined and sleek, here are some more answers before you install your locs.
How long do butterfly locs take?
Butterfly locs have a shorter installation time than many other protective styles. If you want short to mid-back butterfly locs, you can expect to spend 3-5 hours in your stylist’s chair. For extra-long butterfly locs, an expert might take up to 7 hours to install them.
If you plan to install your new tresses yourself, the process might take longer. The length of time will depend on your experience, length of hair, and which method you choose, but it’s best to set aside several 2–3-hour sessions over the course of a few days.
How much do they cost?
You’ll pay somewhere in the $150-$300 range for butterfly locs in the salon, plus tip. If you plan to install them yourself, you might spend around $100 on the supplies and faux hair.
How do you seal butterfly locs?
Sealing your butterfly locs is key to looking put together. You don’t want your locs unraveling before you’re ready. Here are several methods you can try to seal your butterfly locs:
- Hair product: Hair glue like this one from Salon Pro can create an invisible seal that will hold your locs in place. Alternatively, you could apply a sticky balm, wax, or gel to smooth the hair and prevent it from sliding around.
- Rubber bands: If you don’t mind a visible rubber band, it’s easy to seal your hair by putting an elastic at the end of each loc.
- Lighter flame: Use a candle or lighter to burn each braid by holding it over the flame. After removing it, press down lightly with your fingers to seal the hair.
- Flat iron: Turn your flat iron on low heat and seal your faux locs from top to bottom. Don’t press for too long.
Can you do butterfly locs on short hair?
The standard length of wavy faux hair is 22-28 inches long. If you’re going to use butterfly locs on hair that is shorter than 22-28 inches, use rubber bands to hold the base of the hair, then loop the braiding hair in using a crochet needle.
Maintaining Butterfly Locs
The best thing you can do before getting butterfly locs is prepare your hair! Wash, deep-condition, and moisturize your hair with a leave-in conditioner or hair oil before installing your locs. Once you’re wearing your butterfly locs, here’s how you can keep them looking and feeling fresh:
- Massage your scalp regularly with hair oil to keep it moisturized.
- Use hair mousse to tame frizz and flyaways.
- Rewrap locs when absolutely necessary.
Do butterfly locs loosen up?
Many women have expressed that butterfly locs take a while to loosen up and feel comfortable. In order to prevent tight locs, use the “thumb technique” to create those signature loops. Remember: butterfly locs are supposed to be a little bit messy, so don’t make them too stiff!
If your butterfly locs are too tight, you can soften them by rinsing them out with hot water. One week after installing your butterfly locs, you should be feeling much better.
Why are my butterfly locs stiff?
Sometimes when you first install faux locs, you’ll find them stiff and uncomfortable. Before you get butterfly locs, ask your stylist to do a sample loc. If they’re too tight, let her know you’d like them a little bit looser when you install them all.
Don’t hesitate to rinse them out with hot water if your butterfly locs are too stiff. If they still bother you, ask your stylist for tips or go ahead and remove them. Remember, too much tension defeats the purpose of a “protective” hairstyle!
How do you clean butterfly locs?
Don’t forget to thoroughly wash your hair with a clarifying shampoo before installing your butterfly locs. Once you’re enjoying your protective style, you can use dry shampoo and hair oil to keep your butterfly locs clean and hydrated. If you want to get a deeper clean, you can wash them with shampoo.
Use a non-stripping shampoo to gently rinse the hair directly at the scalp. You won’t have full access to the natural hair, since it will be wrapped up in synthetic hair. Avoid wetting the locs more than necessary. Be gentle in order to preserve the style.
If you do wash your locs, it’s critical to air dry them completely! You don’t want your hair to become a breeding ground for bacteria (another reason to remove the locs after 4-6 weeks).
How do you keep butterfly locs from frizzing?
Even though we’re embracing the messy look with butterfly locs, no one wants too much frizz. You can minimize frizz by applying shea butter, hair oil, and/or leave-in conditioners while you install your butterfly locs… but life can still get in the way.
Here are some ways to control frizz in your butterfly locs.
- Reduce the time you spend touching and styling your hair.
- Invest in good loc products to tame frizz.
- Avoid heavy hair mousse, oil, or moisturizers, as they might cause sticky and frizzy hair.
- Regularly apply a light oil or leave-in conditioner to keep your hair from drying out and frizzing.
- Consider cleansing your scalp with a gentle shampoo or apple cider vinegar wash.
- Re-trim or burn the ends of the hair and then seal your locs again.
How do you store butterfly locs at night?
Before going to bed, first give your locs a little love. Faux locs tend to stick together at night, but you can prevent any problems by following these steps:
- Moisturize the scalp with a hair oil
- Apply some leave-in conditioner to the locs
- Separate each loc from one another
- Wrap the hair in a silk scarf and an XL bonnet (and/or use a silk pillowcase)
By protecting your hair at night, you can control breakage and frizz, and extend the life of your locs.
How do you refresh butterfly locs?
If your butterfly locs are looking a little messy, try applying oil to the scalp, using a little mousse on your flyaways, or re-wrapping the messiest locs. For an instant refresher, keep a spray bottle with 2 parts water and 1 part oil (hair oil, olive oil, or avocado oil) on hand.
Do you still have questions about butterfly locs?
Can you do butterfly locs with passion twists?
Yes, Water Wave Passion Twist Hair is a perfect selection for butterfly locs. You can also use kinky bulk hair, spring twists, and other wavy faux hair. In this video, you can watch one stylist using Passion Twist hair to create beautiful faux locs.
Can you swim with butterfly locs?
Feel free to swim with your butterfly locs. Chlorine or seawater won’t damage your faux hair. Keep in mind that your locs will feel especially heavy after drenching them in water – make sure they air dry completely by sitting out in the sun. Sweating is OK too, and there’s no need to wash your butterfly locs after every workout – just spritz with dry shampoo and leave-in conditioner.
Should I get butterfly locs?
Butterfly locs are a great choice for anyone, even if you’re new to protective hairstyles. It’s easy to install, care for, and remove. The best part? A little messy is a good thing when it comes to this style!