The Right Way to Care for Faux Locs

Faux locs have become one of the hottest trends in protective styling. The style has popped up on red carpets around the globe since 2015, with celebrities lining up to transform their hair into the chic, yet bohemian, style. Often confused with loc extensions, faux locs are a temporary style that’s closer to box braids in their application. Applauded for being low-maintenance, the style still requires special care to look and perform its best. Below, we offer tips on maintaining faux locs from the day they’re installed to the day you take them down.

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    Don’t think of them as locs

    Even though faux locs look and feel like traditional locs, they shouldn’t be confused with the real thing. Traditional locs are meant to last a lifetime, while faux locs can be styled to last for four to six weeks. Faux locs can be an easier styling choice for anyone looking for less of a permanent commitment.

    Re-twisting the new growth on traditional locs is routine as the hair grows out, but you don’t want to twist or style the roots of your faux locs. Choosing to do so may cause damage that will only become noticeable when it’s time to take them out.

    Cleanse don’t wash

    What’s better than a style that also helps protect your hair? Faux locs are considered a protective style because while they’re installed, your natural hair can be protected from heat, environmental damage, and breakage from combing and brushing. Therefore, they don’t “need” to be washed during the time they are worn. 

    However, if you feel you need a cleanse, rinse the scalp once every two weeks with an apple cider vinegar solution or other products designed to keep your scalp’s pH balanced

    If you’d like to cleanse your hair, you can use a sulfate-free shampoo for a more gentle wash. If you’re curious about finding the perfect sulfate-free shampoo, take our consultation to find your custom formula. Although you may not be cleansing your hair frequently, it could be helpful to have a gentle and safer shampoo on hand for when you do.

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    Hydrate the hair underneath

    Oils and leave-in conditioners can be a protective style’s best friend. Our oils and leave-in conditioners can be made custom for you. We use natural ingredients, and continue to research the best ingredients for your specific hair type and we’ll even tailor to any hair treatments or styles, like extensions or locs. 

    Applying oil to the scalp will seal in moisture and nourish new growth when the faux locs start to weigh on your roots. Because of their shape, curly or coiled strands (3c and 4c) can have a hard time moving oils from the scalp to the lengths of hair. Our custom hair oil is a premium oil that preserves strands and smooths away frizz, whether used as a treatment before washing or as a styling finish. 

    The Prose leave-in conditioner can help to detangle and smooth flyaways, leaving strands silky, glossy, and manageable. This hydrating mist could be the perfect way to hydrate your strands while they are styled with faux locs. Our formulas couldn’t exist without you, so get started with yours today.

    Things can be more challenging when hair has been roped into faux locs because the added strands—whether synthetic, yarn, or human hair—absorb the oils from the scalp. On top of that, because you aren’t shampooing and conditioning as you usually would for a month or longer, you aren’t able to move products around the scalp to refresh it.

    To keep roots hydrated and intact, apply naturally sourced oils to the roots and scalp. Coconut oil (which has a high moisture retention capacity), can work best since it doesn’t break down or allow moisture to escape easily. 

    Castor oil is a staple in Jamaica and other Caribbean countries, and it’s a magical ingredient. It can nourish the scalp, allowing roots to grow stronger, warding off bacteria, and helping pH balance. We have a long list of natural ingredients that help support your hair’s health. Read more about our other natural ingredients, and see which may be best for your hair.

    Fight frizz

    Locs are a natural style that will likely frizz. This style looks most natural and best when it’s a little ‘lived in.’ But, if you want to keep unwanted frizz to a minimum, look for a sealing product to keep your new growth and the frizz around your faux locs tamed. With a product like hair oil, you can tame frizz and keep it at bay.

    Look for products that contain shea butter, a miracle product that contains five principal fatty acids: palmitic, stearic, oleic, linoleic, and arachidonic acids. They provide essential nutrients, improve hair health, help fight breakage, and (best of all) work to smooth strands of all types. 

    Shea oil can repair fibers in your hair, nourish your strands, and work to support your hair’s overall health. Shea oil and shea butter are wonderful for adding moisture and taming frizz.

    Protect your edges

    Delicate edges can be left out of faux locs for a good reason: avoiding the edges is the best way to protect them. If you want to keep your edges “laid”, keep them moisturized with the same nourishing conditioner you use on the scalp. 

    Depending on your hair’s porosity, you can apply hair oil every day or once a week using your fingers. Since edges (also known as baby hairs) can be more delicate and fine, they need more attention and more nourishment. 

    If you’re having trouble determining which hairs are baby hairs (edges) and which are breakage, we offer a more detailed explanation of the differences and how to style and protect these hairs.

    Pro-Tip: Be mindful of the hair accessories you are using on your faux locs. Headbands and hair ties can pull at faux locs, creating tension on the roots and the delicate edges. Try to use silky scarves for a more gentle way to hold your hair back. This is the perfect way to accessorize and care for your hair at the same time.

    Sleep on silk

    The best way to keep faux locs moisturized and neat is to trade in your cotton pillowcases for satin or silk. Because cotton fibers absorb and rub out moisture, you may be engaging in hours of hair damaging activity while you sleep. Cotton pillowcases can cause unnecessary breakage due to more friction on the fabric. Again, try to limit the use of cotton and instead use silk or satin.

    Whether you prefer a silky scarf, a pillowcase, or both, swapping cotton for silk will extend the life and beauty of your locs. Using silk or satin is an easy way to protect your hair while you sleep, without even thinking about it!

    Do your research

    Before you invest in faux locs, do your homework. Find a stylist that best suits you and your hair type. Aim to find a stylist who has perfected the craft, and wants to preserve the integrity of your hair. Knowing exactly who is going to be styling your hair and the skills they possess will ensure that you’ll walk out of the salon with a style you love.

    Faux locs could be the perfect, temporary style for you, rather than committing to having locs long term. Now that you know more about faux locs, there is so much more opportunity for styling freedom—the opportunities are endless.