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Soft Locs vs Faux Locs: The Differences, Pros, Cons, & More

aida turner

Published by Aida Turner

Fact checked by Annie

Key Takeaways

  • Soft locs and faux locs are identified because of the natural locs wrapped in loc extensions such as synthetic hair extensions.
  • These Afro-textured hairstyles, including butterfly locs, box braids, and bun-and-twists, are protective styling options that keep the natural texture of your strand in the healthiest state possible.
  • A soft loc and faux loc can fit any hair type and length, yet, it becomes more beautiful with natural curls and waves.
  • Recreating soft and faux locs is easy; you only need to braid or twist in cornrows, install crochet locs, wrap the roots, and style.

Protective hairstyles have been helpful for individuals with Afro-textured hair, as they help in locking in moisture, wrapping hair to protect the ends from extreme weather conditions, and keeping it safe from occasional pulling.

The range of style options for Afros’ wavy, curly, or kinky hair is vast, from cornrows, knots, twists, dreadlocks, braids, and locs protective hairstyles.

If you have Afro hair, you can utilize a protective hairstyle solely from your hair or include a faux loc extension. For the latter method, the soft loc vs. faux locs narrative comes in.

In this article, we’ll learn more about the differences, the pros, the cons, and more regarding soft locs and faux locs.

What Are Soft Locs?

A soft loc is a protective style with a more natural look, lightweight, and low maintenance.

Styling options like this are characterized by natural hair braids in sections or cornrows wrapped in locs of synthetic hair extensions.

To wrap natural hair, the following wrapping method options are used in DIYs and hair salons:

  • Crochet loc method
  • Spring twist hair method
  • Passion twist hair method

Yet, what is most prevalent from these options is the crochet method, where a stylist will use a crochet loc needle to insert the synthetic hair extensions at the top of the tied braid or twisted hair section.

Moreover, this hairstyle is easy to recreate, especially when your own hair has a length ready for some braiding. Yet, when you have a lot of braided sections, it mostly takes up to two to five hours to finish.

Pros of Soft Locs

  • Less tension, less stress on the scalp
  • Protects hair from external factors
  • Looks and feels natural

Cons of Soft Locs

  • Needs intensive hair care and maintenance

What Are Faux Locs?

Faux locs is the umbrella term that covers soft locs and other dreadlocks. Yet, what separates it explicitly from its supporting loc style is the method by which the hair extensions are attached, which we will discuss in later sections.

Nonetheless, faux locs are called as it is because it does not have natural hair locs. Instead, it has fake locs wrapping around the natural hair to hide the braid parts.

Regardless of being fake or real, this is still a great style that originated from the Marley hair phenomenon, which was made famous by Bob Marley, the reggae icon. [1]

But, the feat the Marley hair achieved was not just out of the blue, as it was rooted in the Rastafari Movement of the 1930 Jamaican sociopolitical environment. [2]

It is also essential to take note that doing faux locs can take you from a minimum of four hours to nine hours as its maximum period.

Pros of Faux Locs

  • Gives hair necessary rest from detailed styling
  • Hair has the freedom to move to ease tension
  • Protects natural hair from damage

Cons of Faux Locs

  • Added weight and tension for the scalp, head, and neck

Soft Locs vs Faux Locs – What Are the Differences?

Now that we have laid down the essential information on soft and faux locs, it is high time to take a closer look at their differences (in pictures, too!).

First, soft locs differ from faux locs in the hair used in attaining the loc hairstyle. In this case, soft locs use pre-formed crochet locs to lock in the natural hair at the roots:

On the other hand, a faux loc uses Marley hair and Kanekalon hair extensions to wrap the dreadlocks. Kanekalon hair is deemed of higher quality than other synthetic hair extensions:

The next difference is in the average time of doing these locs styles. Soft locs are done for approximately two to five hours to wrap everything up to the roots.

Faux locs, on the other end, are more intricate as Kanekalon hair is added to the glitz and glam of the overall hairstyle, meaning taking four to nine hours to perfect.

Lastly, they differ in cost. Soft locs are priced at $200 to $400, while faux locs only cost $100 to $300 despite being more time-consuming.

Styling Soft Locs & Faux Locs

Regarding style options, soft locs are similar to faux locs in terms of process.

You can even use a similar style method to refashion your soft locs and faux locs, just like in buns, goddess locs, and hair jewelry.

Yet, what sets them apart in the method are the materials used in wrapping the natural hair.

For soft locs, stylists use pre-formed crochet faux locs. On the other hand, in faux locs, stylists are more inclined to use Kanekalon or Marley hair extensions.

How to get soft locs and faux locs?

Getting soft locs or faux locs is easy to achieve for that eight-week protective style. All you have to follow is this step-by-step method:

  1. Clean your hair by lathering using a Shea Moisture shampoo and towel drying using a large microfiber hair towel.
  2. Moisturize and hydrate your hair using a leave-in conditioner like the Okay Black Jamaican Castor Oil leave-in conditioner.
  3. Create braided (plait) sections for your natural hair in preparation for soft locs or faux locs using a steel pin rat tail comb.
  4. Crochet faux locs, spring twist, or passion twist your braided strands using a Luwigs dreadlocks crochet needle to insert the loc extensions.
  5. Secure your natural locs by wrapping them inside the loc extension or hair extension. Add some NaturAll Avocado and Kiwi braiding gel to seal the edges and control baby hairs.
  6. Lastly, bejewel or style up your crocheted soft locs or faux locs using buns, ponytails, hair jewelry, beads, and more.

How much are the soft locs or faux locs?

Soft locs have a different price range from faux locs, with soft locs costing $200 to $400, while faux locs are on a $100 to $300 pricing average.

The prices established for soft locs or faux locs vary because of the following:

  • The styling method needed
  • The expertise of the professional stylist
  • The materials to be used in soft locs or faux locs

Not to discount the fact that both hair extension methods are intricate because they entail a long-term commitment.

Which hair is optimal for soft locs vs faux locs

Thick or thin, long or short, there is no denying that both soft and faux locs can deliver eye-catching styling visuals for your Afro-textured hair — regardless if your hair is kinky, coily, wavy, or curly.

Nonetheless, in a soft loc, you can have crocheted extensions that have the following length:

  • 30-inch length
  • 36-inch length

For faux locs, on the other hand, medium length of crocheted extensions are primarily used, such as:

  • 10-inch length
  • 20-inch length

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Does soft loc or faux loc require more maintenance?

Having crocheted soft locs or faux locs means committing to a regular maintenance or hair care routine.

For soft locs, you need extra patience in taking care of it by remembering specific tips, such as:

  • Wear shower caps every time you go for a body shower to prevent the natural locs from splitting with the soft faux locs
  • Keep your hair’s texture hydrated to the roots
  • Never skip wrapping your hair every night before sleeping

On the other end, faux locs need some loving and caring, too. To do this, here are what you need to bear in mind:

  • Wear satin and silk wraps before going to bed to ease tension
  • Massage your scalp with your fingers every time you shower
  • Rinse with lukewarm or hot water when faux locs become stiff and frizzy

Final Words

To wrap things up, you now know everything about how soft locs or faux locs can elevate your protective styles for your Afro-textured hair.

Even though they differ in the hair extension used, the average time in making the locs, and in cost, they still give off the same protection (from the wrap method) and aesthetics.

To maintain your hairstyle for six to eight weeks, never forget to take care of it with regular hydration, wearing silk wraps, and properly cleaning the scalp and strands.

Now that you know what the sitch is in this soft locs vs. faux locs debate, go and get the soft or faux loc style of your dreams!

aida turner


Founder & Hair Beauty Specialist

I’m Aida and this is my blog where I write mostly about beauty and make up related stuff, but I like to spice it up a bit with lifestyle and photography posts. Or with whatever that comes to my mind. Hope you will enjoy the reading enough that we will ‘see’ each other more often!