Everything You Gotta Know Before Trying Goddess Locs

·6 mins read
Photo credit: @tameramowrytwo, @drkariwill - Instagram
Photo credit: @tameramowrytwo, @drkariwill - Instagram

From Cosmopolitan

Hot tip: If your Instagram save folder is looooaded with goddess locs inspo, it might be time you try them yourself. And, like, why wouldn't you? They're lightweight, versatile, and ridiculously pretty. That's why I tapped two experts—Kari Williams (aka "Dr. Kari," as you probably know her), trichologist and celebrity hairstylist known for her next-level goddess locs, and Jasmine Pierce, hairstylist at Yeluchi in Los Angeles—to break down everything you need to know about the style, from the installation to the maintenance. Keep reading for the ultimate guide and, yup, some inspo pics too.

What are goddess locs?

"Goddess locs are a style of faux locs that give off a more bohemian vibe," says Pierce. Even though there are a few variations on goddess locs, since the look is super customizable, there's one characteristic that sets them apart from traditional faux locs: "The last few inches are left curly or wavy, kinda reminiscent of Lisa Bonet's natural hair," she says.

Dr. Kari says the popularity of goddess locs can be chalked up to the natural-looking finish and the curly, wavy texture. "The locs are lightweight and easy to style, you can add color, and you can give your hair a break during the summer," she says. "The softness of the look with the bohemian-chic vibe gives women an alternative option to braids and twists."

What's the difference between goddess locs and faux locs?

"The biggest distinction is that the ends of goddess locs are left loose and curly, as opposed to the round or burned end that's created with traditional faux locs," says Dr. Kari. "Goddess locs are also more lightweight and better resemble a natural loc." Pierce adds that you can think of goddess locs as a type of faux locs. "If you're getting goddess locs done with hair extensions—which most people are—they're still considered faux locs," she says.

How long do goddess locs take?

The installation length actually depends on the method you use. Pierce says there are two popular ways to install goddess locs: the individual method (which takes up to eight hours) and the crochet method (which takes about three hours). Here's what you can expect from both:

Individual method

Pierce says the individual method is what she typically uses on her clients—it takes a bit longer than the crochet method (think: six to eight hours for the whole head, depending on the length and texture of your locs), but it usually gives you a more realistic-looking result. You start by braiding your natural hair, says Pierce, and then feed in a wavy or curly extension, making sure you leave the end loose and unbraided.

"Then grab another piece of braiding hair and, starting at the root, wrap it around the braid really tight so it mimics a loc," she explains. "You keep wrapping until you get to the end of the braid, and then seal it off with a couple drops of super glue or nail glue." Whether you go with synthetic or human braiding hair is totally personal preference, but Dr. Kari likes to combine two textures of human hair to give the appearance of loose, natural-looking hair.

Crochet method

Perfect for anyone who wants a quicker, easier installation, Pierce says the crochet method takes anywhere from two to three hours. Instead of buying wavy braiding hair and wrapping each piece individually, this process allows you to install pre-made goddess locs using a latch hook. Pierce says you'll start by braiding your natural hair into cornrows and then gently crocheting in the faux locs. "Some people prefer to add a few individual goddess locs around their hairline so it looks more natural and hides the fact that they have a crochet," says Pierce, which can add an extra 45 minutes or so to the process.

BTW: Pierce says many of her clients with fine hair prefer the crochet method, since it's not as heavy on the scalp and hair. "The crochet method doesn't put nearly as much tension at the root of the hair as all the individual wrapping does," she says. "But it really depends on the person and their preference or hair type—there isn't a method that's more right."

How do you maintain goddess locs?

Dr. Kari says the maintenance for goddess locs is fairly simple, and that the key is to "keep the hair lubricated with hair oils to prevent dryness and breakage." Pierce adds that it's also important to cleanse your scalp to break down any buildup or oil (she likes to mix a little shampoo and water in a bottle for easy application).

"If you've used the individual method, try to avoid getting your locs wet when you rinse your scalp," she says. "You have so much hair on your head—the braiding hair and the hair wrapped around it—so it can get pretty heavy and weighed down if you get it wet." And, as with any protective style, it's always a good idea to spritz on a leave-in conditioner for extra hydration:

The final word

Not only are goddess locs a super pretty and versatile style, but Pierce says they're also great for people who are looking to start their loc journey. "A lot of people don't like the in-between phase when they're growing their locs—the stage when it isn't long enough to put in a ponytail, but it's too short to do anything else with it," she says. "You can get loc extensions with human hair to skip that in-between phase. It'll give you more styling versatility instead of having to wait those extra few months."

And if you don't want to loc your hair, says Pierce, just make sure you take out your goddess locs after two months max. "With your hair being in that loc for so long over time, your hair can actually start to loc on its own," she explains. "So if you don't want to have locs permanently, I wouldn't keep your goddess locs in for more than eight weeks."

Officially down to try goddess locs? Screenshot these looks RN:

Tamera Mowry's goddess locs

These blonde goddess locs

This goddess locs bun

Jennifer Hudson's goddess locs

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