How to Take Down Soft Locs
How often do you change your mind about changing your hair? When did you last decide to make a radical change with your hairstyle?
It looks like not enough people take that big leap of faith when it comes to altering their everyday hairstyles.
There are scientific studies that suggest over 90% of people instantly regret some of the decisions that they make in life.
In a 2019 style regret survey, only 37% of people admitted that they are open to changing their regular hairstyle. And over 66% said they constantly regretted style changes they previously adopted, especially hairstyles, in the past.
We present these statistics to corroborate that we know exactly how hard it is to change your hairstyle radically. Your hairstyle aesthetically represents you.
A hairstyle can represent an identity for some people. Your hairstyle speaks for you. Humans mostly communicate nonverbally, so you are being judged by your clothes and hairstyle by others long before you even open your mouth.
And this reality may explain why some people are hesitant about getting dreadlocks.
Dreadlocks are arguably the world's oldest and most natural hairstyle. Depending on your hair's natural curliness or texture, it could take anywhere between six months to two years to develop dreadlocks.
You must periodically twist partitioned hair follicles for months for those hair follicles to begin fusing and sticking together. And while there are a few methods you can employ, this natural hair manipulation process is all that is needed to create dreadlocks.
And relative to other hairstyles, dreadlocks are low maintenance. Additionally, you will end up spending a lot less money on hair grooming products with dreadlocks.
However, developing dreadlocks requires a lot of time sacrifice during the development stage.
Once your dreadlocks get long enough, you can groom them into many hairstyles. However, once you get dreadlocks, you can then change back to a non-dreadlock hairstyle.
If you change your mind about your dreadlocks, then you need to cut them off completely.
Or you will need to endure a time-consuming and costly dreadlock follicle detangling process that can take hours or days to complete.
But what if there was a middle ground between rocking the dreadlock hairstyle before you actually get it?
Do you ever want the look and feel of dreadlocks but don’t want to commit to the time and permanence of them? Or are you looking for a fresh look for a season or a special occasion? Wherever you fall in those questions, faux locs are a great option for you. You get the look and feel of dreadlocks instantly, with even more variations, but without the permanence. One of those variations of faux locs is called soft locs.
Related: Soft Locs vs Faux Locs
What Are Soft Locs
Soft locs are a variation of faux locs that are soft to the touch. Their softness is a significant accomplishment for faux locs because they used to be all stiff and appeared unnatural. But soft locs achieve this softness because of the hair and method used to create the style.
To make soft locs, you braid your hair in the desired sized sections right to the ends. Then take wavy hair and once you anchor it to the base of your braid, wrap it around your natural braid to bring about the length, volume, and beauty of soft locs.
Most faux locs hairstyles look aesthetically like like coiled hair or replica dreadlocks. When done correctly, soft locs can look remarkably like the real thing.
Soft locs are also known as "crochet faux locs." They are basically long strands of soft synthetic hair that resemble soft-looking dreadlocks.
You or a stylist must install soft locs, sometimes with the use of wrapping hair, at partitioned roots of your scalp. And you can use a crochet pin or dreadlock crochet pick to accomplish this.
In other words, pre-form lengths of crochet faux locs are carefully and meticulously crocheted into your natural hair. Some sections of your natural hair may need to be plaited to help achieve this aesthetic.
And after the crocheted locs are finally installed, each soft loc is then wrapped with a hair extension.
The expert application of the hair wrapping is what makes soft locs look so much like natural dreadlocks.
Do Soft Locs Damage Your Hair?
Soft locs, like all faux locs, are intended to be a protective style with the added advantage that it looks fantastic. But if not installed correctly, any protective style can damage your hair.
Here are a few possible issues:
- The added weight of extra hair on the head can pull on your roots and maybe cause neck and back pain too.
- Excessive tension may cause continued stress on your scalp leading to weakened hair and roots.
- The tension is especially damaging to your edges because hair is thinner at the edges and susceptible to breakage.
- Soft locs that are left in too long mean that your hair is suffering from the above for a prolonged period.
- Even if you remove your soft locs in a timely fashion, redoing them too often without a rest for your natural hair may lead to damage.
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How to Maintain Soft Locs
The trick to not incurring any of the damage mentioned above is to maintain your soft locs properly.
Here are the tips to taking better care of them and avoiding any damage:
Don’t Treat Soft Locs Like Real Locs
It’s tempting, but don’t treat your soft locs (or any faux locs) like they’re the real thing - they aren’t. So don’t do things like re-twist the new growth the way you would with natural locs. This will cause your hair to loc - for real. And may also cause other damage that will remain unnoticeable until you take down the soft locs.
Moisturize and Hydrate Your Hair
Don’t neglect your own hair in this process. Remember to use oils to gently massage your scalp, leave-in conditioners to moisturize your roots, and rosewater for hydration. This will help to strengthen your roots and new growth against the constant tug of the soft locs.
Clean it - Don’t Wash it
Yes, you have to keep your hair and the soft locs clean, but that doesn’t mean you need to shampoo. Strictly speaking, your hair doesn’t need it until you take the soft locs out. To keep your scalp clean, you can rinse your scalp with an apple cider vinegar and water mixture every couple of weeks.
If you must shampoo, consider a sulfate-free shampoo. Be gentle and rinse thoroughly, so no soap is left in the locs.
Protect Your Locs At Night
Wear silk or satin on your hair at night to avoid drying out or the picking up of dust or lint from your bed lines. Covering your locs at night will also keep your natural hair moist and hydrated longer, as well as keep the locs tidier.
How to Take Down Soft Locs - 3 Methods
Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, how to take down soft locs. If you’ve maintained them well, they’ll be easier to remove, and you’ll be happy with the look and feel of your own hair. Here are three methods for removal.
The kinder, gentler method is to almost excessively moisturize your hair throughout the process of removal. The soft locs are easy to remove, and it keeps your own hair from breaking or becoming tangled.
- Create a mixture of conditioner and water in a spray bottle.
- Snip the end of the soft loc you’re removing.
- Gently unwrap the hair from around your hair.
- Spritz your hair with your mixture to soften your hair and prevent tangles.
- Add a little oil to your hair as you go to prevent it from drying out before you’ve removed all of the soft locs.
This method was found on YouTube with natural hair influencer Adaisha Miriam who shows a quick way to remove soft locs.
- Begin close to the root of the soft loc and find your own braid, then get a good grip.
- If you can’t get a good grip, unravel the wrapping hair enough to reach your own hair.
- When you feel your own hair, pull it gently out of the wrapped hair.
- With your braid out of the way, hold onto the top part of the wrapping hair and cut it off with scissors. Be very careful not to cut your own hair.
- Now that the loc has been cut off, gently remove any remaining hair from the base of your braid.
If you would rather not cut off the bit of wrapping hair in step 4, you can leave it attached and carefully unbraid your own hair, which will free the wrapping hair at the root.
This method is also perfect for preserving the wrapping hair to be reused in a second installation.
This method is probably the most straightforward.
- Cut the end of each soft loc.
- As you pull on your own hair, gently unravel the wrapping hair until your own hair is free.
- This may take a little longer than the first two methods, but it can be employed without damaging your hair.
- You may or may not want to detangle and moisturize as you go or wait until all of your hair is out.
Related: How to Get Lint Out of Locs
Are soft locs hard to remove?
No, soft locs are easy to remove, especially if you use our previously described methods. Method 1 is the easiest and most gentle way to remove your locs by snipping the end of your locs and unwrapping your hair using your fingertips. You may need to go slowly and spray your hair with conditioner to prevent tangles, but you should be able to remove your locs without any pain after a few minutes.
How do you loosen soft locs?
You can loosen your locs using a few methods. You can cut the end of each loc, then pull on your hair and unravel the wrapped locs until your hair is free. If your hair feels dry, you can unravel your locs while spraying them with water and conditioner.
Are soft locs damaging?
Soft locs can protect your hair from dirt, grime, and other forms of damage while helping you maintain and moisturize your hair in no time. However, if you fail to install your locs correctly, you can damage your hair by pulling it out from the roots. Follow instructions for installing soft locs carefully, watch videos online, and look at before-and-after photos to compare your locs to those made by professionals.
Once you’ve installed your locs, monitor your hair for signs of damage, like tangles. If you notice damage, loosen your locs and rest your hair for a few weeks before installing them again.
How many weeks do soft locs last?
Soft locs can last between four to six weeks, depending on your hair's health and how tight your locs are. You can make your locs last longer by moisturizing your hair regularly and sleeping on your locs correctly.
What is the fastest way to remove locs?
The fastest way to remove locs is to cut the end of each loc with scissors and pull on your hair, unraveling your hair. You can remove all of your locs within a few minutes.
What are the cons of soft locs?
Soft locs are not as tight as other locs, so they offer less protection than them, and they can fall apart if you don’t carefully tie them. Excessive tension in your locs can strain your scalp, head, and neck, causing pain and breaking your hair. If your hair grows longer, you cannot twist the new growth, as your hair may get damaged or twist permanently.
Do soft locs cause tension?
Locs can cause tension if you’re not careful. Tying the locs too tight can strain your scalp, roots, and neck. If you’re diligent with installing your locs and get help from hair care professionals, you should be fine.
Do soft locs get heavy when wet?
Yes, your soft locs can get heavy while they’re wet. A little water in your locs is okay because it can moisturize your hair and remove debris. But you should dry them after swimming or taking a bath. You can use a hairdryer to remove excess moisture but not a towel, as you risk damaging your hair.
Do you dip soft locs in hot water?
You can dip your soft locs in hot water to seal your locs and keep them tight. You can fill a bowl with hot but not steaming water, hold your locs with your fingertips, and dip them into the water. You don't need to do this if you’re comfortable with how your locs look and feel.
Is it bad to sleep with wet locs?
Yes, it can be harmful to sleep with wet locs, as you can trap bacteria in your hair or crush your locs. Dry your hair and rest your head on a silk, waterproof pillowcase. You can follow additional tips for sleeping with locs, like covering your hair with a nylon stocking, cap, or scarf.
Does hot water loosen locs?
Yes, hot water can loosen locs and make your hair less stiff. The key is to thoroughly rinse your scalp and hair before easing the locs.
The Final Word on Soft Locs
Soft locs are a beautiful way to protect your hair and look fabulous at the same time. As long as you moisturize your hair well before the soft locs are installed, you won’t have any unpleasant surprises when you remove them.
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