The winter is a perfect time to sport a new protective style to shield your hair from damaging tools, styling products, and environmental disruptors — aka cold winds and moisture-lacking air. And as a bonus, while your hair will require minimal maintenance (washing only once a week), it will also grow while in a protective style. A win, win if you will. A favorite among most naturals are goddess locs and the many hairstyle ideas they can provide.
“Goddess locs are a type of faux locs that can be installed with both human and synthetic hair,” says Cristina Bosque, hairstylist at Rita Hazan Salon. The main difference between goddess locs and traditional locs is the wavy or curly unfinished ends, whereas dreadlocks have finished ends. Unlike other protective styles — box braids, cornrows, and Fulani braids that need to be re-installed every 4-8 weeks — goddess locs can be worn for a couple of months.
There are numerous ways that you can wear and style goddess locs, especially in the winter. Erinn Courtney, StyleSeat Hairstylist and Loctician, recommends bob length goddess locs for easy maintenance and short-time wear, and long human hair goddess locs for long lasting styles. Regardless of what length you choose, the versatility will allow you to style your hair whichever way you choose. Ahead, discover six expert-approved goddess loc hairstyles to try out this winter.
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High Ponytail Goddess Locs
Show off your cheekbones with a sleek and sophisticated high pony. When styling, make sure to “avoid heavy creams, gels, and waxes in the locs because it will cause build up in the locs and attract dirt,” says goddess locs creator and celebrity stylist Dr. Kari Williams. And to keep your edges controlled, Courtney suggests edge controls like Virgin Lacquer Gel Pomade for neatness at the hairline and for laid baby hairs.
Keeping your hair moisturized throughout the duration of the style will be paramount with goddess locs. To shampoo the style, Dr. Williams encourages clients to apply the shampoo directly to the scalp and use the pads of your fingertips to build the lather — then rinse out completely. “To cleanse the locs, apply shampoo to the palms of your hands and gently stroke the locs in a downward motion. Rinse completely.” Make sure your locs are completely dry before styling to prevent the hair from mildewing.
Gather It All Up
“The trick to maintaining locs is all about caring for the scalp,” Bosque tells TZR. “You can mist the scalp with rosewater or use an oil to add moisture and maintain loc health.” Another option is coconut oil, castor oil, avocado oil or olive oil. “These natural oil blends will penetrate and condition the locs, keep the scalp conditioned, and provide the hair with vitamins,” Bosque continues.
A twisted updo is a great style for upcoming parties and events. According to Dr. Williams, “human hair makes the style lighter and increases the longevity of the style, while making it easier to manipulate.” Meaning, if you want to crimp or curl the locs you can as long as the hair is wet — they can mold into whatever style you want. A top product Dr. Williams recommends is Hair Under There BOMB Braid Conditioner for the hydration it provides.
To install at-home, Mane Addicts stylist Sabrina Porsche recommends braiding the natural hair along with synthetic hair and then using different types of synthetic hair, kinky hair, or kinky straight hair to wrap around the braid to get the goddess locs pigtail look. To maintain the style for months to come, Dr. Williams recommends a touch up around the hairline after 6-8 weeks.
Let It Flow
The key for long loose goddess locs is to keep hair lubricated with hair oils to prevent dryness and breakage. And for a nighttime routine, like most protective styles, Porsche recommends wrapping your hair with a silk or satin scarf or bonnet, or using a silk or satin pillowcase.