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What Are Goddess Locs? The Protective Style Is Perfect For Summer & Beyond

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While the options are already limitless, we all look forward to when a protective style trend emerges. We've fallen in love with passion twists, mastered at-home knotless braids, and now, we're fawning over goddess locs. The style is a fresh take on traditional faux locs and its natural, distressed look is "carefree Black girl" personified. And as many of us still sit at home eagerly learning new tricks of the hair trade, brands are finding ways to make executing the sought-after look easier than ever — even for novices. So if you've been looking for a style to break the monotony, and are willing to use a little bit of patience, goddess locs may be the look you've been waiting on.

What Are Goddess Locs?

"Goddess locs are a form of faux locs, with more 'dramatic' styling," Bonita Rebel, hair influencer and founder of Bonita Locs, tells TZR. The most notable difference, Rebel notes, is the hair used is much softer than the traditional hair used for faux locs. "For faux locs, the hair is very kinky and it’s usually human hair, meaning you can dye and bleach it," Rebel says. "The hair for goddess locs is more than likely synthetic so that it can have a hi-shine, silky luster."

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Goddess Locs Vs. Faux Locs

Rebel says that finding the proper hair can make or break the goddess locs; that's what sets them apart from traditional faux locs the most. While faux locs are marked by a low-luster look, goddess locs have a much silkier finish. "Not every hair works," she says. "It took me six months to find the perfect hair, and that’s why finally I just decided to create my own line. I was always returning bad hair because it wasn’t kinky enough, or was too silky, or didn't wrap properly. There was always something off about either the texture or sheen." Rebel says that the hair used to create goddess locs should be lightweight, yet mold to all natural hair types without sliding off the shaft. To achieve that, find a synthetic blend with a light kink to it to ensure hold and shine.

How To Install Goddess Locs

Unlike passion twists or box braids, the process of goddess locs may be a bit more difficult. "The most common way is to first section the hair and braid it," Rebel says. From there, you loop the loc hair through the base of the braid and begin in a wrapping motion all the way down to your desired length. "Some people also may use fake braiding hair at the root if the natural hair is too silky to hold the loc," Rebel says. "Others may have really short hair, so they have to do the rubber band method — where you place a rubber band at the root of the braid as reinforcement. Locs as a whole is more advanced than a regular braid because they can slide out so it’s all about the stylist knowing that and knowing how to work with the client's texture."

But thanks to brands like Boho Locs, you don't have to be a pro to get it right at home. To apply most styles, you simply use the crochet method, which means you can have a full head of locs in no time. "You cornrow the hair straight back first," Lulu Pierre, founder of Boho Locs, instructs. "The locs are pre-looped, so using a crotchet needle, you hook each loc onto the cornrow. It takes roughly two hours to install." If you want it fuller, however, the look will require more hair and closer placement of the locs. "For a more natural look, you can also install individuals at the front with our styles." For Rebel's locs, however, they may take a little longer, as the hair needs to be styled more traditionally. But no fear, her Bonita Loc kit comes with a full tutorial and pre-separated locs. "It'll take you about five to nine hours without help," she says. "With help, probably six hours tops."

How To Maintain Goddess Locs

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When styled traditionally, the locs can last for months. They can last permanently if you continue to work with the hair by retwisting your new growth to make them look fresh. "Rather than loosening up like lots of hair, after two or three weeks, the hair locks even tighter, creating a stronger loc," Rebel says. "So the longer you keep it in, the more it forms to the strands of your natural hair." But if you do choose to remove them and give yourself natural hair a break, the hair can be reused after first washing lightly with lukewarm water, and allowing to air dry before reapplication.

To extend the life of your locs, the pros suggests avoiding complete submersion in water. Instead, use a lightweight leave-in to hydrate the scalp when dry, and spritzing lightly with dry shampoo to get rid of any buildup.

Ahead, check out the kits created to make at-home goddess loc styling a breeze.