What Are Locs in Black Hair?

Dreadlocks, locs, and tushes all refer to the same hairstyle, tightly interlaced locks that can be difficult to untangle without cutting them off.


Locs have long been a signature look in natural hair styling, popularized by Rastafari movement members and adopted by such luminaries as Bob Marley and Lauryn Hill. Yet despite their widespread adoption, many still need to learn about their origins and what wearing locs means to those who do so for cultural or religious purposes. Locs are braided locks of hair that interlace and twist together into long cords, often worn by those practicing Rastafarianism – an African religion founded on Ras Tafari’s teachings in Ethiopia. The process of creating locs takes months and requires patience. Different textures affect how quickly the hair locks; curlier and coarser hair locks more rapidly than straight locks; however, dread perms may speed up locking for consecutive locks. As they mature into their teenage loc stage or middle phase, locs become larger in appearance with more mature looks than initial locs.


Since the 1990s and early 2000s, locs have gained tremendous popularity in Western culture among Hippies and other subcultures, such as Crust Punks, Goths, and New Age Travelers. People in these subcultures sometimes wore modified or artificial locs made from fibers, synthetic hair, or even human hair extensions. Black locs hairstyles range from braid locs, twisted locs, interlocking locs, and freeform locs, with various sizes, appearances, and maintenance needs. Whitney Hunt of Oscar Blandi Salon and Image Consultant suggests using light oils and shampoos to maintain your locs for maximum effect.


As with loose natural locks, locs and dreadlocks require special care when it comes to maintenance. Regularly shampooing your locks helps to keep them free from buildup, while a clarifying shampoo, such as this one from Clarifying Shampoo Company, is recommended to keep locs healthy and residue-free. As part of your regular haircare regimen, using a deep conditioner on your locs every two weeks is beneficial to keep them soft, strong, and moisturized. We love this one that contains Yarrow Root Extract, Rosemary Oil, Nettles, and Indian Hemp – it will leave them soft, firm, and moisturized! An essential oil like this one will assist in developing longer, and healthier locs by keeping both your scalp and locks moisturized, thus helping prevent dryness or itchiness. You can use it either as a leave-in conditioner or a deep conditioner.


There are various stylish ways to wear locs. Braided into fishtails for a romantic, feminine appearance or worn loose in the back for a laid-back vibe; alternatively, they can be styled into sleek ponytails with faded ends or stylish knots to give a classy finish – the possibilities are limitless! Dreadlocks have long been a go-to hairstyle among beautiful Black women and handsome Black men who embrace their natural beauty, rejecting outdated Western beauty standards. Dreadlocks have also become a trendy choice among children looking to embrace their African roots while growing up with this style. Locs make an eye-catching statement that exudes confidence. Add hair beads for an eye-catching finish! Also, there are various colors you can dye your locs with to show your individuality, such as cherry red or burgundy; just make sure the hue complements your skin tone when choosing your shade!