Starting Your Loc Journey? Screenshot These 13 Hairstyles ASAP (2024)

Starting Your Loc Journey? Screenshot These 13 Hairstyles ASAP (1)

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If you’re about to embark on your loc journey, you’ve probably already spent a good amount of time researching, chatting with friends, and drilling your braider or stylist about all things locs. And it makes sense: Most loc styles are a major commitment that require a whole lot of patience and loc tutorials—plus, you know, the right starter loc styles to get you going. But commitment issues aside, locs can be so worth it (hi, Jessica Williams). Because once you get through all the loc phases (more on that below), you’ll basically have a hair ~lewk~ for life…or for however long you want to keep ’em—there are no rules here.

To help get you all the info you need for your locs, I caught up with expert loctician Chimere Faulk, founder of Dr Locs hair products, to fill me in on all the starter loc styles out there, from two-strand twists to freeform locs, plus the very best tips and tricks to get your loc process started and keep your hair healthy during the process. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Meet the expert:

  • Chimere Faulk, a loctician and hairstylist and the creator of Dr Locs, a haircare brand for natural hair and locs

What are good beginner locs?

Full disclosure here: The best starter loc style is going to depend on your hair habits and lifestyle. “Typically, I suggest starting with comb coils, two-strand twists, interlocking, or loc extensions,” Faulk says. But before you choose one at random, Faulks says there are tons of things to keep in mind when choosing your ideal starter loc style.

Like, if you’re big on working out, you may want to skip comb coils as a starter style because they require at least a month between washes to allow them to loc. Or if you fidget with your hair when you’re nervous or bored, tiny sisterlocks might break too easily for you. And if you have fine hair, you might want to think about starting with interlocking (the method of using a tool to loc hairs together), since your hair might need a lil extra help staying together to loc.

And that’s exactly why Faulk says consultations are not only important but also necessary. “You’ll never see a loctician quote someone online,” she says. “It should all be through a consultation because they want to understand what you mean, what your expectations are, if you’ll have to wash your hair more often, etc.” Plus, adds Faulk, “not everyone has the same consistency of curl in their hair either.” Meaning hair types like 3c and 4a curls (S-shaped curls) will loc differently than 4b and 4c (Z-shaped hair), and your loctician should discuss that with you.

How long is the starter loc phase?

Starter locs fall in the baby stage of the loc process and can take anywhere from six to nine months to loc—but again, there’s no hard-and-fast answer for everyone. “Some hair could take three months to loc, some could take four months,” says Faulk. “I once had a client whose hair took two years to loc.” (Don’t freak—if you don’t have that kind of patience, you can always go the temporary and immediate route and try faux locs, instant locs, or loc extensions instead.)

How do you take care of starter locs?

Always follow your loctician’s specific care instructions, but in general, you’ll want to (1) avoid washing your hair too frequently, (2) tie your hair down at night, and (3) avoid heavy creams and curly hair products that can leave buildup. And of course, make sure to see your loctician for regular re-twisting appointments as your roots grow.

What’s the best hairstyle for starting locs?

Listen, try not to overthink your starter loc style too much because no matter which beginner style you choose (with the exception of sisterlocks), Faulk says they’ll all look very similar once the locs are fully mature. Plus, that’s why your loctician is there: to help you figure out the best starter style based on your hair type and lifestyle.

Now, keep scrolling for the 12 best starter loc styles for every lifestyle and preference, whether you wanna try comb coils or some majorly cute braidlocs, plus a breakdown of what each starter loc style is and how it all works.


Two-Strand Twists

On the spectrum of locs and starter styles, two-strand twists are on the easier-to-maintain side, says Faulk. Since they’re twisted together, your hair is less likely to fall out overnight or after your first wash. “If I have a client that’s saying, ‘I sweat a lot, and I may need to wash my hair a little sooner,’ I recommend two-strand twists,” says Faulk.


Comb Coils

Comb coils are one of the top starter loc styles that Faulk recommends, but they definitely require dedication in the baby stage (comb coils can come untwisted easily and need to be left alone for four weeks before your first wash). If you’re DIYing your locs, you can create the coil by inserting a fine-tooth comb into a section of hair, close to your roots—as thick or as thin as you like—and twist the comb around as you pull the comb toward the end of the section. Need a visual? Check out this comb coils tutorial.


Palm Rolling

If palm rolling and twisting seem similar, it’s because they are. But instead of twisting with your fingers to create a loc, you roll the section of hair between your palms, a technique that helps give more control over the size and shape of the loc. Palm-rolled hair (like comb coils) can come undone easily at first, so if getting your first few washes done by a loctician isn’t feasible or affordable for you, Faulk says you can carefully cleanse at home those first few months. Her best advice? “Wet your hair, just focus on your roots, and move your fingertips around your scalp like you’re giving yourself a massage.”

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If you’re not sure you have the careful patience needed for the first few months of comb coils or palm-rolled hair, you might want to consider starting with braids, which are more likely to stay together even if you want to wash your hair more often. Pro tip: To avoid product buildup in your locs, Faulk says to stick to lightweight products like hair oils and leave-in conditioners for moisture.



The backcombing method will help your hair loc together pretty quickly and will also leave your roots with a free-part finish. But if you don’t want to fully backcomb your hair (which Faulk says can be painful if you’re sensitive to pulling and tugging), you can just use this method at the ends. “I use the backcombing technique on my clients who have really fine hair,” Faulk says. “If the tips of the hair don’t coil, I backcomb the ends so they will stay.”


Sponge Method

The sponge starter loc method is ideal if you have short hair and/or if you don’t love super-defined, precise parts. Your loctician will gently glide a hair sponge in small circles over the top of your hair to help it loc together, giving you a softer, less-designed loc aesthetic. If you’re DIYing the sponge method on yourself, make sure to keep your circles in one consistent direction and use a clean sponge.

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Interlocking is a technique commonly used in sisterlocks that involves taking the end of a loc (or a section of hair) and threading it through the base of the section, basically flipping it on itself. “The locs can be created any size—there's more flexibility,” says Faulk. “Typically when I have clients who have really fine hair and their hair doesn’t just stay loc’d on its own, I suggest the interlocking method.”



Sisterlocks (or microlocs) are one of the only starter loc methods whose mature locs will look different from all the other starter loc methods, thanks to their super-tiny grid pattern and the interlocking tool used by your technician. “Sisterlocks don’t typically look like locs—they look like loose hair,” says Faulk. Be prepared to book a couple of appointments with your loctician to get them installed because, according to Faulk, it could take anywhere from 10 hours to a couple of days, depending on your hair length.


Freeform Locs

Freeform locs are one of the easiest starter loc styles, and there are a few ways to create them. Faulk says you can comb-coil your hair one time and never do anything (nope, not even re-twisting if you don’t want to), or you can just let your hair hang out, never comb or detangle it, and let it form its own locs over time. “Occasionally, as the hair is forming, you can go in and intentionally palm roll some gatherings of hair to be more intentional about the shape,” she says. But other than that? Live your life and be free.

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Instant Locs

If you want your loc journey to be more loc and less journey, that’s totally fair, and there’s a starter loc style for that: instant locs. “Your loctician will thrust [the crochet hook] in and out of your hair to help your hair loc,” says Faulk. And the best part? You have all the control and flexibility to choose what size you want your locs to be. It takes only a couple of hours, but heads up: “If someone’s tender-headed,” Faulk says, “it can be a little uncomfortable.”


Faux Locs

Faux locs, an umbrella term for any loc that uses extension hair (either on its own or in addition to your natural hair), are for anyone who wants locs but doesn’t want to wait for their natural hair to actually loc. There are a few different types of faux locs (more on them below), and they differ depending on the method of locking and whether they’re permanent or temporary. So really make sure you and your loctician are on the same page with what kind of faux locs you want. “Every loctician will have a different answer because there’s no consistent, across-the-board loc education,” Faulk says.


Goddess Locs

While Faulk says the definition of goddess locs might vary from loctician to loctician, true goddess locs are a temporary protective style with loose, curly ends. Goddess locks usually fall under the faux locs umbrella because they use either braiding hair loc’d with your own hair or faux locs wrapped around your own hair.

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Loc Extensions

Loc extensions give you the permanence of regular locs without the time commitment of waiting for your natural hair to loc up and grow long. They’re attached to your own hair using the same crochet needle method as with instant locs, and the hair extensions can be either 100 percent human hair (which Faulk recommends, due to its versatility and look) or synthetic braiding hair (which is more affordable but can melt under heat tools like curling irons).

Starting Your Loc Journey? Screenshot These 13 Hairstyles ASAP (15)

Sami Roberts

Sami Roberts was the previous beauty assistant at Cosmopolitan. Keep up with her cat-filled life in New York on Instagram.

Starting Your Loc Journey? Screenshot These 13 Hairstyles ASAP (2024)
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