Soft Locs vs Faux Locs: Which One is Better

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Soft locs vs faux locs? As for locs, which one is right for you? Which one will you choose? The Locs, as a fashionable and versatile hairstyle, have developed hundreds of types; for example, there are sisterlocks, butterfly locs, goddess locs, etc. Among them, the biggest concern is the difference between faux locs and soft locs. 

So to help you choose, we will talk in detail about differences between faux and soft locs from hair used to installation, from cost to maintenance and so on. To figure out which one is your dream summer look, let’s have a discussion right now!

Soft Locs vs Faux Locs: Faux-Locs

What are Faux Locs?

Soft locs or faux locs? Let’s start with faux locs! Faux locs is a kind of protective hairstyle.  It refers to blending synthetic hair extensions with your natural hair to create a loc look. It has trended for decades. They give locs lovers another alternative to obtain the beautiful and unique aesthetic of natural dreadlocks.

Moreover, it’s time-consuming with only several hours rather than months. It’s no longer necessary to wait for natural hair.  

On the other hand, people love the protective function the faux locs performed. It keeps our natural hair free from daily friction and heat. Using artificial locs is conducive to raising healthy hair.

If you’re not sure whether committing to the dreadlocks permanently, the temporary alternative is your next best choice to try the style out first; also recommend the people who are busy or hothead to have a try at a lower cost.                                                       


What are Soft Locs?

Soft locs are a specific type of faux locs, but there are notable differences between the two. These variations encompass installation methods, texture, and the final appearance of the locs. We will explore each of these distinctions in detail shortly.

But in the first place, just like the name suggests, this kind of styling is softer than normal firmer faux locs. And in this way, people consider them more natural and textured.

As the name implies, soft locs have a softer texture compared to traditional faux locs. This characteristic gives them a more natural and textured look, which is highly desired by many individuals. Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the unique features and benefits of soft locs.

The Differences Between Soft Locs and Faux Locs

Now that we have covered the important introductory information, it’s time to take a closer look at the key differences between soft locs and faux locs.

By examining their installation methods, texture, and final appearance, we can gain a better understanding of which style may be the perfect fit for you.

Let’s dive deeper into the distinct characteristics of soft locs and faux locs, helping you make an informed decision about your desired loc style.

Hair Used

Soft locs are featured by a natural, tension-free, soft look. To achieve that, we often use afro kinky hair to wrap our loc roots. That said, you might also choose other choices like synthetic hair, crochet faux locs,  human hair blend/100% options and water wave hair.

Faux Locs usually use Marley hair or some other type of synthetic hair to create a look of faux locs. First, the price of synthetic hair is very reasonable, and for part of that, it’s the most favorite among locs lovers.

Second, you can choose kanekalon. This kind of hair materials is the most budget-friendly and available; having said that, people may complain the less authentic appearance for their sleeker and shiner texture.


Installation Technique

Although soft locs are grouped under the faux locs hair category, there’s still some distinction when it comes to installation ways.

Faux Locs usually use two basic methods for getting a hairstyle of faux locs. One is the  braid-in method.  First, you need to braid your natural hair into box braids; then you can use various locs extensions to wrap these braids, like yarn, Kanekalon hair, etc.

The other method is  crochet. For crochet, it’s made based on cornrows instead of box braids. Use prepared extensions to wrap them.

 The former method is more recommended on the aspect of natural appearance, while on the other hand, short-tempered readers might prefer the later one for saving time. It’s all up to you.

 Soft locs are installed first by plaiting your natural hair and then wrapping each plait with locs extensions.

Installing the locs could take anywhere from 3 to 10 hours. It not only depends on the length of your natural hair, but on the ways of braiding (wrapping could take you more time than crocheting it).

Weight and Tension

Theoretically, the weight of hair leads to the tension on the scalp. In most cases, faux locs are comparably heavier and more tension of the same length and thickness.

Compared with faux locs, soft locs give you more freedom and fewer burdens. As it’s loose and bouncy, you can move soft locs as freely as finished. So if you’re worried about comfort or flexibility, simply start with soft locs!


When it comes to length of locs, one of the advantages of faux locs that I have to mention is you can customize the length of your hair. So in this case, fans with short hair will undoubtedly prefer them for the convenience they offer. 

Yet, soft locs come in fixed sizes so it’s not allowed to cut them randomly. The length of locs would depend on the original length of the crochet locs; for instance, if your crochet locs are 16 cm, then the finished look can only be 16 cm.

Otherwise you need to increase the length by extending it. Since that, we strongly recommend you opt for a pre-formed extended version of soft locs, which will save you a lot of tedious processes on measuring, adding and fixing.


Texture and Appearance

As for the specific installation and hair materials, soft locs are softer and bouncy. They would be less stiff and rigid. There would be more freedom and movement from the first day. Thanks to its bouncy appearance, soft locs are also known as butterfly locs.

In contrast, faux locs are firmer and more tense no matter how professional the hairstylist you choose is. There would be less flexibility for several days.

It has a less natural outward appearance than soft locs. Nonetheless, hot water is helpful to soften your fashionable hairstyling. And as time passes, its appearance becomes softer and more natural.

Styling Options

When it comes to styling options, with all the feedback of locs lovers, soft locs offer more versatility compared to faux locs. Soft locs allow for a wider range of hairstyles, making it easier to experiment with different looks. With soft locs, you can enjoy the freedom to express your creativity and try out various hairstyles with ease.

On the other hand, faux locs can potentially limit your styling options for longer faux locs harder to style it in an up-do. This is also one of the reasons why soft locs got popular that quickly.

What’s more, longer faux locs can be more challenging to style in up-dos or intricate hairstyles. This limitation in styling options is one of the reasons why soft locs have gained popularity so quickly.


Choosing between faux and soft locs can depend on how long you are going to enjoy and maintain your cute locks.

In our daily routine, faux locs are comparably more long-lasting because they’re wrapped tighter. Faux locs last around 12 weeks, and soft locs last from 4 to 6 weeks. By the way, proper installation is the premise of everything!

After this period, you may find the crochet hair has much less tension and begin to slip. If you don’t want to lose your natural hair, remember to remove them in time!


Faux locs are usually less expensive than soft locs. Soft Locs cost around $300, while faux Locs simply spend us $150 to $200. Also, this pricing will vary based on where you live and the style you’re looking for.

It’s no surprise that getting a locs hairstyle in New York costs $50 more than in Michigan! It’ll also be more expensive with human hair instead of synthetic braiding hair for your locks.


How to Choose Between Soft Locs and Faux Locs

Knowing the differences between the two, you must be more confident in choosing the suitable locs. Specifically, you can use the following factors as main criteria for your final choice.

First, it definitely should be your personal preferences. Don’t worry, both are attractive and fantastic. What you need to do is to choose one according to your preference; moreover, you can also decorate them by dying, adding accessories, such as hair jewelry, beads, etc.

Second, you need to consider the desired style. If you desire to get a pompadour, faux locs are better for you; if you prefer a natural, lighter look, just go for the soft locs.

Third, budget counts a lot.  As we have mentioned above, faux locs are more budget-friendly, especially using synthetic braiding hair for that.

Last, maintenance commitment also influences the choice. Both locs need careful maintenance, yet you are likely to pay more attention to soft locs. Moisture is the top agenda you need to focus on. To keep their soft texture, it’s a good way to keep moist through using conditioning treatments from time to time.

FAQs About Soft Locs and Faux Locs

Are soft locs or faux locs more suitable for thin hair?

Absolutely! Soft locs are a more suitable option for those with thin hair. They are lighter in weight and exert less tension on the scalp compared to faux locs.

This means that soft locs are gentler on fragile, thin hair, reducing the risk of causing additional strain or damage. The softer texture of soft locs also ensures that they won’t feel too stiff or rigid on your scalp, providing a more comfortable and manageable experience.

If you have thin hair and want to rock the loc look, opting for soft locs is a great choice to minimize the burden on your delicate strands.

Can you swim with faux locs?

In most cases, swimming with faux locs is generally safe and won’t cause any damage to the quality or longevity of the locs.

However, it’s important to note that swimming may disrupt the style of your up-do, causing the locs to become loose or unravel slightly.

To minimize any potential issues, you can take a few precautions, such as tying your locs up or wearing a swim cap to protect them while swimming.

Overall, there’s no need to worry, so go ahead and enjoy your swimming adventures with your faux locs!

Can faux locs be dyed or colored?

Definitely you can. Faux locs can be dyed or colored to achieve the desired look.

To change the color of synthetic hair used in faux locs, you can immerse the locs in a dye bath and allow them to soak for a specific period of time. The dyeing process won’t cause significant damage to your locs since the synthetic hair acts as a protective coating over your natural hair.

However, it’s important to note that excessive or frequent dyeing can potentially weaken the synthetic hair, so it’s advisable to exercise caution and follow proper dyeing techniques to maintain the integrity of your faux locs.

How many soft locs is enough?

Usually 40-60 individual dreadlocks is enough for a full head. Specifically, it may vary depending on your desired style, the thickness of your natural hair and so on. 

How do you keep soft locs fresh?

You just need to wrap your crochet locs with a silk bonnet or use a silk pillowcase at night. It helps your hair stay moist and free from friction. That will keep them fresh and last longer.

Soft Locs vs Faux Locs?

After reading this article, we believe you are more confident and informed to choose the right locs by yourself! Having said that, we still recommend you to consult a good professional barber before getting your hair done.

Finally, if you have any questions or additions, make sure you comment below!

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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