Loc Braids Styles Guide + Braided Locs Inspirations (2024)

When it comes to stylish and eye-catching hairstyles, few can top loc braids. A fusion of traditional braids and dreadlocks, loc braids offer the best of both worlds.

Braids and dreads have a long history, dating back thousands of years. Both of these rope-like hairstyles look the same and were initially worn by African tribesmen to show social status.

In addition, both are protective hairstyles, but braids are faster to install and have a neater look. Dreads, however, have a distressed look and require a longer commitment.

Nonetheless, braids and dreads can help protect your hair and be worn loose or in various updos. So, if you’re looking for a new way to wear your hair, this loc braids guide and style inspiration is for you.

Loc Braids Overview

There are three ways to incorporate braids in dreadlocks.

Braids as Starter Locs

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The braiding method is one of the least popular ways to start your dreadlock journey. But if you have kids or straighter hair prone to unraveling, braids are the best starter locs for you.

One of the main reasons braids are avoided is because they usually develop into flat-looking ropes and typically take time to mature. They also require that you have at least 5 inches of hair braided, unlike twists which only need at least 2 inches. So, if you already have kinky hair, twists, and coils are the best options for you.

While it does take longer for the braids to mature into locs, this method allows you to get your hair wet regularly.

How can you turn braids into dreadlocks?

Start by braiding a small hair section and leaving the ends unplaited. Get your crochet hook and start interlocking the hair one inch from the roots. Combine the hair from side to side, creating texture and allowing your hair to loc-up. Keep building the texture down to the ends of the hair.

Once you’ve reached the unplaited tips, pull them upwards and combine them with the braided hair. This will create neater and rounder ends.

Braids with Locs Hairstyles

Another way that braids are incorporated into dreads installation is during hair sectioning. You can use bands or braids to keep the hair in place.

In addition, if you want temporary locs, you can easily braid in synthetic dreadlocks with your hair.

Braiding Dreadlocks

If you have dreadlocks, weaving them together can create classic and edgy loc braids styles. There are a lot of styles to choose from, including cornrows, crown braids, and fishtail braids!

Below I’ll show you some of the best loc braids styles and how to achieve them.

Best Loc Braids Styles

Braiding dreadlocks is a great way to style dreads and keep hair tidy and out of the face. There are many ways to braid dreadlocks, from simple single braids to more complex fishtail braids.

Long Braided Locs

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Single braids are the easiest to do and can be done on any length of hair. To do a single braid, start by dividing the hair into three sections. Take the outermost section and cross it over the middle section, then take the innermost section and cross it over the middle section. Repeat this process until you reach the end of the hair.

Cornrow Braided Dreadlocks

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Cornrow style braids are more complex, but they look very stylish. To do a cornrow braid, start by dividing your locs into parallel/cornrow sections.

Take one section and divide it into three smaller sections. Cross the outermost section over the middle section, then take the innermost section and cross it over the middle section. Repeat this process with each section until you reach the end of the dreads.

Loc Braids for Short Hair

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But if your hair is too short, you always opt to do a freestyle braiding method. This means that you don’t need to use any pattern or type of braiding pattern. You can braid your locs in any direction. The only goal is to keep your locs down and style neat.

Spider Loc Braids

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Spider braids are created by splitting your locs into four or eight sections and then braid each section separately. The result is a braid that resembles spider legs hanging over your head. Spider braids can be worn with scalp braids resembling a spider web. They can also be decorated with beads or other accessories.

Bubble Braided Locs

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Bubble braids are a type of hairstyle achieved by tying multiple elastic bands in one section of your hair to create the appearance of bubbles. Bubble braids can be made with any hair, but they are especially well suited for those with curly or Afro-textured hair and even dreadlocks.

Fishtail Braided Locs

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Fishtail braided dreads are among the most popular ways to style your dreadlocks. Instead of using three sections of hair to form braids, you only use two sections. Then you feed in the center smaller strands from the outer sides of the hair.

You can create one giant fishtail dread or multiple braids. Some locticians can create more intricate patterns of fishtail braids. Just know that this type of braid can be challenging to achieve alone, especially if you’re a beginner.

Halo Braided Locs

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A halo braid is styled by pulling the hair into a braid that encircles the head like a halo. Just like on regular hair, it’s a neat way to keep your locs neat. Halo braids are often worn as an alternative to updos, ponytails, or half-up, half-down styles.

Best Locs with Braids Hairstyles

Braided Faux Locs

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Faux dreadlocks are a great way to add interest and personality to your hairstyle. If you’re thinking about adding them to your hair, you should know a few things.

First, you must choose the right type of hair for your dreadlocks. Synthetic hair is a good option because it’s easy to work with and maintain. You’ll also need to decide on the length and thickness of your dreadlocks.

Once you’ve selected the hair, you must braid it into your natural hair. Start by dividing your hair into sections and then braiding each section tightly. As you braid, add some tension so the dreadlocks stay in place. Once you’ve finished weaving, secure the ends with hair elastics of the same color as your braids.

Dyed Dreads with Cornrow Side Braids

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What could be more fun than dyed dreadlocks? Whether you want to add a splash of color or go for a more subtle ombré effect, dyeing your dreads is a great way to express your individuality. When it comes to choosing a hair color, the sky’s the limit. If you’re looking for a unique loc braids style, try incorporating cornrow side braids.

Colorful Locs with Braids Style

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Dyed dreads are a great way to add color and personality to your look. But it can damage your hair if not done correctly. And permanent hair dyes are a commitment, so read our dyed dreads guide before dying your hair at home.

If you’re not ready to commit, temporary hair dye like Peculiar Roots Color Pomade for locs is an excellent option. Installing faux braid extensions is another option too. You can get pre-stretched braiding hair as well to match your locs.

Caring for Your Loc Braids

Looking after your loc braids or dreadlocks isn’t as complicated as it may initially seem. In fact, with a little bit of know-how, it can be easy to maintain healthy and beautiful locs. Here are some loc maintenance tips:

Wash your hair regularly

Regular cleansing is key to keeping your locs healthy. Contrary to popular belief, dreads must be washed regularly, just like your normal hair. Make sure to use shampoo for locs, as this will help remove dirt and buildup and keep your scalp clean and healthy.


It’s important to keep your locs moisturized, especially if you live in a dry climate. Use light grease or cream to avoid weighing down your hair.

Apply it sparingly on damp hair, focusing on the ends of your locs. Avoid applying on the scalp to avoid product buildup.

Light oils, such as jojoba or grapeseed oil, help seal in moisture. But if you want to grow your hair, you should look for the best hair grease for black hair growth.

Sleep Care

Braiding your locs is one of the best ways to protect your braided dreadlocks while you sleep. This helps keep them from tangling or getting pulled while you move around in your sleep. You may also want to cover your head with a silk scarf or bonnet to further protect your hair.


Locs can become loose over time, which can lead to them unraveling. To prevent this, it’s essential to retwist them every 4-6 weeks. This will help to keep them tight and neat.

By following these simple tips, you can easily maintain healthy and beautiful loc braids.

Show Off Your New Loc Braids

Braided dreadlocks or loc braids are a fashionable and practical way to style your hair. With a little practice, you can create a variety of looks that are both stylish and unique.

Loc Braids Styles Guide + Braided Locs Inspirations (2024)


Is it OK to braid over locs? ›

Protective hairstyles can last for up to two months depending on the size of your locs and the style you go for. For instance, if you're already at the adult phase of locs and want to see a little change, you may go for a protective braid style.

What's the difference between dreadlocks and braids? ›

From afar, dreadlocks and braids look very similar. They both have “locks” in which hair strands are grouped together. But braids have more of a zigzag shape due to the way in which they are created.

What are the braids that look like dreads called? ›

Faux locs are great if you're iffy about loc-ing your natural hair. Your own hair will be braided first, then the excess (real or synthetic), is wrapped around the braid to create the illusion of dreadlocks.

What's the difference between dreadlocks and locs? ›

To wrap up the locs vs. dreadlocks debate, the most important difference is their unique origin and history. Locs are often more defined with a distinguished root structure, while dreads don't part on the scalp and have more of a dry, matted look.

How long should you leave locs braided? ›

If you leave your hair in these styles (along with other protective styles like box braids) past the allotted time (three to five weeks), they will start to lock.

How long can you leave braided dreads in? ›

I like to keep my braids in at most for 4 weeks. After a while, they start to get really frizzy and my natural hair screams “let me be FREE!” If you want to keep it in for the longevity of the style and not so much for keeping your hair “done”, 2–3 weeks is a good timeframe.

Will my braids turn into dreads? ›

They are matted hair locks formed by twisting or braiding hair together. The resulting locks are then cleaned and groomed using various products, including wax, butter, and gel. Braids turn dreads if the hair is long enough and if proper maintenance is done.

Are dreadlocks fake hair? ›

The hair from which both types of Dreadlocks are made differs. With Real Dreads you make the Dreadlocks from your own hair, you can also choose to extend Real Dreads. In most cases, Human Hair is used for this. Synthetic Dreads, as the word actually says, uses Synthetic Hair.

Why are locs better than braids? ›

Differences in technique, maintenance and style:

Braids generally require more regular maintenance as they may need to be re-braided or trimmed every few weeks to maintain their sleek look. On the other hand, locs require less maintenance, but may require occasional root maintenance and twisting to prevent detangling.

What are peekaboo braids? ›

Similar to the blonde streak hair trend, peekaboo braids refer to box braids whereby a section of the hair is braided with extensions in a bright colour in contrast to the rest of the hair which stays a different colour.

What are angel braids? ›

The Angel Braid is usually worn along your hairline to keep your hair away from your face. This pretty style is made up of half a French braid, where you only add in hair from one side. It looks great in both straight and curly hair textures.

What do locs symbolize? ›

In pre-Columbian America, Oceania and Africa dreadlocks were used as a social and cultural symbol often associated with shamanism. This hairstyle represented a connection with the divine and with the spirit realm, and was often a symbol of strength and integrity for warriors and chiefs.

Why did they call locs dreads? ›

Tharps, hair historian and coauthor of Hair Story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America, the modern understanding of the etymology of "dreadlocks" is that the British, who were fighting the Mau Mau rebellion during colonialism in the 1950s, encountered the warriors' locs and found them "dreadful", thus coining ...

Did Vikings have dreads? ›

The Vikings and Celts DID NOT have DREADLOCKS : Viking hair history myths and Burning Man. Ancient Celtic and Viking hairstyles are NOT your excuse to get dreadlocks for Burning Man! This hair history myth is overdue for busting.

Do braid in dreads damage your hair? ›

If you install the Synthetic Dreads in the right way and take them out after 2-3 months, the Synthetic Dreads will not damage your hair.

Do braids help locs grow? ›

Hair braiding is definitely recommended for maintaining healthy hair and for growing your hair. Have you ever wondered how people with locs have locs to their waist or longer? Think about it: they do not get to manipulate their hair daily, and as a result, it is allowed to grow.

What is the best protective style for locs? ›

Cornrow braid doesn't take a lot of time to style and will protect your locs. You can also switch up the braid style weekly or biweekly. You can have the cornrow tracks braided horizontally braided on your head and curve to the back, and then tie your locs into a braided ponytail.

Is styling starter locs bad? ›

Manipulating them less will help them grow healthy and thick. 2.4 Avoid Tight Styling: Styling the locs too tightly can cause breakage and can put too much traction on hair strands and hair follicles which makes the hair weaker and can cause irreversible damage, like, hair loss, in the long run.


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