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Transform Your Look with Butterfly Locks

Transform Your Look with Butterfly Locks: A Complete Guide

Butterfly locks, also known as butterfly locs, are a protective hairstyle that has emerged as a symbol of charm and beauty. Butterfly locks are similar to faux locs and goddess locs, but with a more textured and voluminous appearance. It's a popular hairstyle that can be easily done at home while providing robust protection for your natural hair. In this post, we will discuss key features of this beautiful butterfly locks style, including the installation process, their pros and cons, and how to create and maintain them. So, let's spread our wings and embark on a journey to discover the enchanting world of butterfly locks!
shoulder length butterfly locks

What are butterfly locs?

Butterfly locs are a protective hairstyle that is very popular in the African American community. This hairstyle is a variant of traditional faux locs, distinguished by its unique, butterfly-like appearance. Butterfly locks can be achieved by wrapping hair extensions around sections of the natural hair or crocheting pre-twisted hair extensions to the cornrowed natural hair, giving the locs a more textured, messy, and voluminous look.

The butterfly effect is achieved by leaving some space and irregularities between the braiding hair, creating a slightly distressed and more natural appearance compared to the uniform and sleek look of traditional faux locs. Butterfly locs can be worn in various lengths, sizes, and colors, and they are often considered a low-maintenance, versatile, and fashion option for those looking to protect their natural hair from damage and breakage.
long butterfly locs

Pros and cons of butterfly locks

Butterfly locs are a protective hairstyle created by wrapping or crocheting straight hair or textured hair to natural hair. They are similar to faux locs and goddess locs but have a chic butterfly appearance, a more textured, voluminous look. Like any hairstyle, butterfly locs come with their own set of pros and cons:


  1. Protective style: Butterfly locs protect your natural hair from damage caused by heat styling, coloring, and daily wear and tear. By keeping your hair tucked away, it can grow healthier and stronger.
  2. Versatility: Butterfly locs can be styled in various ways, from half updos to full updos, ponytails, and braids. They can also be accessorized with hair jewelry, beads, or wraps.
  3. Low maintenance: Once installed, butterfly locs require minimal daily care. You can maintain your hairstyle with simple steps like sleeping on a silk or satin pillowcase and moisturizing your scalp as needed.
  4. Natural appearance: The textured, curly hair used for butterfly locs gives them a natural, bohemian look that blends well with most hair types.
  5. Temporary: Butterfly locs are not a permanent hairstyle, which means you can switch them out for another style without commitment.


  1. Installation time: The process of installing butterfly locs can be time-consuming, taking anywhere from 3 to 6 hours, depending on your stylist, your hair length, thickness, and the locs size you desire.
  2. Weight: Butterfly locs can feel heavy, especially if you use a lot of hair extensions. This can cause discomfort and strain on your scalp and neck.
  3. Cost: The cost of installing butterfly locs can be high, depending on the skill level of the stylist, the quality of the hair used, and the location where you get them done.
  4. Potential hair damage: If the butterfly locs are installed too tightly or left in for too long, they can cause hair breakage, tension headaches, or even traction alopecia due to excessive pulling on your hair follicles.
  5. Maintenance: While they are relatively low maintenance, butterfly locs still require some care, like keeping your scalp moisturized and clean to avoid build-up and potential scalp issues. If without proper maintenance, the style won't last long.

Overall, butterfly locs can be a stylish and protective option for those looking for a low-maintenance, versatile hairstyle. However, it's essential to consider the potential drawbacks, such as the installation time and possible hair damage, before committing to this style.
brown butterfly locs

What hair is used for butterfly locks?

To achieve butterfly locks, a variety of hair types can be used, either straight hair or textured hair is available. The most common options include Marley hair, Kanekalon hair, Freetress Water Wave hair, and human hair. Some people prefer to use human hair for their butterfly locs, as it offers a more natural appearance and can be styled, dyed, and washed just like natural hair. High-quality human hair extensions can ensure the best results and minimize the risk of damage to natural hair. However, it is often more expensive than synthetic options.

Various hair types are available for butterfly locs. Remember that the choice of hair type will depend on personal preferences, budget, and desired look. And no matter which hair type you opt for, it's recommended to invest in high-quality hair to achieve a more natural appearance.

How much are butterfly locs?

The cost of butterfly locs can vary depending on several factors, such as the hairstylist, the length and thickness of the locs, your location, and the time required for installation. On average, the price for butterfly locs can range from $150 to $300 or more. Keep in mind that this is just a general estimate, and prices can differ significantly between stylists and regions. To get an accurate price for butterfly locs in your area, it's best to consult with local hairstylists or salons that specialize in this type of style.

Additionally, if you choose to do the butterfly locs yourself, you will need to purchase the hair extensions or crochet locs, $60-$120 will be enough, depending on the brand and quality, and quantity you need. 

How long does it take to install butterfly locs?

The time it takes to install butterfly locs can vary depending on several factors, including your hair length, hair thickness, the size of the locs, and your stylist. On average, installing butterfly locs can take anywhere from 3 to 6 hours.

Factors that can affect the installation time:

  1. Hair length: Longer hair might take more time to install the locs, as there is more hair to work with and secure.
  2. Hair thickness: Thicker hair might require additional time to section and install the locs properly.
  3. Size of locs: Smaller butterfly locs will generally take longer to install, as there will be more individual locs to create and secure.
  4. Your stylist: The skill and experience of the stylist installing the locs will also impact the overall time it takes to complete the process.

If you're considering getting butterfly locs, make sure to schedule enough time for the installation process and be prepared for the possibility that it may take longer than anticipated. To save time, you can also consider using pre-looped or pre-made butterfly locs that can be crocheted into your hair, which may reduce the installation time to around 4 to 5 hours.

Tutorial: how to do butterfly locks step by step?

Butterfly locks can be achieved by wrapping hair extensions around natural hair or crocheting pre-twisted hair into natural hair. These two methods are both available to create chic, boho-style butterfly locs. 

Method 1: Wrapping

Follow these steps to create butterfly locks by wrapping hair extensions:

Step 1: Choose your extensions

You can use various types of textured hair extensions, such as Marley hair, Freetress hair, or human hair. Cut the extensions to your desired length if needed. And ensure your hair extensions are clean and detangled.

Step 2: Prepare your natural hair

Detangle and clean your hair as you normally would. If needed, you can apply a light oil or leave-in conditioner to add extra moisture.

Step 3: Section your natural hair

Part your hair with a rat-tail comb, you can make a middle part or a side part as you desire. Divide your hair into small sections using a rat-tail comb. You can apply a small amount of edge control to ensure each part is neat. Secure each section with a hairband or clip to keep them separate. Leave some edge hair out. 

Step 4: Attach the extension

Grab a strand of hair extension and fold it in the middle. Braiding the hair extensions into your real hair and going down about one inch. Use your fingers to loosen the ends to add volume.  

Step 5: Wrap the extension

Hold your natural hair and the extension together, and take another piece of extension hair to start wrapping. Starting at the base, begin wrapping the new extension piece around both your natural hair and the attached extension. Make sure to wrap tightly enough to hold the hair in place, but not so tight that it causes discomfort.

As you wrap, intentionally leave small loops or loose sections of the extension hair, which will create the "butterfly" effect. You can vary the size and spacing of the loops to create a more textured and natural look.

When you reach the end of your natural hair and the attached extension, continue wrapping with the remaining extension hair to create a secure end. You can use a small amount of hair glue, a knot, or elastic bands to seal it in place.

Step 6: Repeat the process

Continue this process for each section of your hair until all sections have been wrapped and transformed into butterfly locks.

Step 7: Style your butterfly locs:

Once all of the locks are complete, you can trim or adjust the shape of the locks to your liking. You can simply leave your locs down or you can pull them into half updos or full updos as you desire.

Remember, creating butterfly locks can be time-consuming, especially for beginners. But once they are done, they can last for quite a long time and require very little maintenance. 

Method 2: Crocheting

If you desire to shorten the installation time of butterfly locs, try the crochet method. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you create butterfly locs using the crochet method:

Step 1: Preparation

Prepare pre-twisted or pre-braided hair extensions and put them in handy. Make sure your natural hair is clean, moisturized, and detangled. 

Step 2: Section your hair

Use a rattail comb to make a part as you desire.

Divide your hair into equal sections using a comb. Clip or tie each section to keep them separate.

Step 3: Cornrow or braid your hair individually: 

Choose one section of your hair and start creating cornrows or individual braids, depending on your preference. Cornrows are faster to install, but individual braids provide more flexibility when styling. Repeat this step for the remaining sections of your hair.

Step 4: Install the faux locs

a. Take one faux loc and loop its end around the crochet latch hook. 

b. Insert the crochet latch hook underneath one of the cornrows or individual braids, close to the scalp. 

c. Hook the looped end of the faux loc onto the latch hook, and close the latch. 

d. Pull the latch hook and the faux loc back through the cornrow or individual braid. 

e. Open the loop of the faux loc and pull the tail end of the loc through the loop, securing it onto the cornrow or individual braid. 

f. Gently tighten the faux loc to secure it in place.

g. Repeat this process for the remaining faux locs, ensuring that they are evenly spaced.

Step 5: Create the butterfly effect

Starting at the top of each faux loc, pinch a small section of the loc, and gently pull it away from the rest of the loc. This will create a small loop or "butterfly." 

Continue creating these loops at regular intervals down the length of each faux loc. If desired, apply hair mousse to each loc to help the butterflies stay in place and give the locs a more polished look.

Step 6: Trim and style

Trim any excess or uneven hair from the ends of the locs. Style the butterfly locs as desired, such as wearing them down, in a half-up style, or an updo.

With this method, you can enjoy a beautiful and protective butterfly locs hairstyle. 

Tips and tricks to maintain butterfly locs

Butterfly locs are a beautiful and versatile protective hairstyle that can last for several weeks if maintained properly. Here are some tips and tricks to help you keep your butterfly locs looking fresh and well-maintained:

Tip 1: Keep your scalp clean

Cleanse your scalp regularly using a diluted, gentle shampoo. Focus on the scalp to avoid disturbing the locs. Rinse thoroughly with water and follow up with a lightweight leave-in conditioner.

Tip 2: Moisturize regularly

Keep your hair and scalp moisturized to prevent dryness and itching. Use a lightweight leave-in conditioner or a mixture of water and a few drops of your favorite essential oil in a spray bottle. Apply to your scalp and locs every few days or as needed.

Tip 3: Sleep with a satin or silk headscarf

Protect your locs at night by wearing a satin or silk headscarf or using a satin pillowcase. This will reduce friction and prevent your locs from becoming frizzy or unraveling.

Tip 4: Avoid heavy styling products

Using heavy styling products like gels, waxes, and creams can lead to buildup and make your locs look dull. Stick to products like hair sprays, mists, or light oils.

Tip 5: Limit manipulation

Excessive styling or manipulation can cause your butterfly locs to become frizzy or unravel. Opt for low-maintenance styles and avoid frequently changing hairstyles.

Tip 6: Refresh your locs regularly

If your locs start to look frizzy or worn, you can refresh them by using a light hair mist and gently twisting the locs around your fingers to smooth out any frizz.

Tip 7: Keep your hair dry

After washing your hair, make sure your butterfly locs are completely dry before going to bed to prevent mold or mildew growth.

Tip 8: Exercise care when swimming

If you plan to swim, put your locs in a protective style like a bun or braid, and then wear a swim cap to protect your hair from chlorine and salt. Thoroughly rinse your hair with clean water after swimming.

Tip 9: Be gentle when detangling

When it's time to take down your butterfly locs, be patient and gentle to avoid damaging your natural hair. Use a moisturizing oil or detangling spray to help you work through any knots or tangles.

Tip 10: Give your hair a break

After removing your butterfly locs, give your hair a break for a few weeks before installing another protective style. Use this time to deep condition, trim, and treat your natural hair to keep it healthy and strong.

By following these tips and tricks, you can maintain your butterfly locs for a longer duration and enjoy a beautiful, protective hairstyle.

Butterfly locs hairstyle inspirations

Butterfly locs are a beautiful and versatile protective hairstyle that can be worn in various ways. Here are some butterfly locs hairstyle inspirations for you:

  • Classic Shoulder-Length Butterfly Locs
    burgundy butterfly locs

  • Long Butterfly Locs

  • Half-Up, Half-Down Butterfly Locs
    half up half down butterfly locks

  • Butterfly Locs Bob

  • Butterfly locks Space Buns

  • Butterfly Locs with highlight
    butterfly locks with highlight

Remember, butterfly locs can be customized in terms of thickness, length, and color to suit your style. Don't be afraid to get experiment with different styles and accessories to make the look your own.

Butter Locks FAQs:

Q: Can butterfly locs get wet?

A: Yes, butterfly locs can get wet. However, it is important to be cautious when exposing your butterfly locs to water, especially if they are made with synthetic hair. Prolonged exposure to water can cause the locs to become frizzy, loose, or tangled. 

Keep in mind that the hair type and the quality of the synthetic hair used for the butterfly locs can affect how they react to getting wet. It's always a good idea to consult with the hair vendor to get personalized advice.

Q: Does butterfly locs damage natural hair?

A: Butterfly locs, like any other protective hairstyle, can potentially cause damage to natural hair if not done and maintained properly. Here are some factors that can contribute to hair damage when wearing butterfly locs:

  1. Tension: If the locs are installed too tightly, it can cause excessive tension on the hair and scalp, leading to hair breakage, traction alopecia, and even headache.
  2. Weight: Heavy extensions can put unnecessary stress on your hair and scalp, causing hair thinning and breakage over time. Avoid applying too many hair extensions on your head to minimize this risk.
  3. Neglecting hair care: Even with protective styles, it's essential to maintain a proper hair care routine. Keep your scalp clean and moisturized, and ensure you're gentle when manipulating your hair.
  4. Wearing the style for too long: Protective styles should be worn for a limited time (usually 4-8 weeks) to avoid matting, tangling, and breakage. Wearing butterfly locs for an extended period can lead to damage.

To minimize the risk of damage, ensure that you follow proper hair care practices and avoid wearing the style for too long. Listen to your hair and scalp, and if you experience any discomfort or notice any signs of damage, remove the style immediately and give your hair a break.

Q: Is butterfly locs a protective hairstyle?

A: Yes, butterfly locs are considered a protective hairstyle. 

Q: Can butterfly locs be reused?

A: Butterfly locs, a popular protective hairstyle that can potentially be reused depending on how they were installed and their current condition.

If you used pre-made or pre-looped locs that are still in good shape and not frayed or damaged, you can reuse them for another installation.

Q: How many packs of hair do you need for full-head butterfly locs?

A: The packs of hair needed for a full head of butterfly locs depend on several factors, such as the desired length, thickness, and size of the locs, as well as the head size and hair density. Generally, most people use between 6 to 10 packs of hair for a full head of butterfly locs. However, it is always best to consult with the hair vendor or the stylist to refer to the hair packaging for specific recommendations based on the hair brand and type you are using. It's also a good idea to buy a couple of extra packs just in case you need more during the installation process.

Q: How long can you wear butterfly locs?

A: Butterfly locs can typically be worn for 4 to 8 weeks. The duration depends on factors such as the hair type, the quality of installation, and your maintenance routine.

To ensure your butterfly locs last as long as possible and to prevent damage to your natural hair, it's important to follow the above-mentioned proper maintenance routine. 

Remember that everyone's hair is different, so it's important to pay attention to your hair and scalp's needs. If you notice excessive itching, tension, or hair breakage, it may be time to remove the butterfly locs and give your hair a break.



Butterfly locks, also known as butterfly locs, are a variation of traditional faux locs, with a more natural and textured appearance, which resembles the wings of a butterfly. They are created by wrapping textured hair extensions around your natural hair in a messy, boho style. Ultimately, embracing these innovative locking mechanisms not only provides an added layer of security but also allows us to appreciate the harmony between form and function. So, the next time you are considering a lock for your needs, give butterfly locks a thought – they might just be the perfect fit! Click and discover high-quality hair extensions for butterfly locs at Ula Hair! Ula Hair features an exclusive range of high-quality, natural-looking hair solutions crafted from 100% human hair. We are dedicated to providing a seamless shopping experience, expert advice, and video tutorials to help you achieve your desired look. No matter your hair type or desired style, Ula Hair is here to help you unlock your inner confidence. Embrace your beauty and express yourself with our human hair extensions and wigs, designed to make you feel fabulous every day.


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