Dreads vs Locs: What is the Difference?

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It wouldn’t be surprising if you think that dreads and locs (which are sometimes spelled locks) are the same things. But for those who wear their hair in these sculpted ways, there is a difference between Dreads vs Locs hairstyles that go beyond their appearance.

So, what is the difference between dreads and locs? How can you tell?

Well, you’re in luck, because in this article, we at Luxe Luminous are going to share with you what the exact difference is, which should dispel any confusion that you might have.

In addition, we’ll take a closer look at how both hairstyles are created, so that you can decide which one you would like to make if you choose to wear this sculpted style — dreads vs locs


Dreads vs Locs Explained

The biggest difference between dreadlocks and locs is quite simple.

Locs are considered to be simply a hairstyle made by tying hair tightly together.

Dreadlocks, on the other hand, are also a hairstyle, but they are popularly known to be worn by those who follow the Rastafarian religion, like Bob Marley. They gained prominence in the Caribbean recently, but their history spans many cultures and centuries, including African, Ancient Greek, Aztec, and Middle Eastern.

Bob Marley Source: Wikipedia

These days, though, the dreadlocked hairstyle has also been adopted by many alternative cultures.

Attend any music festival the world over, and you’ll see people of all colors and ages wearing dreadlocked hairstyles.

Both are unique hairstyles that not only prevent the hair from losing moisture but also help to promote stronger hair and minimize any shedding from the scalp.

The big difference, though, is in the definition of the rope-like hair structures. Locs appear more defined and sleek, which requires more maintenance, while dreadlocks appear more matted, and they occur naturally after the initial locking of the hair strands.

Locs appear more defined and sleek, which requires more maintenance, while dreadlocks appear more matted, and they occur naturally after the initial locking of the hair strands.


How Are Dreads Made?

Unbrushed or uncombed hair will eventually turn into dreads when it becomes matted, so it’s fairly obvious that before combs were invented, most humans would have had some form of naturally occurring dreads on their hair!

Dreads can be created by either backcombing, braiding, coiling, twisting, or rolling strands of the hair, which are then sculpted into thicker rope-like structures. However, some wearers will simply let their hair dread naturally by not combing it.

Dreads can be created by either backcombing, braiding, coiling, twisting, or rolling strands of the hair, which are then sculpted into thicker rope-like structures. However, some wearers will simply let their hair dread naturally by not combing it.

This technique allows the hair strands to take on their rope-like forms over time. When the hair is dreaded, the roots aren’t defined.

Keeping the dreads in this state requires little to no maintenance, and is long-lasting, so if you decide you want dreadlocks, then be prepared that it will take patience to achieve this style.


How Are Locs Made?

Although they are rather similar to dreads in the fact that they are a hairstyle that will need time and patience to achieve, locs are different. They have a more polished appearance overall, which means that they also require more maintenance.

Locs are created by twisting, palm rolling, braiding, or coiling to create their forms, and this needs to be consistent because as individual hairs become astray, they need to be loced into the structure constantly to keep their tight form.

Locs are created by twisting, palm rolling, braiding, or coiling to create their forms, and this needs to be consistent because as individual hairs become astray, they need to be loced into the structure constantly to keep their tight form.

This means that locs are really hard to remove because the hair will have to be unlocked, which is a challenge. However, this style can also be changed by decorating the separate strands, such as adding colored hair extensions, clasps, charms, and other hair accessories.

The other difference locs have, as opposed to dreadlocks, is that the roots of the hair are defined and can be seen, and they form a pattern that shows parts of the scalp.

The other difference locs have, as opposed to dreadlocks, is that the roots of the hair are defined and can be seen, and they form a pattern that shows parts of the scalp.

The snake-like appearance of locs has been a hairstyle that has appeared in ancient Ethiopian, Egyptian, Hindu, and Islamic cultures for centuries.

Locs have also been worn by these cultures, because of the belief that they represent strength, power, the control of energy, and connection to higher spirits, similar to Rastafarian beliefs.


Loc and Load

So, as you can see, in the hair dilemma of dreads vs locs, the actual style that you prefer to adopt will mostly depend on how you want your hair to appear overall.

For instance, do you want to put in the effort that will achieve a more defined and sleeker look, or do you want to take a more rough and ready approach to your structured hairstyle?

You will also need to consider the amount of time that you are willing to put in to keep up the appearance you want to create. But regardless of the outcome, you can be sure that your decision will give you a hairstyle that will last and last — and last!

Written by Kayla Young

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