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An Expert Guide to Styling Butterfly Locs

An Expert Guide to Styling Butterfly Locs

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A rotation of go-to protective styles can make haircare that much easier. But, after a while, the same look can leave you feeling a bit uninspired. So, if you’ve been scrolling to find some hair inspiration, look no further. It’s time to switch up your rotation with butterfly locs.

You may have seen this trendy new protective hairstyle on other naturals & all over the internet. Compared to other types of braid styles, its signature butterfly-esque curly loops over shiny locs are impossible to miss but easy to install yourself from the comfort of your own home.

Want to know how to do butterfly locs? From bohemian butterfly locs to distressed butterfly locs, long or short butterfly locs & more. Become an expert with this complete guide.

Tip #1: Prepare Your Natural Hair Beforehand

Like with any protective hairstyle, the best way to prevent damage while wearing a butterfly locs hairstyle is to prepare your natural hair texture for installation. That means:

  • Shampoo hair type thoroughly – Fresh, clean hair is the best place to start when installing a protective style. Since these styles can last for weeks, you’ll want to prevent build-up & residue by shampooing your strands with a product like PATTERN’s Curl Cleansing Shampoo.1

  • Deep condition – While your hair will be covered under this protective style, it still needs to be moisturized using the right natural hair styling products beforehand to stay strong & healthy. Our Deep Conditioner is the perfect way to bring much-need moisture to your locs.

  • Trim your ends – If your curls need a little sprucing up, do so before you install the butterfly locs. This guarantees that your curls are in the healthiest possible condition before leaving them untouched for several weeks at a time. 

  • By following these steps, it’ll help to minimize breakage & knots during the takedown phase. When it comes time to unravel your butterfly locs hair, you’ll find your healthy, happy curls underneath.

    Tip #2: Collect Your Materials

    If you want to get your butterfly locs done professionally, you should expect to pay anywhere from $180 to $300, depending on your hair length & the locs style you want. That said, whether you are weighing the options of soft locs vs faux locs, this protective style is easy & simple enough to DIY from your home. 

    To execute this style yourself, start by gathering the following tools: 

    • 6 to 8 packs of wave water hair (or premade locs for the crochet method)
    • Hair oil, like our Jojoba Scalp Oil or Argan Oil Serum, for additional moisture & slippage
    • Styling or texturizing product, like our Styling Cream to give your hair a touchable hold 
    • A crochet needle (for the crochet hair method only)

    Once you have all your tools & materials, you’re ready to start the installation process. 

    Tip #3: Install the Style

    Depending on hair length & installation method, the process can take anywhere from a couple of hours to over six hours. Plus, if this is your first time styling butterfly locs, it may take a bit longer until you get the hang of it.

    There are two main installation methods:

    • The Braid & Wrap Method – For this method, start by sectioning & braiding your hair. Wrap the water wave hair over the braids as you go. Start off wrapping it firmly & then loosely as you continue down each braid. Select a few strands at random to pull over your thumb, adding in the curly “butterfly” loops when braiding hair.
    • The Crochet Method – With this method, you’ll need premade locs & a crochet hook. Cornrow your natural hair to begin. Use a crochet hook to crochet premade locs into your cornrows for a fluttery finish. If you’re comfortable with a crochet needle, this method tends to be a bit quicker.

    To seal butterfly locs, you can create a small curly loop with your finger to create a knot at the end. You can also wrap the excess hair up & down the loc to secure it more tightly.

    Tip #4: Maintain a Hair Care Routine

    Even though your natural hair is fully covered, you still need to take care of your scalp. This is where having a solid hair care routine can help extend your style & keep your scalp clean. 

    Here are some ways you can maintain & care for your butterfly locs:

    • Wear a bonnet or headscarf at night or sleep on a silk pillow.
    • Continue to wash & shampoo your scalp every week.
    • Keep your style in no longer than 4 to 6 weeks.
    • Make sure your butterfly locs are fully & thoroughly dry after a wash.
    • Use a product like PATTERN’s Scalp Serum to keep your scalp moisturized. 

    With your hair care routine done, have fun playing around with your look by styling your butterfly locs hair in new, elaborate updos & lengths. 

    Rock New Hairstyles Confidently with PATTERN

    Your favorite protective hairstyles are your favorite for a reason. They require little to no extra maintenance & they’re easy enough for you to tackle on your own. 

    However, when you’re ready to try a new hairstyle, it can feel a little intimidating if you’re not sure exactly what to do or how. With the help of PATTERN, you can explore the versatile world of natural hairstyles with confidence. 

    Our blog is brimming with useful information to help you achieve a number of knockout styles such as a box braid, a passion twist, goddess locs, a knotless braid & more. Plus, our curly hair products prioritize keeping your curls healthy & shiny—even in a protective style.

    For hair care that helps you feel uniquely you, choose PATTERN. 


    1.  "How to prevent hair damage from a weave or extensions." American Academy of Dermatology.  https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/hair-loss/insider/stop-damage/prevent-hair-damage-weave-extensions 
    2. Ennestina. https://www.instagram.com/p/Caxdj3-raJj/?utm_medium=share_sheet
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    Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

    With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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