35 Butterfly Locs Hairstyles (The Long and Short of This Sexy Look)

What are butterfly locs?

Butterfly locs are a type of faux loc hairstyle that uses wavy hair loosely wrapped around a braid, resulting in a distressed finish.

What type of hair is used for butterfly locs?

The type of hair used for butterfly locs depends on your chosen installation method. The two most common however are synthetic Water Wave extensions and pre-looped crochet locs.

Which installation method is best for butterfly locs?

We’re partial to pre-looped butterfly locs, using the crochet installation method. This is a much better alternative to the wrap method for protective styling.

Typically your natural hair is braided in a combination of individual but linked box braids in the front and cornrows at the back, which serve as a base to attach your locs. Known as the illusion braiding pattern, utilizing this approach means there’s no need to worry about leave outs or blending and damage is less likely, since your natural hair is still relatively accessible to be cleaned, hydrated, and moisturized, as needed.

Are butterfly locs a protective style?

Butterfly locs are a protective style, but special care has to be taken so as not to experience setbacks when wearing butterfly locs installed with the wrap method.

How do you maintain butterfly locs?

As with all protective styles, scalp care should be a priority. Not only is your scalp more prone to getting itchy or flaking, but it’s susceptible to a build-up of product and dirt, and can trap odors and sweat.

Be sure to wash your braids at least every two weeks. You can mix shampoo and water in a spray bottle and apply directly to your scalp. Rinse out in the shower, allowing the mixture to run down and cleanse your hair in the process. Opt for a braid refresher and scalp cleaner in-between to clean and condition your hair and soothe your scalp, without disrupting your do.

If you have issues with itchiness or dandruff, you can use an antiseptic oil, or one that contains tea tree and peppermint to soothe and lubricate your scalp. While we don’t recommend using cream-based products directly on your hair after installation, you can dilute them with warm water and spritz your natural hair daily, or just opt to use your favorite liquid leave-in conditioner to hydrate.

Avoid products with drying alcohols, sulfates, cones, mineral oil and petroleum/petrolatum.

Most importantly, keep in mind that whenever your natural hair gets wet, either through washing, swimming or maintenance, always make sure it’s able to dry thoroughly so as not to become subject to matting and mildew, not to mention, create an environment where bacteria can breed.

And while it should be a given regardless of your hairstyle, please cover your hair with a silk or satin scarf at night to preserve your look.

How long do butterfly locs last?

With proper maintenance, butterfly locs have been known to last up to 12 weeks. Just because you can keep them in however, doesn’t mean you should. We don’t recommend that any protective style be stretched for longer than 8 weeks, as that increases the likelihood of damaging your natural hair.

Now that we’ve covered the basics and how to make the best of your butterfly locs, let’s get down to business.

35 Badass Butterfly Locs Hairstyles

1. Butterfly Locs Bob with Middle Part

Butterfly locs bob with middle part worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @iammarybennett

Check out the tutorial below to see how her crochet butterfly locs were layered in three different lengths, to create this beautiful blunt bob.

2. Side-Swept Auburn Butterfly Locs Bob

Side-swept auburn butterfly locs bob worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @dayelasoul

Short, and side-swept, these auburn butterfly locs enable that effortless slay.

3. Long Crochet Butterfly Locs

Long crochet butterfly locs with center part worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @sincerelyoghosa

These may be standard long butterfly locs, but they’re still stunning in their simplicity.

4. Short Jumbo Butterfly Locs Bob

Short jumbo butterfly locs bob worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @thechicnatural

These chunky butterfly locs are beginner-friendly and therefore just the DIY you should try if you’re new to this.

And no worries, if you’re not quite confident in your crochet skills. These two methods skip it completely opting instead for the wrap method, with and without rubber bands.

Grab your braiding hair and check out the tutorials below.

5. Three-Color Crochet Butterfly Locs

Three-color crochet butterfly locs worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @marykbella

The highlights of this three-color (30, 27, 1B) butterfly locs look are the texture and timing. We’re super impressed by how sis installed this super distressed style in 15 minutes, post prepping and braiding her natural hair.

6. Thigh Length Blonde Butterfly Locs in Two Ponytails

 Black woman wearing a long blonde butterfly locs hairstyle
Pinterest

Push the limits of your butterfly locs looks with longer lengths and vibrant colors. Sure, most won’t be able to pull of thigh length blonde pigtails, but they’re absolutely perfect for anyone who’s feeling adventurous.

7. Half-Up Half-Down Butterfly Locs Space Buns

Black woman wearing a short butterfly locs half-up half-down protective style with space buns
IG: @dadouhair

We’re over the moon about this half-up half-down hairstyle with space buns.

8. Ombre Ginger Silky Butterfly Locs Lob

Black woman wearing a maroon silky butterfly locs lob
Pinterest

While the slim locs and silky texture are unique, it’s the ombre ginger that really makes this lob look standout.

9. Distressed Butterfly Locs High Ponytail

Long distressed butterfly locs high ponytail worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @slimreshae

Created using individual pre-distressed 24″ crochet butterfly locs, the installation may have been time consuming, but the final look clearly made it worth every minute.

10. Layered Butterfly Locs Bob with Auburn Tips

Black woman wearing a layered butterfly locs bob with auburn tips
IG: @_crownedk

Layered and lovely, the auburn tips took this butterfly locs look to a whole other level.

11. Short Grey Butterfly Locs Bob

Short grey butterfly locs bob worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @a.dai.sha

For a quick and classy way to elevate a butterfly locs bob, experiment with an unconventional color like grey.

12. Butterfly Locs Lob with Deep Side Part

Butterfly locs lob with a deep side part worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @marykbella

A bit on the longer and thinner side, this medium length lob, achieved with 14″ faux locs, offers far more styling flexibility, allowing for ease in creating updo hairstyles.

13. Half-Up Half-Down Butterfly Locs Bun

Half-up half-down butterfly locs bun with gold cuffs worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @tupo1

OK, admittedly this half-up half-down hairstyle is technically more like a third-up, two-thirds down. But that’s why it works. A gold-cuffed bun front and center surrounded by butterfly locs on all sides, make this look a must-try.

Not to mention there’s no wrapping or cornrowing involved. Another amazing crochet butterfly locs look for the win.

14. Butterfly Locs High Bun

Butterfly locs high bun worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @_kaicealea

Gathering your butterfly locs into a high bun is a simple, but sophisticated switch from just letting them hang loose.

15. Distressed Butterfly Locs Lob

Distressed butterfly locs lob worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @a.dai.sha

We seriously can’t get enough of distressed butterfly locs, in any length. They’re perfectly imperfect.

16. Chunky Distressed Butterfly Locs

Chunky distressed butterfly locs worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @slimreshae

17. Layered Ginger Butterfly Locs with Bangs

Layered ginger butterfly locs with bangs worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @africanjawn

We tend to see butterfly locs styles in all one length or close to it, so this bright ginger layered face-framing look with bangs is a refreshing take on the typical.

18. Short Red Ombre Butterfly Locs

Short red ombre butterfly locs worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @marykbella

In keeping with the bold color choices, this red ombre butterfly locs lob is lit.

19. Half-Up Half-Down Short Butterfly Locs

Half-up half-down short butterfly locs worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @lipstickcoco

This half-up half-down butterfly locs hairstyle is proof that quite often, less is more.

20. Jumbo Auburn Distressed Butterfly Locs

Black woman wearing jumbo auburn distressed butterfly locs
Pinterest

A jumbo spin on butterfly locs, these braids are big, long, bohemian and beautiful.

21. Copper and Blonde Butterfly Locs

Black woman wearing copper and blonde butterfly locs
IG: @jassl_

Sparse blonde lowlights give these copper butterfly locs an unexpected twist.

22. Short Asymmetrical Butterfly Locs Bob

Short asymmetrical butterfly locs bob worn as a protective style by a Black woman with 4C natural hair
IG: @adannamadueke

Once you master the installation, there’s basically no butterfly locs look you can’t create, including this badass bob. So be sure to check out both tutorials below, with and without wrapping, to see which method you prefer.

23. Multicolored Layered Butterfly Locs Lob

Multicolored layered butterfly locs lob worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @marykbella

It’s hard to believe that mixing 12″ butterfly locs in just two colors (T1B/30 and T1B/27) could result in such a rich layered look, but we’re HAIR for it!

24. Chunky Fairy Butterfly Locs

Black woman wearing chunk fairy butterfly locs half-up half-down hairstyle
IG: @blvckhair_ng

A little shabby, and unbelievably chic, these distressed, chunky crochet fairy locs are absolutely exquisite.

25. Short Bronde Butterfly Locs Bob

Short jumbo bronde butterfly locs bob as a protective hairstyle on a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @jassl_

For starters, the front of her natural hair was braided into individuals, while cornrows were created in the back.

Ombre afro-kinky Curlypop hair was then added to each braid and wrapped to the desired length. A different approach however was used for the remaining sections. With the help of a braiding rack to hold the hair, locs were created first and then installed using a crochet needle.

Although they look absolutely amazing, if you’re short on time, or patience, opt for pre-looped locs to get this jumbo job done quicker.

26. Blunt Medium-Length Butterfly Locs

Black woman wearing blunt medium length butterfly locs
IG: @dadouhair

Eye-catching without being overbearing, these warm brown blunt medium length butterfly locs are…chef’s kiss.

27. Thin Waist Length Butterfly Locs

Black woman wearing thin waist length butterfly locs
Pinterest

While the size and length of these butterfly locs make them easy to maneuver and offer lots of styling options, they work wonderfully as is.

28. Short Butterfly Locs Bob with Deep Side Part

Black woman wearing a short butterfly locs bob with a deep side part
IG: @iambebebmichelle

For a subtle change on shorter length butterfly locs, play around with the position of your part or even go platinum to really shake things up.

29. Platinum Blonde Butterfly Locs

Woman wearing a platinum blonde butterfly locs hairstyle
IG: @tropical.punch_

30. Half Pulled Back Butterfly Locs with Bang

Black woman wearing butterfly locs in a half pulled back hairstyle with a bang
IG: @wendella_

Whenever you opt for a simple hairstyle, like half-up half-down or even two pig tails, experiment with leaving a loc or two out in the front like tendrils to make the look more interesting.

31. Butterfly Locs Pigtails

Black woman wearing butterfly locs in two pigtails

32. Black and Copper Ombre Butterfly Locs

Short black and copper ombre butterfly locs worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @damnthatschev

Created using the thumb wrap method with Water Wave hair, around springy afro twist and her natural hair as filler, these ombre butterfly locs are full, fluffy and fly. Needless to say, we give this look two thumbs up.

33. Chunky Butterfly Locs Bob with Deep Side Part

Black woman wearing a chunky butterfly locs bob with a deep side part
IG: @shaakiramolisho

Short, chic and chunky, you can’t go wrong with a butterfly locs bob.

34. Medium Length Side Swept Butterfly Locs

Black woman wearing mid-length side-swept butterfly locs
IG: @khatrabbani

The ideal vacation hairstyle, medium-side swept butterfly locs are a lovely, low maintenance and always photo-ready look.

35. Mixed Blonde Butterfly Locs High Messy Bun

Mixed blonde butterfly locs in a high messy bun worn as a protective style by a Black woman with natural hair
IG: @prinamb

Why opt for just one shade of blonde or one type of faux locs, when you can mix them up? Between the colors, textures and the high messy bun in this Cali locs meets Butterfly locs mashup, this boho chic hairstyle is perfection.

Hopefully by now, you’re clear on the how tos and what kind, regarding your next butterfly locs look. So Godspeed and good loc. LOL!