How To Fix Stiff Faux Locs

{updated 3/18/2015: check out my ultimate yarn wrap guide posted here}

The weather is getting cooler and more women have already started looking into various protective styling options to keep their natural locks safe from the harsh fall/winter environment. The latest trend in protective styling around the natural hair community is faux locs aka genie locs aka yarn wraps. 

My first installation was back in January of this year and I completely LOVED the look! Check out my FAQ and styling options posts for more information and pictures.

My style had generated interest from people I have come in contact with, particularly about the time committment in installing them. From the social media arena, some of the top inquiries I have gotten about faux locs POST installation were:
  • How can I soften my faux locs?
  • How can I make my yarn wraps less stiff?
  • How can I style my locs if they don't bend?

So you spent double digit hours installing your locs to find out they are not as loose and pliable as one might expect. They hang like a statue pretty much and you are wondering what might have gone wrong during the tedious installation process. 

It is easy to get overly concerned by the stiffness of the faux locs right after installation. Noticed I did not say tightness of the scalp. If your yarn wraps are too tight, you definitely need to remove them IMMEDIATELY to prevent extreme pulling and premature hair loss especially around the edges. Stiff faux locs is completely NORMAL and is caused by the tension of wrapping the yarn tightly around the braided part of each section to create that uniform dreadlock look and texture. So rest assured, this is definitely a plus! Congrats on surviving the process and enduring through lock shoulder joints, awkward hand positionings, and over glazed eyes from wrapping into the wee hours of the Okay, maybe that was from more of my experiences.

Nevertheless, you are ready to style your glorious locs and want to know what are some fixes for stiff locs?

Yes, patience is an invaluable virtue even after dishing all those long hours installing your locs. Yes, they may be uncomfortable to style initially. But your locs WILL loosen/soften over time. This proved true both times for me and my daughter and for other women I have researched around the internet. How much time you may be wondering? From experience, I took no more than a week for my wraps to loosen. 

I am reasoning that the thicker the faux locs, the longer it may take for them to loosen. If anyone who had thick, chunkier locs can chime in, it would be greatly appreciated by us all. 

Although my locs were still rather tight, I was not hindered from styling my locs. I was still able to put them into buns, ponytails, and other styles and they would hold the styles really well. I would honestly say I enjoyed them more as time passed and they were flexible and had movement.

Click image to see more pictures and pin to Pinterest.
I have not tried this adding water to my locs initially, but I know after rinsing my locs with water to cleanse them 3-4 weeks post installation would result in further loosening/softening. Perhaps the same can be achieved right after installing. I can speak from exact experience but source 1 and source 2 seemed to have tried the water method and got desireable results. Keep in mind though that water will make them VERY heavy (because yarn soaks water up like a sponge) and your locs would remain wet for at least a day.

Wet hair + cool weather + busy schedule = possibly more misery than needed

Maybe lightly spritzing the locs with water (or light moisturizing spray) would assist in the loosening process to avoid a completely drench head of yarn locs.

Other than the waiting game and water, I do not have any other solution to fixing stiff faux locs. If you know another method, feel free to share in the comments below or on our facebook page.

Are you thinking about your protective styling plan for the winter? Are faux locs considered in your plan? They are in the works for my daughter hopefully by the end of November. 

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