10 Differences | Locs vs. Loose Natural Hair

(Last Updated On: December 9, 2017)

One of the most common misconceptions about Natural hair is that locs helps your hair grow longer than loose hair. And so many women would quickly run out to go loc their hair so that they can achieve long hair effortlessly and under a minimal time frame. Aside from the ease at which loc hair grows quickly, many women will also choose to loc their hair in order to save grooming time that would have otherwise being spent on loose hair.

 In the chart below, I have summarized the 10 differences and similarities between these two types of hair style which should help clarify any misconception and confusion about the two hair types.

Locs
Loose Natural Hair
Growth
Unaffected, rate of growth is based on genetics, diet and health
Density
Unaffected, only genetics will determine if you’ll have a lot of hair or not.
Porosity
Unaffected, although loc’ed hair is better able to hold in moisture longer, just like braided hair can. Although the product used to loc the hair can disrupt moisture intake. 
Coarseness (Thick/Fine)
Unaffected, the thickness of one’s hair is determined by the size of the individual hair follicles on your scalp, which is genetics based.
Length Retention
Passive, the thickness of each loced hair makes it strong enough to withstand breakage
Active and a bit more challenging due to breakage and split ends. Regular protective styling, low manipulation and hair which is well conditioned and properly taken care of will retain more length. Also, more care needs to be given to fine hair
Shedding
Unaffected, although shed hair in locs is trapped in, making it seem as if loc’ed hair doesn’t shed since it doesn’t come off during regular styling and handling
Weight
Heavy since shed hair stays trapped in, contributing to excess weight
Light, shed and broken hair comes off during detangling and styling.
Shrinkage
Minimal, depending on the type of locs. Loc’ed hair doesn’t have the freedom to coil and shrink up
Inevitable, unless hair is styled in a stretched hairstyle such as African threading, braids or blow out.
Styling Options and Versatility
Not as many, although locs can be worn in a variety of styles. You just don’t have the versatility of “out styles”, afros, straight hair e.t.c.
More Versatile and numerous
Grooming/Maintenance Time
Very minimal, unless you choose to spend some time putting it in an up-do and other creative loc’ed hairstyle
More time consuming, as one has to consider detangling and styling time

What other differences and similarities can you add to this chart? Have you worn both hairstyles and are able to share some of the pros and cons of both hairtypes?

About Adeola

Welcome to the Coils and Glory site where I believe that our coils are our crown and glory. I help women with 4c hair to feel more confident in their hair and love the hair texture they're in. I also have a hair extensions and t-shirt line you are welcome to purchase. On the site, you will find many helpful hair care articles that are geared towards healthy hair care. If you want to learn more about your hair, you're welcome to checkout my e-books, e-courses and online workshops. Also feel free to send me a message through the contact form or on social media @coilsandglory

2 comments on “10 Differences | Locs vs. Loose Natural Hair

  1. Pretty accurate and nice comparison…however, I would not say that loc styling options and versatility are limited or that it hold and retain moisture longer (unless wash day and the person let their locs air dry vs hood drying which doesn’t happen often) unless they are like me and absolutely hate the dryer!!!

    • lol! yes, i’ve reworded those parts, so it’s easier to be understood. Chescalocs is proof that locs can be styled in a variety of ways. But loose hair is more versatile as you can go from straight, to wavy, curly, afro, twist outs and not. thanks for the input. I really appreciate the extra view points you added.

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