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10 Differences | Locs vs. Loose Natural Hair

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.


Loose Natural Hair


Unaffected, rate of growth is based on genetics, diet and health


Unaffected, only genetics will determine if you’ll have a lot of hair or not.


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


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


Heavy since shed hair stays trapped in, contributing to excess weight

Light, shed and broken hair comes off during detangling and styling.


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?