Protective styles — like faux locs — have been around for decades, but as times evolve, so do the iterations of the styles we see surging in popularity. Box braids, for instance, can be reinterpreted in endless ways, from knotless to boho to crochet and beyond.
One style on the cusp of creativity and popularity is butterfly locs, which have been all over our Instagram feeds lately. The look is where the traditional loc meets a distressed texture that makes the style look more lived-in. According to Princess Kanu, a self-taught hairstylist, the style has been in high demand among her Maryland clients due to its lightweight nature and effortless look.
"Butterfly locs are unique because they put a lot less tension on your natural hair," Kanu explains. Like most protective styles, butterfly locs start by braiding your natural hair in single plaits as the base. Then, Kanu crochets Freetress Waterwave hair through the braid. Once the hair is attached to your braid, the curly-braiding hair is then wrapped around using a careful technique with your thumb that leaves gaps throughout to create a "distressed look." (You can zoom in on the method here.)
The results are lightweight, fluffy, undone locs that mimic natural texture. If you've been on the 'gram searching for your next protective style, add the butterfly locs ahead to your saved tab for a cute — and blissfully pain-free — style.