I partially surrendered by trying my hand at faux locs — a non-committal alternative to locs which have been popular for some time now — before eventually doing my own crochet locs and falling in love with my looks all over again. As much as I love locs, I’m just too restless to opt for a permanent hairstyle right now so I’m always on the lookout for new ways to switch up my style. So when I saw invisible locs pop up on the hair scene in November, I knew I had to have it. With over 90 million views on TikTok alone, the app is filled with ladies entering the seats of talented hairstylists like @IamVeronicaC and @IamDejaJanee, or people like @jasminedyonna2 learning to do the style at home through trial and error. #Invisiblelocs quickly gained traction in the US but although it’s taking some time for its popularity to reach the UK, I found a hairstylist in London who could get the job done so I ran to get myself some invisible locs.
What are 'Invisible Locs' and why have they gone TikTok viral?
Although invisible locs are temporary, the technique mimics a fresh retwist and results in one of the most realistic faux loc styles on Black women yet. They differ from individual faux locs or soft locs, where extensions are wrapped around the roots of your hair to the ends for the finished look. Instead, invisible locs meet at the crossroad between twists and locs: two flat twists are made on your natural hair before Marley hair (kinky textured braiding hair extensions) is twisted into your flat twist. To help with the grip, some stylists might make two small braids to crochet the Marley hair through before blending with the flat twist. What you’re left with are natural-looking two-strand twists that give the illusion of locs.
How are 'Invisible Locs' installed?
Flat twisting my hair and adding extensions in the back felt like an extreme sport, so I visited Tylist Studio in Brixton. Once I walked into the studio, I relinquished all control to the founder and hairstylist Tyra Williams. She already knew what size and colour I wanted from the reference videos I sent to her on Instagram, and she provides the hair, so I could mellow out and watch TV.
Tyra started by making clean parts and applying Blue Gummy Hair Wax to my hair only and not my scalp. We initially planned to use one strand of Sensationnel Soft n Silky Afro Twist Braid per twist but since I prefer my hair to be on the fuller side, we opted to use two stands instead. The ends of each twist were barrelled to achieve a bob length — remember, the goal is to make the locs look as natural as possible. An elastic band is then added to each barrel to secure it into place. Tyra completed the whole process in 4.5 hours and based on the length and thickness, she only used just over two packs of extensions. Tyra applied Shine N Jam Magic Fingers mousse to set my hair and lightly oiled my scalp with Dr Miracles Daily Moisturising Gro Oil. By the time Tyra was done, I was already making plans to hang out with friends because I knew that this is a look the world had to see.
What are the pros and cons?
If you’re tender-headed, Invisible Locs are a dream come true. You don’t have to go through the tight process of having extensions wrapped around your roots like faux or soft locs – the extensions are lightweight and the sore feeling after getting your hair done is nowhere to be found.
Speaking of the process, taking the twists out is super easy too: all I have to do is remove the elastic bands from the barrels and unravel the twists as I would with a twist out. Of course, if your stylist adds smaller braids to crochet the Marley hair through, your take-down process might be a bit trickier.
For me, invisible locs are simple and the closest you can get to the fresh retwist look without actually going through the locking process. Although they can’t be untwisted, you can go for different lengths and colours each time to switch it up. My partings were on the smaller side and took 4.5 hours from start to finish, so choosing bigger partings will see you in and out of the chair in no time. Meanwhile, soft locs can take 6-8 hours.
On the flip side, invisible locs don’t make it as long as faux locs do. “Invisible locs can last for around three weeks with good aftercare,” says Tyra. Since my hair is only flat twisted, my hair will likely be too frizzy by the four-week mark. Unlike individual locs, you can’t get them retouched and will need to remove the twists before getting them installed again. But personally? That doesn’t seem too bad for someone like me who doesn’t like to leave my hair neglected in protective styles. I get to enjoy a 3-week break before treating my hair and redoing the invisible locs.
How do you maintain 'Invisible Locs' at home?
The greatest thing about the hairstyle is how low maintenance they are. I cover my hair with a silk scarf at night to protect my roots from frizzing, before adding a bonnet on top to preserve the twists. As per Tyra’s suggestion, I apply Crème of Nature Argan Shine Foaming Mousse 2-3 times a week to keep frizz and flyaways at bay before adding small amounts of Aunt Jackie’s Repair My Hair Argan Oil to my scalp. I finish off with ORS Olive Oil Nourishing Sheen Spray before I head out.
My verdict? I’m in love with this hairstyle. I think it’s the most natural loc hairstyle I’ve had so far and others agree – women with locs have stopped me on the street to tell me how beautiful my locs are. You can only imagine the look on their face once they find out they are extensions. Invisible locs will be a hairstyle I will book time and time again.