Invisible Locs Are the Latest Protective Style Trending on TikTok — See Photos

Scrolling TikTok is a beauty fanatic’s version of sifting through the morning news feeds for breaking events — which often leads to spotting trend after trend (trends!). And if you’ve been browsing the app lately, there’s a good chance you’ve come across a video of a very popular protective hairstyle, invisible locomotives (#invisiblelocs has garnered 82.6 million views, if that tells you anything). The concept is similar in intent to faux locs (with pre-made loc extensions), but invisible locs are different because they aren’t a form of locs at all. Instead, the trendy hairstyle is a fun twist.

People love this hairstyle because it creates a “loc-twist look without the commitment of dreads,” says Massachusetts-based hairstylist Ajira Mohamed, who has done the style for many of her clients. In other words, what would normally take years can be accomplished in a matter of hours. Plus, thanks to invisible twists, you can easily separate at any time – with minimal damage.

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Nevertheless, a lot goes into the trend style. Here hairstylists share how to pull off the look and keep the twists as flawless as if you just stepped out of the salon.

Meet the experts:

What are invisible locs?

The style loved by TikTok is meant to mimic locs from a distance, but up close they resemble what are known as Senegalese or Marley twists. To achieve the look, the hair is twisted at the root and then secured with a wrap knot at the end. It combines the techniques of locs and twists to fuse the two aesthetics together.

“They’re so versatile,” says Brittney Traore, braider and owner of the African Braiding Center in Washington DC, who likes invisible locs in a short bob length with curly ends. But the twists can be long or cropped and styled in a range of colors and sizes. It all depends on preferences. That said, the roots are your natural hair, so it’s best to limit ponytails and half-up hairstyles. “If there is too much tension in the hair, the braids can easily unravel or loosen And cause pain or discomfort by pulling,” explains Mohamed.

Tasha Kaunda

How long do invisible locs last?

Invisible locs last about four to six weeks. To get the twists, stylists recommend wrapping your hair at night and applying a hair oil (we love the Mielle Organics Rosemary Oil and the Briogeo Castor Oil) or moisturizing spray a few times a week, starting at the scalp and working through the ends . When the twists start looking ragged — say around week three — a finger comb with a touch of mousse can help smooth flyaways.

How to make invisible locs

It’s a process – and it’s not quick. Invisible locs are best left to the professionals, and you should spend around four to six hours in the salon, depending on the length and size of the twists. As with most protective styles, it’s best to start with clean, blow-dried hair. Most of the stylists who have shared videos of the look on TikTok (including those we spoke to) recommend Cuban twist hair for invisible locs, as the texture of these extensions mimics natural, tangled hair.

Here’s what to expect while sitting in the chair:

  1. The braider begins by making 1 inch wide square pieces, starting at the nape of the neck. Adding some gel or edge control helps define the pieces (Trinidad-based braider Sade Andrews swears by Style n Jam Gel, saying it’s the “best for any protective style.”)
  2. Each of the square sections should be split in half and twisted (similar to turning a doorknob) into flat twists, Traore explains. A flat twist is when the hair is twisted against the scalp with tension to keep it flat and taut. When twisting, Traore recommends starting at an angle at the top of the part until you get to the bottom of this section. This creates the “invisible” locomotive. Once you’ve flattened one side of the part, repeat the same steps on the other side to complete the base of your invisible loc.
  3. Add the hair extensions. Braiders have different techniques; For example, Mohamed joins the two single flat twists together at the ends by twisting them, then adding two pieces of Cuban Twist Hair and wrapping them around each other to create a two-strand twist. On the other hand, Traore likes to place the extensions between the two flat twists and twist the Cuban twist hair into the natural hair side by side. She then brings the two intertwined strands together to begin the larger two-strand twists.
  4. Complete the two-strand twist to the desired length, making sure to leave some hair at the end. At the ends that haven’t been twisted, fold the hair up a few inches and wrap it around the end of the twist to form a barrel. Secure the ends by gluing or burning the ends of the barrel, Traore says.
  5. Apply hair oil to scalp for a moisture boost, plus a dollop of mousse and a spritz of finishing spray to set style.

Invisible Locs Hairstyles

You can personalize invisible locs by trying different parts such as: Add a slouchy side part (this shows off the twist detail at the root) or face-framing pieces. Switch it up with colorful extensions in a golden brown hue or a bold red. Keep scrolling for some of our favorite ways to wear invisible locs.

I G/ @themarleytwistgawd_
Ajira Mohamed
IG / @jstylingz
IG / @nm_makeupandhair

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