What are Instant Locs?

What are Instant Locs: Everything You Need to Know

What are instant locs? Also called instant dreadlocks, instant locs are locs that loc instantly during installation. This means you will walk in with natural hair and leave with dreadlocks. How cool, huh? 

 If you’re considering getting dreadlocks but don’t want to go through the lengthy process of traditional locs, instant dreadlocks may be the perfect solution. Instant locs provide the appearance of mature locs without the wait. 

This comprehensive guide will delve into everything you need to know about instant dreadlocs, covering what they are, how much they cost, the installation process, maintenance, and more. Let’s get into it.

What are Instant Locs? 

As their name suggests, instant locs are dreadlocks created instantly. Unlike traditional locs that develop over time, instant dreadlocks are made using the crochet method. The method involves backcombing the hair and then using a crochet hook to knit the hair together, resulting in fully locked dreadlocks. This technique provides the immediate appearance of mature locs, saving you the months or even years it takes for traditional starter locs to fully form.

Is Instant Locs Permanent? 

Yes, instant dreadlocs are considered a permanent hairstyle. While traditional locs can be taken down and combed out if desired, removing instant locs without causing damage to the hair can be pretty challenging. Over time, they become more solidified and rooted, making their removal increasingly difficult. Therefore, it’s essential to understand that instant dreadlocks are a long-term commitment.

How Long Does it Take Instant Locs to Loc? 

Unlike traditional starter locs that can take months or years to fully loc, instant dreadlocs provide the appearance of mature locs immediately after installation. The crochet method used in creating instant dreadlocks locks the hair instantly, bypassing the initial stages of loc formation. However, it’s important to note that while instant dreadlocs may look mature from the start, the locs will continue to tighten and mature over time.

How Long Do Instant Locs Last?

 The longevity of instant locs depends on various factors such as hair care, maintenance, and personal preferences. With proper care and maintenance, instant locs can last for several years. Regularly washing, moisturizing, and re-twisting or re-crocheting the roots will help keep the locs intact and healthy. However, consulting with a professional stylist for guidance on maintaining your specific instant dreadlocs is essential.

How Long Do Instant Locs Take to Install?

 The installation time for instant dreadlocs can vary depending on several factors, including the length and thickness of your hair and loc size. On average, the installation process can take anywhere from 6 to 12 hours or more. It’s crucial to allocate sufficient time for the installation and find a skilled stylist experienced in creating instant dreadlocs to ensure the best results.

How Much Does Instant Locs Cost? 

The cost of instant dreadlocs can vary depending on several factors, including the salon or stylist you choose, the length and thickness of your hair, and your location. On average, the cost for instant dreadlocs installation can range from $200 to $1000 or more. It’s essential to consult with different stylists and inquire about their pricing to find the best option within your budget.

Can You Put Instant Dreadlocs on Short Hair? 

Yes,instant locs can be put on short hair. However, the length of the hair will affect the final result. For them to form securely, it’s generally recommended that the hair is at least three inches long when pulled straight. Shorter hair may pose challenges during the installation process, as it requires sufficient length to create stable knots and ensure the longevity of the locs.

Why Are Instant Dreadlocs Stiff?

When new, instant dreadlocs are usually stiff due to the series of knots formed by the crocheting technique. Usually the stiffness will reduce over time but its a normal phase. To lessen the stiffness, you can do the following:

  • Apply moisture rich natural oils like jojoba and castor oil after washing the locs. The oils will lock moisture ensuring the locs are hydrated and smoothen over time. 
  • Explore different styles – this helps them become flexible and smooth out.
  • Wash them once a week


Can You Comb Out Instant Locs? 

While it is possible to comb out instant locs, it can be time-consuming and potentially damaging. They are tightly locked, and they become more solidified as time passes. This makes it increasingly difficult to unravel them without causing significant hair damage. If you decide to remove your instant dreadlocs, it’s best to seek professional assistance to minimize hair breakage and ensure the health of your hair.

What is the Difference Between Starter Locs and Instant Locs? 

Starter locs and instant locs are two distinct methods of achieving dreadlocks. Starter locs involve techniques such as comb coils, braids, twists, or interlocking to initiate the loc formation process. These methods allow the hair to naturally progress and tighten over time. On the other hand, instant dreadlocs are created using the crochet method, providing the immediate appearance of mature locs. The main difference lies in the time it takes for the locs to form, and the instant result achieved with instant dreadlocs.

Should I Wash My Hair Before Instant Locs?

Yes, washing your hair is important to prepping for loc installation. Failure to wash the hair before installation can cause smelly locs and an itchy scalp. Remember you cannot wash the locs immediately after installation. So, washing the hair before is the best way to ensure cleanliness. Moreover, no stylist will agree to work on a dirty head.

What Are Instant Locs Pros and Cons?

 Pros of Instant Dreadlocs:

  • Immediate dreadlocks without the waiting period- you walk in with natural hair and leave with mature locs. 
  • Tight and consistent appearance.
  • Ideal for people with fine hair – fine hair is quite hard to lock using other methods.
  • Suitable for all hair types – this method is ideal for all hair types, even relaxed hair. 
  • Ideal for people who sweat a lot – Starter locs usually get shabby when you sweat. Fortunately, that is not the case with instant dreadlocs.
  • Minimal product usage – you don’t necessarily need wax or gel. Even when used, only little is required. 
  • Extensions can be attached without additional materials.
  • It can be less irritating to the scalp compared to other loc styles.
  • Easy to wash – instant dreadlocs are easier to clean, unlike starter locs, which are challenging due to the risk of unraveling. 


Cons of Instant Dreadlocs:

  • Not ideal for DIY – learning the technique can be challenging; professional guidance is recommended.
  • Finding skilled stylists proficient in instant dreadlocks can be difficult.
  • Initial stiffness in the locs, which gradually relaxes over time.
  • Higher cost compared to other loc methods. Prices range from $200 to over $1000
  • Potential damage if not adequately cared for or maintained.
  • Require longer installation time – on average, you will need 6-12 hours for the installation. 

How to do Instant Locs 

The installation process of instant dreadlocs involves several steps. The process can be time-consuming and is best performed by a skilled stylist with experience in instant dreadlocs. Trying the style on your hair can cause severe damage. Nonetheless, here are steps to install instant dreadlocks. It’s important to ensure the hair is clean and dry, and moisturized before starting. 


Step 1: Section the hair into precise equal sections. This will depend on how big or small you want the locs to be. 

Step 2: Backcomb the hair in each section to create volume and texture.

Step 3: Install comb coils on every section – This is done by applying little amount of gel, wax or oil. After use a comb to coil the hair halfway. Dont coil the entire hair to enable you to twist and loc the lock. (Please note that using gel, wax and oil is optional)

Step 4: Weave the hair in each section using a mini crochet needle, creating tight knots. Push the needle in and out and work down the loc as you twist and rotate the hair in between your fingers using the other hand.

Step 5: Twist the roots – This helps the locs to be firm and neat.

How to Maintain Instant Dreadlocs? 

Proper maintenance is essential to ensure the longevity and health of your instant dreadlocs. Regularly wash your locs with a residue-free shampoo to keep them clean and prevent product buildup.

  • Moisturize your locs and scalp to prevent dryness and promote healthy hair growth. Dry locs are brittle and susceptible to breakage. You should use natural oils or any other lightweight oil. 

          Remember to wash them at least once a week. However, avoid overwashing as you will dry out the scalp,                   which could lead to itchy scalp, thinner locs, or breakage. 

  • Retwist or re-crochet the roots periodically to maintain the neatness and tightness of the locs.
  • Protect your locs while sleeping by using a satin or silk bonnet or pillowcase.
  • Avoid excessive manipulation or pulling the locs to prevent breakage. Some people tend to pull their hair when in deep thought or distracted. This can lead to breakage. 
  • Regularly visit a professional stylist for maintenance and guidance on caring.

Final Thought on What are Instant Locs? 


 Instant dreadlocs offer a convenient and time-efficient way to achieve the appearance of mature dreadlocks. This loc installation method is ideal for people who want to bypass the stressful loc formation stages. However, keep in mind instant locs are expensive to install, and not just any loctician can install them. Now if, after considering their pros and cons, you have decided this is what you want. Please consult skilled stylists, and follow proper maintenance practices. You will definitely love the style. 


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