What are Braidlocs and How are they Maintained?

@abbylove86's Braidlocs

@abbylove86’s Braidlocs

I’ve received many questions about braidlocs and how to start them. I’ll share a few basic definitions and frequently asked questions about braidlocs which will be followed by a video.


What are Braidlocs?
Braidlocs are an inexpensive way of starting locs by plaiting the hair (into what is often calling braids). The plaits are never taken out but the roots are treated/retightened just like regular locs. Some people opt to use extensions hair but the braidlocs I speak of is only done utilising one’s naturally grown hair.

Will the Braid Pattern Disappear?

This varies for everyone. Many people with very kinky hair and small braids will find that their pattern may disappear in as little as a year while some with looser textures give up after 3 years and cut the plaits off. The journey is different for everyone. If you have type 4 hair, however, it is most likely that your hair will lock up within 1-2 years. See a picture of my hair below after 1 year.
1 Year of Braidlocs

1 Year of Braidlocs

What are the Advantages of Starting Locs with Braidlocs?

  1. They don’t typically get as frizzy are other methods like comb coils so have a neater appearance in the transition phase.
  2. Braidlocs can be maintained at home.
  3. This method is often effective for those with loose, type 3 textures that easily unravel so locs are more likely to form because the braid is woven (especially when combined with the backcombing method).


What are the Disadvantages of Braidlocs?

  1. The braid pattern can take a long time to disappear so you must be very patient.
  2. When maintaining roots with palm-rolling, the roots look very different from the braid. The base of the lock is usually thicker once it has matured.

How are Braidlocs Retightened?

Braidlocs can be retightened at the root using three methods:
  1. Interlocking with a latch-hook (see video below) or nappylocs type tool.
  2. Palm rolling or re-twisting.
  3. Free forming (which includes nothing but pretty much washing and going without any manipulation).

Watch the video to see how you can interlock your hair using the latch hook.

Click HERE to see my braidlocs journey


  1. Jodi

    July 27, 2014 at 2:33 am

    Two words: THANK YOU! I’m a DIY type of chick so this is just heaven’s gift to me. Started the braid locks and I’m dealing with crazy fuzz. Question: When can I start to interlock?

    • Diedre

      July 4, 2015 at 8:31 am

      I’m so sorry for missing your comment. I figure you are far along in your locking journey by now but for the benefit of others, I’d say you can interlock as soon as you have enough new growth for up to 3 “loops” or interlocks.

    • Diedre

      February 14, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      How are the braidlocs doing Jodi? I hope everything is going well. This is a late reply but in case others are reading, interlocking typically starts between 4-8 weeks after installation (depending on your comfort level with new growth).

  2. Pingback: Braidlocs Update – Months 17-18 (Staple Loc Products) - DIY LocsDIY Locs

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