Wait and See: Invisible Locs Are Going to Dominate 2024 (and Here’s How to Rock the Look)

Plus, helpful visuals to recreate it at home

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invisible locs trend a design photo of three women with invisible locs
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We’ve seen a bunch of protective styles sweep the internet over the last few years (think: goddess braids, flat twists and layered braids). But there's one style we predict is going to take the beauty world by storm in 2024. Say hello to invisible locs. This flat twist technique has been everywhere lately and is only growing in popularly, so we tapped two hairstylists to walk us through the look ahead.

Meet the Experts

  • Cataanda James is a hairstylist and a brand educator for The Mane Choice. She has over 25 years of experience in the beauty industry. She’s also a licensed cosmetologist and launched the CJ The Beauty Group, a beauty consulting firm that offers education, product development and other beauty services to aspiring clients. 
  • Angela Stevens is an Emmy-award winning celebrity hairstylist and brand ambassador for Cantu. She has over 13 years of experience as a master stylist and expert in the beauty industry. She also served as a hair consultant for media companies such as VH1, BET, FOX and NBC. Her previous clients include Rihanna, Keke Palmer and Jackie Aina.

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a photo of a woman with invisible locs
Delmaine Donson/Getty Images

What Are Invisible Locs?

“Invisible locs begin by twisting your natural hair, then adding feed-in extensions inches away from the roots to form double strand twists throughout the lengths,” explains James. “This protective style gives the illusion of traditional locs minus the full commitment, so if you’ve ever been interested in the classic style (but not ready for the permanent look), consider rocking some invisible locs in the meantime.

Is There a Difference Between Invisible Locs and Faux Locs?

Yes, though these two popular styles have some similarities between them, they're not exactly interchangeable. “Invisible locs are a form of faux locs because hair extensions are added, but they’re not crocheted at the root like regular faux locs. Instead, the extensions are twisted into the natural hair—similar to a feed-in braid—and then twisted around another section of hair,” explains Stevens. 

Why Are Invisible Locs So Popular Now?

Many stylists predicted that that both flat twists and faux locs were going to be a bit hit this year, so it’s not surprising that invisible locs (which combines both styles) would gain traction on social media. Just look through the hashtag for 'invisible locs' and you’ll find 13k related posts on Instagram and 40 million views on TikTok.

In addition to invisible locs, other variations of locs that merge traditional techniques with more modern interpretations (like butterfly locs and goddess locs) have also been popping up on our feeds. But the beauty of this specific protective style is that it's a low-maintenance look you can wear all year long. “Invisible locs give you the ability to rock your style without over-manipulating your hair. It’s convenient, versatile and requires little to no maintenance without the hassle of wash day for a full month,” says James. “Overall, it’s a fresh technique for a loc style, which yields a unique finished look that [requires] less tension at the roots and provides a level of longevity.”

How to Achieve Invisible Locs

If you’re not an experienced braider, consider getting the look done at a salon. A helpful tip: Bring a few reference photos to your appointment to give your braider a better idea of the style you actually want. 

To recreate invisible locs at home, you can try the twisting technique. There’s also the crochet method that follows the same steps but adds a crochet needle to the mix. (Here’s a helpful tutorial to get you started.) Before you begin with either technique, gather these products below. 

What You’ll Need: 

Your Step-by-Step Guide:

  1. Wash and style your hair as usual. 
  2. Use a rat tail comb to divide your hair into four equal sections. Start by parting your hair down the center before running the comb from ear to ear to create two sections on the top and two on the bottom. 
  3. Work on one section at a time (and tie up any sections you’re not working on so they're out of the way). Use your comb to divide each larger section into smaller one-inch squares. (Note: The width can vary depending on the desired thickness of your loc).
  4. Apply gel to this smaller section of hair before flat twisting them inwards (towards your middle part). Stevens suggests securing each one with a duckbill hair clip, so it doesn’t unravel. 
  5. Grab ⅓ of fake hair and start wrapping it around the small piece in the same direction to thicken the strand.
  6. Repeat steps three through six with another small section, but this time, twist the strands in the opposite direction. 
  7. At the root, combine both pieces together in the flat twist technique and your first invisible loc is done. 
  8. Repeat steps three to eight until your whole head is complete. Then, secure the ends with elastic bands and apply mousse for shine.

How Long Do Invisible Locs Last?

If you follow these steps, the style should last between three to four weeks, depending on your hair type. According to James, the locs shouldn’t be worn past a month, and trust us, you’ll know when it’s time to take them out: “Since the base of the loc starts with flat twist on your natural hair, not only does it begin to fray, frizz and loosen, the added extension hair just beyond the root can become weighed down, causing tension as the style wears,” she explains. “If your hair is fine or thin, wear them for two to three weeks tops. But if your hair is average or coarse, no more than four weeks is ideal to ensure you don’t compromise the integrity of your hair.”

How Do You Maintain Invisible Locs?

Similar to other protective styles, you’ll want to invest in a haircare routine that minimizes frizz and buildup. (We’ve got you covered in that department). Stevens recommends using a hair oil daily to add shine and keep your scalp moisturized while you rock your locs. One more thing: Sleep with a silk head wrap (or bonnet) and a silk pillowcase to keep your invisible locs looking fresh and frizz-free. 

How Much Do Invisible Locs Cost?

Whether you’re getting invisible locs done at the salon or doing it yourself at home, James notes the total cost will depend on a variety of factors: location, stylist’s experience level, preferred sizing and service time. On that note, the average price can be anywhere from $150 to $500+ at the salon.

When it comes to trying it out at home, the cost will come down to the materials (see above) and the number of hair bundles you purchase, as well as the quality of the hair used for this style, which can total up to $100 to $300. 

keep in mind that getting invisible locs will take time and patience. Your time in the braider’s chair will depend on the thickness and length you desire, so have a Netflix show queued up. Once the locs are in, have fun with your new look by trying a few different hairstyles like creator Sade Andrews above or checking out the following looks. 

Invisible Locs Styles

invisible locs ponytail
Mathew Tsang/Contributor/Getty Images

1. Ponytail

Start with a simple style: a short ponytail. Just make sure to leave out a few pieces in the front for a more casual look.

2. Half-Up, Half-Down

A half-up, half-down look will always be classic—and invisible locs take the look to another level.

3. Bohemian Invisible Locs

Want to add another eye-catching element to the mix? The bohemian technique leaves a few curly tendrils in between each loc to give them a pop of color.

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Associate Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, Aspiring Beauty Guru

Chelsea Candelario is an Associate Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the internet...