Butterfly locs quickly emerged as one of this year's most popular protective styles, right next to knotless box braids. The '90s-inspired style is similar to faux locs, except they're typically shorter and created using wavier hair to give the locs a more perfectly undone look. "With normal faux locs, you use the wrapping method to get the hair as neat as possible, whereas the butterfly locs method uses your thumb to create loops and a bit of a messier look," celebrity hairstylist Molecia George previously told POPSUGAR.
Butterfly locs have been seen on stars like Ciara and Leigh-Anne Pinnock over the last few months, and they've proven to be a perfect way to experiment with new styles this summer. Still, as it goes with any protective style, it's important to know how long to keep them in your hair to avoid potential damage.
"With proper maintenance and moisturizing I would say you can keep [butterfly locs] in for about one to two months," celebrity hairstylist and natural hair YouTuber, Annagjid "Kee" Taylor, told POPSUGAR. "You don't want to damage the natural hair growing in and cause breakage, especially if you aren't washing the hair." Taylor notes that, even though the style should generally last up to eight weeks, if you're not properly maintaining the locs (meaning regularly washing and conditioning them) then you probably shouldn't keep them in for longer than four weeks.
If you have to keep them in any longer than the recommended time, it wouldn't be the end of the world if you extended their wear for about one to two weeks. To prolong your butterfly locs for a bit, Taylor recommends using hydrating products and washing them with dry shampoo or letting them air dry if you use a liquid shampoo.
"Keeping your scalp hydrated is the big key here as well as nourishing the locks to keep frizz and flyaways at bay," she said. "I'd also recommend some dry shampoo if you plan on not washing them and keeping them a bit longer. Washing is great but make sure to dry properly or else the water will cause bacteria to grow."