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Dr. Kari Williams Shares Her Top Tips for Styling Goddess Locs

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If you’ve ever marveled at the beautiful goddess loc styles gracing the crowns of Tyra Banks, Willow Smith, and Eva Marcille, then you have trichologist and celebrity hairstylist, Dr. Kari Williams to thank for that. As the original creator of Goddess Locs, Dr. Williams has spent the last few years teaching Hollywood about the beauty and versatility of locs.

Dr. Kari Williams, creator of Goddess Locs

The funny thing is, she never actually set out to become a hair trendsetter. In fact, it wasn’t until a hair appointment with actress Meagan Good at her salon, Mahogany Hair Revolution, back in 2015, that she even got the idea to create the now-popular protective style.

“Meagan Good contacted me through her hairstylist and said that she wanted to do a faux loc style, but she wanted her locs to resemble Lisa Bonet’s natural locs. Because of the natural curl pattern and texture of Lisa Bonet’s hair, the ends of her natural locs were kind of left loose and curly,” explained Dr. Williams. “That was the characteristic of her locs that Meagan Good really liked —that free-flowing look. At the time, I, like a lot of other hairstylists had been creating locs the traditional way with a terminal end and I initially explained to Meagan: ‘That is Lisa Bonet’s natural hair!’”

After her conversation with Good and a prayer to God, Dr. Williams came back with a solution: the goddess loc.

“I completed the style on Meagan and it became widely popular as she began to wear the look on several red carpets,” she said. “It’s just a beautiful moment in time that shows the creativity of a hairstylist and how we’re constantly innovating and creating new things.”

What Are Goddess Locs?

Like its name suggests, goddess locs are a form of faux locs that tend to have a more bohemian styling. Both a temporary and permanent style, these loc extensions are created with all human hair and according to Dr. Williams, there’s a key characteristic that sets it apart from traditional locs.

“What distinguishes a goddess loc from a loc extension or faux loc is the loose wavy end that’s at the end of the goddess loc,” she shared.

As for why this particular style has become so popular, it all comes down to that loose curly end.

“I think what goddess locs do is they provides another option of celebrating the beauty of locs,” said Dr. Williams. “ I’ve talked to so many women and what I hear consistently about the goddess loc is that they look soft. That wavy, loose end gives the hair a free-flowing look and I feel like that is what makes them so popular.”

To create a goddess loc involves a two-part process that is similar to the creation of a traditional loc extension or faux loc. You start by installing a base of the loc, which is typically created with a braid or a twist. Once the base is installed, then it’s wrapped with a different texture to actually create the loc.

“This process can take anywhere from 10-12 hours and that time varies based on the length you want your goddess locs as well as the size and density of your hair,” said Dr. Williams. “But, the time investment is well worth it because with goddess locs, you can wear them for up to four months.”

As for the maintenance of the goddess loc? It’s fairly simple! Dr. Williams recommends applying a daily moisturizing spray (like her Dr. K Daily Spray) or hair oil to your hair in order to prevent dryness and breakage. She also stressed the importance of shampooing the hair at least once a week (depending on your level of activity) to keep your scalp looking and feeling clean.

How to Style Your Goddess Locs

When it comes to goddess locs, the styling opportunities are endless. We had Dr. Williams spill some much-need advice on how to get the most out of your beautiful locs.

Though, before you get to styling, she has an important pro tip to keep in mind: “When it comes to styling your locs, don’t get too caught up in your head about each loc being perfectly in place. You need to eliminate those traditional ways of styling and thinking about styling hair and really allow yourself to fall into the freedom of what it means to have a loc style.”

1. Be Experimental

“Because the locs themselves are already a style and the beauty of the locs are in its imperfections as far as it being loose and free-flowing, when it comes to styling the goddess locs, one thing I love to tell my clients is to just play,” she said. “With the goddess loc, if you just toss your hair up and it lands in a beautiful silhouette, I say pin it in place. Oftentimes, what you’ll find with women who have their goddess locs is that they are styled in these unique ways. And it’s that uniqueness that just comes from tossing the locs about and allowing them to form and style themselves essentially. The beauty is in the locs, so any way that you move them and form them, it’s still beautiful.”

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Recreate Some of Your Favorite Hairstyles

“I think one of the misperceptions of locs is that because they’re locs, there isn’t a lot of styling versatility. But, you can manipulate locs into the same silhouettes and styles that you can manipulate loose hair,” said Dr. Kari. “I like to call locs what they are which is ‘super strands’. The same way that you would style a finer hair strand, you should practice manipulating the locs in the same way. So, if you have someone who traditionally wears their loose hair (whether it’s curly or straight or wavy) in a high ponytail bun with a side swoop, you can do that with your goddess locs, too!”

3. Give Updos a Try

“This beautiful style was created by my Goddess Locs Master, Kelsey, who trained with me. I installed the locs,” Dr. Kari shared. “So, to do a style like this, the key is to have a lot of bobby pins and hairpins. The way that someone would start is by gathering the locs up into whatever shape that they would like to see their hair. Even if you’re starting with a high ponytail or maybe two ponytails and situating the locs in the areas on your head where you want to begin to build a sculpted updo like that, just begin to fold and form and mold the locs into those shapes. You’ll want to have a lot of hair pins right near your side and just pin these shapes in place.”

4. Decorate Your Locs with Beads and Other Embellishments

“A lot of the adornments —the gold beads, the foils, and rings—that are used to adorn braids and twists, can definitely be used for locs. Not to mention, they are a beautiful way to add to or enhance the beauty of the locs themselves,” explained Dr. Kari. “I love decorating my locs when I have the time. I put feathers and just all types of things in my hair.”

To see more of Dr. Kari Williams work, be sure to follow her @drkariwill on Instagram. If you’re interested in getting certified in goddess loc installation, sign up to take her Goddess Locs Certification Course here.

Camille Nzengung
Camille Nzengung
Camille Nzengung is a Features Editor, based in Georgia, covering all things hair at The Tease. You can find her writing about the best hair products, the coolest hair trends, and all the exciting new hair launches.