How many packs of locs do you need?

Quick Answer

The number of packs of locs needed depends on the length and thickness of your natural hair. As a general guideline, if you have short to medium length hair, you’ll need 1-2 packs. For longer, thicker hair you may need 3-5 packs or more. It’s best to consult your loctician to determine the right amount based on assessing your unique hair.

What are Locs?

Locs, also known as dreadlocks, are a hairstyle formed by twisting and locking the hair using various methods. The locs are allowed to naturally mat and coil together into rope-like strands of hair. Locs can be formed on all hair types but are especially popular for Black hair textures. The process of locking the hair encourages it to loc rather than detangle. Locs are a long-term protective style that allows you to embrace your natural texture.

How Many Packs You Need Depends on:

Hair Length

The length of your natural hair before installing locs is a key factor in determining how many packs you need. Short hair needs fewer locs packs, while longer hair needs more.

  • Short hair (shoulder length or above): 1-2 packs
  • Medium hair (shoulder to mid-back): 2-3 packs
  • Long hair (mid-back and below): 3-5+ packs

The longer your natural hair, the more locs required to cover the length. This is why people with longer hair need a greater number of packs.

Hair Thickness

The thickness or density of your hair also impacts the number of locs required. Thicker, denser hair requires more locs to completely cover the head. Fine or thin hair can achieve coverage with fewer packs.

  • Thin/fine hair: 1-2 packs
  • Average thickness hair: 2-3 packs
  • Thick/dense hair: 3-5+ packs

Those with a full head of thick hair need larger amounts of locs to loc all the hair. Thinner hair can loc nicely with less.

Loc Size

The size of the locs and how small you want them parted and sectioned off also makes a difference. Smaller locs mean dividing the hair into more sections, which requires more packs.

  • Larger loc size: 1-3 packs
  • Medium loc size: 2-4 packs
  • Smaller, micro-loc size: 3-6+ packs

You can reduce the number of packs needed by going for larger sized locs. Opting for micro-locs will increase the amount of hair needed to loc the head into tiny sections.

Locing Method

The specific method used to form the locs impacts the amount of hair required. Methods like interlocking, coil/palm rolling or twisting require sectioning the hair into smaller locs, which takes more packs.

  • Backcombing/freestyle method: 1-3 packs
  • Twists or coils: 2-4 packs
  • Interlocking method: 3-5+ packs

Backcombing usually requires fewer packs since it mattes the locs together quickly. Intricate methods like interlocking demand more hair to install.

Your Loctician’s Assessment

There are many factors that determine how much hair you need, so it’s best to have an experienced loctician assess your specific hair in person. The loctician can evaluate the length, density, texture, and desired loc size and method.

Based on examining your hair, your loctician will recommend the ideal number of loc packs required. This personalized recommendation will provide the most accurate amount for your unique hair goals.

How Many Packs for Short Hair?

For short hair, 1-2 packs of locs is usually sufficient. Short hair refers to styles that are shoulder length or shorter. At this length, the hair can be completely covered with fewer locs. Here are some guidelines based on short hair thickness:

  • Fine or thin short hair: 1 pack
  • Average density short hair: 1-2 packs
  • Thick or dense short hair: 2 packs

With short locks, you may need only one pack if the hair is on the thinner side. For those with a fuller head of hair, two packs allows for adequate coverage of the hair when installed into locs.

How Many Packs for Medium Length Hair?

For medium length hair that falls from the shoulders to mid-back, 2-3 packs of locs are generally needed. Here are some estimates based on thickness:

  • Fine medium length hair: 2 packs
  • Average density medium hair: 2-3 packs
  • Thick medium length hair: 3-4 packs

Since more length needs to be covered, additional packs are required. Medium density hair can work with 2-3 packs in most cases. Adjust amounts based on your loctician’s examination of your specific hair.

How Many Packs for Long Hair?

For long hair that falls below the mid-back, 3-5+ packs of locs are usually needed. Recommendations by hair thickness:

  • Fine long hair: 3 packs
  • Average density long hair: 3-4 packs
  • Thick long hair: 4-5+ packs

The longer the hair, the more locs required for full coverage from roots to ends. Long, thick hair may require upwards of 5 packs or more in some cases. Have your loctician assess for an exact amount.

How Many Packs for Thin or Fine Hair?

If your hair is on the thinner or finer side, you can install locs with fewer packs. Here are pack recommendations based on thinning hair length:

  • Short thin hair: 1 pack
  • Medium thin hair: 2 packs
  • Long thin hair: 3 packs

Since the hair is less dense, fewer locs are needed to loc the entire head. Locking thinner hair requires strategic sectioning but doesn’t demand as much hair overall.

How Many Packs for Thick or Dense Hair?

If your hair is thick or dense, you’ll need more packs to loc all of that fullness successfully. Recommendations based on thick hair length:

  • Short thick hair: 2 packs
  • Medium thick hair: 3-4 packs
  • Long thick hair: 4-5+ packs

Thick hair requires sectioning into more locs to achieve full coverage. Don’t skimp on packs if your hair is on the fuller side, as it needs sufficient hair for locking.

Choosing the Right Loc Extension Hair

Once you’ve determined approximately how many packs you need, it’s time to choose the right human hair for your locs. Consider these factors when selecting extensions:

Hair Texture

Match the texture of the loc hair to your natural hair for the most seamless blend and loc formation. Curly textures like 3B-4C mimic Black hair best.

Hair Origin

100% human hair like Indian, Peruvian, or Brazilian creates the most natural looking locs. Synthetic hair is an affordable option but won’t blend as seamlessly.

Hair Length

Choose the hair length based on your current length and desired end result. For shoulder length locs opt for 10-14 inches. For mid to long lengths, 16-18+ inches blends best.

Hair Color

Select locs that closely match your natural hair color for the most natural appearance as they loc and mature. Or choose a color to make a bold statement.

Hair Quality

Invest in high quality, pure, unprocessed virgin hair for the most durable and long lasting locs. Be wary of mixed “filler” hair marketed as 100%.

How to Estimate Packs Needed

Here are some tips for estimating how many packs of locs you’ll need before your installation:

  • Make a rough measurement of your hair length and diameter. Length x thickness estimates volume.
  • Factor in your desired loc size and grid pattern.
  • Consult example photos online of similar hair lengths and densities to yours.
  • Read reviews of quantities others with hair like yours have used.
  • Ask your loctician’s advice on recommended amounts.
  • Order 1 extra pack to be safe in ensuring you have enough.

Estimating is helpful, but your loctician’s professional in-person assessment of your hair will provide the most accurate pack number.

Cost Analysis of Locs Packs Needed

The number of loc packs needed will determine the total cost of your install. Here is a breakdown of the cost range for different quantities of hair packs:

Number of Packs Cost Range*
1 pack $50 – $150
2 packs $100 – $300
3 packs $150 – $450
4 packs $200 – $600
5 packs $250 – $750

*Cost range accounts for differences in hair quality, length, and brand.

For the hair alone, you can estimate spending around $50 per pack on the low end, or up to $150 per pack for premium hair. Installation costs will also apply.

Tips for Maximizing Packs of Locs

To make the most out of your packs of loc extensions here are some useful tips:

  • Section your natural hair strategically to distribute locs evenly.
  • Use the right locing technique for maximizing hair use.
  • Combine thinner sections of hair when installing to conserve packs.
  • Opt for slightly larger parts if you want fewer, fuller locs.
  • Use crochet hooks to attach hair and minimize slippage and waste.
  • Carefully unravel and reuse any unused hair from opened packs.

With some creativity and the right techniques, you can achieve full loc coverage while being economical with the amount of hair used.

Maintaining Your Locs

Once installed, proper maintenance is key for healthy, long-lasting locs. Be sure to:

  • Wash locs regularly using residue-free shampoo.
  • Palm roll, twist or interlock locs to encourage locking.
  • Separate congos gently using water and oil.
  • Sleep with a satin cap or pillowcase to prevent friction.
  • Follow up with regular loc tightening appointments.

Caring for your investment in loc hair will help them last for years of enjoyment and style versatility.


Determining how many packs of locs you need depends on several variables like your natural hair length, thickness, desired loc size, and installation method. On average, those with shorter hair may need 1-2 packs, medium length hair 2-3 packs, and longer hair 3-5 or more packs. Always have your loctician assess your specific hair to provide the most accurate recommendation. With proper maintenance, your locs can provide years of wear if you invest in quality hair and the right amount of packs to achieve your desired look.

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