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How To Comb Out Your Locs – An Alternative To The Big Chop

Sunday 1st of November 2020

Posted by Marsha Badger

Why I decided to transition away from locs

I always thought my locs would be a life-long commitment. After approximately 5 years of growing my hair, I made the decision to start over. The weight of my locs began to pull on my scalp, creating unpleasant bald spots on my edges.

I wanted an alternative option to cutting my locs off and starting from scratch. For most women, the big chop can be a freeing experience. For others, it can be very jarring to see themselves without hair. I’m one of those people. I decided cutting my locs and starting over was not an option.

Marsha with Locs

“The most important part of combing out your locs is maintaining moisture in your hair…”

First, you’ll need conditioner with lots of slip and plenty of time

In my research I discovered that with a bit of conditioner, and a lot of patience, a person could comb out their locs and retain some length. I came across a brand named Knotty Boy that specifically caters to people with locs. Their product lineup includes a dreadlock removal kit.

What you’ll need:

  • The Knotty Boy Shampoo and Conditioner, or any conditioner that offers extreme moisture
  • A spray bottle
  • A metal fork (or a rat tail comb)
  • Time and patience

The most important part of combing out your locs is maintaining moisture in your hair. Start the entire process by washing and conditioning your mane.

Where to get started

Take time to determine whether this is a process you want to achieve over the span of a weekend or a few weeks. If your plan is to tackle your hair during one weekend, then you can start anywhere on your head.

If you’d like to plan this out over a couple of weeks, target the middle of your head. This way you’re able to put your hair up in a ponytail whenever you have to make public appearances.

After washing and conditioning your hair

After you’ve washed and conditioned your hair, take some leave-in conditioner and rub it in your locs from root to tip. From the tip of your hair, take a metal fork or rat tail comb and begin to comb out your hair.

The more moisturised your hair is, the easier it is for your locs to loose up. Continue this process until your hands are tired and you need a break.

Whether you’re completing this over a weekend or a few weeks, you want to make sure that every time you restart the process, your hair is damp.

Don’t forget to take breaks – Netflix is essential!

Breaks are good! This process can be so tedious and time consuming so make sure you’re fully hydrated and have a few good Netflix shows lined up. Don’t underestimate the level of patience needed during this process.

It can be discouraging, you may feel like it’s taking forever, and you will want to give up. Be patient with yourself and keep going! Think of different strategies towards combing your locs out.

Perhaps recruiting a friend to help you out, or breaking up the amount of time you invest in one sitting will be helpful.

Whether you’re completing this over a weekend or a few weeks, you want to make sure that every time you restart the process, your hair is damp.

Hair care tips post comb out

Once you’ve successfully combed out your locs, your hair will be fragile. Hot oil treatments and deep conditioners will assist in strengthening your tresses.

Combed Out Loks

Pay a visit to your local beauty salon and get a much needed trim. Although you’ve retained length, your ends will be damaged and likely shed over time. Allow the salon professionals to give your hair a good treatment.

8 years on and no regrets

Marsha without locs 8 years on

It has been 8 years since I combed out my locs and it is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I do miss my hair at times, but it was time for a change.

The breakage from the weight of my hair did lots of damage to my scalp. With oil treatments and deep conditioners, I managed to nurse my edges back to health.

If you’re ready to transition into a new hairstyle but don’t want to do a big chop, this is a great alternative.