It was time… that’s how I can sum it all up in a few words!
I had slowly been getting urges from 2012 – and for those of you who have been following the energy of the Universe lately, it was very strong for change! It became even stronger when I watched as many of my loc idols who had been my source of inspiration for years, all syncing in shedding their locs for the energy shift in Winter Solstice 2012. Part of me at the time was thinking about this long before I saw them do it, my loose hair dreams became frequent as I went through emotions of not having locs… something was in the air lol. And it was all about renewal! The same huge burst of energy that came from starting my locs all those years ago, also came to show me that it was time to release them!
Locing has always been a spiritual thing for me.
I started locs when I made a commitment to grow, explore and expand into my spiritual Self – many events in my life at the time confirmed this to me. So I began locing at home on Aug 1st 2001 – until now (see my journey in pics and posts on my journey).
Practically all the people I know now (apart from my family) know me as the girl with the long locs… it’s an attachment I feel I want to release. Working closer to being detached from anything is what I have been trying to do this year, simple living. And my own attachment to my locs (and everything they hold – energy, memories, etc) needed to be released to make way for new energy.
Our hair is located on our Crown Chakra (read more about the chakras here), one of the most spiritual points. Hair collects/transforms/is sensitive to energy. Our hair and the loc history has a rich cultural and spiritual connection to our Self! I will post up more on this soon 🙂
If you love to read more about the Chakras, I reccomend Caroline Shola Arewa’s book:
Her lecture – See the other parts for this full lecture too, inspiring!
We live in an age of information and natural inspiration!
I have spoken to many long time locers over the years and we all pretty much agreed that when we started locing (before 2004-ish era), the information for natural hair is no where near as HUGE as now… I couldn’t help but wonder sometimes whether this would affect how I personally related to my loose hair if I had it now. When I started locing, I seriously felt like I was in the dark about my loose hair and how to loc… I just went for it lol! These are different times indeed.
And if we are honest (I speak for my Self and a few other locers I know), we also loced our hair back then because we felt like it was an easier way to manage our hair too. But with this information now, I’m truly enjoying my loose natural hair in a way I never did before. And those same long-time locers I know who did take their locs down all are going through a personal journey of re-learning to accept their hair *fully*… with all the videos, hair routines, blogs, pictures etc… we’re spoilt for inspiration on how beautiful natural hair is! Patience and Self love 🙂
Perfect timing… Aug 1st and the coming New Moon.
I always wash my locs on the days of the full and new moon… August 1st was my loc anniversary. I received my application for the Kundalini yoga teacher training on this date too.
The first New Moon of August (6th Aug 2013 – read the strong astrology meaning to this date) and that long weekend from 9th – 11th (which synced with my moon time – not planned, perfect timing!) was the actual take-down period.
What I used:
- 2 Bottles of Conditioner (Treseme Naturals was my choice)
- A pair of scissors
- A spray bottle with water
- A bowl of water
- Roll of bin liners
- A metal fork with wide spikes
- 1-2 towels
How I did it:
I knew it would take time… patience was the first thing I set as my intention! I set my time for a week off – doing no work or any reason to go out, stacked a whole heap of food/herbal teas in my home so I didn’t have to venture out with half an afro lol and got plenty of positive DVDs, Youtube films and music to keep me company.
I washed my locs the night before. I wanted to remove clean locs. It worked, the fluff that came out was actually quite clean!
I stood in front of the mirror, took a deep breath and cut my locs to bra-strap length first. I figured there was no point starting all the way from the bottom up as my hair would probably not be that long any way lol… so I started at a “realistic” length of hair that I wanted to keep – even when I wasn’t sure if my hair would be that long.
Moisture! I used the bowl of water to soak the area I was working on regularly. A spritz bottle also helped to keep my locs damp. It’s always easier to untangle hair when it is wet and full of…
Conditioner! I got 2 large bottles of it (Treseme naturals conditioner). When my loc was wet, I saturated the area I was working on with conditioner and worked my way through. When I was done with an untangled loc, I would run my finger through to work on any left over untangled areas and saturate it again with conditioner before twisting it and moving on to the next loc.
I used a metal wide spike fork. I figured it was thick enough to handle my hair lol. The plastic wide tooth comb broke lol! I used the slow poking action into the loc and gently pulled down, I slowly loosened up the loc gradually this way.
My thicker locs were easier to remove. I somehow thought it would be the other way around but it turned out that my thinner locs took *ages*… my thicker locs took around an hour, my thinner locs took around 2… not sure why but hey, that’s how it worked out!
The final wash and condition. When it was all done, I washed my locs with a silicone-free shampoo twice and used my conditioner – I plan to no-poo from now on. I didn’t add any other product apart from sweet almond oil afterwards. I wanted to see what my hair looked like (texture etc) without anything on.
I plan to use the CG Method (Curly Girl Hair Method) – Read about it here!
Was I ready?
I wanted to do this alone – so I could meditate, work on my affirmations and embrace this change – it felt like a really LONG process of removing my locs. I couldn’t help but check the mirror every few hours because my whole profile changed lol… and I wanted to confirm to my Self that I was doing the right thing…
There were tears at times (maybe I was just being really emotional on this moon time too!), I had images of my past where I was a child and hated my natural hair at times (I have been natural for most of my life). I also remebered that this was going to be a new way of exploring my hair and my Self confidence.
I was NOT prepared for how much length/thickness I would have! Taking down locs and having length can be done 🙂 I did a “tester” on one of my locs and it came out well but untangling locs from bra-strap length left the same length natural hair which I wasn’t expecting at all. My hair is longer and thicker now than ever before lol. Mixed texture of 3C’s and mostly 4a’s.
A work-out for your arms and hands. It does ache a bit after a while but taking regular breaks was good.
I was surprised at how *light* I felt. It was not just a physical light-ness, it was actually a feeling of release… whooooosh lol 🙂 …from the moment I trimmed my locs to my bra-strap length to the removal of my last loc, the release was inspiring! My Crown Chakra really opened up. The amount of shed hair was impressive/scary lol, filled 2 bin liners and my first night was a very different experience sleeping without locs… yes, I felt SO light 🙂
Ta-da! My new dry hair with finger combing = mass puff… I’m re-learning what to do with my big hair! My Day 1 pic with zero styling:
I’m on my first week and experimenting on everything right now 🙂 …A post coming soon with actual styling pics!
Holistic Locs no more?!? Don’t worry… I’m still here 🙂
I know I will return to locs again. Whether it’s next month, next year or in a few years time… I can’t say. But I do want locs again – my 1st locs just needed to go and I want to love/appreciate my loose hair fully first.
Biut for now, I really want to get “naked” again with my Self… removing all the old energy from the past years, do some serious detoxing (my body, my home, my work etc) and get excited about the Kundalini yoga teacher training course I’m doing this year. This change is not just about my hair… I am “detoxing” the energy of everything in my life!
As for this blog – I always wanted this blog to celebrate all natural hair… not just locs. It will still continue to explore natural hair/creativity/holistic health in all forms… and I’m learning to explore it just like that too! I will keep posting up and sharing my experiences with my loose hair until I return to locs again!
8 thoughts on “My Loc Take-Down: From Long Locs To BAA (Big Ass Afro)!”
congrats on your transition. :). loved it.
Congrats! This is very inspiring. I also feel like it’s time for change. I had my locs for 10 years and I’m ready to release some of this unwanted energy.
It’s hard trying to explain it to other natural sisters who don’t have locs the amount of energy that are in locs. My one co-worker always says “you’re hair is so LONG and beautiful (emphasis on long)” She fails to see the beauty in her hair. She’s also natural but she flat irons her hair bone straight. smh. I always tell her that it’s not about the length. It’s about how healthy your hair is and how healthy you are overall.
I’m looking forward to the next stage in my life as well. I’m looking for the right time to transition my hair.
Thank you for sharing, very exciting 🙂
Hello in joy reading your blog. I’ve had my locs for 13 years. My locs are near my waist and I am ready to transition to loose natural hair. Did you do anything in preparation to de-loc? I haven’t retested my entire head since October 2013. I’ve retwisted the perimeter and have been letting the “inners” of my hair grow in hopes of retaining length. Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.
Hi! Thanks for getting in touch – you’re doing great, this is great prep. i also started taking MSM tablets each day which seem to make my hair and nails much stronger. Hope that helps 🙂
You are such a cutie pie! 🙂
Thank you for this post. It resonates with me today as I begin to transition from my locs back to my natural hair. Turning 40 next month so I in a way am shedding things from 30’s and ready to step into a new way of being in my 40’s. It’s interesting that I found this blog on a full moon! I’m ready to release and let go of what might longer serves me. Namaste siSTAR🙏🏾💖.