Your loc journey is at an end now. It has been beautiful and you surely have a story or two to tell, but it’s time to take them off. We get it, don’t worry! One of the most common misconceptions people have on how to remove dreadlocks is that you need to either cut them off completely or even shave your head. Take a deep breath because none of that is true! We’ve written a little guide for all of you to show you what you need to do when you want to say goodbye to your beloved locs.
Why Do People Remove Dreadlocks?
Let’s start by identifying some of the reasons why dreadlock aficionados choose to let them go. When you understand these reasons it will be easier to see if you ‘should’ think about how to remove your dreadlocks as well. Sometimes, as you will see, it’s not a matter of choice at all, but a matter of necessity.
The dreadlocks are painful
If you know people who wear locs or if you have ever had them yourself, you will know that if they are not installed properly they can be very painful. Depending on the type of locs you have and how they were started, they can now pull at your scalp and even cause it to break out in places. Sometimes there is nothing else to be done than to remove them and start all over again after you’ve allowed your scalp to rest.
It’s a choice
This is the simplest reason of all. The owner just wants to move on from this hairstyle and has decided to take off his or her dreadlocks.
The hair is very damaged
This situation is a consequence of the owner not taking care of his or her locs properly. The hair that forms the dreads or the hair at the roots can become frail and very dry if you don’t hydrate your locs using natural oils.
It results in super brittle hair that might even break off. Therefore, if you have reached the point where hydration doesn’t work anymore, you need to learn how to remove dreadlocks.
Another case of much damaged hair is when the dreadlocks have become extremely matted and have started to clump together forming a giant dread. Matted hair is difficult to deal with, especially if there are dreads involved as well, so you will need to see a loctician with experience on how to remove dreadlocks.
The locs are dirty or rotting
It might sound extreme, but it happens a lot more than you think. There are certain people who believe that having dreadlocks excuses them from the normal etiquette of hygiene. That should not be the case.
You need to wash your dreadlocks once a week as you would your traditional, unlocked hair. Use a clarifying shampoo that can clean your dreads very well as opposed to a creamy one. The latter will only cause build-up and dirt. In time, it will attract lint and be almost impossible to clean. That’s when the locs need to come off.
Mold happens to people who have dreadlocks but cannot master how to dry them off properly. Therefore, inside the loc the hair is always wet. In time, it will simply start to mold. Unfortunately there is no recovering from that and you need to choose an option on how to remove dreadlocks. Which brings us to this.
How to Remove Dreadlocks – Options
When it comes to removing the dreads, you have two options. They are fairly similar in the way they work. The only thing that differentiates them is how long you want your hair to be after the process is finished.
- Cut a portion of the dread and undo the rest. As mentioned, how much you cut depends on what type of haircut you want after you’re done. If you want longer hair, cut just a few inches. If you’re going for a bob, cut three quarters of the dreads.
- Undo the dreads in their entirety. This will allow you to keep most of the healthy length of your hair.
Both options work in the same way. Your loctician will wash your dreads, soak them in lots and lots of conditioner and then start picking at them using a rat tail comb. The process can take a few days, depending on how long and thick your dreads are. Therefore, get ready to wait it out!
What Should I Do with the Dreads I Cut off?
Definitely, don’t throw them away! Lots of people keep them as souvenirs because they meant so much to them. After all, dreads are more than just a hairstyle. They are a lifestyle.
Others even use them to make different arts and crafts or homemade projects out of them. One such example would be a DIY dreamcatcher made of your former dreads.
However, if you want, you can store them somewhere dry and have them reattached if and when you change your mind about your hairstyle.