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Seventeen months in, I decided to say goodbye to my dreadlocks. Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy! Removing dreadlocks took lots of time, lots of patience and a LOT of hair loss. However, they are gone now. This was my journey.
Why I decided to remove my dreadlocks
Honestly, there is no one big reason. Lots of small reasons, but as of now I do not regret it. Did I love having dreadlocks? Absolutely. I got more compliments on my hair than I ever had in my life. I felt like a crunchy, hippy, birthy princess. It was like a crown I never knew I missed. However, they took a LOT of work to maintain. One of the biggest reasons I decided to start dreadlocks was to minimize maintenance and lessen my morning routine.
It didn’t work. I spent all day fidgeting with my hair. The neglect method with my curly hair decided to give me some massive bulges. I loved the minor bumpy look, but the huge loops that I couldn’t smooth out drove me nuts. I hired a loctician to work on my hair and she did a fantastic job, but it took ten hours to do my hair. Ten hours! My butt just couldn’t handle it. To be fair, my hair is triple follicle when not locked, so just imagine my hair when I no longer lost the loose hair. I was a hot mess. I did my best to maintain them myself, but I simply was not good at it. Actually, I outright sucked. Everything I tried unlocked even 17 months later.
My husband and mother supported me in my decision to lock my hair, but it was obvious that they did not love it. Neither every said anything hateful or negative, but my poor mama missed braiding my hair and my hubby missed being able to run his hands through the soft tresses. This was my tipping point. I could deal with just inconveniencing myself. My personality won’t let myself let go of something just because it is an inconvenience to myself, but if it affects my family? I loved having locks, but they started to cause more stress than they saved and in the name of my 2018 word of the year “simplify”, that meant they had to go.
Let me be blunt: it sucks removing dreadlocks. However, it is possible. Nine days and many tools later, I finally finished. Among the tools I used: four different plastic combs, a metal flea comb, my fingers, a fork and half a bottle of conditioner. The flea comb and my fingers got the most action. I started on a Wednesday. Friday, I told my husband I was working on a surprise for him and he challenged me that he would find it. Ha! I looked him in the face and dared him to try.
Saturday night I couldn’t hold back anymore. I took my hair out of it’s normal messy bun that was already significantly smaller and his eyes got wide. He seemed happy and sad at the same time knowing how much I loved my journey. I thought for sure I would have been done, but it took several more days before I was even close. The following Thursday night, I finally washed the last few tangles out. To be honest, this was the most refreshing part. I hadn’t used conditioner on my hair in years and it was glorious feeling how soft and smooth my hair was hopping out of the shower.
My hair has grown about five inches longer through unlocking. I think I pulled more hair out than what is left on my head. Let me be clear: this is not damaged hair. Most of this was not attached to my scalp at all. When you have loose hair, you naturally shed all day every day. When you have dreadlocks, all those shedded hairs loop themselves into the locks and stay. This has been my number one annoyance in these few days of having loose hair. I have to pull hair out of the shower for the first time in ages. I got hair in my dinner. I had to pull a hair out of my daughters diaper. Hair is everywhere once again and I hate how I forgot this minor annoyance.
My mother was thrilled and used this brush to straighten my hair in less than 20 minutes. To say I am impressed is a huge understatement. I will definitely be using this brush from now on when I need a little help taming my mane.
Will I do it again?
Probably not, but I’m not discounting the idea. If I want to go the dreadlock route again, I know how to make synthetic locks and will probably just install them on a temporary basis. They have zero maintenance beyond just tightening them up ever few weeks, they are super light and easy to deal with and they don’t get obnoxious loops. Plus, you can change them out on a whim if you want a different color or thickness.
Note worth mentioning
You should already know how much I freaking love Color Street, but even I doubted it. I thought for sure all that picking and pulling with my fingers and nails would result in torn up nails. We also built a shed in the back yard this week. Nope. Look at these nails! Twelve days in, fully unlocked hair, shed up in the back yard and only minor chipping. Full disclosure: I did trim my index fingers because they both got a teeny hang nail that kept catching on everything. Still. Color Street, I shall never doubt you again. Want to try Color Street? You can order your own here! What is Color Street? Click here to learn more.