This is a story about one mother and her daughter’s decision to change her hair.
About a month ago. I conducted an interview with Tiffany and her daughter Kody. Kody decided in December 2013 to have her locs combed out or “unlocked”. Prior to combing them out Kody’s hair had been loc’d for 2 years.
“Kody wanted to unlock her hair because she was tired of it. Her hair color was too light. No matter if her hair was freshly done or not, it always seem to looked dirty.” Tiffany explained.
Kody’s hair color is brownish blond. After applying product (which often leads to buildup on her locs) combined with her hair color, her hair always looked like it needed to be washed.
Tiffany shared the process of combing out locs. She said that it took one whole week during the Christmas Break to comb them out completely. I wanted to know if the process of combing out locks was painful. Tiffany said, “It hurt her a little. It wasn’t painful taking out the ends as much as it was combing out the hair near her roots. I have to admit there was a lot of hair that came out during the process, but her hair had been locked for 2 years. I expected her hair to shed tremendously.”
Tiffany and her daughter Kody are happy about their decision to unlock her hair. If Kody would have had a big chop in December 2013, her hair wouldn’t be as long as it is today. When asked which is easier to maintain, locs or loose natural hair? Tiffany stated that she wouldn’t say that loose natural hair is easier to maintain, however, she feels that her hair does look better. Cornrows styled into a Mohawk is Kody’s favorite hairstyle since combing out her locs. What brings Tiffany the most joy about her daughter latest hairstyle is that she doesn’t have to style it. Kody now goes to a hairdresser to get her hair styled.
Here are the tips, tools and instructions needed to successfully comb out locs.
The end of a rat-tail comb (metal)
Shampoo or Conditioner to make the combing out process easier
One or two towels
Prep locs overnight by soaking them in part water and conditioner. Cover head with shower cap while applying a scarf over the shower cap.
In the morning apply shampoo or conditioner (which ever you prefer) to the first loc.
Cut the very end of the loc with scissors and begin combing it out. Comb out loc from the ends moving upward to the scalp. Don’t forget to separate loose hair once taken out.
Once the combing out process is complete, wash hair with a moisturizing shampoo, deep condition the hair, trim the ends and style.
After the locs are combed out protective styling is key because of the weakness of the hair. The less manipulation of the hair the better. Also trimming the ends every few months.
What to Expect When Combing Out Locs
Expect pain for you and your child. Your fingers will hurt from the comb constantly hitting up against your finger tips. Expect your child to complain of sitting for long hours and pain on scalp due to comb tugging the loc. Also, do not be alarmed with the amount of hair that will come out. The hair represents years of non-shedding. Once the process is done, expect the hair left on the head to be badly damaged, thin & weak.