Photo: AI generated (not real locs)
We wanted to share 8 tips to help with your take-down journey.
1. It Takes Weeks (Sometimes Months)
A head full of locs can take one to three months (or more). The time it takes depends on multiple factors including…
How long your locs are
How thick of thin your locs are
How well the water and/or product loosens your locs
How many breaks you take
2. Tons Of Hair Will Come out
Locs are a combination of shed hair and the hair that’s growing from your scalp. Considering that locs double in size over time, you should expect to lose a ton of hair. After years of having your hair loc’d, you may have enough shed hair to fully cover someone else’s head.
3. Your Combs May Break
Detangling locs requires you use tremendous force to separate hair. This process could end up breaking multiple combs (or at least a few teeth). You'll want to purchase a super sturdy comb, or designate a comb you already have that you think could withstand the pressure.
4. You May Have Raisin Fingers
That's when your fingertips are wrinkly and look like prunes. It happens when your hands have spent too much time around water and conditioner.
5. Your Detangled Hair Will Be Longer
This is because loc’d hair is literally strands that are curled up on each other and knotted together. When you release the locs, you will be left with hair that has had plenty of time to grow.
6. Your Hair Will Be (Slightly) Damaged
You’re literally ripping your shed hair out, so your intact hair may be left damaged. But don’t worry. Just baby your hair for the next few months to restore its health.
7. Your Head May Be Sensitive
Locs are known as a low-manipulation style. This means that you probably haven’t brushed, combed, or touched your head the way you are touching it now. Using tons of water and conditioner will definitely make the process more gentle, but in our experience, the process still leaves the head super tender.
You won’t need to take any painkillers or anything, you’ll just want to do gentle styles that give your hair, scalp, and head a break. Everyone has different go-to styles for when their hair needs a rest. For example, braids may be totally fine for one person, but an agitator for another. Consider scheduling your take-down around colder seasons so that you can wear cute hats and wraps during and after the process. You can also schedule it during a time when you’ll be able to leave your head alone for a while.
8. Cutting Your Hair May Help
The loc is formed from shed and intact hair. When undoing a loc, it’s common for you to get to a point where the loc is only held together by shed hair. When you detangle that section, you may end up with a clump of hair in your hands. Meaning, the hair just broke off and the time you spent detangling that section may seem like a waste.
Don’t worry! This is totally natural!!
Instead of repeating this disappointing process of detangling a loc that is going to break off anyway, you can cut the loc at this transitional spot. If your locs are super long (beyond bra-length or longer), you may be able to feel this area. It will resemble a slight indent where the shed hair ends and the intact hair picks back up.
That's it for our tips!! Taking down locs is definitely an exciting process. Take your time and get ready to see a whole new you!!