Loc Removal 101: Part 3

In the final post in our loc removal series, we’ll discuss how you rebuild the health and beauty of your hair after the removal process.

Well – you’ve patiently unraveled and combed each and every loc, and now your hair is finally free! So… what now?

The following tips will help you manage your hair and maximize its health and beauty.

DEEP CLEANSE AND DEEP CONDITION YOUR HAIR.
Your hair will have years of buildup accumulated on each strand. It’s critical that you remove all of that debris that can inhibit your hair’s ability to absorb moisture, otherwise it will weaken and break during styling. Additionally, a deep conditioning treatment is essential. This will help to restore its luster and strength. A clarifying shampoo, while not ideal for daily use, is your best option for making sure your strands are free of the dirt, oils, and debris that can smother your strands.

GIVE YOUR HAIR A GOOD TRIM.
It is very likely that your hair will be uneven and damaged after loc removal, and the best way to preserve the health and most of the length of your hair is getting a trim. Although you might be hesitant to lose even more length, trimming the fragile, dead ends will actually help your hair seem thicker and even longer.

BE PREPARED FOR SOME CRITICISM.
Believe it or not, there are people lurking in the darkest depths of the internet, searching for reasons to criticize. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, once in a while, hair forums and social media pages will feature someone’s un-asked-for opinions and remarks about loc removal.

Just remember that you are the boss of your own hair. If you are more comfortable with loose, longer hair than with short hair, that’s your business and no one else’s. Just focus on what’s best for you, what hairstyles make you feel confident, and how to live your best life.

BE REALISTIC ABOUT OUTCOMES.
Like all major hair transitions, it’s critically important to have realistic expectations about how your hair will look once you’ve undergone the change. Additionally, while you likely did have a maintenance routine in place to care for your locked hair, realize that your strategy will have to change significantly to ensure the health of your loose hair.

Depending upon the length and thickness of each loc, you can expect to spend up to one hour releasing each one. If you have approximately 100 locks throughout your head, it may take three days – if you spend each day diligently unraveling your locks – or a few weeks if you dedicate a few hours every day to the removal process. You will essentially be performing as much (or more) combing and manipulation on your hair in three days than it has experienced in years, so you’ll have to treat it very carefully going forward. Because your hair will be in a fragile state after you’ve removed your locs, it’s important to use effective, high-quality products to restore your hair’s strength. Although you’ll have to clarify your hair immediately after loc removal, your cleansing routine must be gentle so that you don’t disturb your hair’s acid mantle and cause more damage.

Everyone needs to change their signature look every now and again. If you’ve work locs for a few years and are hungering for a change, removing them may be a great – and dramatic – option!

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