I had talked about doing it for two years. But it was a big step so I took my time deciding. I researched online, watched Youtube videos, read blog posts, had several salon consultations and talked to a few friends who had unlocked their hair. It was a long journey to loc my hair and I felt that the decision to unloc my locs deserved the same consideration.
There were many reasons why I finally decided to do it: my locs were heavy, swimming was a drag (literally), I wanted to connect with my daughter and her loose natural hair, and mainly, I wanted to shake things up. A woman needs to reinvent herself every so often; it keeps life interesting.
There was fear. How would my hair look unloc’d after all these years? For 12 years everyone pretty much defined me by my hair. It was a conversation piece; the attention was both nice and unnerving. It’s amazing how many people made assumptions – both good and bad – about me just because I had dreadlocks. In the end I decided that however I looked without locs would be okay; I am not my hair. And besides, I often like to do the very thing that causes me fear.
My husband was against it. I did not take that fact lightly and in fact, it was a major decision why I waited two years – hoping that he would come around. I didn’t discuss my decision with anyone else because I did not want their opinion – everyone always has an opinion. Instead I picked two weeks in January when I didn’t have many outside obligations, blocked off several hours each day and slowly unloc’d my hair. I watched a lot of movies.
When I was finally finished, I was surprised that I was not emotional. Even though I had made a clear decision to do it, I was prepared to feel loss. Instead I looked in the mirror and said, “I know you.” It was me 12 years ago. It was me today. With locs or without locs, it’s still me.
this is what I looked like before
this is what I look like now
It’s an adjustment, this new hair. I have to allow more time to get ready in the morning and schedule ample time to wash my hair. I have spent a small fortune on hair care products. On a recent trip near the beach I discovered that humidity is not my friend (summertime in Atlanta should be very interesting). And I still don’t think my husband is quite there yet. It’s sort of daunting and it’s sort of fun. But it’s all good.