Letting loose

Editor’s Note: Tara Walker continues to share with us her natural hair journey.

I took out my baby locs! Choosing to loc one’s hair is not a choice for the faint of heart; it truly is a journey for which one needs to be completely ready. Some women can’t deal with the frizzy, baby stage where their locs have a mind of their own. You take your locs left, they go right; you try to make them lay down flat, they stick straight up like you’ve been electrocuted. Some just can’t wait for it to completely lock so impatience leads to frustration and resentment. Me? I mostly just missed my loose hair, plain and simple.

One of the pictures I shared in my last post showed how some of my locs would constantly unravel, so I ended up braiding those locs, which held up much better. So one day I’d combed out a loose loc to braid, and what had shriveled up to maybe a 1 ½ of hair actually stretched out to almost six inches! I couldn’t believe how much my hair had grown in just a few short months, but I tried pushing thoughts of the luscious fro I could have to a far back corner of my mind. I was determined to see this journey all the way through. However, restraint failed the day a fellow natural at church walked into Sunday morning service rocking a gorgeous fro-hawk (a natural afro styled into a Mohawk). I had to keep my jaw from dropping since I was sitting in the choir stand. That day it was official that my locs were coming down soon.
Now let me clear something up for y’all—locs do not need to be cut or shaved off to be removed. Yes, this is much easier but with patience and care, they can be combed or picked out, which is what I did over the course of a weekend. Since I’d only had my locs in for five months and they had not yet matured, I had a pretty easy time getting them out. Had my hair been completely locked it would’ve taken much longer because the hair that creates a mature loc is very compacted, meshed together and firm. Remember the pictures of my twists that had ‘buds’ in the last post? A mature loc is the same concept. So I followed the advice of several former lockers and sprayed some water on my hair then saturated it with a creamy, moisturizing conditioner, which helped my hair soften up. After letting the conditioner set in my locs for about 45 minutes, I went to work combing those babies out.

It’s easy to think that while combing locs out that you’re losing a great deal of hair, but if you’re taking your time and not ripping through the loc, all you’re really losing is hair that has naturally shedded. I did a quick Google search on how much human hair sheds daily, and found that we shed anywhere from 50-125 hairs a day. So just imagine all that shed hair being trapped in the loc, which is basically the point. But remember that the hair isn’t falling out from your scalp—that is what you don’t want, and trust me you’d feel it if that was the case. 

After getting all the locs out, I detangled my hair then went through my wash routine. My naps are free! I should’ve taken some pictures to share, but since they would’ve been less than flattering, I decided against that option. What I can do, though, is show you my hair now:

I’m still natural and still loving it. I’m also excited because I finally have a good length to work with and to have fun styling! As much I’d like to get carried away, I actually don’t plan to wear my hair completely loose too often until late spring or summer, because this harsh winter we’re experiencing can wreak major havoc on my ends if not careful. So here is the style I attempted this past weekend:

Not too shabby! So my natural journey continues =)


  1. cute! i really wish i could do more with my hair. i have no clue anymore. i dont like wearing it up anymore cause i look 12 when i do.

    but this summer with the heat im going to have to definitely do some research!

  2. I’m determined to find new ways to style my hair too.

  3. georgia mae,

    your story about how you took your locs out has further motivated me to do the same. i’ve had locs now for 8 years. i’m ready to…well i’m thinking about…letting them go. but i don’t want to cut my hair. some years ago, i read a woman’s description about how she took out her locs after 6 years—no cutting involved! so i know it’s possible. do you have any advice on how i should approach this process? i’m looking for as many suggestions as possible. thanks!

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