Are Locs a Lifetime Commitment?

“Are locs permanent or not?”  This is a very common question surrounding dreadlocks, and the popular misconception is that you have to cut your locs off to start your natural hair journey over.  Contrary to popular belief, you do not need to cut your locs off; you can actually comb out your locs AND retain long, healthy, natural hair!

If your locs are less than 5 years old they should comb out willingly with a little TLC during the takedown process. Beyond 5 years you’ll probably have to use a few common tricks to release the encased hairs, but it is still possible. Remember that your hair is ever changing, so maybe the 6 inches of hair on the ends are 5 years old, but the roots are only a few weeks old. It is safe to say, if you have locs for 10 years, you can comb them out and have a head full of hair, contingent upon how well you’ve taken care of your hair during that time, but that’s a whole different post. Ultimately, having locs is not a lifetime commitment.

I personally learned first hand what is involved in the comb-out process and if you’re curious in seeing what is involved in a comb-out process, read step-by-step of “My Sisterlocks Big Chop Experience” or watch the painstaking Sisterlocks comb-out in action.

Let me know in the comments below, if you thought that you needed to shave the locs off or if you would like to know what tools, tricks, and techniques allow you to comb out locs AND retain length!

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Jocelyn Reneé

Jocelyn Reneé is a Licensed Cosmetologist, Loctician and Textured Hair Educator. She was born and raised in the Washington DC area and is a graduate of the Aveda Institute Cosmetology Science program. With over 14 years in the Hair Care Industry, from Salon Assistant to Natural Hair Blogger to Professional; Jocelyn is passionate about cultivating healthy hair.

Blog Comments

I’ve combed out locs more times than I want to say. I am actually in the process of combing out my current set. The thing is, for me, I go from 1 set of locs to another. The longest I’ve worm loose hair inbetween locing is a month maybe two. I’m a serial locer. For some reason, at 2.5 years I get itchy fingers and comb them out an then put them back in. I think after they mature, I get bored something and I just want to “do” my hair…To be honest, I’m really not sure. But I’m putting in braidlocs now, way smaller than my current/used to be set. I don’t know what the future of my hair will be, I’m having a baby so spending several hours combing out/ putting back in locs will not be on my time chart with a little one around…

Congratulations to you on your new bundle of joy! As a new mom, I can tell you that doing your hair will be the last thing that you want to do, lol. I regards to combing out your locs, I totally understand the compulsion to redo them because your “bored”, I’ve thought about it numerous times but I don’t want to go back and have to wait so long for my hair to loc again. This is my 2nd set of locs and it takes a good 1.5 – 2 years before my hair begins to settle into locs so no combing out over here lol

Would love 2 have my locs opened an redun

Grab a lot of conditioner, a fine-tooth comb and patiently begin combing them out from the ends. It can be done.

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