Back in January, I began locking my hair but also had twist extensions put in to avoid the early ‘not so cute’ stages of locking.  Four months in, under pandemic lockdown, I noticed the extensions starting to slip along the hairline. I was afraid that their weight might begin pulling on my new growth and damage my hairline, so I removed my extensions; boy did I regret that!

It turns out that I was unhappy with the look of my too-short-to-style locs, so I started wearing headwraps. Then finally, something came over me that felt like a reckoning.  Perhaps it was the new moon coupled with the eclipse, but I wondered why I was putting up with a hairstyle that was compounding my dismay? I realized it was because I’d shared a video about locking my hair and obviously felt this was a public commitment of sorts.  But now, with the stress of recent public events – the pattern of horrific killings, the tense protests, the pandemic – all while I haven’t personally felt well for several months, I also realized that perhaps the one thing I could have control over was my hair.  And as per that adage, “it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind,” I decided to comb out my locs. If you’ve ever faced this challenge, you can use the following steps to “set yourself free.”

First, I began the combing through process by applying a generous amount of Anu Essentials Down Under Deep Conditioner before gingerly combing through each section of hair that had been locked. (Note that 4-5 hours is not too long for this step if your hair is not yet completely locked.) For years now, applying conditioner to my hair before combing through it, has been my technique of caring for and preserving the health of my hair. It prevents breakage, plain, and simple. However, be prepared that there will still be a lot of hair in your comb depending upon the length of time your hair has been uncombed; in my case, this was six months’ worth of hair.

After the comb through step, I shampooed my hair three times with our Anu Essentials Nourishing Shampoo.  It felt very dry due to the difficulty of getting moisture to the core of the locs, so I re-applied the Deep Conditioner, leaving it on my hair for half an hour under a shower cap to enhance the deep conditioning experience.  After rinsing it out with cold water, I was so happy to see and feel my soft, lovely loose hair.  Ahhh, that was more like it! I was almost there.

Next, I massaged a generous amount of Anu Essentials Medicinal Hair Oil into both my hair and scalp and applied the Daily Leave-in Conditioner, one small section at a time, as the final step on the road to my new look. I brushed each section with my Denman Vent Brush before twisting my hair in generous sections. The next day, I opened these twists using an Afro Pick to lift my hair from the roots, and voila, I had an “unconstructed Afro.”  I was so happy to see my hair looking full, crinkly, and free. While I’m also thinking of all the options I now have for other hairstyles, I will be rocking this Afro for a while.

If you’ve had a similar hair journey, just remember you can take control and reverse directions like I did, using our Anu Essentials products to help make your change a smooth transition.