If you have dreadlocks and want to remove them but don't wish to cut them off, there is a way. It takes way longer than dreadlock creation with the Divine Hand & Hook method, but for those of you who just can't rock a short cut then gather your friends together and grab some coconut oil! This article will help you get your hair back! But don't expect it to look the same as it did before you locked it all up. Read on to get the lowdown....

So this is a question that a Loctician gets asked a bit. It's quite funny, because I don't do dread removal as a service simply because it takes way longer than creating fresh dreads and I don't feel like I could charge to get dreads out, but to spend days on someone I would have to, or I would be eating baked beans all week!  Saying that, I have had a few clients over the 18 years I've been locking, go through the process and try different ways and I have helped a few of them. I've also tried it myself on about 10 dreads just to see what works and what doesn't and how long it takes.  The result for my fine hair was a frazzly mess, but some others have better results. 


If you want to avoid the oh so permanent "DREADED DREAD CUT" (which I've done twice now, but personally I love a pixie cut too and there is something very cleansing about removing dreads and the years of memories locked up in them, especially when you need a fresh start spiritually!) ....but get your dreads OUT, then you can try the steps below.

I have seen this work for about 20 people, (100% of people who I know who have used this method) but be do lose a LOT of hair to the comb and it is a very very slow process!! Most of the hair you lose, however, is simply hair that has already departed your scalp in the normal, natural hair shedding process, but due to having your hair locked, these departed hairs didn't leave before (people on average loose 50-100 hairs a day!!). I have also noticed that people with fine hairs (like myself) do have hairs break in the combing out process. Every single person I know who has combed out their dreads has had a bag of hair come out, but considering most of these are hairs they would've lost anyway if they didn't have dreads, it could be fair to say that some people (with thick strong hairs) come out without much true loss.

If you have a fair amount of hair to begin with, then whatever you have left may be better than a short cut, and if you're really not wanting to let go of having length, then the time taken may be worth it, (personally I like the fresh pixie cut!) but that choice, depends on YOU....and ultimately how much patience you have! Or how many friends are willing to help you! 


  1. Buy a jar of coconut oil and a good strong fine toothed comb.
  2. Make sure you have at least 3 days you don't have to go out!
  3. If your dreads are longer than shoulder length, I highly recommend cutting them to shoulder length. It could take weeks to comb out long dreads!! And you will loose so much hair it probably won't be worth it. 
  4. Coat a couple of rows of dreads in coconut oil one evening, turban hair (or wrap in glad wrap) for the night.
  5. Wake up and get as many friends as you can to gently and slowly start combing one dread at a time open from the BOTTOM up. When I say slowly, this is VITAL, because if you just go hell for leather and start ripping into the dreads with the comb, you will just break all your hair and loose it. Depending on how long you have had the dreads and how they were made, they will either be easy to uncomb or very very difficult. NOTE: dreads made well with a crochet hook are locked very tightly and that means they are very hard to get out. Dreads made via backcomb and roll method (with or without wax or chemicals) are not locked very tightly (except with time & effort) and therefore much easier to get out. Natural neglect dreads are fairly easy to uncomb too, unless they are quite mature. MAKE SURE YOUR UNPICKING PROCESS IS OPENING THE KNOTS UP & NOT BREAKING THE HAIRS!
  6. Keep going with patience. Watch lots of movies!!
  7. Each night, rub in more coconut oil to new dreads to start the softening process.
  8. Each day comb those dreads out slowly.
  9. Continue the process until they're combed out!
  10. Wash your left over hair with a nice natural shampoo, get a trim.

I have know people to take 3x 8 hr days to comb out very mature dreads of 10 years and others take 3 weeks to comb out 3 year old mature dreads. 


***The time you take is up to you and how many hours your friends can put into a day to help you (or how much time you can spend on it yourself each day or night) and how mature your dreads are. 


***Be aware that you will loose lots of hair as many hairs break in the combing out process. Some knots are just too stubborn to open up. Fine hair breaks more so there will be more hair loss. Thick hairs break less. If your hair is quite fine and you notice you start loosing more than half, you may have to make the choice to just go with a short cut. 



TARA: Thank you! I always aim to be very clear and factual in the information I share. 
BLACK MAMBA: I understand it can be totally taboo for some to cut their locs! The easiest way to separate joined dreadlocks is to pull gently apart & then just snip a few hair in the middle with scissors to help them open up more. Then gently pull apart again. Keep up this process till they fully open up & completely separate! Then lock the new growth or messy upper section with a 0.6mm crochet hook.
ERICA: Coconut oil is the best & works on all hair types. Put it in the fridge to harden it and then grab the coconut oil in your fingers and rub it in well. 
BRENLEE: Cool! Best of luck! It requires more patience than creating dreads!!