So this is a question that a Loctician gets asked a bit. It's quite funny, because I don't do dread removal. Saying that, I have had a few clients over the 16 years I've been locking, go through the process and try different ways. I've also tried it myself on about 10 dreads just to see what works and what doesn't and how long it takes.
If you want to avoid the oh so permanent "DREADED DREAD CUT" (which I've done twice now!) but get your dreads OUT, then try the steps below. I have seen this work for about 10 people, (100% of people who I know who have used this method) but be warned....you do loose a LOT of hair and it is a very slow process!! But if you have a fair amount 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....
DREAD REMOVAL WITHOUT CUTTING:
- Buy a jar of coconut oil and a good strong fine toothed comb.
- Make sure you have at least 3 days you don't have to go out!
- 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.
- Coat a couple of rows of dreads in coconut oil one evening, turban hair (or wrap in glad wrap) for the night.
- 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!
- Keep going with patience. Watch lots of movies!!
- Each night, rub in more coconut oil to new dreads to start the softening process.
- Each day comb those dreads out slowly.
- Continue the process until they're combed out!
- 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.
HAPPY UNLOCKING & BEST OF LUCK!!