To and ‘Fro: Embracing My Natural Hair

This time last year I was two years into regrowing my dreadlocks when I made a highly inconvenient decision: I wanted my Afro back.

I knew it would take some doing or, more to the point, some undoing. I’d heard years ago that it was actually possible to reclaim one’s hair from dreadlocks by un-knotting each dread one by one. It was arduous work that didn’t always pay off. Depending on the age and condition of one’s dreads, the un-dreaded hair may often be severely damaged. But I was willing to give it a try. Worst case scenario: I’d end up shaving my head, again. Still, I was willing to take the risk.

It was a month long process involving great big buckets of water and several bottles of leave-in conditioner. I used three different brands: Kinky Curly’s Knot Today, ¬†The Great Detangler by Taliah Waajid, and ORS Replenishing Conditioner With Sweet Orange Oil. These three conditioners are my favorites so I just happened to have them at home. All of them provide the moisture and the slip necessary to undo my dreadlocks, with the ORS Replenishing Conditioner being the least expensive of the three. But any conditioner will do. As long as it makes your hair soft and manageable, it’ll do the job.

Also, I needed a sharp object to pick loose the hair from its knotted state. I found a YouTube video of a young woman using a thumb tack for this purpose so I followed suit. But as I noticed–to my horror!–that this method was causing me to rip out the roots of my hair, I started using my brain…and a stainless tail comb, instead.

I didn’t mind the process. It brought back memories of my college days and the huge, fluffy fro I was wearing back then. It reminded me of Sunday nights (okay, and some Friday and Saturday nights) that I’d spend combing, braiding or otherwise loving my hair. I’d put on a movie back then, maybe a long one like Titanic, and commune with my kinks and coils. Last year, I was probably binge watching some show on Netflix or watching more hair videos on YouTube. I was impatient to see what my hair would look like out of dreadlocks but I was enjoying setting my hair free after so many years.

Since late 2018, I’ve become acquainted with my hair once again. During the winter and spring, I was blown away by its versatility. I was even wearing my fro wash-n go-style: gelled-up, coil defined and free-flowing. I’d gotten the hang of protective styles like flat twists, Bantu knots, and yarn braids. On days when I didn’t want to deal with my coif, I had scarves on deck that I could style around my head.

However, frustration has set in over the course of Georgia’s never ending summer, with its scorching heat and its style-killing humidity. Wash n gos are gone after a day or two, instead of lasting for a week. My ill-advised attempt at straightening my hair lead to blown-out bushiness that, after three weeks, was irredeemable.

So that’s where I am now. I don’t consider myself a hair aficionado but, like any woman, I seek versatility, self-expression, and beauty through my hairstyles. I’m also an active woman who doesn’t want to sacrifice convenience and functionality for the sake of high maintenance, elaborate styles. In fact, my quest for convenient, relatively maintenance-free hair led me to opt for dreadlocks for many years.

Over the course of future posts, I hope to share my thoughts, insights, ideas about lots of beauty topics. But I feel like hair will be a topic I revisit most often. I hope to bring product reviews, hair regimen tips, pics, all sorts of fun content for you, dear reader.

Please don’t hesitant to share your thoughts in the comment section.

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