Dead Locks


A blogger recently mentioned having Locs for fifteen years and was considering cutting them, to do something else, even if that something else was just to cut them off and start Locking all over again.   I applaud and highly recommend this idea.   I believe it’s a very brave move.

Over the years I have noticed a change that occurs with Locs that are over 10 years old.  This is not the case with every single person, but often “old” Locs begin to have a very dead, flat look.  When I say “flat”, I am referring to the energy of the Locs, more so than the shape.

When we first begin locking it becomes clear that it’s a creative process.  The hair seems to have an abundance of wiry energy.  The process is fun, exciting, and becomes an ever-changing journey (for the first few years).  Some times the texture is springy, often times non-conforming with an exuberant type of energy.   As time passes, your Locs finally seem to get with the program and settle down, so to speak.  Then they finally start getting some length.  The next thing you know, you can finally wear your Locs in a ponytail or bun and all kinds of fabulous pin up styles, crimps and you name it.

Fast forward and the next thing you know a decade or more has passed and your locks are no longer lively.  They no longer have that buoyant energy they once had.  They are just long and heavy with a flat, drab vibe.  This is what I am referring to when I say “Dead Locks”.   Now this is not the case for everyone, but most “old” Locs begin have that dead look.

I know that it’s very natural to become very attached to your Locs, their length; it becomes for some, their identity.  So I’m not suggesting that’s it the right thing to just cut it all off.   But you might consider cutting them [considerably shorter]; all the way up to the shoulders, for instance.

This shorter hair is more alive.  It’s not as old as the hair that’s grown down to your waist.   It still has some life and movement in the molecules.  So if you’re one of those whose Locs are ten, twelve, fifteen, twenty years old, and you’re not ready to cut them all off, consider shortening them.  Your scalp will thank you and you have more lively energy surrounding your Locs.

Last spring Essence Magazine featured a young sister would took the plunge and cut her Locs into a bob style.  This feature resulted in our phones ringing off the hook.  And many had the courage to follow in her footsteps.  Spring is on the way, it’s time to start considering your “coming out” look.  We can help.  Fill our our Consultation Questionnaire and let’s go from there.

16 responses to this post.

  1. This was the final push I needed. Thanks Anu!


  2. You’re so welcome Zakiyyah.


  3. Posted by Tina on February 27, 2009 at 8:53 am

    Dear Anu

    Recently I had my locs strengthened at the root and some other weak areas on the loc with afro kinky human hair. I adored the fact that I had all natural hair, but now that there is a bit of hair that does not belong to me, I feel un-natural. My question is, about how many clients come in with their natural hair to get this type of fix and do some of them go through this feeling?


    • Dear Tina,

      You did what you needed to do to strengthen your hair and I don’t think you should feel any less natural for doing so. Imagine the alternative. You are blessed to live in a time and place where these options are available. I receive correspondences from sisters all around the country who have no one that can help them with their natural hair. I recently heard from a sister in upstate NY, living in a town where she’s the only person of color. Therefore, she has to go to a Caucasian salon. Imagine that! I have not heard from any other clients with this concern. So I suggest you just enjoy your natural hair extension and count your blessing. That’s my humble opinion.


  4. Wonderful piece. I recently interviewedMalcolm Jamal Warner (for who cut his locs after almost 10 years but this gives me yet another perspective. Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge.


  5. Just passing by.Btw, your website has great content!



  6. Good to read this! I am right about at the 10 year mark and planning to comb my locs out. It’s good to know my displeasure with my locs was not just in my head and that it happens to many others!

    I must say that part of the impetus to let them go is the wealth of good information and development in the area of natural hair. Ten years ago, all I had was a few smelly jars of Carol’s Daughter products and that Lonnice Brittenum Bonner book. Now the resources abound, and I can’t wait to start enjoying my loose hair in a way I never could before!


  7. this is year 10 for my locs and I am taking the leap. Extreme makeover started with weight. Now locs! This article was so helpful. I’ve been contemplating this move for over a year and my loctician just hit me back with her blessing and willingness to help me transition into this spiritual newness. I’m excited about the change.


    • Dear Stanice,
      Congratulations! It’s a big step to start Locs and it’s equally significant to make the decision to cut them off. Enjoy your new upcoming journey.


  8. Posted by Brie on April 22, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Hi, I live in Durham, NC and have had Locs for 15 years. I’ve maintained them myself. Can you recommend a loctician in this area? Thanks.


  9. Posted by Gina Carr on September 9, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I suffer from a very weak hairline and I have some very weak locs. I have had my locs for 5 years. I’ve notice my hairline getting worse, I wonder would my hairline fill in if I cut my locs to my shoulders or ears? I am planning to make an appt for a consulation.


  10. Posted by erica on January 13, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    my sister and i have been maintaining and styling my locs for most of the past 5 years. my hair is down to the middle of my back now and i wanted to cut them into a bob style. what’s the best way to do this without going to a stylist? there aren’t many in nashville, tn.


    • Hi Erica,
      Look on line to see if there are any Bobb style cutting videos like on YouTube or You could also looking into buying a Bobb cut DVD. Also, those who know how to really cut, can cut any kind of hair. So you may consider calling around in your area to see if there is a salon that would cut your Locs into a Bobb.


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