Thursday, August 5, 2010

Take down

The locs, I mean.

Yup, after years, like four, we are taking down Sarah's locs.
It's a bittersweet transition.
It's been long pondered discussed contemplated researched stewed over.
By both of us.
But, Sarah has wanted her locs out for more than a year.....even though some days she wanted to maybe keep them too, as they were getting long enough to pull up and that was fun.
So the idea of going back to  her natural hair (not that locs are not natural, of course they totally are, but her non-locked hair) has been pulling at her but the idea of having to go back to a teeny weeny afro has not been so appealing.
Because going from locs to non-locs is a drastic change, and often requires just cutting them off.
That's the easiest quickest way, to be sure.
Now, Sarah's hair grows like wildfire, and she has a LOT of  hair.
But even so, no eleven year old girl really wants a teeny weeny afro.
So we researched and consulted, talked and thought about it all, for a really long time.

Now, locs are a commitment.
All the way around.
A commitment to put them in, grow them, care for them, and a commitment to take them down.
It is a big decision; not like we can just change our minds if we don't like it after all.  Thus the hesitation.  Also, we originally went with locs because some med she was on made her fragile  hair extra triple fragile and locs were the strongest hairstyle we knew.  And they were.
I think she looks great in them!
But an eleven year old girl doesn't want to look and feel so different.  And it's easy to say, "just teach her to be strong, how unique and special she is!" Yeah.  I know.  We do, we are.  But even so, sometimes it's nice to just be normal too.  Especially when  you're eleven.  Sarah already goes to a school that is different than her sister, because of some learning needs.  If she wants to blend a bit more, finally, to sport a hairstyle that is less radical...I think it's her call.  It's her hair.  Ultimately, it's just hair.  (Now, don't flame me, I know the politics of hair, I really do, but really, it's HER hair, and I'd like it be just "just"  hair for once for her if she wants that).  

Sarah gets to have her hair, her choice, now and as she grows.  She's entitled.  Period.

Yesterday, after going to school to meet her new teacher and see her new classroom (We are both very excited, love the new teacher, it's gonna be a good year, starts tomorrow!).....Sarah said, "Could we try taking down a loc or two and see if that would work, not cutting?"  
I said, "Sure."
 So, we did.
And it worked.
Ok, it's not easy, it's laborious, and time consuming and you have to go slow and be gentle and extra patient.
It makes your fingers cramp after awhile.
It makes her backside sore after sitting awhile.
We take breaks.
Emmy is helping because she is a good egg and likes doing hair too, so we are taking turns.


After researching how others have done it, and some trial and error, this is how we do it:
We turn on the tv (critical...).
We get the tools, here (simple).


We soak a lock or two in this concoction (conditioner, water, olive oil).
And then, we pick out the lock, slowly, from the bottom up, with this comb/pick - combing the free hair as we go.  Now and then we have to snip the very bottom tip of the loc off to get the untangling going, but then, it's just the job.
We are managing to keep a good bit of the length; though without the loc itself holding the length out, it pulls up when dry of course. 
We will give her whole head a good DEEP condition once we are all done.
It's gonna take a few days, though we are kinda hoping for a marathon today (including the good start of yesterday) because it would be wonderful to be done in time for school tomorrow.
We will see.

A new school  year.
A new grade, a new start...new hairdo.  Fun!
Make no mistake: no matter what hair, she is still and always will be my beautiful girl.

4 comments:

Lori S said...

She is very beautiful! She looks alot like Diborah in those pictures!
What an undertaking for both of you! But, I agree, she needs to be able to have a voice in what style she wants her hair! And...of course you teach each one of your children how special they are--you're a great mom!

The Albertsons said...

you are an amazing mama. as usual :).
what a beautiful, beautiful girl.

The Googeg's said...

Awesome! After finally learning to braid and cornrow, our daughter's hair was cut into a shortish afro. Now it is growing out we are contemplating and have almost decided on locs! Hair is always something. I am amazed and how the locs have come out -- I am glad to know that cutting isn't our only choice at the end of our journey.

coffeemom said...

Googeg's - taking down is, obviously, possible. However, it's a JOB!! It took us over 40 man hours (or um, woman hrs) of work. IT was tedious and and exhausting for all of us. Marta and Emmy helped so that made it better but still.....cutting is MUCH more expedient...but again we saved years of growth too. So it's a tossup. Sarah at this point says "never again" to locs...but then again I believe in never say never. Good luck to yoU!