THE BIG CHOP starting natural hair




Dear Kita Libertine,

How do I embark about locking my hair?

I have been perming my hair since forever and I noticed my hair doesn’t grow further than a particular length ever.

I want to go natural and I need some tips.

Also someone I know who used to have long dreadlocks cut her hair recently because she said it grew too long and she was having trouble styling it the longer it got.

Is it possible to unlock your dreadlocks anytime you feel like?

I know you have very long natural dread locks and I’d like to know how long it took you to grow it.

  • Tina, 37, Married, Warri.




Well let’s start from the very beginning.

If you wish to lock your hair;

  1. The first thing you need to do is grow a pair of balls. Embarking on ‘the big chop’ (cutting off all the unnatural or chemically enhanced hair) for any woman is a challenge. It’s a challenge to your confidence, it’s a challenge to your looks. It’s a challenge to your will power. Why? Because people will taunt you and challenge your reasons for changing your hair and going natural. Ignorant people of course.

Hopefully you should have your husband’s vote of confidence and support. This will     help you a lot.


2.        You need to research into the kind of locks you want. How thick do you want your locks to be? There are different kinds of locks. There are sister locks and brother locks and other sizes of locks. General locks are of a certain moderate size. Some people prefer to have big thick locks or super big thick locks.Brother locks are tiny but not as tiny as sister locks. Same issues may arise hereThe more recommended locks to do are the average sized ones and the averagely big sized ones. That is if you are embarking on the dread lock journey in order to ease some hair stress. Trust me you do not want more hair stress unless you are a Hollywood celebrity with on hand hair stylists that you pay lots of money for.

The super big locks are problematic to handle and manage too. They are difficult to wash, difficult to dry and difficult to style.


Super big locks


Average big sized locks




Sister locks


Brother locks


Ordinary sized locks





3.         Sister locks are the tiniest type of locks. They are so tiny that they end up looking like natural strands of hair at the end of the day. They are so super beautiful and great for styling, but the down side of this is that they are so tiny that it is difficult to relock and manage. Also you would have to pay double the charge to salon hair professionals in order to have them work on it. It’s double the stress on every level. Choose the locks also based on the shape of your face aside from the stress levels.


4.        After you’ve picked the kind of locks you want, the next step is to pick the kind of dread lock salon hair specialist to start you off on your first locking. After the initial locking by the experts you can henceforth lock your hair by yourself at home, or you can keep revisiting your dread lock stylist every two or three weeks henceforth for the relocking of your hair. It is necessary to relock your hair every two or three weeks after the initial locking. Between this time you should not wash your hair. A tip I have for you is to spy on your stylist when he is locking your hair. Learn from him and then start locking your hair by yourself at home.

That’s what I did. The only difference in locking your hair by yourself or by the pro is that you pay an arm and a leg for each relocking session. Dreadlocks are still an enigma in our society so the hair pros demand more money for it. In actuality it is a simple and easy to do procedure that any one can do by themselves especially if you are good with hair.


5.           Even though locking of hair is easy to do and can also be done simply by yourself in the comfort of your home, I recommend that for the initial locking of your hair, that first lock, you go to a professional who comes highly recommended and can part your hair well and give you the size of locks that you wish professionally. He will also give you more tips on how to handle your hair.


6.         Make a decision to lock your hair when your hair is natural or with your permed hair. It is okay. It is possible to lock permed hair that has a lot of undergrowth in it. At least 5 to 6 months undergrowth is recommended. The good side of locking your hair with the perm in it is that you don’t have to go for the option of the ‘big chop’ (cutting all your hair off at once)

The down side of locking your hair with the perm in it is that the permed part of the hair needs to be cut off after the hair has locked or else the permed hair may begin to fall off.


7.            You need to pick which products to use on your hair. Here is my top dreadlock hair brand:


The shampoo is fabulous. It washes the hair squeaky clean and leaves a good tingly minty feeling on the scalp. It’s also great for keeping dandruff at bay. The only down side is that you need to use a lot in order for it to foam. But I think it’s worth it in the end.

Don’t believe the hype about all products are the same. I have learned the hard way that they are not. This product is very good for dread lock hair and I do not even know the makers of this product. I have nothing to gain from giving their products good ratings.

I propose you use their entire product range – their lock gels, their shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, hair sprays, oils, and others. It’s your choice at the end of the day.

The dread lock salon pros may not divulge what products they use on your hair because it is one of their trade secrets. They make a living based on your ignorance.


8.          To answer your question about how long I have grown my locks for – I have grown my locks for four years. It is true what they say that when you leave your hair to grow naturally without the aid of harsh chemical products, your African hair will grow amazingly long, full and lustrous. You will be shocked at how fast your hair will grow and how beautifully It will thrive naturally. Mine are average big sized locks by the way. They used to be even bigger but my dreadlock stylist was horrified by the large size and kept trimming it down for me to make it slimmer. Now I regret letting him do that. He told me that my hair was too thick for him to manage and handle. I believed him at the time. Now I no longer listen to silly things like this that stylists tell me. I know better now so I tell them exactly what I want done, equipped with the knowledge that my thick hair is still very manageable, big or not.


9.           Is it possible to unlock your hair again after many years? I don’t think so. Perhaps during your first year but not after many years of twisting and twisting. Your hair would fall off and be really scanty looking if you tried that. If you’re done with locking and want to revert to another hair do, then you’d have to do the big chop all over again, so this is a decision you need to consider wisely.


10.            As for your friend who complained that her dread locks were too long to manage, and then cut her hair, I suspect she was really just too tired of the dread lock look. The longer dread locks are, the more styles you can do. You can do so much with it. Let me show you in pictures just how far you can go with longer dreads as opposed to short dread in terms of style.





See what I mean? You cannot do all the above hair styles without very long dreads.


11.         Have fun growing your locks. I wish you the best. Don’t forget that locks are one of the easiest types of hair to maintain and relatively cheap and stress free too. When you don’t feel like going to the salon you can stay at home. All that salon time you used to spend instead of quality alone time or time doing other fruitful things – you can have it all back.

All the money spent on chemicals that are actually destroying your hair and scalp? Well you can use that money on something else.

It takes about 5 to 6 months for your hair to actually lock and after this period it’s up to you to relock your hair every month or one in two months or once in 6 months or once in a year! You could just wash it by yourself at home.

Sometimes I feel I’m having a bad hair day because I haven’t relocked my hair in ages, but then I always get a surprising hair compliment when I go out that lifts my feelings.

The pain of the hair dryer heat? You don’t have to go through that any more.

The great thing about dread locks is that when it hasn’t been relocked for a while it looks even better!


It’s super low maintenance.

Enjoy it!



I recently found a dreadlock article online that could come quite helpful to you. Please visit this


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