A lesson in pacing, patience and breaking the “I never finish anything” curse!
I had always wanted to have dreads, it’s a hippie thing. 😉 My husband had previously had them for over a decade and was skilled at getting them going for me. As it turned out, I needed more help from him to keep them maintained than I had planned. They needed work every month or two to tighten up the outgrowth and I was having too many issues with my back and shoulders to be able to do it on my own. Never mind maintaining the look of each individual loc. 😢 They were also really bothering my scalp and causing me sores and a lot of itching. So, after a little over a year of having them, I decided it was time for a change.
I’ll just shave my head!
I’d said since the beginning that if I ever wanted to get rid of my locs I would just shave my head, as is common practice. But as I was really pondering getting rid of them I wondered if there was another way. I did a lot of research on whether it was possible to comb them out. I found a blog by a hair stylist, who had them for over five years, telling the story of how she and her friends combed hers out. I had an internal debate for a few weeks wondering if I would be able to physically handle taking them out myself, I mean this chick had a team and I was concerned about whether I’d be able to physically handle it. I’d become dependent on my husband to maintain them and I wasn’t going to ask for his help if combing them out if that was the route I was going to take. At this point in time I was still in a two year #fibroflare and I was only able to complete one big task a day. So, I had major concerns about my ability to make this happen. 🤔
Around this time I also had an epiphany that I’ve always had a problem completing projects, pretty much all my life. So, I looked at this as an opportunity to follow through on something big for once. I stayed the course. I gave myself a project to complete. One I couldn’t quit half way through.
Tools I needed:
- Loc comb – a metal tined comb used for back combing locs
- Organic coconut oil – lots of it
- Nitrile gloves – lots of them
- Patience – lots of it!
I set my self up where I could be as comfortable as possible and started combing. I posted up a folding stool in our tiny bathroom and sat on a pillow. I was able to use my knees to rest my elbows on for a lot of the time to spare my shoulders. And I had a mirror that I could set on the counter so I didn’t have to try to look in the wall mirror. I had almost 40 locs and the task seemed daunting, but I was so determined. I was going to be able to run a comb on my scalp in the near future. It took me about an hour to get all the way through a loc. And then I braided that hair to prevent relocking. I was able to do 3-4 a day and I took a break after every one to stretch out and take a pain inventory before I continued. I needed some rest days in between as well as I didn’t want to have my body completely break down on me. It took me a total of 12 days and I needed help with a few, but I did the damn thing!!
I had a few takeaways from this project, the first one being pride. I was so happy that I stuck to it and practiced pacing and took care of my body throughout the process. It was hard and extremely time consuming, but I did it. I followed through on something BIG. Second, in the end my back and shoulders are stronger because I was using them more than I had in years. By being mindful of not overusing them and using ice, heat and CBD Freeze throughout the days and evenings, I was able to build strength where there hadn’t been any in so long. I also went back to my chiropractor afterwards to help me get things loosened up and back on track. If you don’t have a functional chiropractor, get one! Dr. Ross changed my life.
What kind of goals have you set for yourself lately? Did you meet your goal? What were your takeaways?