Check out this complete guide to freeform dreads

freeform dreads
source: Reddit

There are several ways to lock the hair, but freeform dreads are the ones that allow your natural hair do all the work which will result in a unique hairstyle. This is usually done without any form of styling combs and binding products.

Styling and grooming dreads is the lifestyle choice of many, but freeform dreads result in unmatched locked hair that is special to its carrier. The freeform dreads are said to have a deeper meaning than any other form of dreads. This is because the hair is left to take an original growth process, which goes against the norms of beauty.

It is like a rebel movement to celebrate the coarse texture of African hair that is left to grow and bind on its own. There is more to it than growing your hair freestyle and this guide will tell you all you need to know about the hairstyle.

How do you start freeform dreads?

Generally, the hair’s dread pattern is organic but it begins with twisting the hair together. From there on the hair is left to take any form, growing and existing on its own. There is no need to palm roll the roots or section out the dread strands.

They are low maintenance and void of any form of manipulation to get their shape. It gives you the freedom as the name implies, to enjoy messy locked hair occurring naturally. Freestyle dreads are achieved in the following ways.

By choice

This is how many people start their freeform journey, by deciding to leave the growth of the hair to its natural form. This means no combing or detangling of hair, which can turn out to be a slow loc process.

Naturally by birth

Freeform dreads find some people from birth, as their hair locs naturally from infancy. Which is usually left to grow on its own, till the child is old enough to decide what to do with the locs. They can choose to cut it or continue the freeform hairstyle into adulthood. This is common in some parts of Africa and Jamaica.


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Semi-freeform dreads

This is an alternative method to the freeform locs hairstyle. In semi-freeform dreads, the hair is styled and palm rolled with binding products, so they look styled and neat. It is perfect for those who want to grow their hair naturally but in a more defined manner. After the routine wash, you will have to through the sectioning and binding process.

Transition freeform dreads

Transition dreads form when a person with the traditional groomed dreads, stops maintaining and manipulating the hair. The hair becomes free of rolling and styling so the natural freeform dreads can take over. Semi-freeform can be classified as transitional dreads because the hair is parted to make uniformly sized locs rather than being left on their own.

How long does it take to form freeform dreads?

When you begin the process, the hair will show signs of being locked after a few weeks. To be realistic, it takes anywhere from about a year and a half to two years before the hair is fully locked freeform style.

During the waiting period, most people reflect on how the hair is shaping up and confirm if the messy look of the freeform dreads is what they want. At this point, it is easy to change the course of the hair rather than when it is fully locked in; at this stage, you will have to cut it from the roots.

The texture of the hair helps the hair loc faster: those with coarse and curly hair tend to loc quicker than those with loose hair texture. Keep that at the back of your mind before you begin the process.

The different forms the dreads can take

The rules are no combing, brushing, palm rolling, and applying hair binding products. As such, the hair can take various forms which include:

Standing: The locs will not usually lay flat like other dreads as they tend to stand out all over the place. It is common with short hair which stays straight and shaggy during the loc process.

Loosely woven locs: If you stick to the rules, you will notice the hair is loosely locked. This is visibly noticeable for a longer time than in the traditional locs.

different stages of natural locs
source: Mayowas’sworld-Youtube

Congos: This term is used to explain the formation of one thick cluster of locs. Since the hair is not being manipulated, it can bind several locs into a single loc at the roots.

Maintenance of freeform dreads

While they are a low-maintenance hairstyle, you will need to wash the hair once or twice a week. Rinse out with water infused with apple cider vinegar to reduce lint. If you must, use a hooded hairdryer but it’s better to let it air dry.

Do not apply any thick hair products, instead apply natural essential oils to your scalp. Keep your hair in a satin or silk bonnet before you sleep.

Fanti Tukuwei
I'm a fashion, beauty, and lifestyle enthusiast, and the ultimate curves queen. Here, I share beauty, fashion, and lifestyle tips to teach, inspire, and give confidence to all women.