freeform dreads

Embracing Hair Freedom: Exploring the World of Freeform Dreads

Freeform dreads are a type of hairstyle that has become increasingly popular in recent years. Many people are drawn to this style because it allows them to express themselves in a unique and creative way. But what are freeform dreads, and how do they differ from traditional dreadlocs? 

We will explore the world of freeform dreads, including their history, how to create them, and how to care for them.

What are Freeform Dreads?

Freeform dreads, also known as organic dreads or neglect dreads, are a type of dreadlock hairstyle that is created without the use of any products or tools. Unlike traditional dreadlocs, which are usually created by backcombing, twisting, or braiding, freeform dreads are allowed to form naturally over time. It means that the locs are not uniform in size or shape, and they can be irregular and unpredictable.

Freeform dreadlocs

One of the defining features of freeform dreads is that they are created without any maintenance. It means that you do not need to spend hours separating and re-twisting your locs to keep them looking neat and tidy. 

Instead, you simply allow your hair to do its own thing, which can lead to some interesting and unique patterns and shapes.

History of Freeform Dreads

The origins of freeform dreads can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians, the Greeks, and the Vikings. These cultures often wore their hair in long, matted locs as a sign of status or spirituality. In more recent times, freeform dreads became associated with the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica. Rastafarians saw dreadlocs as a way to honor their African roots and reject the norms of Western society.

Over the years, they have become increasingly popular among people of all backgrounds and cultures. Many see them as a way to embrace their natural hair texture and express their individuality.

How to Get Freeform Dreads

If you are looking for how to start freeform dreads, follow these basic steps:

  1. Stop Combing or Brushing Your Hair. 

It is the first and most important step in creating freeform dreads. You need to let your hair do its own thing and avoid manipulating it in any way. It can be difficult for some people, especially if they are used to keeping their hair neat and tidy.

  1. Wash Your Hair Regularly. 

While you don’t want to manipulate your hair, you still need to keep it clean and healthy. Wash your hair once a week with a gentle shampoo and conditioner. Avoid using any products that contain silicones or sulfates, as these can build up in your hair and make it harder to lock.

  1. Separate Your Hair. 

As your hair starts to form into dreadlocs, you will need to separate them to prevent them from growing together. It can be done by gently pulling apart any locs that are sticking together. You can also use a crochet hook to separate the locs, but be careful not to pull too hard or you could damage your hair.

  1. Be Patient. 

Freeform dreads can take anywhere from six months to two years to fully form, depending on your hair type and length. During this time, you may experience some frizziness or unevenness in your locs. This is normal and part of the process.

Caring for Freeform Dreads

Once your freeform dreads have formed, you will need to take care of them to keep them healthy and looking their best. Here are some tips:

  1. Shampoo

Just because your hair is in dreadlocs doesn’t mean you can skip washing it. In fact, it’s even more important to keep your locs clean and free of buildup. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner, and avoid using any products that contain harsh chemicals or sulfates, as these can damage your hair and make it harder to maintain your dreads.

  1. Dry Your Hair Thoroughly. 

After washing your hair, make sure to dry it thoroughly. Wet or damp hair can cause your locs to smell and even develop mold or mildew.

  1. Avoid Using Heat. 

Heat can damage your locs and cause them to unravel. Try to avoid using hot styling tools, such as flat irons or curling irons, and let your hair air dry instead of using a blow dryer.

  1. Be Gentle When Styling Your Hair. 

Avoid pulling or tugging on your locs, as this can cause them to break or become damaged. Use a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to gently style your hair, and avoid using hair ties or elastics that can cause tension on your locs.

  1. Get Regular Trims. 

While you don’t want to cut your locs too often, it’s important to get regular trims to keep your hair healthy and prevent split ends. A trim every 3-6 months is usually enough to keep your locs looking their best.

  1. Embrace the Imperfections. 

One of the most important aspects of freeform dreads is that they are not uniform or perfect. Embrace the unique shapes and patterns of your locs, and don’t worry too much about making them look neat or tidy.

The Benefits of Freeform Dreads

Freeform dreads offer several benefits beyond just a unique and stylish look. Here are some of the reasons why people choose to wear freeform dreads:

  1. Low Maintenance

Unlike traditional dreadlocs, which require regular maintenance and upkeep, freeform dreads can be left to grow and develop on their own. This makes them a great choice for people who don’t want to spend a lot of time styling or maintaining their hair.

  1. Natural and Chemical-Free

Because freeform dreads are created without the use of any products or tools, they are a natural and chemical-free way to style your hair. It can be particularly appealing for people with sensitive skin or those who are looking to reduce their exposure to harmful chemicals.

  1. Unique

Freeform dreads allow you to express your individuality and creativity through your hair. No two sets of freeform dreads are exactly alike, which means that you can create a truly unique and personalized look.

  1. Versatile

Freeform dreads can be styled in a variety of ways, from updos to braids to loose waves. This versatility makes them a great choice for any occasion, whether you’re going to a music festival or a job interview.

Types of Freeform Dreadlocs

These dreadlocs are typically formed without specific techniques or methods, as the hair can form into locs without any manipulation naturally. However, there are still variations in how freeform dreadlocs can look based on hair texture, length, and maintenance.

Here are some of the variations and styles of dreadlocs

  1. Taper Freeform Dreads 

Taper freeform dreads are a style of freeform dreadlocs that start thicker at the roots and taper down to thinner locs at the ends. This can create a more natural, organic look that is especially striking on longer hair. This style can be achieved through natural locking or by using techniques like twisting or braiding to help guide the hair into a tapered shape.

  1. Freeform Dreads Swept Back 

Freeform dreads swept back is a hairstyle where the freeform locs are brushed or styled back away from the face. It can create a sleek, polished look that highlights the texture and dimension of the locs. It can also help keep the hair out of the face and be especially useful during physical activity or work.

  1. Freeform Dreads with Highlights 

Freeform dreads with highlights involve adding streaks or sections of color to the hair using hair dye. It can create a bold, eye-catching look that highlights the unique texture and structure of the locs. The colors used can be as subtle or vibrant as desired, allowing for a lot of creativity and personalization.

  1. Freeform Dreads with Beard 

Freeform dreads with beard is a style where the freeform locs are grown out alongside a full beard or goatee. This can create a cohesive, rugged look that showcases the natural texture and structure of the hair. This style requires regular maintenance and care to keep both the hair and beard healthy and looking their best.

  1. Congo Freeform Dreads 

Congo freeform dreads are a style of freeform locs where the hair is allowed to naturally knot and tangle together into larger, conjoined locs. This can create a unique, organic look that is especially striking on longer hair. This style requires minimal maintenance and can be achieved through natural locking or by using techniques like backcombing or twisting to encourage the hair to knot together.

  1. Freeform Dreads Ponytail 

The freeform dreadlocs ponytail is a classic and simple hairstyle where the freeform locs are gathered and tied back with a hair tie or elastic band. This style can be worn high or low on the head, and can be customized to suit individual preferences. It’s a great way to keep hair out of the face and can be worn for both casual and more formal occasions.

  1. Freeform Dreads Updo 

The freeform dreadlocs updo is a more formal hairstyle that involves styling the freeform locs into an intricate updo. This can include braids, twists, and other techniques to create a more polished and elaborate look. It’s a great option for weddings, special events, or anytime you want to dress up your freeform locs.

  1. Brushed Forward Freeform Dreads 

The brushed forward freeform dread style involves brushing freeform locs over the forehead and face. This can create a bold, striking look that highlights the texture and dimension of the locs. It’s an excellent option for those who want to showcase their freeform locs in a unique and eye-catching way.

  1. Unique Freeform Dreads 

Unique freeform dreads can refer to any style of freeform locs that is customized or personalized in some way. This could include incorporating beads, charms, or other decorative elements into the hair, or using unique techniques to create a one-of-a-kind look. This style is all about creativity and self-expression.

  1. Temple Fade Freeform Dreads 

The temple fade freeform dreads style involves shaving the sides and back of the head and leaving the freeform locs on top. It can create a bold, edgy look that is trendy in hip-hop and streetwear cultures. The temple fades can be customized to suit individual preferences, with a wide range of fade lengths and hair textures available.

Final Thoughts

Freeform dreadlocs are a popular and organic approach to hair locking, offering a unique and personalized look that embraces natural hair texture and growth patterns. Regular hair care practices, such as washing and conditioning, are essential to maintain healthy locs. 

With endless possibilities for customization, these locs provide a versatile and striking hairstyle choice that can be enjoyed with minimal maintenance. Whether opting for a classic or creative approach, it allows for endless self-expression and offers a truly unique personalized look.


How long do freeform dreads take to form? 

It can take 1-2 years for the dreads to develop and mature fully. The time varies depending on factors such as hair texture, length, and maintenance routine. 

How do you freeform dreads?

To freeform dreads, you let your hair naturally lock and form into dreadlocs without the use of any external methods like twisting, backcombing, or interlocking. Instead, you allow your hair to tangle and mat over time, encouraging the natural locking process.

Do freeform dreads grow? 

Yes, freeform dreads do grow. As your hair continues to grow, the new hair growth intertwines with the existing locs, gradually adding length to your dreads over time. 

Do freeform dreads fall out?

Freeform dreads generally don’t fall out on their own. However, if they are not properly maintained or if excessive force is applied, individual locs may break or unravel.

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