Natural dreads, commonly known as freeform dreads, is unique. They are easy to identify and low maintenance. While they are the cheapest to achieve, Freeform dreads involves little to no manipulation and grow and shape naturally.
People with straight hair, who want to achieve freeform dreads without manipulating their locs, should start with long hair since they dread faster and don’t unravel as much. Plus, long straight hair will compact to create that freeform look while natural black hair will dread no matter its length.
Washing Freeform Dreads
A clean set of dreads is healthy; however, don’t wash your hair every day. Because over washing leaves your dreads dry, so wash your hair once a week/month.
Washing your hair with clarifying shampoo leaves no residue behind. You can also opt for Apple Cider Vinegar, and baking powder cleanse.
When washing Freeform dreads, focus on the roots and soak your hair in a bowl of water and shampoo or the ACV cleanse. Instead of doing the old fashion way of running your finger through your locs.
Do Not Put Dread Wax and Un-natural products
With natural dreads, apply Sea salt spray, or a Sea salt cleanse every few days, this will lock your dreads faster. I’m an advocate for natural oils such as coconut and Alvero and Rosewater sprays.
With the sea salt method, don’t leave it in too long in your dreads, allow your hair to sit in the sea salt for 10-15 minutes any longer will over dry your locs.
Stages Of Freeform Dreads
There are always stages with every dreadlocks journey, no matter which method you start your locs. Some people call it the “ugly stage.” However, with natural dreads in the early stages (1-2 months), you’ll notice that your hair parts naturally (not from the roots).
The second stage is the “Baby Dreads” in this stage. You’ll notice some hair growth, frizz, and bumps. This is budding which is also considered the “ugly stage” and will not last long, therefore embrace this stage. What I did during my locs journey if I’m going out, I would tie my dreads, especially if it’s too frizzy.
The shrinking stage happens when your hair is locking tighter. You will notice your dreadlocks are shorter than before. Don’t panic; this will resolve itself. Once the shrinking stage is over, the mature stage of your dreadlocks journey is here, and this can take months to years according to your hair type. At this point, you’ll notice the frizz has subsided, and your locs are smother and noticeable.
How To Maintain Freeform/ Natural Locs
Washing and moisturizing your dreads are one of the best methods to maintain natural dreadlocks. However, if you want to manipulate, freeform dreads; this can happen during your starter locs.
Starter locs freeform Manipulating Techniques.
- Tennis Racket.
- Towel Rub.
Dreads Sponge– This method gain popularity a while ago and involves taking a dread sponge and rubbing it against your natural hair. It will create small/large dreads knob according to which side you use on the sponge.
Towel Rub– As the name suggests, is rubbing your natural hair with a microfiber towel. This technique works best with 4c hair and is less invasive than the dread sponge.
Tennis Racket– This method works with loose type curls, and this technique involves taking a clean tennis racket and rubbing just like dread sponge against your hair. These are the methods you can use to manipulate your dreads before its mature stage.
Mature dreads Manipulating
If you have passed your starter dreads and want to manipulate your mature locs, use rubber bands to combine dreads. With this method, if you leave in the rubber bands too long, the heat can melt them, causing the rubber bands to stick to your dreads.
Sewing your dreads together is another method you can try. It involves taking weave needle and thread and combining dreads. The downside to this method, like the rubber band, the thread can get lost in your hair.
When creating natural dreadlocks, less is more. You can leave your hair to lock on it’s on like Bob Marley, or you can manipulate your dreads in their both mature/starter stage with the techniques I mention above.