At the beginning of my freeform dreadlock journey, I watched many videos of people “making dreadlocks” and they all seem to have the same look. I knew this was something I didn’t want as I wanted my locs to look unique to me. So I discovered how to freeform my dreadlocks. Here’s how to start freeform dreadlocks in 2020.
In order to start freeform dreadlocks, you must stop combing and brushing your hair but still keep it clean by washing regularly. Over time, your hair will begin to bunch up into segments. These segments are the beginning stages of your new locs. It’s up to you whether or not you want to separate these segments as they will form into individual dreadlocks. It’s that simple.
Humans wearing dreadlocks have been around, as far as we know, as early as 1800 B.C. The dreadlock is essentially a large lock of entangled hair achieved by not combing or brushing loose natural hair. Although now there are many ways to make dreadlocks through other means such as backcombing and comb twisting, freeforming stands the test of time.
Historians have discovered evidence of this hairstyle in ancient tribes such as the Fulani and Ashanti tribes of Africa, Pacific Islanders, Egyptians, and Aborigines amongst many others. The Rastafarians coined the actual term “dreadlock” and view it as a sign of their African identity. It is also a vow of their release from Babylon, a historically white-European colonial and imperialist power structure that has oppressed Blacks and other people of color according to Migrations in History.
Though there are many ways to achieve dreadlocks, freeforming is by far the easiest, most natural, and oldest forms of dreadlocks.
What Are Freeform Dreadlocks?
As the name implies, freeform dreadlocks are locs that you allow to form organically without the aid of outside resources such as products and little to no manipulation.
How To Start Freeform Dreadlocks With Short Hair For Men And Women
The wonderful part about freeform dreadlocks is that you can start your journey at any length of hair, long or short. Many people prefer to start freeforming with long hair simply because they’ll see the results they’re looking for faster. However, you do not need long hair to begin freeform locs.
As mentioned before, getting those classic “Bob Marley” dreadlocks is as simple as not combing or brushing your hair and separating your locs as they grow in, if you choose.
While many people love the idea of simply “letting their hair go”, others prefer to have a more manicured set of freeform dreadlocks.
How To Start Freeform Locs Using The Towel Rub Or Sponge Method
When starting your freeform dreadlock journey with short hair, it can be easy to be discouraged by the lack of visual progression hence why many suggest starting locs with longer hair. However, there are a few ways to speed up the process while still allowing yourself to fully freeform if you choose to in the future.
Two additional ways to begin freeform locs is by using the towel rub or sponge method. This method works best on afro-textured or thick hair although you can try this method on any hair type to see if it works for you.
Steps To Achieve Freeforms Dreads With Sponge or Towel
To begin this process, first, make sure you have clean damp hair. For the towel method, you’ll want to have a small microfiber towel that you’ll slightly dampen with water. Always make sure to have damp or moisturized hair when styling to prevent breakage.
Next, while holding the microfiber towel, rub your hair in a circular motion using very light pressure for several minutes. This will encourage your hair to tangle much quicker and in a more uniform way.
For the sponge method, you’ll follow the same exact process as the towel rub method except you’ll use a special sponge made just for starting freeform dreadlocks.
Check out this video below of a fellow dread head who has used both methods to achieve his freeform locs.
Many hairdressers and barbers have started using dread sponges to quickly give their customers that fresh loc twist look that they were going for.
So you may be wondering, “Why would I buy a special sponge when I could buy a regular sponge to create twists in my hair?”
Regular store-bought sponges will not only damage your hair due to the cheap material it is made out of, but it will also disintegrate very rapidly and not twist your hair properly.
The sponge method is a cheap and easy alternative to going to a hairstylist and getting your hair twisted.
Why You Would Want Freeform Locs?
When some people think of freeform locs, they envision a homeless person who hasn’t kept up with their hygiene in a while. This visual often scares people away from ever wanting freeform locs and going to the manicured look instead.
The majority of people who like the manicured style of dreads often avoid the thought of freeforming because they do not want to “look homeless” for several months while their hair is taking shape and maturing. While there are many ways to achieve dreadlocks quickly, freeforming is all about patience.
The dreadlock process is exactly that, a process. It takes time for your hair to entangle itself and mat in order to create beautiful locs. By having the patience, time, and perseverance needed to obtain freeform locs, one can assure that the results will be worth it in the long run.
A person must be willing to go through the entire process, the good, bad, and ugly to obtain the mature free-flowing look of natural dreads. I can tell you from personal experience that if it is something you are looking forward to, then do it. The end results will be worth it!
Next post: 10 Things That Will Damage Your Dreadlocks