Freeform Dreads: Benefits, Maintenance, Styles

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When you consider locing your hair but don’t know which way to start with, then freeform locs are certainly a good choice. While there are many ways to lock your hair, freeform locs can show the authentic state of your natural hair. They allow people to fully embrace the beauty in their natural hair in a big way.

With the growing appreciation of freeform locs you shouldn’t miss the chance to join the world of freeform dreads. Keep reading to learn about the ins and outs of freeform dreads you need to know. 

What are Freeform Dreads?

Freeform dreads are locs that grow your hair organically without much manipulation or force. This means that your hair has naturally formed with the new growth. Freeform dreads are popular among people as they do not require lots of gels, wax, or products to create them.

And when you compare it with traditional dreadlocks, you can get a better idea of freeform dreads. With traditional dreadlocks, we need to shape the hair into dreads by twisting or braiding. And also may need re-twist the new hair growth to make sure that form in a certain size or pattern.

But with freeform dreads, it let your hair grow freely and shape naturally. Its spontaneous formation will make your dreads take a life of its own. In that case, you will embrace your dreads development. And their unexpected styles will pleasantly surprise you in the end. 


3 Benefits of Freeform Dreads

The benefits of freeform dreads are oblivious and outstanding. 


While other dread locs need much attention, freeform dreads are easy to maintain. During their formation process, we won’t need to keep separating the roots or re-twisting our hair to keep them in shape. The low maintenance of freeform dreads allows us to take the least amount of time to form the natural styles. 

Although they are low-maintenance, we still need to keep them clean and healthy during the locking process. And keep in mind, don’t put loads of hair products so that won’t leave much residue in the hair.  


Another perk of freeform dreads is the versatility for different occasions. It allows us to form our final looks in many different shapes and styles easily. We can separate the small locs to grow into the desirable size and sections depending on our inclinations. 

There are a whole bunch of style possibilities for us to try on. For instance, high buns, high ponytails, or twists freeform dreads. Besides, it’s certainly a good idea to try some of your creative thoughts out with freeform dreads. 

Remember that everyone has the potential to start new dread styles in your way!  

Spiritual Expression

Besides the versatility of freeform dreads, positive spiritual expression is another big benefit. Freeform dreads help to hold spiritual and cultural significance from cultures and history. It can help us to be self-confident in the face of societal judgments.

Also, it can consider to be some kind of self-love therapy for us to get rid of certain negative beauty judgments. While other dreadlocks need to keep a neat appearance, freeform dreads are rarely manipulated. It states a free natural lifestyle that goes against some common beauty standards. 


How to Grow Freeform Dreads

First of all, we can start our freeform dreads with any hair length so it doesn’t matter if you are short hair or long hair. But if you have straight hair then better to keep them longer so that they will not unravel easily while they grow.

Now let’s start our freeform dreads journey with the following step-by-step tutorial!

Step 1:

To start with, let’s fully wash your hair to clean all the residues from the heavy products you used before. As the more residue in the hair, the less hair knot will be. And also remember to use some dread-friendly shampoos during washing.

Step 2:

Then dry your hair after washing it with a towel or hairdryer to dry them quickly. And keep in mind to repeat this step every time after you washing hair or shower to keep your hair as dry as possible. As if you have greasy or oily hair, it will lead unravel of hair and hard to knot.

Step 3:

Stop brushing or combing your hair to let them form knots and cling to baby locks. During this step, we should be patient and leave them alone to grow naturally. Then your hair spontaneously separates into sections and forms dreads over time.

Step 4:

While the hair is separated into sections, we can partition them into smaller or larger sections. And separate any dreads by braiding or two-strand twisting your hair so that they won’t join together. This step can help to form your dreads faster.

Then the last thing is being patient to wait for the mature dreads to form. 


How to Maintain Freeform Dreads


For the maintenance of freeform dreads, the first thing we need to be mindful of is the frequency of washing. As if you wash too often will cause your dreads to soften faster which is not helpful. All you need to do is wash your hair with lukewarm water 1-2 times a week. 

And we can apply some water-soluble or dread-friendly shampoo so that won’t leave much residue. Another tip is that we thoroughly dry our dreads as soon as possible. As we should know that damp hairs will prevent it from dreading too. 

Besides, it is suggested to use a hairdryer in a cool setting or just air dry them. 


When it comes to moisturizing your locs, you may find that they don’t need as much moisture as your usual hair did. But we should still moisturize your locs to prevent them from dry and unhealthy. Be mindful that dry hair will break easily and may lead to brittle locs in the end. 

Applying some water-based products, like a leave-in conditioning spray or a light leave-in moisturizer will help a lot. We can also make a mixture of oil and water in a spritzer bottle to create our daily moisture mist. Again, remember to apply them at a regular frequency(not too often) to moisturize our dry dreads. 

Managing Loose Hair

One thing that we should be faced with freeform locs is the natural frizz and loose hairs. The unavoidable frizz is a common problem that many new starters of locs will face. So why not stay positive and embrace it as a natural formation stage you will go through?

The good news is there are ways to prevent or reduce the unavoidable frizz. For example, brushing your locs with a loc comb after you wash them can help to reduce frizz at the root. And interlocking is also a great way for taming frizz and keep the hair nestled into the locs. 


Protective Styling

Another useful way to protect our freeform dreads is wearing a silk or satin scarf when sleeping. As either cotton pillowcases or sheets will cause friction against your dreads. We should also keep our hair dry after taking intensive activities to avoid damp hair. 

We should consider trying some protective styles with our freeform dreads to preserve the health and shape of locs. So won’t worry too much about the unraveling or frizz of the locs. For example, people who like longer loc styles can add faux locs to the ends of their freeform dreads to have a stylish protective look. 

Scalp Health

Speaking of maintaining, we may likely forget about caring for the scalp beneath freeform locs. Yet, scalp health is considered to be an important factor in our locs maintenance. When our scalp is well nourished it will benefit and boost our hair health to keep new strong hair growth.

One main problem we need to deal with for scalp care is the buildup and residues left in products. Apple cider vinegar is considered to be a great way for us to apply for scalp cleansing. It is natural and useful for buildup reduction without stripping your hair dry. 


The last thing about freeform dreads maintenance to be mindful is to be patient. The whole maturing process will take a few months up to 2 years depending on your hair texture and length. Not surprisingly, the coarser and more curly your hair is, the faster dreads will form. 

So let’s be patient and embrace the organic evolution of freeform locs. Besides, the formation process may take a longer time for some people. So that the results will be different from the beginning of your wish. 

No matter how it will look, the beauty of imperfection and individuality will be well worth it. 


11 Best Freeform Dread Hairstyles to Try

The hairstyles of freeform dreads have a high and wide range with different hair lengths and textures. Women with freeform dreads can wear styles like high buns, half-up, and ponytails. Check out the freeform dreads styles below to get some inspiration. 

High Buns

One of the most appealing ones is freeform dreads with high buns. If your hair is medium or longer length then the high buns are a great option for you.

To create this style, we just need simply make half of the locs up to warp into a bun. Then secure with a hair tie and pull other hair away from the face. Then you will get this cool and stylish look! 



Next is a similar hairstyle to high buns, the freeform dreads with half-bun. Not surprisingly, you will also need kind of medium or longer-length hair to go with it.

We just gather some part of the hair up into a messy bun and let the rest twists flow freely and loose. Wearing this half-up, half-down freeform dreads will shape our facial structure in a great way. It will make you styled and look undeniably chic. 


High Ponytails

Next, we have the super cool chic hairstyle, the freeform dreads with a high ponytail. If you are looking for a stylish way to show the world your youthful glow, look no further than a high ponytail. 

Ponytails can give us a neat and polished look. A high ponytail will make this style more vibrant, especially in the summertime. It is an ideal easy hairstyle for either daily work or outside activities. 


Freeform Tucked Braids

For some people with long hair and freeform dreads, the tucked braids will be an excellent way to show your elegance and taste.

To make out this style we need to split hair into several equal sections at first. Then braiding by crossing the right piece over the middle, and the left over the middle again to make one big braid. Lastly, we tie the big braid with a hair tie and tuck the end of the braid under the braid base with some securing pins. 


Twists Freeform Dreads

Twists freeform dreads is one of the most well-known styles for a long time. It is an easy style that can fit multiple hair lengths and colors.

We can start with a separate 1 section and twist the pieces around each other a few times. And then repeat the twisting for the entire hair. Keep in mind that during the twisting don’t make them too tightly, as this can break your hair easily. 


Freeform Dreads with Undercuts

Next, we have the freeform dreads with undercuts. The undercuts can fit both men and women to make stylish additions to our dreadlocks. It will give people a wild, free-spirited, and polished look.

The unique feature of this style is that the sides and back are shaved while the top hair is still kept longer. This will create a contrast to draw attention to the crown of the head. It is an excellent way to your naturally formed dreads. 

Freeform-Dreads -with-Undercuts

Freeform Dreads with Shaved Sides

Another cool and trendy style is the freeform dreads with shaved sides. It combines the drama of shaved sides with freeform dreads will upgrade your overall beauty look right away. So, if you are craving a new hairstyle with freeform dreads, it might be a great option for you to pick.

To achieve this style, we only need to remove the dreads from the side part of our head. Surely, cutting is the easiest method but there are also some other methods we can try. 


Freeform Dreads with Bangs

Another outstanding and adorable hairstyle is the freeform dreads with bangs. Once you wear this style you will surely be surprised that how bangs change your overall look of you.

Also, this is one time-saving style in that you don’t have to spend a lot of time styling your hair. Besides, you can try out bangs with either curly or straight without considering the long, medium, or even super short hair you have. 


Freeform Dreadhawk

The freeform dreadhawk is one of the most eye-catching common hairstyles for both women and men. And it also works well with any hair length.

By shaving both sides of our head, the rest part of the dreadlocks in the center shows a shape like a hawk. And we can also just create a mohawk without cutting the sides instead. Both ways can make out the typical hawk braids that will give you a cool and chic look. 


Freeform Loc Bob

Next is the fashion-forward freeform dreads bob hairstyle. The bob style has been popular for a long time as it’s the perfect combination of beauty and coolness at the same time. It greatly meets the requirement of working women in recent years.

A bob hairstyle with freeform dreads is also an excellent way to add volume and depth to our hair. If you will attend some formal occasions can simply match it with some bright pearl earrings to boost the whole look. 


Freeform Dread Crown

Next comes that glamorous freeform dreads crown. As its name referred to,the crown hairstyle will make you stand out from the crowd like a queen.

And this look would be perfect for people who are going to prom or a wedding.

To create this style we just wrap the dreadlocks into a shape like a crown or halo on the top of our head. With this crown made by our freeform dreads, disappointment is not an option! 


FAQs about Freeform Dreads

How long do freeform dreads take to form?

There are no definite timelines for how long hair takes to form freeform dreads. It will depend on your hair texture, hair length, and your maintenance. On average, it will start forming around 3-5 weeks to several months till it is properly formed. 

Does cold water help freeform dreads?

There is no definite answer to this question. Cold water may help for tightening and itch relief of our scalp while hot water can also help to clean the pores. It is important to always be mindful not to wash hair too often. 

Why are my freeform dreads thinning?

Some main reasons make the results of thin freeform dreads over time. It may be resulting from not regularly re-tightening or over-manipulation. Also, incorrect products and poor nutrition may lead to thin dreads. 



Now we have to explore and share all the information about the popular freeform dreads. Their low maintenance, versatility, and spiritual expression will make your loc journey enjoyable. Freeform dreads are worth trying out right away! Drop a comment below to share your creative ideas.

Author: Charity Nasike


Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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