Hairstyle and fashion go hand-in-hand. One is not complete without the other. Therefore, we often look up to fashion weeks and runways to find out the hottest trends of the season.
One of the hairstyle trends that has made a sort of comeback (it went nowhere, anyways) on the fashion ramps with a bang are the dreadlocks. Sure, they’ve been around for ages now. However, more and more people have now started owning this hairstyle and giving it their unique twist (pun intended). If you wish to adopt this hairstyle too, then you need to understand a bit about this easy-to-maintain funky hairstyle.
What Are Freeform Dreadlocks?
Dreadlocks are usually formed when your hair clumps together in a matted kind of way. It can exist naturally or can be created as well.
Freeform dreadlocks can form naturally if you stop combing, cutting, or detangling your hair for a long time. It basically means that you need to neglect the grooming of your hair except for your regular shampooing perhaps.
This is probably the reason why natural dreadlocks are also called neglect dreadlocks, at times. It is also called freeform dreadlocks because you let the hair turn into dreads according to their will. The size of such dreads is not uniform too. This process might take some years for the hair to turn into dreadlocks.
However, if you wish to speed up the process of dreadlocks, you can go with other methods. People try methods like backcombing, twisting, cornrow braiding, or dread braiding to get the dreadlocks faster.
The locks in such methods might look uniform too since you’ll have the liberty to let them grown in a certain uniform thickness by sectioning them. But the results might wary and the dreads might look different than the natural freeform dreadlocks.
How To Get Freeform Dreadlocks?
If you wish to grow dreadlocks without the use of wax or gel on your hair, then freeform is the way to go. But for this, you’ll need clean hair and a lot of patience as freeform dreadlocks can take a lot of time to grow and show the desired results. Here’s how you can go developing them:
Step 1: The first step toward getting freeform dreadlocks is to stop grooming them and start neglecting them (in a way). Start by altogether giving up brushing your hair with a comb or brush.
You can simply use your fingers to groom your hair in the meantime. In a few days’ time, your hair will naturally start separating into various sections on their own. It might take a couple of weeks before your hair sections start becoming more distinct. You’ll need to be quite patient while your hair is developing into dreads as the time required can vary depending on the texture of your hair. If your hair is very coarse and curly, the dreadlocks might develop quickly when compared to hair that is straight, thin, or smooth.
Step 2: People often have the misconception that dreadlocks are often dirty. On the contrary, dreadlocks can be maintained well only by keeping them clean regularly. In the beginning, when your dreadlocks are yet to form, avoid washing them as frequently as you are used to.
Start off by washing your hair every two days and gradually move to wash them once a week. It might take some time to get used to it if you are in the habit of frequently washing your hair.
However, frequent hair washes can strip your hair of the natural oils and delay the formation of dreadlocks. Use shampoos that can be specifically used for dreadlocks as they do not leave behind any noticeable residue. Make sure you do not use a conditioner soon after shampooing. You’ll need to give it up altogether until you form your dreadlocks. The same goes for leave-in hair serums too. This will help your hair to form knots faster.
Step 3: Most people have oily scalps or greasy hair. Such type of hair might hinder the process of dreadlocks formation. Your hair will not get those knots naturally which is necessary to form dreads. Washing your hair is an option.
But since you don’t want to wash hair frequently, concentrate on drying and keeping your scalp clean. Soon after washing your hair, do not try to rub your hair with a towel to dry them. Instead, use a microfiber towel to gently squeeze out the water.
Try to keep your hair wrapped in the towel to help you create dreads as well as dry out any excess amount of moisture. Avoid using a blowdryer and let your hair air-dry themselves. However, if you do need to use a blowdryer, use it in cold settings. Using hot or warm settings of blowdryer can trigger the hair follicles to release more oil.
While using the blowdryer in cold settings, move it around constantly between sections of your hair. Thereafter, ensure that you try and keep your hair dry as much as possible.
Step 4: Over time, as your dreads begin to form, the dreads might probably merge with one another. Try to keep them apart by running your finger through the hair locks where the dreads seem to entangle.
Keep in mind the thickness of the dreads that you wish to have. If the thickness of a dreadlock is more than one inch, then it’ll result in fat dreads, which are also known as ‘Congos’. To section your dreads into the desired thickness, start by sectioning the hair from the scalp and then proceed to separate the hair locks if they seem to merge into fatter sections.
You’ll need to regularly maintain this sectioning by gently pulling apart any dreadlocks that seem to merge either near the scalp or through the length of the dreads.
Step 5: This is the part where your patience comes into the picture. You’ll need to wait for at least 2 years for your dreadlocks to fully form. However, this duration may vary depending upon the length of the hair.
Short hair, which is about 4 – 6 inches in length, might roughly take a year to develop freeform dreadlocks. Whereas longer hair up to shoulder length might require 2 years or more. To know if your dreadlocks have matured, try to gently pull them apart. The well-developed ones won’t come apart easily and will be knotted tightly.
The mature dreadlocks will also not change their appearance or shape anymore. Your long patient journey would have finally borne fruit as you get yourself healthy freeform dreadlocks.
7 Care Tips For Your Dreadlocks
Now that you have your dreadlocks in place, make sure they hold the fort by following some basic dreadlock care tips.
- Wash your dreadlocks only once a week and keep them dry. Excess moisture can cause them to unroll.
- If your scalp feels dry and itchy due to less washing or dry weather, then invest in a good brand of dread conditioner spray. Spray this conditioner on the areas on your scalp where it itches the most. The conditioner will moisturize the dry area and relieve the itching as well.
- To maintain your freeform dreadlocks, you can regularly check your dreadlocks for any loose strands. If you do find some loose strands, try and tuck them in with your fingers. You can also regularly try to roll them with your palms to tighten the dreadlocks.
- To avoid your dreadlocks from unrolling or getting messed up during your sleep, wear a silk scarf when you go to bed. This will protect your dreadlocks without causing any friction to the hair as you turn in your sleep.
- As your hair grows, they might not grow in dreadlocks at the roots, resulting in some loosening at the roots. Try to roll your dreads as and when possible. If you don’t wish to use dread wax, you can simply dampen your fingers in some water and try to roll the hair at the roots to tighten them.
- Dreadlocks are a bit heavy in nature compared to free-flowing hair. This might result in some irritation or discomfort to your scalp. To relieve this, you can regularly massage your scalp. Do these massages before bed for at least 5 to 10 minutes each day. You can also ask your friend or partner to give you these gentle massages to your scalp too.
- For washing your dreadlocks, stick to natural products that do not leave a residue behind. Natural hair care products will also not damage your scalp and dreadlocks like other chemically-laden products.
Now you know how to get your own freeform dreadlocks and maintain them well too. With a few innovative ideas and lots of patience, you can always enhance your dreadlocks to suit your fashion needs. Once your dreadlocks tighten, you can flaunt them in various ways like a high dreadlock ponytail, a dreadlock bun, side braids, etc.
You can even streak or color your hair in different colors before developing your freeform dreadlocks. The streaks of color in your hair will give your freeform dreadlocks a natural and edgy look. Now that you have enough ideas, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and let your hair loose to get yourself those striking freeform dreadlocks!