Freeform dreads vs dreadlocks

Freeform dreads vs dreadlocks what are the differences?

Dreads have a lot of different types, but the most popular are the freeform vs dreadlocks. In this article, we will talk about what’s the difference between them and how to maintain them properly.

Freeform dreads are more natural and can be achieved by anyone with a little practice. They’re usually created by un-styled hair that is allowed to grow out in any direction.

Dreadlocks are created by using a product like gel or wax that is designed for shaping your hair into dreads.

Dreadlocks require you to use some kind of styling product for them to keep their shape and look good, whereas freeform dreads can be maintained with just water or even just air drying your hair!

Although they are two different types of hairstyle, they are often confused with each other. This article will help you understand the difference and decide which one is better for you.


It is important to note that dreadlocks and freeform dreads are different hairstyles that are often confused with one another.

Though they share the same term, they are greatly different from one another, and you would do yourself a favor to take the time to distinguish between them!

Some people are not sure what to make of dreadlocks and freeform dreads. They think they’re the same style, but some people know better.

In addition to dreadlocks, there are also freeform dreads. They are often considered a style of their own and have strong cultural links to African people across the diaspora.

Hair can be braided, coiled, or twisted. With no use of any special chemicals or other techniques, the strands take on a rope-like form as each hair twists around and around and loc into each other.

Most Black people find these styles of hair significant because it is part of their culture, and the history of locs extends far beyond just African cultures.

Those who have their hair the same way throughout the year often turn to this hairstyle, and expound on why it is so important to them.

Some state that it is a lifestyle, while others say that the difference between these two terms is not significant.

Some may prefer to use “dreads” and “locs” to describe their styling instead of the negative connotation that is, unfortunately, applied to them in society.

Freeform Dreads

With this method, you grow your hair without using hair products or even pre-shrinking especially when dreadlocks form. Just let them happen & don’t worry about the form at all.

This is why these locs actually grow themselves. The only work you’ll need to do is wash and oil your hair in between washes or once a month- whichever the case may be.

It’s always nice knowing that you can save some money with a freeform dread, since these products can be pricey.

You may use less of them and that saves you more money for other more important things like salon visits.

Another great thing about going natural is that you can form intricate updos, bantu knots or loose locs by allowing your hair to grow into any shape. You won’t have to visit the salon often and waste money on unnecessary treatments or sessions.

There are many ways to wear dreadlocks. If you decide which style looks the best on you, go ahead and try the fun new trend.

Now, when it comes to texture, it’s important that you accept what is natural for your hair and make decisions according to what makes you feel good about yourself.

Pros and Cons between freeform dreads and dreadlocks?

Dreadlocks are a form of hair that is naturally formed through the process of matting and braiding. However, they can also be created using a freeform technique.

Freeform dreads are more popular than dreadlocks because they do not require any tools or products to create them.

They can also be styled easily and have less risk of matting in your scalp. On the other hand, you have to spend time on styling your freeform dreads before you go out for a night out or day at work.

The pros and cons of dreadlocks vs freeform dreads are discussed below, which includes the benefits and drawbacks to each method.

Pros of dreadlocks

  • Control the desired look.
  • A wide variety of styling options.

Cons of dreadlocks

  • Requires frequent salon visits to retwists your hair.
  • Products are used more and overall maintenance is needed.
  • Usually leads to having thinner locs.
  • Have a great risk of locs falling out in the latter stages.
  • Frequent purchasing of “locking” supplies: clips, gels, etc

Pros of freeform locs

  • Requires a little maintenance to very low maintenance.
  • Products are very cheap, potentially free.
  • Building your confidence along the journey of self-acceptance.

Cons of freeform locs

  • You’ll have less control over the locking process and outcome.
  • Takes a-lot longer to completely lock your hair.
  • You may not be able to wear a hat anymore
  • Categorized as being unkept in many businesses and workplaces

Does it matter if you choose freeform dreads over dreadlocks?

There are many benefits of dreadlocks over freeform dreads. The most important one is that you can wash your hair, as opposed to freeform dreads which cannot be washed.

Another benefit is that you can style your freeform dreads easily, whereas it’s harder to style a dreadlock.

Freeform Dreads vs Dreadlocks which one is right for you:

Dreadlocks are much easier to maintain than freeform dreads. They require less maintenance and are more flexible in terms of styling options.

However, when it comes to the health benefits, it’s a little more difficult for freeform dreads because they tend to trap dirt and moisture in the hair which can lead to scalp issues or skin irritation.

Do freeform dreads require more maintenance than dreadlocks?

Dreadlocks are a type of hair style that is characterized by the formation of dreads. As the name suggests, they are formed by twisting and locking strands of hair together. The process is similar to braiding but it can be done with any type of hair.

Freeform dreads do not require as much maintenance as dreadlocks because they don’t form knots or tangles.

However, most people still choose to take their freeform dreads to a professional stylist for maintenance every 4-6 weeks in order to prevent tangles and knots from forming.


Dreadlocks can be an intimidating hairstyle for some people because of their long hair that might tangle or get caught on things. However, freeform dreads don’t have any restrictions like this and can be worn in a variety of ways.

People give different reasons when they discussed why they prefer the style they do, and it is entirely up to you.

Whether you are being true to yourself or not falls under personal preference, but what style best fits your personality should be the main reason.

I would not say that one style is better than the other, but rather I would say that all styles are unique and should be celebrated.

Not sure what direction you want your loc journey to go? I recommend freeform dreads first. Best of luck with that decision!


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