Thursday, January 08, 2009

Freeform locks Q & A

Everybody wants to say what they think freeform locks are, so I'll add my opinions to the mix. The following are questions I've been asked about my locks, and some other things I think would be good to know. I'll continue to add more questions as I think of them. Anyone else have questions that I should answer? Leave them in the comments section of this post.

Q: What are freeform locks?

A: Freeform locks, are also known as organic locks, natural dreads, dreads, bongo dreads, natty dreads. They're just locks to me. I just consider it to be locks that aren't meticulously maintained, retwisted, palm rolled, latched, or whatever.

Q: How do you get them?

A: Wash your hair. A lot. They'll come eventually. That is all.

Q: No, really, what do you do to get them?

A: Okay. Wash. Washing or wetting the hair often seems to help it lock up in this way. Early on, I washed my hair every day or two or three, and felt that helped . Condition with conditioner and/or oil and/or juices and berries so that your hair won't become too dry. After time, as the hair starts to lock, if you want to control the width of the locks, separate the hair from each other as it starts locking. You'll know what I mean once you start to see it happening on your head. Be patient. You don't need any gel or wax to hold your hair together, but if you want to do that, go ahead.

Q: How long does it take for your hair to lock in this way?

A: That depends on a lot of things. The length of the hair. The texture of the hair. How much you wash it. How tangly your hair was when loose may be an indicator. For me, I started getting tangled places in my hair at 4 weeks, and around 9 months, I feel my hair was recognizeable as locks. Be patient. Your hair will lock in its own time. In my opinion, twisting or palm rolling the hair doesn't make it lock faster, it just keeps the hair neater and less tangled as it is trying to lock.

Q: If you don't go to the salon, your hair won't turn out right. You have to get your hair twisted every month and wax it every week and don't wash your hair for the first 3 months.

A: Was that a question? Sounded more like an unsolicited comment to me. But anyway, do you even have locks? Where did you get those ideas from? Sure, you could lock your hair in that way. I'd hate to see the gooky mess it would be, but hey, whatever floats your boat. What floats my boat is to have clean, hassle-free, low-maintenance hair.

Q: I want my locks to be perfectly circular / unfrizzy / to lay down / all the same size. Can I do freeform locks?

A: If you want to control your hair exactly, freeform locks are probably not for you. Even locks that are meticulously maintained will do things you don't want them to do at times, but with freeform locks, there tends to be even less control. Also, you can start with twists / coils / braids / backcombing and freeform from there if you want, that can control the size more.

Q: Why would anybody want to do that to their hair?

A: Hmmm. Different people do it for different reasons. Spirituality / religion. Political reasons. Aesthetics / style (some people actually like how it looks, can you believe it). Lifestyle reasons. I personally did freeform locks because I wanted long, very low-maintenance natural hair, and for me, this was the way to do it.

Q: I don't think I could do that. What would my mom / husband / friends / the gardener think? I have to be neat. I have a professional job, I work in an office. I can't look like a bum.

A. LOL. Wow. Try to stop caring so much what other people think. If you're an adult, you can do whatever you want to do. Don't let others control you, make your own decisions. I know it's easier said than done, but it's important. Also, about your job, does your job explicitly say that you can't have locks? Probably not. Did some well-meaning friend, relative, or black coworker tell you you shouldn't do it? Chances are, they don't know what they're talking about, and are just scared for you. If you're confident in your decision, then just ignore them. I know this won't change your mind, but I work in corporate America, and am doing fine. I know of others in different professions who are working as well, without problems about their hair.

Q: Your hair is the "real thing". Those other people that lock their hair have fake locks. Your way is the best / most natural / cleanest / way to do it.

A: Yes, I have actually gotten that comment. And it's funny because I really don't feel that way. To me, there is no lock hierarchy. I chose this method for me, and others can choose their method for them. Yes, there are methods that I don't really agree with, but people have their own reasons for doing things. And I don't get why some people think freeform or organic locks are some kind of gold standard for locks. Ok, actually I do get it, but I don't agree with it. Put a head of organic locks (a la Bob Marley) next to a head of Sisterlocks, and I think both are absolutely beautiful. I wouldn't wear either for my own reasons, but that's not to say that I think other people shouldn't.


CarmenNC said...

I like this post alot. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

that was lovely! do you separate, AyBee?


aybee77 said...

I sure do, after every wash. Takes 5 or so minutes.

Amina said...

Great post!!!!
I loove your blog!
your locs are simply beautiful

aybee77 said...

Thank you Amina. :-)

Aaron said...

im about to start my Freeform Lock journey and i have 2 questions.

1. can you began the freeform journey at any length or must shave all you hair and start from there?

2. what do you mean by separating?

aybee77 said...

You can start at any length. I started with 10 inches of hair.

By separate, I mean this. When your hair starts locking, you will feel a section of hair that starts locking together. My hair started locking at the ends, but yours may be different. take the section that is starting to lock / group together. Feel down to the root to see how big the section is. If that section of hair is the size that you want the rest of your locks, run your fingers down that section of hair on all sides. The loose hair will have a tendency to want to join hair that is already grouped together. If you don't mind large locks, you don't have to bother with separating.

Anonymous said...

I am mixed ( black and white) and this week I ran out of conditioner, it had been about 1.5 weeks since i las detangles, i am also trasitioning and have about 1o inched of relaxed hair and 2 inches of new growth and after i.5 weeks of no detangle, but 2 shampoos (no oils, no conditioner) my hair is already locking up. I can count 12 so far. I have litterally done nothing else to my hair except put it upand sleep with it down. is this normal?

aybee77 said...

Hi Anonymous!

Wow, that is pretty quick, but I wouldn't say it's abnormal. Were you trying to lock your hair?

Kern Sutherland said...

Hi Angela this blog is very helpful, i know im like 5 years late but quick question i have already started my locks for about a year with palm rolling and with wax is it possible to convert to freeform locs?

aybee77 said...

Hi Kern Sutherland! I know that I am super late with the reply. :-( Yes, you can convert to freeform locs at any time.

Lola Rew said...

Hi, I'm starting my locs with two strand twist, can I wet them everyday? I followed the water only wash before deciding to loc my hair; I used clays, fruits, rice water, and veggies to cleanse my hair when I need to remove my excess sebum. I don't mean to make this My scalp is use to the water only method and I don't want to mess up a good thing, that's what I'm trying to say.

My scalp goes haywire when I use most products, that method was the only thing that worked for me. I'll use my clay when it's time to do a good cleanse, can I continue my method?