By Terez Howard

First, all types of dreadlocks should be washed properly and regularly, or every one to two weeks.  Neither freeform dreadlocks nor organic dreadlocks require that natural hair not be washed for ridiculously long periods of time.  With both freeform dreadlocks and organic dreadlocks, natural hair should be checked regularly for lint so that it does not become permanently locked into the hair.

In addition, organic dreadlocks and freeform dreadlocks are allowed to form and loc irregularly.  The roots are not tightened, and the locs are not re-twisted.  Oftentimes, both of these types of locs are formed by the “neglect method” because they require a minimal amount of care.

So what makes freeform dreadlocks different from organic dreadlocks?

1. Freeform dreadlocks can be started in a particular way, while organic dreadlocks are not.

For instance, freeform dreadlocks can be started with a twist-out, two strand twists, palm rolls or coils, and then the locs are allowed to form in whatever way they wish.  Freeform dreadlocks also can be started by rubbing a towel on wet natural hair in circular motions to encourage coils to form and mat.

With organic dreadlocks, they are not started with any style, no twists, no coils, nothing.  Freeform dreadlocks can be started this way as well.

2. Freeform dreadlocks are separated after washings, and organic dreadlocks are not.

After each shampooing, the coils, twists or sections of freeform dreadlocks are separated as the locs begin to form.  This is called “plucking.”  With organic dreadlocks, they are not separated.  Natural hair locs into large clusters or just one big cluster.

What To Expect With Freeform Dreadlocks and Organic Dreadlocks

With both freeform dreadlocks and organic dreadlocks, Y-shaped dreadlocks are likely to form.  These double-headed dragons occur when two locs share the same root bed.  They can either be combined, or “married.”  If you don’t want your dreadlocks to do this, you have to maintain and separate your locs to prevent this process from happening.

The minimalist approach to freeform dreadlocks and organic dreadlocks can also cause flapping.  This is when dreadlocks grow flatly, rather than in a cylindrical shape.  When you have baby locs, all types of dreadlocks tend to flatten, such as when you sleep or wear hats.  If they are not maintained by finger twisting or palm rolling, then your freeform dreadlocks or organic dreadlocks will grow in a flat shape.

Heavy waxes, butters and pomades will cause build-up on freeform dreadlocks, organic dreadlocks, on any dreadlocks.  Instead of using those types of products, opt to use natural oils, like tea tree oil or jojoba oil, to moisturize your scalp.  Apple cider vinegar works well as a natural hair cleanser.  You can pour a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with a cup of water on your locs to lift build-up.

Since keeping freeform dreadlocks and organic dreadlocks clean and lint-free is a must, tie your locs down with a satin or silk scarf or bonnet at night.  This will keep lint out of your locs at night and will keep a cotton pillowcase from robbing your natural hair of moisture.

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