Let me share MY own definitions after 20 years of locs and being in the natural hair community…
Images: From my loose hair to the teenage freeform stage
Today I was reminded again about how personal our natural hair and loc journey is…
I have been with my natural hair in locs for just over 20 years now (with a few months between my 1st and 2nd set). And I LOVE how social media has changed the way we share our natural hair journey – I still remember the days when I struggled to find websites on locs in 2001 and when we took so much time reading through the beautiful natural hair community forums of Nappturality. Another thing that has changed is the way natural hair is defined – this includes our locs.
I am not a fan of labels – It can make things so much more confusing when we try to figure out what hair type we have (especially when we have combinations) and I think labels should just be a general guide on our natural hair journey… We should also be able to define them as we want. In this case, I am also talking about the label of freeform locs and freeform locing.
What do freeform locs mean to YOU? I would love to hear about YOUR definition!
I want to share my own definitions that I adopted from the early days of the natural hair community…
For starters, I never use the definition of the neglect method or neglect locs. There is nothing neglectful about having natural hair, locs or wanting to let our locs do their own thing – we still care for them.
Then, I hear the label organic locs a lot… For me, this is when we start the locing process organically from the start – no method to start locs, just starting it by washing and letting them organically form – The only other maintenance would be to keep them clean, with no manual care for the new growth or parting locs.
Now for freeform locs and freeform locing... For me, this is when we can choose to start our locs in a certain method with partings (like in twists, coils, braids etc) but then we choose to allow the new growth and the locing process to naturally form (no re-twisting roots). Some people freeform all the way and only wash and go… Others may choose to semi-freeform and maintain their roots and locs once in a while (for example: seperating and twisting the root hair/locs/new growth every couple of months), while still keeping their locs clean.
FRIZZ comes up all the time. Honestly, I think this is one thing that has changed in the natural hair community… I remember when. freeforming and having natural hair was celebrated in the community – whereas now I feel there is an emphasis on making our curl pattern defined with curl definition and anti-frizz. Even with locs, there often feels like a push to keep our roots frizz-free.
What if we do not have defined curls or want to embrace our locs as they are, even when they are frizzy? Do you even care if your hair is frizzy? One of the most liberating things about reforming was that I no longer cared about frizz – I cared about having clean and healthy hair and locs. I started to love exploring natural oils and ingredients – this would soon stem into my love of holistic health and nature. I started to care about my body being healthy too, as well as my soul being at peace. I moved away from having to define my Self by other people’s opinions or expectations of what my hair should be and embraced what my own definition of be-you-ty is…
It was (and still is) a process... It did not happen overnight or after my first day of locs… Over the last 20+ years of locs there have been many ups/downs in exploring this part of my Self… Releasing old stagnant belief systems, embracing many different parts of who am slowly growing into…
This is what FREEforming ultimately means to me.
Feel free to share your definition, ideas and journey with us in the comments section below – What does freeforming mean to you? How has it/is it changing you in any way? What challenges have you faced? 👇
HOLISTIC LOCS PLANNER
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