Many people believe that when you decide to semi-freeform your locs, that you can neglect them and be rewarded with thickness. That is NOT the case. Semi-Freeforming your locs is a technique, not to be confused with carelessness. And like many of the techniques available for locking your hair, semi-freeforming isn’t for everyone. Let’s explore what is really means to “semi-freeform” locs and find out what is takes to semi-freeform your locs properly!
Semi-Freeform is a technique for locs exclusively maintained with palm-rolling that blends the art of freeforming, or allowing your locs to grow organically without any manipulation, and the regimented loc maintenance technique that defines your parting system, loc size and shape.
As a Loctician, I encounter the semi-freeform technique causing major damage to locs when people attempt to semi-freeform their locs for the wrong reasons or they do it at the wrong time in their loc journey. One of the most common problems that is often consistent with the semi-freeform technique being used improperly is thinning. I personally attribute the issue of thinning and semi-freeforming to the internet/Youtube. So often I see people post about their locs thinning at the roots and the overwhelming response is to “leave it alone” then 3 months later they wonder why the loc is hanging on by a thread or has completely broken off.
PSA: If your locs are thinning at the roots, you should NOT semi-freeform; it will cause more damage.
HOW TO SEMI-FREEFORM YOUR LOCS
To actually be successful in cultivating locs using the semi-freeform technique you should adhere to the 5 principles of semi-freeforming.
1. Commit to minimal styling and/or tension. Even pulling your locs up into a ponytail often can be problematic when semi-freeforming. Due to the fact that the root of your locs are loose and not bound into the common cylindrical shape of locs, you risk causing your locs to become flat and/or slowing down the locking process.
2. Cleanse your hair regularly. It is important to have clean hair when semi-freeforming to prevent excessive weight from product buildup or environmental impurities. If your locs have an accumulation of buildup it will cause the roots to thin, especially with semi-freeform locs.
3. Separate Your Roots. You have to ensure that you maintain your parting system and that your locs do not fuse together while semi-freeforming and you do that by “popping your locs” at least once a week.
4. Self-Grooming. Everytime you shampoo your locs, you have to do light grooming to maintain the shape and integrity of your locs. A few techniques for self-grooming semi-freeform locs are “Loc Rubbing” and “Base Wrapping”.
5. Protect your hair. Always wear a satin scarf to bed or whenever you are lounging around the house to minimize lint and environmental debris from embedding in your locs.
I believe “Rule #4 to be the most important guideline to follow and the one that is often overlooked. However, if you stick to using all of these guidelines when you semi-freeform your locs it will help you to avoid the common mistakes with semi-freeforming such as thinning and breakage. And of course, you have to make sure that you are hydrating your locs and using products that nourish the hair and scalp because again, semi-freefrom does NOT mean neglect!