au naturale, bob Marley, cultivated locs, dreads, free form locs, freeform locs, lil wayne, loc's, miss naturale, miss sixx, organic Locs


How many times have you heard, “I like your dreads”, and cringed by the implication of what ‘dreads’ means to you. I do not mind, but many cultivated loc wearers do. The terms locs and dreads are often used interchangeably, as they both refer to ropes of matted hair. There is however, a distinct difference between the two. The following descriptions are intended to help you distinguish between the terms.

Organic Locs

Organic locs are more widely referred to as dreads or dreadlocks and are formed as the name implies – organically. The hair is washed regularly, but not combed, allowing the hair to mat with no interference. This typically results in thick locs of different shapes and sizes – these are the locs most often associated with interchangeably. Example: Bob Marley

Freeform Locs

Freeform locs are similar to organic locs in that they aren’t “tightened” or “maintained.” However, freeform locs are cultivated to a degree, as the hair is separated (not parted, just pulled apart in “chunks”) into fairly uniform sections after washing. There is no parting, palm rolling, twisting, or latching. Example: Lil Wayne

Cultivated Locs

Cultivated locs are more widely referred to as locs and are formed using various methods. What sets them apart from organic locs and freeform locs is that they are parted into sections of about equal size and regularly maintained, using one of several methods to tighten the new growth. Cultivated locs are usually relatively neat and uniform in appearance. Example: Miss Sixx

Types of cultivated locs include:

Traditional locs
Nappy Locs



  1. I have to say I don't mind at all when someone calls my hair 'dreads' because I like that it implies that I am willing to do something that society is(still!) afraid of so it's cool with me 🙂 My locks started out pretty free form about 11 years ago but have become more maintained over the years as I learned how to take care of them! enjoying the blog!

  2. I really hate when people say " dread" as if the style is dreadful.. But I guess the sad thing is our own people use it!I think it is a Euro- word and comes from lack of education.. just like the N** word.

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