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What Are Dreadlocks? Get To Know Your Hair

Dreadlocks origins

You are about to take your first step to have dreadlocks. Let me just say; it is a beautiful journey, but most people don’t know what dreadlocks are. Dreadlocks are hair that is matted together in a rope-like structure.

Referred to as dreads, dreadlocks, locs, and in the Caribbean “Rasta” you can control the shape through palm-rolling and interlocking.

When your hair locks, all the dead strands that supposed to drop on the floor or in your comb are collected in your locs. They are then fused to start the locking process. People with curly hair dread faster than people with straight hair.

Where Did Dreadlocks Come From?

The history of dreadlocks varies to whoever you ask. Some said they originated in Africa and were worn by a variety of tribes.

Other believed dreadlocks came from India and Egypt. Shiva, the Indian God, had a body of a man, the face of a woman, and long thick dreadlocks.

This god has influence Indian culture and is worshipped by millions of people who practice Hinduism.

In Egypt, there were mummies with dreadlocks still intact to their scalp, having dreadlocks was a symbol of wealth and power.

However, no matter which history you believe dreadlocks exist many years ago and this hairstyle is not going, anywhere.

photo of monumental sculpture
Photo by Spoortesh Honey on Pexels.com

Why Do People Have Dreadlocks?

Rastafarians wear dreadlocks as part of the Nazarite’ vows. These vows can be found in the Old Testament: (Leviticus 21:5 “They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corner of their beard nor make any cuttings in their flesh”).

They also believe like Samson, their hair is strength and weakness if they are cut off. One famous Rastafarian was Bob Marley not only did he shared love and peace but magic through his music.

In American culture, dreadlocks can be a style or spiritual meaning depending on the person wearing them.

When someone wears dreadlocks for style, they love the look of dreads and find it cheaper and manageable than their loose hair. Similarly, for spirituality like Rastas, they believe that dreads locks in strength and power.

Are Dreadlocks Clean?

Yes, dreadlocks are clean as long as you wash your hair regularly. Dreadlocks are your hair only matted together.

I remember someone telling me when I was younger that if you get dreadlocks, then insects will live in your hair. This is not true! As proper hygiene plays a crucial role in how your dreads look, smell, and feel.

What Do Dreadlocks Say About A Person?

Having dreadlocks means something different for each person. For some, it’s a hairstyle that is easy to maintain and cheap because you don’t have to use a lot of products in your hair.

Others wear dreadlocks to distance themselves from the social norms of society.

People who have locs for spiritual and religious reasons usually started with free-form dreadlocks. This means allowing your hair to lock with little to no manipulations like people of the Rastafarian culture.

When I see a Rasta in public, I regard them as very spiritual and powerful. Furthermore, people who have heavily styled dreadlocks are usually wearing dreads for the look and the trend.

To sum, dreadlocks are not a new style it has been around for thousands of years and can be worn by anyone. It’s a natural process as if you don’t comb your hair; it will mat together.

Whether you are wearing dreadlocks, for the style, religion, or the departure from social norms dreadlocks, are clean, and you must wash and deep cleanse your dreads.

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