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Dreadlocks go by many names. They are often called locs, rasta hair, Marley hair, or dreads. They all refer to the bundle of hair that has been locked together to create a braided or matted strand. Dreadlocks are always changing and growing and the early stages require a lot of attention as they mature and loc together.


Dark skinned black man with perfect skin long black dreadlocks with eagle tattoo on neck


Hair, in general, has been around for millions of years. The first humans took their hair and created styles for aesthetics and versatility. We will dive deeper into the history of dreadlocks, religious beliefs of dreadlocks, and the health risks of wearing dreadlocks.

Dreadlock History

Dreading your hair is as old as time. Many believe the dreadlocks originated with the Jamaicans or Egyptians but the history actually dates back to ancient Greece 3600 b.c. In Ancient Greece, kouros sculptures from the archaic period depict men wearing dreadlocks

Spartan hoplites wore formal locks as part of their battle dress.

Colored woman wearing dark clothes and holding a black peace matters sign with her black dreadlocks.


known as Ephors, also wore their hair braided in long locks, an Archaic Greek tradition that was steadily abandoned in other Greek kingdoms.

Not only Are dreadlocks used to symbolize religion, but also to show power, such as the warriors of Africa

If long hair is left unkempt long enough it will start to lock up on its own. It is believed Ancient Greece first styled their locked hair into dreadlocks and mohawk hairstyles. But an artist by the name of Bob popularized the style in the 1960s and 70s.

Young black female with wild and kinky blonde faux locs hair.


Dreadlocks are more than just a hairstyle, it’s a lifestyle founded on culture and history. A certain man then took the small ember of dreadlock awareness and made it global with love and music.

To a man that needs no introduction… 

Bob Marley

Famous artist Bob Marley popularized Dreadlocks and Rastafari in the ’60s and ’70s. Bob Marley was a famous Reggae artist. Marley Grew freeform dreadlocks in support of his Rastafarianism. Some say he believed in only using water and twisting his hair. He has been quoted to say ” if it’s clean it will lock.”


Rastafarians are also known as Rastafari or Rastas.” was this movement started in the ’30s. 

The rastas can often be recognized from the trendy way they freeform their dreadlocks. Rastafarians grow their hair long, before coiling it into dreadlocks. Unlike a hippie, the wearing of hair in dreadlocks by Rastafarians is believed to be spiritual. Rastafarians follow patriarchal gender roles.

Celbrity black man with medium sized black dreadlocks half up in a hair bun.

How long do DreadLocks take?

Depending on the Loctician, a full head can take anywhere from 4 hours all the way to 10 hours.  Dreadlocks aren’t a one time stop hairdo. Your hair is always growing, and your dreadlocks are no different.

Black couple loving and holding each other with black dreadlocks.

They start off as baby locs. Then they start to mature over the next 4-7 weeks. This is the time that you must focus your attention the most. You will need to schedule regular hair appointments and make sure to perform proper hair care every day to keep your dreadlocks healthy and clean.


If you are trying to extend the length of time your dreadlocks will last between retwists and visiting the salon then check out this cool youtube video on some good tips and tricks on properly maintaining those wonderful dreadlocks. 

Who is Samson and why are his dreadlocks relevant?

Samson is from a time 1080 and 1119 BC. Samson was a man whose dreadlocks were the source of his power. Samson was of a people called Nazarites. The Nazarite vow prohibits the cutting of hair and to allow ‘locks’ to grow. This is in the Leviticus “book of Numbers” chapter 6 v5. A most common term used is as the following in the New King James version. “v5 ‘All the days of the vow of his separation no razor shall come upon his head; until the days are fulfilled for which he separated himself to the Lord, he shall be holy. Then he shall let the locks of the hair of his head grow.” This suggests that all Nazarites had dreadlocks and not just Samson with his & locks.

The story goes on to tell of Samson’s great journeys and trials of tribulations. It even goes into details about him and his estranged partner Delilah. It is said that Samson grew his power from his dreads and never cut any of his hair. He never shared this secret with anyone except Delilah.

White girl with long blonde dreadlocks against a yellow background.

The Spiritual Meaning of Locking

For some of us around the world and through the ancient years of time, The hair on the top of the head held spiritual energies. The history of dreadlocks was documented in sculptures by ancient Greece during the archaic period 480 B.C. The Style and look Stretches as far back as the 1700 B.C to the goddess Shiva.

Today, Dreadlocks signify spiritual intent, natural and supernatural powers, and are a statement of non-violent non-conformity, communalism and socialistic values, and solidarity with less fortunate or oppressed minorities. Continue reading


Can you join the military with dreadlocks?

Everyone knows you must keep it high and tight in the army. The army expects a neat professional and well-groomed appearance. Soldiers whose religious faith requires beards and turbans may now seek permanent accommodation.

The new army directives enacted a change to the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act” This allows soldiers that have religious faith requiring beards and turbans may now seek permanent accommodation. Female soldiers can elect to wear dreadlocks at any time without any accommodations.

How do people get dreadlocks hairstyles?

If you want the dreadlocks hairstyle, you might want help from a hairstylist. The process is the same for African Americans, black women, and white women. Dreadlocks can be formed by evenly sectioning, and styling the loose hair into box braids, coils, crochet, Senegalese twists, or using a procedure called dread perming specifically used on straight hair or black hair.

The process hair goes through as it develops into mature dreadlocks is continuous. If you have short hair and want to obtain long hair or thicker dreadlocks, stylists can add hair extensions or synthetic dreadlocks called dread extensions. To get a more trendy updo. Hairstylists can also add faux locs to long dreadlocks to create long dreads with your own hair. as long as the hair locks and doesn’t come out when combing, you should be able to be a dread head with not a lot of hair care.

Do dreadlocks ruin your natural hair?

Twisting and styling your dreads can help with new hair growth. The hair that has been dreaded up usually becomes more textured. Depending on how long you have had your dreadlocks, the hair might not be reusable or even worth untangling. Twisting or styling cornrows in your hair too often is not good for your hair and can cause breakage. This can also lead to scalp damage and cause thinner hair or hair loss. If you choose to dreadlock your hair. Try not to change up the hairstyle that often and always do scheduled hair check-ups and routine loc maintenance.

Are there side effects of Dreadlocks on human hair?

Heavy locs and tight braiding can cause your roots to pull at your scalp, causing gradual hair loss as well as headaches and neck pain. Your locs might be heavy because they’re too long or due to product build-up. If you don’t reduce some of this weight, you may end up with a receding hairline.


We have talked a lot about dreadlocks and their history, spiritual beliefs, and health risks. If you have any more information on dreadlocks you would like to share with us, please leave a comment below!


  • Billero, Victoria, and Mariya Miteva. “Traction alopecia: the root of the problem.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology vol. 11 149-159. 6 Apr. 2018, doi:10.2147/CCID.S137296
  • “Chin.” LEVITICUS 21:5 KJV “They Shall Not Make Baldness upon Their Head, Neither Shall They Shave off the Corner of Their Beard,…”, www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/Leviticus-21-5/.
  • Doniger, Wendy, Ed. Encyclopedia of World Religion “Hinduism” p. 433
  • “Dreadlock.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dreadlock.
  • Jenkins, Ian. “Archaic Kouroi in Naucratis: The Case for Origin.” American Journal of Cardiology. : Journal of Archaeology, v105 n2 (20010401): 168–175. ISSN 0002-9114.“`
  • McHugh, Catherine. “7 Fascinating Facts About Bob Marley.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 28 July 2020, www.biography.com/news/bob-marley-biography-facts.

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