The Spiritual Meaning of Dreadlocks


The Spiritual Meaning of Dreadlocks

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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. And to some, Dreadlocks can be a way to hold onto good spiritual energy and the use of chakras.


It’s hard to tell who had them first, because early humans, lacking combs or styling products, probably roamed the planet with matted natural hair. The dreadlocks were around during the Iron and Bronze Ages. Multiple sources credit the Vedic scriptures of Indian origin with documenting the first evidence of twisted locks of hair as early as 1800 B.C.

What can dreadlocks symbolize?

Many have worn their hairstyles in dreadlocks to symbolize many things. A lot of dreadlock wearers are trying to symbolize something important to them. Some just like the freeform look, some want to make a fashion statement, some use the hair to let go of materialistic possessions. Some have used the hairstyle to rebel against the status quo. Not everyone is wearing dreadlocks for a statement. Some just don’t have many options for other loc hairstyles. Like the poor people, of polish in the 1700s.



Rastafarians’ dreadlocks symbolize the Lion of Judah, which typically centered on the Ethiopian Flag. The locs inspiration came from the Nazarites. Rastafari believe that Haile Selassie is a direct descendant of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, through their son Menelik I. Rastas don’t cut their hair because according to old testament scripture, it is believed that one’s strength comes from their hair. So you must not cut your hair or you will lose all the strength that lies within. Dreadlocks in Rastafarianism gained a lot of popularity, thanks to one man. Bob Marley in the 1970s became famous for his reggae music. Bob Marley and his Dreads, Jamaica and Reggae music, Rastafari culture, and Ganja became the new message going around the world.


Shiva, God of Destruction, The Destroyer of Evil, was a goddess of the Hindu religion. Shiva was also known as Mahadeva. Hindu Vedic scriptures dating from around 1700BC


There are many sculptures and drawings in ancient Egypt depicting many pharaohs in dreadlocks. Dreadlocks were a symbol of confidence and great power. Since it took a lot of hair care to maintain these dreadlock styles, only the wealthiest Ancient Egyptian could afford this luxury.

Nigerian Children – Dada

Dreadlocks sometimes arrive at birth. Not by choice. Like in the children of Nigeria. They are the bringers of wealth, which is symbolized in both Yoruba and Igbo cultures by cowrie shells. The Dada children are believed to be gods with great strength and overall good health. It is believed that their hair is spiritual and must not be tampered with.

The Igbos have many traditional rules for dealing with a dada. Like apart from their mothers, no other person must touch the hair of the dada. The Nigerians believe that if someone was to cut or damage the hair, the Dada could become very ill or sick and even die.


Dreadlocks are a way to let go of material vanity and excessive attachments. Dreadlocks were required for many Buddhist rituals in medieval South Asia performed by Buddhist yogis. dreadlocks are a way to let go of material vanity and excessive attachments. Dreadlocks were required for many esoteric Buddhist rituals in medieval South Asia performed by Buddhist yogiss


The Earliest African people to be recorded wearing dreadlocks are priests of the Ethiopian Coptic. They are described as wearing dreads as far back as 500 B.C. The spiritual significance of dreadlocks for the African people is among the same beliefs as other religions. A lot believe that the hair shows no dependence on materialistic things. It also is believed that a lot of the strength these people have is kept in their hair. Many wore their dreadlocks up in a crown.

This was used to symbolize kings and men of great power. There are many different cultures that wear dreadlocks, notably the Maasai, the Ashanti, the Galla, and the Fulani tribes. Around those groups in Ethiopia, this hairstyle is usually referred to as a powerful element to who is wearing it. Could be a leader, warrior, priest, or shaman.

Who is Samson and why are his dreadlocks relevant?

Samson is from a time of 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.

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