Not only are dreadlocks some of the most stylish and edgy hairstyles of the new age, it also has a rich and beautiful history that helps people understand how long they have been around and what some of the meanings are behind them.
Dreads as a hairstyle have many historical influences. Most notably, most think it’s from the Rastafarian movement in the 20th century but it goes long, long before that. There have been an uprising and slight decreases throughout decades but the style has still stayed nearly the same for so many years. Taking a look back at the roots of the dreadlocks history you can clearly see how and why this particular style has come around time and time again.
Historians for years and years have fought about which particular civilization is responsible for the dreadlock movement, but the time period is somewhat agreed upon at around 2,500 BCE give or take. Narrowing down the time period has been a goal but also being able to pinpoint which group started the trend so many years ago.
Ancient stories and tales from North Africa and the Horn of Africa share depictions of men with locked hair. From there, it’s easy to see growth trend in many nearby and neighboring areas and regions. In particular, scientists have found that mummified remains in Egypt have been discovered with locked hair and wigs.
Dreadlocks in India
Likewise to Africa and surrounding areas, dreads have also had strong historical ties with India. Most notably, the Hindu deity, Shiva, and his followers were often drawn and described in stories to have hair that was locked. Scriptures from their ancient writings actually describe them as wearing Jataa, which translates to “twisted locks of hair.” These stories, writings, and descriptions helped launch the images of dreads into a wide audience of people since those times and have had a huge impact on dreadlocks today.
In recent years, there has been a strong increase in growth of the trend. Cultures dating back from 615 BCE and forward have had an influence on the changes and increases in the style spreading worldwide. The trend spread from India and beginning cultures to Greeks and beyond. In fact, many famous statues from Ancient Greece feature people with dreadlocks which shows just how popular the style was.
In addition to the hairstyle having an impact on the style, many other religions took ahold of the style including the Ethiopian Orthodox Tawahedo Church, Qalandari Sufis, Dervishes of Islam, and Christians. The first Bishop of Jerusalem, James the Just, is said to have worn dreadlocks all the way down to his feet!
Modern Day Dreadlocks
As you can now see, dreads have literally been around for hundreds of thousands of years. It saw a strong revival in the 1970’s when reggae music was gaining popularity. Actors, writers, poets, authors, athletes, celebrities, musicians, and fashion icons all took part in the dread movement and have set a beautiful standard for how amazing and meaningful this style is.
Today, dreads have grown in popularity and gained styles that are impressing even the most devoted dread head. Beads, colors, add-ins and more help every set of dreads stay unique and continue to grow in popularity and the trend doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. With such a rich and important history, it’s no wonder why dreads cause awe and curiosity when people see them.