Hairstyle worn in many cultures including New Zeland Maori, Indian sadhus, and Kenyan Mau Mau rebels.

Popularized by Rastafarians in Jamaica. Bob Marley and other artists were the instrumental in introducing the style to Americans. Dreadlocks supposedly got their name from the dread they inspired in Whites onlookers. For some people locks have spiritual significance, for others it is just a hair style.

Contrary to popular belief, most people who wear "cultivated" locks must wash and groom them regularly. On highly textured hair (like many types of African American hair), locks form naturally if washed, conditioned and twisted regularly. It is not dirt or wax that form the locks but the tangles in the hair that result from not combing it.

People with straighter hair must often resort to using beeswax, glue, not shampooing, or frying their hair with chemicals to force their hair to bind and mat. These substances are difficult to wash out and can cause locks to stink and break off.

DREAD-
1. To hold in awe or reverance.
2. To be in terror of; fear greatly.

BLACK-
1. Having no light whatsoever.
2.Soiled, as from soot.
3. Evil, sinister.
4. Cheerless, depressing, gloomy, angered and sullen.

NEGROID-
Of, pertaining to or designating a major ethic division of the
human species whose members are characterized by
brown to black pigmentation, and often by tightly curled hair,
broad nose and thick lips.

Definintions taken from the American Heritage Dictionary.

Since Africans first stepped foot on this soil, we have been characterized by such words. Made to feel less than human,less than dirt. Always made to feel inferior. Skin too dark, hair too nappy, lips too big. In in effort to "blend in", we have straightened our hair, bleached our skin, and tucked in our lips, only to discover, it still wasn't good enough.

Dreadlocks represent the freedom of accepting ones true self. The rebellion against all that society has thrown upon us. They represent the beauty of the natural order. Jah's covenant worn upon our heads. Our crown and glory. To be free from the chains, and shackles of a world that would not accept us no matter what. To be naked literally, down to roots of your head.

Fast forward, now Caucasians grow dreadlocks, tan, and spend thousands of dollars to plump up their lips. And it is considered "hip, cool, and beautiful" Leading me to realize, that all the things I was made to hate about myself, are actually all the things that they wished to be.

Jah, Ras Tafari

I would like to follow up to some previous comments on palefaces (white humans)with dreadlocked hair. Using the techniques of teasing and backcombing, it is possible to kneed and knot the hair into dreads without utilizing chemicals or wax.

In order to dread the hair, one must have a dedicated assistant, for it takes quite a lot of time and effort. My girl separated the hair into a number of sections, using rubber bands, and then pushed the comb towards my scalp in short rapid motions. After a dozen motions or so, she'd take half the loose hair of the dread in one hand, and half in the other and tug them in opposite directions. This, I suppose, brought the knots tight with past sections, building the dread like a tower.

My hair continues to dread as it grows, despite my not possessing curled hair. Aside from toying with them I do nothing to maintain them. I hear it is good to roll them individually between open palms. One final notable is that the dreads have rendered shampoo ineffective. However, barsoap cleans the sweat nicely.

I, an incredibly white male, managed to dreadlock my wavy, brown hair by the method of patiently back-combing and waxing my hair, roughly one and a half months ago.

The dreads got many an odd look in my home of good old Alabama (where I was during Christmas break), but upon returning to Berkeley in California, I received some of the weirdest looks and comments. This I attribute to the fact that people are not used to seeing dreadlocks in Alabama, so it is a spectacle of perplexing proportions; however, when in Berkeley, there are many people with dreads already, it's no surprise. In fact, these people with dreads in Berkeley have well groomed and nice looking dreads, whereas I resembled a mixture between Cthulhu and Medusa. So I got many crude comments, such as my favorite, shouted by a stranger: "black imitator!"

The real point of this rant, however, is not personal travesty, but advise.

The advise is that if you have dreadlocks in for more than one month, do not try to disentangle your hair- for the love of Zeus, cut it off!

I managed to rip all the dreads apart and burn out all the wax in a two hours long steaming shower, but the pain from this was incomparable. If I had to quantize this burning pain, I would equate it to giving birth to triplets...of Satan...made out of acid...boiling acid.

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