The Roots of Dreadlocks

The roots of dreadlocks can be trailed to the Rastafarians of Jamaica, and further, to Indian sages and yogis, but they have never been more popular or widespread than they are today. It is said that dreadlocks originated with these eastern holy men. Possessing nothing, renouncing the world and possessions (not even a comb) they eschewed even personal grooming, hence the inevitable dreadlocks. Dreadlocks get their name from Jamaican tradition. Those with ‘natty’ locks in their hair were to be dreaded, or feared. When slavery was abolished in the US, it was no longer legal to enslave African Americans. But good ol’ America found a loop hole, no one said anything about not enslaving native peoples of India.


So, over they went and began capturing and enslaving people from India and the surrounding areas. (Find that in a history text book!) Hindu yogis and holy men, along with their dreadlocks, escaped to the Caribbean Islands, and began appearing in places like Jamaica, where their knotty hairstyle and religious piety were noted and followed by the burgeoning Rastafarians and holy men of the islands. Dreadlocks have their roots (again, no pun intended) in spiritual circles. The Hindu holy men of the east, Rastafarians, which are essentially Judeo-Christians of the Caribbean Islands wore dreads as part of their religious lifestyle. Dreads themselves for the eastern yogis were nothing special, but the Rastas almost deified their locks, considering the hair to be holy and powerful. Dreadlocks became a religious priority. Fast forward a couple decades, and things have changed, but dreadlocks remain prevalent. You have people like Mike Borden, drummer for killer awesome rawk band Faith No More, with phat knotty dreads all the way down to his drum stool. Bands like Korn, Bad Brains, Incubus (Brandon used to have locks), Finger Eleven, POD and many more do, or used to, sport dreadlocks, which come in very handy while rocking out. Nowadays, it is about as standard to have a dreadlocked member of the band as it is to have a DJ in the group.

Bob Marley and the Introduction into Pop Culture

Of course, nearly everyone is aware that dreadlocks were brought into the pop culture spotlight by a Mista Bob Marley. There hasn’t been a human like him ever before, and there will likely not be ’til the close of time. Bob Marley radiated love, peace, passion, and wisdom. He also have the best dreadlocks ever! Bob dedicated his life to praising God in music, and spreading the message of reform and spiritual growth in the world. Unfortunately, his songs have become frat-boy drinking anthems for many. And his dreads became a fashion choice. But when I heard his music, when I started to really listen – and grow dreadlocks, by the way – I started to hear something deeper, something so much more important. God.

Bob Marley sang almost endlessly about Jah. I began reading the Bible, and was amazed how much of Bob’s lyrics are taken right out of Scripture. “The stone that the builder refused shall be the head cornerstone.” “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” And so many more. If there is one thing I long to do in my life, it is to be part of something that makes the world a better place. Filled with the knowledge and love of God, encouraging others with the truth. Jah, short for Jehovah, is the Hebrew name for God. In the Old Testament, you will see the term LORD in all caps. This is where God’s name appears in the text. Hebrew is written without vowels, and the name written in Scripture is YHVH. God’s name means “I AM”, meaning “Was, Is, and Ever will Be”. God’s name was considered so sacred and holy that ancient Israel would not even speak it, but when reading Scripture aloud they would say Lord where YHVH appeared. When the Bible began being translated into Greek and Latin, and eventually English, they decided to use LORD in the places where God’s name appears, though the name Jehovah does appear in the Old Testament about 3 times, I think. Jah means the Eternal God. Many of God’s people had dreadlocks through the ages. (Bear in mind ALL people are God’s people. Israel was a people set aside, to be the carriers of God’s word, and a commonwealth that were to emulate God’s ways to the world. Ooops!)

Anyway, God’s name indicates His character. Eternal, everlasting. The book of Malachi says “For I am the LORD, I do not change” 3:6. Jah wants a relationship with each individual person. Every living soul is a son and daughter of God, and Jah wants to assure each person that He is trustworthy, that He is kind and loving, that He is more than worthy to be our God and Lord. That is why Jesus was nailed to the cross – He took our place in death, when WE were the ones that should have been put to death for our own screw-ups. Sin wasn’t a part of the original plan for this world. Humans were given a choice, and they chose a path of destruction rather than life. The consequences were automatically supposed to be death because evil cannot exist in the presence of God. But His Son stepped in, and because God loves us so much – His creations, His children – He allowed Jesus to pay the price for our bad choices. All we have to do is say ‘Thank you, I acnowledge and accept this gift from Jah!” and our slate is wiped clean.

Jesus’ original Hebrew name was Yeshua, which translates directly as “Jah Saves” or “Jah is Salvation”. And the word salvation comes down through Latin roots, meaning unbroken, undamaged. Jesus died on the cross to show God’s character, that God is giving, pure in self-sacrificing love. Jah wants to prove His trustworthiness. Yes, God could open the sky and pronounce “I am God, serve me”, but what would people’s motivation be for serving Him? Fear? Requirement? Jah is a God of freedom, and He doesn’t change. He wants to prove His character, and He did on the cross, and He wants people to enter into a relationship, a saving, or salvation relationship with Him based on the truth of His character.

So how do dreadlocks fit in to that? Well, it is recorded in history that many people of Nazareth would grow dreads as part of a vow, or covenant of purity they would enter into with God. Jesus was from Nazareth. I wonder if He had dreads? Would you take Him more seriously is He did?

Bob Marley said “give thanks and praise to the Lord and we will feel alright.” And this is truth. Bob Marley grew his dreadlocks as part of his Rastafarian belief. These days, few people grow dreadlocks to show their allegiance to the Lion of Zion, or because they wish to be in accordance with Old Testament decrees about not cutting your hair. Dreadlocks are now fashion, and like everything else in this material world, they are almost devoid of spiritual value. Ah, but the irony is that God is still God. The Eternal is still the Eternal. As this world comes to a close (rapidly), fashions will pass away, but God shall stand. “The stone that the builder refused shall be the head cornerstone.” God is the head cornerstone, and all spiritual people, and all faiths through history that truly developed a relationship with God, that came to know God, from the aesthetic holy men of the east to modern day Christians (like me, Praise the LORD) to the kid riding a downtown subway with knotty dreadlocks on his head and Bob Marely in his discmon Ö I mean, discman, feeling the beat and praising the Eternal Creator shall draw close to God, and God shall draw close to them, and they shall gain His wisdom, which surpasses the things of this world.

Do dreadlocks make you a more holy person? No. Israel of old had direct contact with God, they were benefited with the Word of God since time began, yet look at their state today. They nailed Jesus to a cross for teaching that God His Father was kind, forgiving, ever merciful, and not something to be appeased by ritual and forms of worship. Jesus was rejected because He taught that God was to be a friend, a loving parent and comforting redeemer. Israel clung to their rituals, and expected their adherence to them to be sufficient to show their holiness, just as the aesthetics gave up any forms of pleasure and social norm in order to suffer to the point of enlightenment. They too would have nailed Christ to the cross for teaching that God has given us every good and blessed gift to enjoy. From nature, the ocean and the trees, fruits and vegetables, relationships with one another. And love. God is love, and God instilled love in each and every one of us. Love is the cornerstone of life. Love is the only rule by which a living being needs to adhere to develop a relationship with God. Will God love you more if you have dreadlocks? Will God consider a person more holy because they grow dreads, and speak in a Rastafarian accent?

Face it, the truth is there is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. God is love, and God cares for the heart, the soul. You cannot make God not love you, it is only you yourself that turns from, or to, God. God is ever reaching out to the hearts and souls of His children, speaking to us from the beauty of nature, from His Holy Word, which teaches that God is Eternal and always will be the embodiment of love and kindness. Where do you stand on this? Do you believe in God? If yes, do you know Him? Do you share with Him your heart, do you really draw close in assurance of His boundless love, and in desire to really know God? If not, why not? I want to challenge you.

Dreadlocks or no dreadlocks, the soul of the living being is what counts, everything else is decoration.

God bless.

81 comments so far

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  1. Thanks I am a born again christian with dreadlocks I was smucked by a certain Man of God saying dreadlocks people are not serving God he even made an example about me… But after reading the above article I feel so happy and rileaved

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    • Someone saying that might have a problem explaining Samson.

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  2. I needed this God lead me to this beautiful article even though I already did my dread for a spiritual reason

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  3. Please set up boards on Pinterest. I would love to post your articles, photos to my “Dreadz” board

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  4. I have been locked now for 2 years and my only wish was that I had done this 25 years ago. I love my locks and what they represent. I do not wear my locks, I am my locks.

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  5. Thank you for your sincerity, beautiful article, beautiful soul. May God bless you and keep you.

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  6. Dreads are very Beautiful love them.

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  7. It has been so informative to read all of theses comments regarding the origins of dreadlocks from the days of antiquity. I truly enjoyed the author’s explanations and the idea that dreadlocks are an expression of the Nazarene vow. Although I am not a dreadlocks, I was raised around many rastas. The one thing I notice with some of the comments, both here and on other internet sites, is the idea that Jamaican Rastaman did NOT invent dreadlocks. That may very well be the case, as I believe Rastas were influenced by the Mau Mau of Kenya, but I’m not too sure. However, the author is correct in his assertions about the massive influence of Bob Marley and Jamaican Rastas on the modern world regarding dreadlocks. Jamaican Rastas introduced dreadlocks to many places, since many were in Reggae bands that toured the entire world, including modern day Africa. Just 20-30 years ago, many Westerners (and for that matter, many non-Westerners, even non-Rasta Jamaicans) thought dreadlocks were nasty and looked down on them. No disrespect to any of the commenters (so no need to respond negatively), but sometimes, I wonder why so many people nowadays have a problem giving the Rastaman his due. Then again, Rastaman dem na cya bout babylon or babylonian system. So, big up to all di true Rasta dem and blessings to all weh ah take on livity and dem Nazarene vow. Blessings.

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  8. This is a great article. I have been wearing locks since in my 20′s and love my locks. It is a spiritual thing and I feel that I will never be able to wear anything else.

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  9. Thank you for this article. I am an ordained pastor and Doctor of Theology. As a 12 year old girl I got my first perm and continued to do so until mid-life. At Age 44, I was “spirit lead” to dread my hair. I have been asked by Christians and non-Christians, why I dreaded. I quickly tell them it was a spiritual decision and add to that, God was tired of me wasting $2,000 plus dollars a year on my hair; and He enlightened me that my natural hair could be just as beautiful and healthy, no matter what my vocation or career choice was. This article has further enhanced the joy and freedom I feel concerning my dreads. I will pass this information on so others can learn from it. Thanks for sharing with the world.

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  10. This is such a wonderful article. Very eye-opening, and edifying. I loveed reading it, it made my entire day.

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  11. I have dreadlocks yet I am not a Christian. I admire this article though. I am aware dreadlocks have a great meaning, but sadly girls my age (teenagers) don’t and so many of them are getting them! It’s just as you said a fashion. I wish I could show them all this website to show them what dreadlocks really mean to people.

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  12. What is a rastafari* accent ?

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  13. the spartans of ancient greece also had dreadlocks

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  14. I am a Christian woman with a past of drugs, festivals etc. I had a man tell me recently that I was “some Christian” with dreads. Anyone, grateful to read this article from another believer! I love the Lord and still have my dreads and He loves me the same!

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    • You know we have alot of cc, meaning Crazy Christian they think because they say God they have a pass to make other feel less then, I say God loves us with hair, without hair, nappy hair, straght hair. He loves us because we love.Chelsea you know God’s sheep by yhe way they act. AMEN!!!!

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  15. Thank you for this article! While reading, tears and the love in my heart for Jah welled up. I am touched.

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  16. I enjoyed reading your article, it was “enlightening” :-). None of us hold to a perfect understanding of God’s Word or His character (as the heavens are high above the earth so are God’s ways higher than mans). The “Nazerite vow” was unique to scripture as we only read of Sampson taking it and the rules are given at that time. Some believe that John the Baptist also lived by that pledge. I would encourage you to read John 1:11-13 and 1 John 3 to understand and know who the “children of God” are. Romans 14 might give some insight on how we are to live and demonstrate our “love” for one another. Blessings to you on the “road less traveled”.

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  18. its just hair thats all, it makes you no more or no less holy etc than anyone else. i have had locks since age 16 on and off and am 46 now and growin em again,simply because i suit them and all hair will knot up eventually whethert black or white and no race religion or whatever has the right to claim em as theyre own,if you want them have them it makes no odds to me and i dont hold those with them any closer to me than those who dont as there are fools all over. all races had them at one time its common sense. . . if you cant comb your hair it will dread up. but again its JUST HAIR,its whats in your heart!

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  19. Absolutely beautiful…
    After reading this I couldn’t care less about what sits on my head (a bird’s nest… just saying), but more so about what rests in my heart… love… God.
    Thank you for sharing!

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  20. Wonderful article, I’ve been growin my dread now for 8 months now. Now that I just read this article…i love them more

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  21. dreads are how you live

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  22. Wow what a great lesson and I thought it was barbaric because of how the church deemed them as heathenistic ways thank you for your words of wisdom and enlightenment

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  23. The bible says clearly”freindship with world is enmity with God” a true disciple of jesus christ of nazareth should shun the world and any kind of fashion is part of the world.the spirit of the world controls the fashions of the world including hairstyles.we as christians are called to liberty but we shouldnt abuse this liberty to satisfy the “lust of the eye_ _lust of flesh_ _pride of life”.we are encouraged by paul to be modest in our grooming.

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  24. Thank you for this. I was trying to decide if i should get dreadlocks again or not… and this is so ironic to read at this point in my life.
    Peace, love, happiness.
    Thank you

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  25. I appreciate all that you expressed in this article. May Jah bless you brother.

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  26. I honestly think no one knows where dreads originated from, since we weren’t alive to see the first person wear them. All, I know is that my hair dread locks up naturally if I don’t comb it. (I’m black).

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  27. cutting hair has no place in jah life, jesus never cut his hair so brothers and sisters grew your love on your head

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  28. I have been truly blessed from this article thanks so much.

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  29. let yhwh yahweh teach you the truth mashah ysrael

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  30. [...] take a moment and read The History of Dreadlocks.  This is an excellent post  and may also spark some interest for further research and [...]

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  31. I loved reading this entry. I was looking for some history on Dreadlocks and this atricle enlightened me from beginning to end. It was so awesome I shared it. Great Atricle!

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  33. this is a wonderful artical as i relates to info about dreads but to me it is of more religeous insite which is awsome as well since i am a firm believer in God and the gift of Christ. i wore dreads for 7yrs then cut them bacically to conform to sociaty’s views as them being a symbol of rebelian. i have been growing them back for a year and a half now. NEVER to cut them again. not for a reason like that. dreads are nothing more than a choice as to how u choose to wear ur hair. anything they stood for before Christ shed his blood does not matter. the only thing that matters is that u recognize that Christ shed his blood for u and i. i take the conventional method of growing my hair, simply by just not combing it, twisting on it while watching tv or driving down the street. i Love my hair. but only because thats what i choose. my religous are a totally seperate conversation. i am thankful for the info of the origin of my choice

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  34. I am a history teacher who was doing a little research in response to a student’s question: Is there a connection between the American slave Dred Scott and Dreadlocks. (I didn’t think so but am looking around.)

    I wanted to point out what I believe to be an error in your post. When slavery was abolished in the U.S., it was the legal condition that was banned, without reference to the race of the enslaved. Indian slavery did not replace African slavery in the U.S., though slavery continued in the Carribbean for some time and they may have had different laws.

    Thanks for your informative post.

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  35. Dreadlocks originated in Africa. If black people don’t comb their hair it will lock up and the locks will grow long.

    It is not a hair style it is a vow to God. It is called the vow of the Nazarite. Samson was a Nazarite and had 7 dreadlocks. No razor ever touched his head until Delihah cut them off.

    Just google Nazarite Vow. Plenty of people wearing locks today have know idea that it’s supposed to be a sacred ritual to God.

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    • Hinduism is much, much older than Christianity/Samson/Nazarite, etc and Hindu Yogis/holy men have been wearing dreads for many thousands of years before Christianity.

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      • Coeewct me if i’m wrong, but Hinduism stemed from India, which is not in Africa. So be it..in the begining of time; Man & woman was created….on one continent; that land was divided by the Mercy of God…when the flood came. Noah’s time in History was told…

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    • Dreadlocks originated in Africa… lol no they didnt!!
      It reallybugs me that people ASUME dreads are a rasta or african thing..

      Dreads woudl have been around since man since they didnt have a comb or brush, its evolution people! get with the program!

      Africa have more of a meaning for having dreads ie religion and so on but as i said, not being disrespectful, dreads have been around long before bob marley shat in his shorts, and jesus / judah walked the earth.

      If really annoys me when people say that dreads are a black thing and that only dirty people have dreads… both of which is untrue and narrow minded!

      Many years agao scotish clans had dreads and so did the saxons… The rasta movment made dradlocks more globally acceptable in this clean combing, hair dying, deep conditioning society we live in right now!

      To some dreads are racial belief, but not the roots!

      peace and love from a New-Anglo-Saxon caucasian boy with dreads!


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  36. Religion is a tool to control the masses. Saturn worship. The origins of all the major religions; Christianity, Islam, Judaism all have their roots in Africa. All principles of God are way deeper than what they lead you to believe in the organized religions of this world.

    You are God and God is you.

    Dreadlocks have been worn around the world for thousands of years and can even be seen recorded on the walls of KMT. I am growing dreadlocks now as well for spiritual reasons and I respect your article and everything in it but understand that all the principles you speak of have ancient roots that are way deeper. You are only scratching the surface but you did a great job of breaking things down just a little deeper. Keep searching, keep questioning.

    Hotep. StayKemetic… (staykemetic.blogspot.com)

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    • Nikki, I am not here do judge and neither is anyone else, so I will do my best not to come off in that way. Now, I understand that we all have our own beliefs and disbelieves, however, I have heard that there are stories in the Holy Bible which at the very least resemble today’s events and yesterday’s events. I do not believe in psychics, but I do believe in the premonition of God’s children. Also, the revelations of God. Because I have not finished reading the Holy Bible I cannot say that those people are correct in their observations. However, the person or person who have served God and written the Holy Bible had been called by called to do so. I beg you to find and created a relationship with God before it is too late. I would also like to say that it is very offensive to LOL in the faces of those of us who do believe in God and the son of God. ( frankly god is an illusion…LOL) Before I go, how can you POSSIBLY be a “spiritual” person if you don’t even believe in the Holy Spirit? I just really don’t understand people when they say that. God is the CREATOR of spirituality. Spiritual atheist? If your spirit is not connected to God then……what the HECK is it connected to? I mean, what is spirituality without God? Those were genuinely honest questions. I would really like to get your response.

      Preying for you.

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  39. awsome im only eleven but i loved it was very enlightning to the soul and it made me feel god inside
    thanks for the awsome article. Godbless you all.

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  40. I am happy i litle know the life style of Jah rastafarians, i thought mybe we are not like christian. I remember Samson’s power were from his hair and he was having a dreadlocks. I am a ZION CHRISTIAN CHURCH member n i think they can allow me to be babtized having my dreads n also work 4 a government. CONTINUE LIVING IN PEACE RASTAFARIANS,THATS WHAT JAH(GOD) LOVES,AWAREEEEE!

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    • Johannes. Appreciate ur comment. I work for the government too, most likely you have more experience than I. It would be awesome to exchange contact information…interested in learning more on Faith & works; I know they work hand in hand. Amen. I know many families of Christ who are honored to baptize anyone who chooses to learn more about Jesus.

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  41. I found this article helpful with all the facts and references that it provides since i’m considering locing up my hair soon,m I just decided to do some research first to make sure it wasn’t going against my belief. Anyways, to David, I totally disagree with you due to the fact that some Africans do embrace wearing locs and its not a humiliation to them. Everyone wears them for THEIR own reason and purposes. Being from the Caribbean myself included is considering just to get myself out of the habit the my mom introduced me to when she made the decision of relaxing my hair for me when I was younger, and truth be told once I got rid of it I actually feel free, and I wish I did it earlier instead of constantly thinking about how people will look at me if I made that decision. Overall, I liked this article and found it very informative.
    Thanks, God Bless!

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  42. I think its a little deeper than dreads. I think its the state of having my hair natural period. I am only 16 and I analyze the world around me often, especially the kids of my generation. A lot of us uncontiously go out of our way to please the eye of others around us,I was talking to my friend about my decision and she cracked a joke like” when you are relaxed white people are relaxed” I was like woooooow it still lives we have been basically brain washed to believe that there is only one way to be beautiful ..in my situation long indian looking hair was the way. I use to wear a lot of weaves and such , and i began to wonder why .. why do i continue to cover my hair up , chemically treat it whenever to much nap appears. .. i arrived with no real reason , but that i was covering up who i naturally am. It took me awhile to cut all my hair off straight bald and began my natural journey ,because i didnt just change the outside i changed on the inside also. I got REAL !!! literally I think cutting my hair was an act of what i was feeling in my soul.

    if it grows that way its ment to be that way

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    • This is absolutely lovely. Very well expressed. I am very proud of you Haley. You have learned to embrace your natural you. Not that there is something wrong with women of color to relax our hair. It is the reason for which we do it. If we do it because we just simply like the look, we just don’t have the knowledge on how to care for our natural hair, or even just don’t have the desire to deal with such kinky conditions; in my opinion these reasons are SOME of the reasons that it is ok. However, covering it with wigs, weaves, and/or chemicals due to an insecurity in the way we were created is very sad. Chris Rock’s Good Hair, helped me realize that there is nothing wrong with our hair. I was ashamed of myself for thinking that way. We were brainwashed into believing that something is wrong with us. From our hair to our skin color to the way we talk, act, dress, everything. Sadly some of us are still lost, but joyfully some of us have been found and are still evolving as a people. Anyway, my ignorant thoughts are not what made me relax my hair. I was like you. Relaxed as a child and continued. Also, I didn’t know what to do with it and I was unemployed when I decided to dread my hair. I was afraid that if I had decided to do this at the wrong time it may have caused me to run into more difficulty than usual to find employment because some white people are still ignorant to the fact that we were created this way and our natural should not be viewed as unkempt. Some white people have evolved though and they do see our natural as something beautiful just as we do. Question: Did you ask your friend what she meant by that? What I mean is, don’t just look at the surface. Your friend could have meant that in a loving way. That could have been more of a warning to you from a friend. As hard as it is to believe and as messed up as it is, your friend was right. There are still SOME white people (SOME) who cringe, wiggle, squirm, frown, and knot up in their stomachs at the very thought of our natural hair. You know that there are still some white people out there who hate people of color just because of that. Our color. So how do you think THOSE whit people feel when they our natural hair on top of that? Now your friend may have been malicious when she made her statement, but as I said she may not have. Ask her. If she was being malicious or insensitive don’t be made at her. Educate her. That’s what friends do. Keep each other educated. Especially on a such controversial and sensitive subjects as this. You are a very intelligent, strong, and bold young lady. As your parents sit back and watch their baby grow up to be such a BOLD yet proud and intelligent young lady they must be thrilled.

      Work them beautiful dreads and keep on struttin’ lil’ mama!

      A proud african america woman. Peace. Love. Embrace.

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    • Miss Henry, your post is inspiring! My two daughters wear their hair natural( in many different styles…up, twist,etc.) The oldest sometimes get her’s blow dried straight,while vowing never to chemically relax it again. After reading this wonderful article, I clearly understand ( after wearing locks for the past 12 years) why I’ve always referred to them as “Royal locks”. By the way, I truly love The Lord!

      Please keep your positive attitude…..it’s refreshing!

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  43. There is hardly anything about the origins of dreadlocks in this article. The author ONLY managed to state his opinion about Jah and Rastafarians, with specific reference to Robert Nesta Marley.

    Do your research boss. There are a lot of people who attribuite dreadlocks to other continents accept Africa. I trully and honest do not expect the oppressors to give credit to what the African continent has contributed to the whole world. Perhaps Egyptians are mentioned for political purposes considering what Israel is doing to the Palestinians, The Middle East gets credit because of the OIL they are sitting on and Asia is also given credit for the origins of dreadlocks as it offers the world with CHEAP LABOUR.

    Give credit where it is due and stop humiliating Africa and Africans. I will like to concur with Prof Molefe Asente Kente in his writings aboout “The Structure Of Knowledge”. The structure of knowledge simple tells you that people would rather praise their wealth instead of the Gardener who tender their beatiful gardens for their sole enjoyments on weekends. Period!

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  44. If you look in the Old testament story of Samson and Delilah (Judges 16:13,19, you will see that Samson had (7) seven locks on his head. they are a distinct count. I believe this is where dredlocks originated .

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  45. I appreciate your words Andrew. This part of your article is worth quoting, “Face it, the truth is there is nothing you can do to make God love you more, and there is nothing you can do to make God love you less. God is love, and God cares for the heart, the soul.”

    God has numbered the hairs on our head (Matthew 10:30; Luke 12:7), so I do believe that God is quite fond and familiar with the uniqueness of our hair, everyone’s hair!

    No matter what we choose to do with our hair, it will never prosper until our soul prospers (3 John 2 “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.”) As we prosper our soul with the saturation of the Word of God, then our physical bodies will prosper–our weight, our diet, our hair (and the styles we choose), our wardrobe, etc.

    I had locked hair for 10 years, it was long and beautiful, but I desired to start all over again and this time enjoy tighter locks because I am more knowledgeable in maintaining them. I recently twisted them a few months ago and I am excitedly locking them again. Why? The “house” (body) that I live in is an African-American woman in the USA. Having endured French-braids, an afro, pressed hair, permed hair, scarves over my hair, and a phony-pony (whew!)…I never was able to enjoy hair-that-you-could-run-your-fingers-through far down my back, that I could manage on my own, that was so flexible that I could…go to a salon and pay lots of money and sit many hours to attain beauty or sit at home twisting my hair for 2-3 hours while watching a movie! You know, me in locked hair is the best me that I desire to see when I look in the mirror or when I close my eyes and run my fingers through my hair or when I go to the beach and jump into the water without a care in the world, or when it rains I don’t run for cover and let the water saturate my locks.

    I thank God for leading me to nonconformity–accepting the call to be set apart and special (2 Timothy 2:21). I love Him first and love myself…more and more as I see me as He sees me–created perfect and being perfected. Now do others have a difficult time accepting me and my choices. Indeed! (Especially those closest to me. Christ Jesus felt my pain–Mark 6:4!) But God smiles EVERY time He looks at me through the Blood of Christ Jesus…and so do I!!

    Thanks Andrew! Be blessed, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

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    • Sister 2 Sister/ Miriam, you said it ALL!

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  46. Bless need more people with wisdom as yours. I will mature with my locks takes patience.

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  47. I love all the comments before me, different opinions on one great subject is great…I started locking 1year ago. This process has been so cool for me, watching my dreads mature as well as myself is a beautiful experience. Life is Great!

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  48. Blessed for wise words from the author (~*~,)

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  49. Hi, my name is kanesha an I also have locks. Was doing a little research on locks. My hair has been like this for a year now. An i love it, I came across your article an really loved it. I to believe an praise God. But i grew locks cause I wanted to accept my self for the way I looked an to really love my self as a young black american women. An stop looking or trying to pretend i was somethin i am not. But i really loved your article an it spoke to me an i am trying to restore my faith an be closer to God as well.

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    • Hi Kanesha, I’m a 61 year old Royal lock growing great grandma. I must admit I have never felt more beautiful then when I started growing my locks 12 years ago and when I confessed my love for God and accepted the sacrifice of his Son Jesus 23 years go. Just as important, when I received the wisdom of God concerning unconditional love 5 years ago. My point, building your faith in God and understanding the true meaning of love (unconditionally, God’s way) is an endless process that is worth the beauty, peace, joy, happiness, contentment, wisdom and love that you will receive and eagerly give to others.

      So may I encourage you to seek his face each and every day…while committing yourself to a personal relationship through prayer, His word, praise and worship.

      Hint: As you perhaps know, a lot of truth can be ackowledged by googling. I’m not a seventh day adventist, however, through googling on the subject of God’s command that we remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy, and studying his word, I have learned without a doubt that man changed the sabbath from sundown Friday and ends sundown Saturday to (Sunday). 23 years after receiving salvation I now understand and honor the true sabbath. So as you draw nearer to the almighty God ask him for wisdom, clarity and understanding….. Don’t let man keep you from the truth. Be a strong warrior for Our Kingdom!

      “Our Kingdom come, His “Will” be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

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      • correction in 2nd sentence “than”

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  50. I have researched extensively on dreadlocks and i think this article is very very credible except that it is one-sided – towards the Rastafarian origin. That said, I believe that the name dreadlocks might have originated from Jamaica but not dreadlocks itself. A group of people might be seen to have carried it on from the ancient times but not necessarily owing it. Research shows that it had spiritual meanings across religions/beliefs – Christianity – Hinduism. e.g Sampson etc Most importantly, it signified purity and pure energy/strenght. However those were all b4 Christ, Now the blood of Christ cancels all covenants that existed before him. So it is not about Rastafarian-ism or Hinduism or what u call it. It is a choice ! I am a tongue speaking Christian who want to wear dreadlocks because i want to look different and also because i
    don’t want to conform to societal norms. To sum it up, its a choice !

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    • Tarsh, my dear, soap and water have been around since dirt…lol

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  52. Andrew, God has used you. Thank you for being a vessel for Him. This reading has truly blessed my spirit and revived my faith. I have been a Christian, rooted my faith in salvation thru Jesus Christ for many years. I recently met a wonderful person that was going to loc my hair and she happened to be an “African Jew”. I tell you, some of the teachings she spoke about made me blink at my faith which is not very different from theirs. It seems their focus was not on the Cross but on the Laws. I was reminded by your words to keep my eyes on the cross! I was also reminded of God’s unchanging, unwavering love. Thank you! God bless you!

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  53. Good point Nancy. What she didn’t mention was that the history goes farther back than that listed here. The Jewish culture has dreadlocks as part of it’s history. Check out the background on Wikipedia under dreadlocks. When you mention the East Indians remember they to were under the same rule as the Jews. Lots of similar cultural rules.It was a progressive time. We are one.

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  54. Being Jewish with Dreads I found it just a little offensive to repeat the old story that we killed Christ. Please read your Bible he said that no man takes his life but he gave of it freely.


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  55. WOW, truely WOW at first I was going to get dreadlocks simply to look the part for capoeira but now I want dreads to express the freedom that god gave me and to show that i can do anything as long as god says it’s true

    always press on without uncertainty
    always look back with certainty

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  56. I appriciate every comment to enlite-n the world and who wants to know the history of dreadlocks. I had decided to grow dreadlocks like 2 years ago. I dreaded my hair because like what nattyneeka said,”I was tired of going against what was truly meant for me.” I know it sounds like a scapegoat but really I can relate to that becuase that really is the truth. I know myself I want to know the history of dreadlocks not because I ware, them but because I am them. I feel them and felt like a new person when I first got them. Even when I am down, I look at my hair or feel or just simply think of my hair, and I feel better like some power has over come me. I will futher research this topic to know more. I do give thanks to the lord for this oppurtunity and give thanks to be here with my healthy dreadlocks.


    M.Dei aka Marquis Dillard

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  57. The origin of dreadlocks. It does not originate from any specific place in known history. It originated much earlier than all that has been written here, as early as the times when humans did not wear clothes and neglected their hair so that it dreaded. All the accounts of dreadlock history here are only about it’s cultural origins, not the origin of dreadlcks itself. I believe the earliest of that was from indian sages. great site. Jah Rastafarai!

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  58. Even though Andrew Power did not tell the complete history of dreadlocks (which could fill a book), he at least told pure truth that most people do not hear. Dreads are very much misunderstood by society and most think negatively if you have them. Andrew told the only real truth to the historical and present reason we grow dreads – to show our oneness from the world and our allegiance to God.

    “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.”
    1 Corinthians 7:24

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  59. No-one has replied directly to my suggeation that dreadlocks in Jamaica has its origins in Ireland.There are numerous sources on the internet to prove my theory.Dreadlocks in Jamaica appear to start around the early 17th century.Irish woodkerne (irish rebel soldiers fighting the English)wore their hair in “glibs”which is a Gaelic word.this was to provide protection from sword blows to the head.captured Irish rebels were sent to the barbados (where dreadlocks are now prolific,incidently there are a lot of Irish surnames in the barbados-descendents of these same woodkernes.Just think of Bob MARLEY,Marley is an Irish surname.The barbados was an English colony and trading post .Irish woodkerne were transported there as slaves around the early 17th century.Look up “The image of Ireland by John Derrick”this is a discourse with lithographic images of woodkerne printed circa 1588.Note the hairstyles of the Irish.

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  60. I’m getting ready to start to dread my hair. I almost changed my mind about doing it in fear that it was against God. I want to be a minister, walking with God, living for Him and serving Him..and I thought that I’d be sinning against Him if I dreaded my hair. But than I came here and I thank you so much for this clearity. From this site and Natty Neeka, I realize that God isn’t going to care if my hair is dreading or not. As long as I love Him and others..because after all, “God is love and love is God.”


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  61. hey guess what. i have dreadlocks and have no obligation or allegiance to any institution, god included.

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  63. I have read the excerpt and the comments, it’s so nice to have so many opinions on the subject. At the core, however is the overwhelming fact that it is a choice. Just as i chose to loc up. I also chose to serve Christ and his teachings. Like so many other things that are now “pop culture” not only here in the US but all over the world, “Dread” locks are an ancient form of self expression and spirituality. I simply chose them because I was tired of going against what was truly meant for me. I was tired of trying to live up to what other women in America black and white had decided beauty should be. I wanted to be natural. Just as God made me. Thank You Yaweh, Jeshu and Andrew for this outlet.

    Loc’d for Life
    Natty neeka

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    • I agree definitely with Natty Neeka. I am new to all of this and currently transitioning. I wanted to learn more about dreads and I found this site has been quite informative. Much respect to those who chose not to conform to society’s standards. To anyone out there who may be curious about locs – do your research and you will enlighten yourself in the process!

      Soon to be loc’d for Life


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  64. I’ve done a bit of research on dreadlocks myself and found that dreadlocks did not originate from Jamaica- the term did. However, the first dreadlocks were seen being worn in paintings of ancient Egyptian pharaohs. Along with that, they were worn by Asian emperors and daimyos of Japan and mainland Asia, as well as by commoners in the Phillipines and most of Oceania.

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  65. I see nothing in her about the celtic roots of dread, and Dreads originated in Ancient Eygypt or even early since that what happens when you dont comb your hair. This seems like the person writing this is only refering to the history of Rasta dreads not the history of Dreads and it should be named as such.

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  66. you wrote a beautiful article of the truth and sincere. God blesses and loves and welcomes the truth. Consider yourself a blessing. Hotep.

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