Dreadlocks - Locs - Dreads - Jata
Dreadlocks are said to have originated in Ancient Egypt due to artifacts depicting Egyptians wearing dreadlocks. However, the hairstyle is said to have roots in many other ancient civilizations.
The hairstyle can be seen dating back to ancient Greece, India, and some Germanic and Viking tribes. These civilizations are each known to have sported the dreadlock hairstyle in different interpretations.
Several African groups are known to wear dreadlocks, each in a unique way. For example, sometimes it can signify that a priest or Shaman and the Maasai Warriors wear their hair in long, thin dreads painted red. The importance of the style will change from group to group.
Modern-day dreadlocks are the result of the Rastafari religious movement that began in the 1930s. It is both a religious and social movement based on the Abrahamic religion. The dreadlock style of the movement can be credited to the pioneer of reggae music, Bob Marley.
The style was a free form of expression that swapped the glorification of western culture for a natural, untouched look. The hairstyle was more of a biblical statement rather than a fashion statement.
Dreadlocks have become a widely accepted hairstyle that is very gender and age-neutral. Dreadlocks for men are just a common as for women. Children of all ages can even be seen in the hairstyle.
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What Are Dreadlocks?
Dreadlocks are strands of matted hair that resemble braids. They are also known as dreadlocks, locs, dreads, or Jata.
Despite many beliefs, dreadlocks are not unkempt, dirty strands of hair. Dreadlocks are generally created by separating sections of hair and keeping them matted by rolling the sections regularly for up to 12 months before the hair is fully “locked”.
How To Make Instant Dreadlocks
How to do Dreadlocks?
Dreadlocks are generally created on natural hair; however, they can use extensions to achieve synthetic dreadlocks. The look of dreadlocks depends on the starter method.
The methods of starting dreadlocks vary from “neglecting” the sections of hair until they naturally lock up to “manicured” salon techniques to start the locking process.
There are multiple techniques for locking your hair to focus on just one so, walking you through what each one entails will better help you decide which choice will best help you achieve your desired look.
Two-Strand Twists Method
This method will create normal two-strand twists (also known as mini twists because of the size) to start the locking process. The sections will need to be very small.
You will use palm rolling primarily to keep up your locs, rolling back and forth of the hair in quick motions between your palms. This method may take you six months to a year to fully lock your hair. Also, note that the ends can become unraveled.
This method requires you to plait/braid your hair to begin the locking process. It is similar to the two-strand method but much sturdier. With the plait method, you can more easily get your hair wet without your hair completely unraveling. The ends can still unravel, however, just as with the two-strand method. You’ll want to use either palm rolling or the interlocking method for upkeep.
Interlocking dreadlocks is when you take the ends of the locs and pull them through the base to tighten them. This route can take up to a year to see the braid pattern disappear and form actual locs. Although, sometimes, the braiding pattern never disappears, and your locs will appear much flatter with this method.
Comb Coils Method
This method can be done on short hair. Essentially, you’re taking small sections of hair and using a comb to create small coils. This method is great because it will loc your hair the fastest. If you have longer hair, it will take more time, but it will still be a faster process. However, you should be cautious with getting your hair wet as it might undo the coils with this technique.
Backcombing is the best and most used technique for less coarse hair textures. This will help straighter textures hair loc since the other techniques might fall out or not work at all.
Backcombing requires you to tease sections of your hair and then use palm rolling to create the form of the loc. This option will give you instant locking, but it’s important to make sure the hair is properly locking to create neat dreadlocks.
This is probably the neatest method for locking your hair. It is an intricate method that will require a professional. This technique also requires a specific Sisterlocking tool that only licensed stylists can use properly. It’s a much pricier option, but if you are a stickler for neatness, then this method will be perfect.
This method will create a very micro-sized loc which may shrink and swell as your hair locs. Fully locking your hair with this method can take six months to 2 years. Also, there is heavy maintenance with this method.
Choosing Between Traditional Locs and Sisterlocks
Synthetic Locs/Loc Extensions Method
Many people that want to bypass the awkward phase or have shorter hair may turn to this method. To achieve this method, you add synthetic or human hair extensions onto your locs for length and volume. You will bypass the locking journey for instant gratification.
If you don’t care about the process and just the results, this could be for you. However, this will make your locs much heavier and limit you if you decide to color your locs. Also, as your hair grows out, your roots will be less kempt than the rest of your hair, as it will need to go through the locking process separately. This kind of defeats the point, but if you want instant locs, then this is an option.
Leaving your hair completely alone and never detangling it again can lead you to the freeform or organic locking method. This can be done by leaving your hair free from styling tools, or you could go in with a curl sponge to further create the locs. This method requires no effort. This is great for someone that doesn’t care about the neatness and wants their hair to do as it pleases. You never know how your hair will loc with this method, but chances are if you’re choosing this method, you don’t care.
Dreadlocks can be done using several methods, but the majority of them will require regular maintenance, even after the hair has been fully locked. Being sure to keep the products you use on your dreadlocks light is imperative not to weigh them down. Consider going in with a light sheen spray as opposed to a heavy oil for maintaining moisture.
How To Make Instant Dreadlocks
Are Dreadlocks Versatile?
This can be a very versatile hairstyle once your locs have fully formed and can create many cute dreadlocks styles. You can create the same styles and updos as you normally would; your hair will just be locked. Although, trying to step out and get other protective styles may be difficult. For example, sew-in weaves, braids, twists, etc., can be hard to do with dreadlocks.
How Long Do Dreadlocks Last?
Most people who choose to wear dreadlocks choose to do so permanently. To remove dreadlocks is a very tedious and strenuous process that may result in days of work.
Your hair may be exceptionally thinned out and damaged. However, even after this, it may be inevitable that you’ll have to cut the individual locks to get rid of them fully.
Who Are Dreadlocks Suitable For?
Dreadlocks can be done on any hair texture and type. It all depends on finding the proper method for your hair type to achieve the style. It shouldn’t be a painful process either for people with sensitive scalps.
When to Wear Dreadlocks?
Dreadlocks are a permanent hairstyle that can be worn throughout all times of the year.
Pros and Cons of Dreadlocks
- Dreadlocks aren’t time-consuming. The initial start of dreads is the most time-consuming part of dreadlocks that you’ll have to go through. Once your hair has locked, you may have some upkeep as your roots grow out, but other than that is a hands-free hairstyle. No more having to spend hours on your hair.
- Dreadlocks can be worn in many ways. This style can go on to form many average hairstyles people without dreads create. Ranging from updos to curly or straight locs.
- Dreadlocks are permanent. For the indecisive person that likes to switch up their hairstyle often, dreadlocks will be a rude awakening. This is not a hairstyle that can be easily taken down as it is meant to be permanent.
- Dreadlocks can be deemed unprofessional. This stigma is becoming less of a problem; however, it can be something that turns a person away from the hairstyle. If you work in a corporate office environment, you might be warier about getting dreadlocks as it goes against some company policies.