The first time I saw dreadlocks, I was mesmerized. I thought they were the most incredible, most beautiful way of wearing hair that I had ever seen. I couldn’t wait to grow my own! Over the years, I’ve realized that the rest of the world doesn’t necessarily share my lofty opinion - some do, and some don’t. Myths and misunderstandings surround the concept of dreadlocks. The truth is that your dreadlocks can be clean, hygienic, attractive, and healthy. They don’t have to be any of the negative things that some people think of when they see dreadlocks.
Here are 5 reasons why you should grow locs:
1. They’re Beautiful
Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But there is something about a well-maintained crop of dreadlocks that just looks beautiful! It’s hard to explain, but there is something inherently regal about locs. Their rich history, going as far back as Ancient Egypt (and other parts of Africa) and Ancient Greece, describe hair that could only be worn by royalty, priesthoods, and others of higher society. Later, when ‘regular’ people began wearing locs, they maintained their noble appearance.
Contrary to semi-popular beliefs, it is more than possible to keep clean, well-groomed locs - or, if you prefer, wild and free locs. With a little time and attention, you can have locs that have a healthy shine, a fresh smell, and thrive.
Even the way you can style your locs is unique and stunning. There are many ways to add color, jewelry, or adornments to your locs, although they look amazing entirely on their own. Locs look amazing even when they are minimally styled.
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2. They’re Spiritual
Although locs are spiritual, they may or may not be religious. This depends on your personal beliefs around them. Dreadlocks have been a part of many religions and cultures across the world.
Lord Shiva of the Hindu religion wore long locs, demonstrating his power and omnipotence. His followers also wore very long locs.
In the Bible, Samson was a man raised to be a Nazarite, which meant, among other things, he could never cut his hair. It was believed that the super-strength God’s power gave him was connected to his locs. This was proven when Delilah cut his hair, and he lost his strength. It didn’t return until his locs grew out again.
Finally, we couldn’t discuss locs and religion without including Rastafarians. Among Rastafarians, dreadlocks are a sacred symbol of the Lion of Judah (from the Bible). Like Samson, Rastafarians live according to the order of Nazarites and grow long, freeform locs. Their hair is a sign of their devotion and beliefs.
Other spiritual thoughts around locs say that they harness your energy and signify personal power. Some also believe locs protect your crown chakra.
3. They’re Authentically You
Culturally, there seems to be a standard for beauty, and dreadlocks don’t meet this standard. Locs aren’t sleek, smooth, or closely associated with straighter hair types. Even when people with straight hair decide to grow locs, their hair must be made thicker and rougher to create the locs effectively.
In light of these cultural beauty standards, it takes courage to go against the norm. It takes a level of courage and self-acceptance, or at least the curiosity, to be on a journey of self-discovery. Your locs will take on a look that is uniquely you. Somehow, you and your locs begin to mirror one another. Either you find that you are pretty refined and your locs are well-groomed and ‘tame,’ or you discover you have a wild side, and your locs take on that nature.
In an individualized society that claims self-assertion, dreadlocks are a truly unique and profound statement of self-acceptance. They say, “This is me! - I’m not perfect, but this is me.”
You should grow your locs because it will make you more confident and self-assured.
4. They’re Easy (Eventually)
Certain hair types lend themselves to growing locs more easily, but any hair type with adequate manipulation can be formed into dreadlocks. The initial forming and early maintenance are the most challenging times of your loc journey. You’re trying to introduce your hair to a new way of being. Some hair types will more eagerly embrace this than others. But if you’re patient, you will be rewarded.
Once your locs are in the adolescence stage, there is less work to do. Depending on the type of locs you want, you may have little work to do after this. Freeform locs are allowed to grow without too much intervention, while manicured locs are regularly groomed to display a more pristine appearance. Or you can decide on something between freeform and pristine locs, which will keep them tidy but also allow them to grow freely.
5. They’re Ever Growing & Changing
Like you, you will see your locs growing and changing over the years. The great thing about being a human being is our personal evolution. We grow as individuals when we embrace the world around us, learn from our experiences, gain wisdom and insights, and embrace the value in our good and not-so-good circumstances.
Your locs will also go through changes. You will learn patience as your hair texture changes, your appearance transforms, and you love yourself in a new, more profound way. You will even grow to know and love your hair more meaningfully. Instead of caring for your hair as if it is one unit, you will get to know each of your locs. You’ll know which ones are growing well and which ones need a little help.
If you want to wear this beautiful, spiritual, historic hairstyle and enjoy the lifestyle that goes with it, dreadlocks are for you. Not only will your hair grow like it never has before, but you will become more confident as you show the world that you march to your own beat. While you rock your amazing locs, you’ll also love your personal transformation.
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