Various elements are combined to formulate the idea of style. They include the clothes people wear, the way one walks and even how people talk. However, one element that forms the relationship between style and lifestyle is hair. According to many people their hair is one feature that places them in a category separate from other individuals. This is the case with the dreadlock hairstyle. Dreadlocks have a very detailed and sometimes complex history and development.
The first connotation of dreadlocks is usually Rastafarianism. This assumption holds true many times. Yet the real meaning of dreadlocks according to true Rastafarians has been completely distorted by misinterpretations as well as media and governmental influences. The origin of dreadlocks like many wonders of modern life is in Africa. Dreadlocks also currently referred to as dreads were worn by various tribes throughout Africa. “The earliest tribe this hairstyle can be attributed to is the Masai tribesmen of Kenya.
” Similar to some forms of scarification in Africa, dreadlocks were a trademark of symbol of spiritual status. “From Christianity to Hinduism, locked hair has been a symbol of a highly spirited person who is trying to come closer to God or Gods.” (Naba) The great spirituality is a major aspect in the dedication that true Rastafarians have to their dreads. “Rastafarians hold a tremendous amount of pride in their natural hair and see it as a symbol of their fight against Babylon, nonviolence, nonconformity, communalism and solidarity.”(Naba) True Rastafarians also follow a strict diet and a very nonconforming fashion sense.
Contrary to the initial strict ways of the old generation Rastafarian lifestyle, modern day Rastafarians are breaking barriers by smoking marijuana also referred to as “ganja”, wearing designer clothing and attempting to justify their behavior as a part of Rastafarian culture. Many new Rastafarians do not even hold their dreadlocks on the spiritual pedestal that they deserve. As a result of tremendous and ever changing fashion fads, dreadlocks have been devalued. It is truly unfortunate that a former symbol of spirituality has simply become a hairstyle.
The fact that people choose dreadlocks to make themselves appear afro centric, look different or because its cheap and low maintenance is truly a disrespectful way to portray an honorable hairstyle.