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Dreadlocks Myths Exposed and Dismantled

There are so many myths surrounding dreadlocks (locs) that are widely held but are actually false beliefs. These myths can be harmful, upsetting and distasteful to those that wear and adore dreadlocks. Lowering one’s self-esteem and making them feel off balance is what we need to get away from here.

This article is written to expose and dismantle 10 Dreadlocks Myths that have no true place in our society. We need to get the negativity out of our psyche and spread the truth about these negative dreadlocks myths.

Dreadlocks Myth #1: Dreadlocks Are Dirty

No, dreadlocks are not dirty, they can be regularly washed once mature. This can’t be said for all hairstyles. For example, permed (chemically treated) hair influence people to keep away from water to maintain the straight style. As a result, many sacrifices are made keep the permed hair. Avoiding swimming and rigorous activities that promotes sweat is commonplace. Oh, and don’t forget your standard cap required for bathing.

Water and cleanliness is embraced and encouraged with locs. Water actually helps to make the locking process faster. Your also free to swim and continue other activities that you enjoy doing with minimal barriers.

Dreadlocks Myth #2: You Can’t Style Dreadlocks

On the contrary, although dreadlocks are a hairstyle you can always take it up a notch. The truth is dreadlocks can accomplish all general hairstyles desired and them some. The only difference is the method used to go about it would be a bit different.

There are many loc styles you can find from Instagram or YouTube so you are urged to do your homework. There really isn’t much you cannot do with locs. Use the creativity that you have to achieve your desired goals. Dreadlocks can be curled, braided, dyed and put up for an elegant Up-do.  Some of the more popular styles include; bantu knots, dreads mohawk, crinkle dreads.

Dreadlocks Myth #3: Dreadlocks Are Not Professional 

From whose perspective? dreadlocks can look professional just as well as any other hairstyle. Locs neatly swept back into one with a bun provides a clean and neat appearance. You can get more classy with it too you just need the desire and confidence to wear it. You need to know that your locs are classy and professional. Believe in yourself and counteract that negativity that was placed upon you.

Dreadlocks Myth #4: Dreads are for Rasta’s only

The Rastafarian movement which began in the 1930’s embraces locs and hold them sacred to their religion. Legendary Jamaican musician Bob Marley popularized dreadlocks and Rastafarian culture.  Overcoming intense social pressure from their neighbours this community is fantastically one of the world’s most recognized. Although we appreciate the strength and courage of the Rastafarian community, not everyone chooses to identify themselves with being a Rasta.

Instead, a lot of individuals just want to embrace their natural hair. Dreads just made sense after transitioning from “perm” to “fro”. Dreadlocks are very manageable, we spend less time on our hair in the mornings and it’s just more practical. This ancient style of dreadlocks has been here since the beginning of time and before the invention of a comb.

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Dreadlocks Myth #5: Since you have locs you must be vegetarian

Being a vegetarian is a dietary choice or tradition that concerns each individual differently. Individuals choose a vegetarian diet for religious reasons and health reasons.  For others it wasn’t a choice, they were brought up on that particular diet. Please note, you are not required to be a vegetarian in order to have locs. It’s a choice that you have to make for yourself and people shouldn’t be looking down at one another for eating meat. What you choose to eat is quite frankly your own business.

Dreadlocks Myth #6: You smoke weed, your a dread

We all may have come across someone that smokes weed. Maybe its an acquaintance, a family member or it might even be yourself.  However, to say that everyone with dreads smokes weed is absolutely stretching it. Weed is not a requirement for locs. The product is now legal in Canada and now many of its uses are becoming known.

Hollywood is also guilty of associating Jamaican men with locs and drugs. Released in 1990, Steven Seagal’s “Marked for Death” movie demonstrated such classic stereotypes. As a piece of advice, please don’t go out indiscriminately asking someone because they have locs if they have weed. Stereotyping, discrimination and accusing is just not the way to go. You just may find that you’ll wind up embarrassing yourself and insulting another.

Dreadlocks Myth #7: You have to cut your locs off if you no longer want them

This is a big misunderstanding that is widely held even from those who wear locs. Although the removal of locs can be time consuming it can be done. Getting the job done will require a good amount of hair conditioner and a fine tooth comb. Consequently, you will lose some inches of hair while keeping the majority of your hair.

If you no longer desire your locs there are alternatives to the “big chop” or shaven head option. Instead, you have the choice to pick and comb your locs out. There will be some breakage but your hair can be nursed back into a healthy state after this transitioning.

Dreadlocks Myth #8: Other races can’t have locs

Correction, other races can in fact have locs and are wearing them increasingly. Individuals belonging to the Chinese, Caucasion and  and Sri Lankans find favour in locing their hair as dreadlocks are increasingly growing in these groups. Anyone can have locs if they just put down the comb, it’s as simple as that. Manicured locs however provides you with greater control over how you’d like your hair to look.  either way they both work. Straight, wavy and larger sized curly hair from non black nations can expect their hair to loc at an exponential rate of 3-4 months using the crochet method.

Dreadlocks Myth #9: Dreadlocks is dead hair

Yes, some hair that are intertwined within the knotted locs will break and remain. Reason being, the broken hair doesn’t have anywhere else to go.  Importantly, not all hairs are dead ones. In fact, the locs are alive, invigorated and grows at increased rates. Locs are a protective style that finds strength in combining a number of single hair strands.  Your overall hair is alive and well but will carry a small percentage of dead hair intertwined in your locs. With regular washing and maintenance broken hairs pose little concern to styling or hair health.

Dreadlocks Myth #10: Locs are for black people only

With the loses suffered by the children of slavery in the west, the tendency to grab and hold onto aspects of popular culture exists. Unfortunately, some black people believe dreadlocks should remain black and don’t feel like sharing. Well, for those that share this opinion, we must not forget that locs are not only an ancient hairdo for blacks. In former times dreadlocks existed everywhere. It is found among the Hindu, ancient Greece, Celtic peoples, Germanic tribes, Vikings and other cultures.

It wasn’t until the post depression times that the Rastafarian community popularized this ancient hairdo. Through sacrifice and sticking to their beliefs they broke many barriers down. They put up with people who didn’t agree with their practices and who felt these Rastafarian had no place in society. Still they resisted and continued to wear their sacred hairdo with pride until this present day. We must thank all cultures of the past for paving the way for our future in having locs pride.

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Now you can embrace the look of dreadlocks instead of finding yourself a victim of these dreadlocks myths. You no longer need to allow these myths to hold you back. Feel free to grasp your locs with full confidence, grace and style. Dreadlocks will always exist, it’s uniqueness is like non other but its not for the faint of heart. Your encouraged to do your own homework to get a response to most of your questions. Happily, there are good people out there whom are willing to share their knowledge on the subject matter.

Social media is available as well but the best knowledge would be coming from your own loc experience. Show the world that your proud and knowledgeable concerning dreadlocks myths. The decision to lock your hair is yours truly. Help encourage others to restore their self-esteem and respect from the effects of these 10 dreadlocks myths.

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