Dreads: lifestyle? Or fashion trend?
A young man pulls up in a SUV, sunburned, Disco Biscuits blaring, brown matted hair leaking from his head.
In the 70’s reggae music exploded with popularity and a Rastafarian inspired clothing collection by Christian Dior followed suit, along with a new line of hair care products to help white people dread their hair.
All over the world, as far as we can see, humans have worn dreadlocks, with archeological ‘lock’ wigs and dreadlocked remains having been recovered in Egypt. The Druids, Aztec priests, Sufis, Hindus and Senegalese are some of the world’s tribes that have at one time or another had a custom of matting their hair into pieces. Some of these tribes have spiritual and political reasons. For others, it’s cultural pride.
So why do so many hippies and new age narcissists sport dreads? Do they, like the Rastas, fear God and believe it is written in the living Word to never take a razor to their hair? The most often heard response to my question is met with a shrug and, “I dunno, it looks cool.”
There are those who care for their ‘locks’ and understand that dreads are not in fact easier to maintain than normal hair. Many say they are more work than loose hair. Whatever the reasons, whether they are rebelling against normalcy or just think it looks cool, in taking care of their appearance, they are on some levels taking care of themselves like a dignified human being.
Poorly tended dreads do make powerful fashion statements: mold, bugs, nuggets.
With no attention or intention placed in their creation, it is difficult to see a lifestyle in these dreads, resembling more closely a sloppy afterthought. Or am I missing something, and poorly groomed dreads are actually an unconscious declaration of warriorship (refraining from cowardice by cultivating openness and compassion)?
hot on elephant
Elephant Journal’s Holiday Gift Guide 636 shares A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 625 shares Waylon’s favorite Ethical Gifts. 13 shares Learn Social Media, Writing, Editing & Journalism Ethics with elephantjournal.com. 3 shares The Real Reason so many Long-term Relationships Fail Sexually. 1,080 share Dear Pretty Young Woman Flirting with my Husband. 2,667 shares Year of the Fire Rooster 2017: What to Expect. 1,011 share Why a Year of No Dating was the Best Thing I ever did for Myself. 8,347 shares These Tweets (and Retweets) actually Happened. 1,392 share If you Want Him, you must Claim Him. 773 shares