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Before we get into the pros and cons of dreadlocks, let’s talk a little history. (If you aint tryin’ to hear all that, you can just click and jump straight to the list of good advantages & bad things about dreadlocks.)
The roots of dreads can be traced back to North Africa. In ancient Egypt, Egyptians wore locked hairstyles and wigs.
This was evidenced by the images found in statuary, bas-reliefs as well as mummified remains of “loc'd'' Egyptians that were recovered from various archaeological sites.
Truth is, there are tons of artifacts and drawings where people of African descent were depicted wearing dreadlocks and indications were that their locks had a connection with cultural or spiritual reasons.
Modern-day dreadlocks hairstyles are a result of the Rastafarian religious movement that began in the 1930s. The late Bob Marley introduced dreadlocks culture in the 70s.
In effect, loc styles represented a unique spiritual view rather than fashion, although, these days, dreads may be a representation of fashion or act as freedom of expression or personality.
People of a different races, ages, genders can wear dreadlocks and hence has become universal, yet, the natural Black hairstyle is still rooted in African culture.
Ok, so let’s get to the goods and talk about the pros and cons of dreadlocks…
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having dreadlocks? Let’s talk about the good stuff first, because locks are THE BOMB!
When discussing the pros and cons of dreadlocks, NHP feels the advantages are great, here they are…
Since your hair is in locks, which are suitable for moisture and strength, dreadlocks serve as a health-promoting protective style with minor wear and tear, allowing your hair to grow healthy and thrive.
You retain all your growth and all your hair because everything is literally locked on your head. Products like rose water for dreadlocks also help with the moisture and healthy hair growth.
If you're tired of combing, tugging, pulling, styling and trying to be creative with your natural hair locs can give you peace because of their simplicity.
So, if it seems like every style you try turns out to be a major fail and you’re just tired of it all, dreads are a major simplicity advantage.
If you’re tired of wigs and braids or constantly touching and manipulating your hair, but big chop cutting is not an option, you may love dreadlocks.
With interlocked hair, you always have a fashion statement that goes with your style. Dreadlocks make you look fierce and unique yet chill at the same time, no matter what you wear.
Because dreadlocks make for an excellent fashion statement, they help you express your individuality and be comfortable in your own skin.
Dreadlocks prove to others and YOURSELF that you’re bold enough to express your personality and individuality, and that nurtures a crazy confidence boost when you embrace the glory of it all!
You get opened up to a new world of low maintenance healthy hairstyles with locks.
Dreads allow you to be creative and versatile in styling different methods to achieve different looks from classy to elegant depending on your hair type, making them more appealing, stylish, and unique.
Dreads can be created from natural hair or extensions and can be styled differently depending on the hair texture.
Say bye-bye to combs and hello to joy and freedom! Dreadlocks are virtually maintenance-free because for one, you don’t need to wash your hair that often.
You can wash mature dreadlocks anywhere from once a week to once a month according to how much you sweat and your lifestyle.
When your locs are brand new, you actually need to wash them less to keep them from unwinding because water can loosen and thin out your new locks.
Using dry shampoo for locs also helps you keep things lower maintenance.
Because your loc’d hair doesn’t get “bedhead” or mussed up day in and day out like other hairstyles, you won’t have to worry about bad hair days anymore.
This means that you can have great hair every day with your locs, whether you’re going to the office or out on a date.
When discussing the pros and cons of dreadlocks, there are some bad things about dreadlocks that you need to consider, here they are…
With dreadlocks, people may create stereotypes and associate you with a particular kind of group or behavior, while others may be ill-informed, thinking that you do not wash your hair, thus stinky hair and a dirty person.
Screw them! They’ll realize that they’re stupid at some point.
The time it takes to grow mature locs may seem longer than the time it takes to raise a dang child! Ha!
So, hey. If you’re an impatient person, you may have difficulty when starting to keep dreadlocks since the journey requires lots of time for dreads to mature and achieve the perfect look you may be looking to achieve.
Dreads are a process and journey, enjoy every step and don’t expect instant AMAZINGNESS.
Also, unless you have long hair before turning them into locks, you’ll have to wait a while to have really long dreads.
Some people don’t want folks ALL UP IN THEIR FACE and asking questions about their hair. If that’s you, dreads may attract an irritating problem because they can often become a conversation piece OUT OF THE BLUE.
Also, some people have negative connotations about dreadlocks.
This could draw unwanted attention, even from the authorities. Others could keep away from you because of their wrong notion about dreads.
The drying time for dreadlocks is crazy! Drying locks can consume up to three to six hours to completely dry.
But you can’t avoid drying them because leaving your dreads damp may cause build-ups and foul odor.
NHP suggests investing in a good high-powered blow dryer, and aim to wash your locs 1-2 times a week where feasible.
Once you decide to keep natural dreadlocks, it may prove costly, especially during the early initial stages of growing them, requiring rigorous care, hair products like coconut oil for locs and continued maintenance.
Some dreadlock styles may be expensive since they need to be done by a professional with excellent locking skills.
Maintenance of newer immature dreadlocks needs proper and strict hygiene since you can’t wash them as often to avoid build-ups.
You definitely don’t want dirty, smelly hair but the truth about dreadlocks is that they soak up what’s in the environment.
The effect of the density that dreadlocks are known for makes them susceptible to absorption of harmful fumes and dirt; hence people are advised to avoid such conditions.
With that being the case, you’ll definitely need the best products to keep healthy and clean dreadlocks.
Here are a few of the best product for dreadlocks:
Some loc styles and and super long lengths might make it difficult or uncomfortable to sleep on them, especially during the first few days or weeks of installation.
While some loc wearers rock their satin-lined dreadlock caps at night and sleep with no problem at all, others never really grew fond of sleeping on them.
While there’s NOTHING like seeing a Black woman with gorgeous dreadlocks, many whites want them as well.
And, while it’s possible for white people to get dreadlocks, they don’t look ideal on all hair types and hair densities.
But, if you’re a white girl or guy who wants to rock dreads, NHP isn’t gonna hate on you. Do your thang!
SOME “bad things about locs” for one person are, in effect, a huge advantage in the eyes of another person.
So, when discussing the pros and cons of dreadlocks we have to discuss this major controversial pro and/or con…
Let’s see how you feel about!
This is a pro for people that are decisive and are 100% sure they wanna rock dreads. Some love the fact that they don’t have to wake up every morning thinking about “soooo, what do I do to my hair today?“.
If you are still on the fence about this, Do twists and keep them in for as long as you can. Wash your twists as they are and just take care of your hair as you would normally.
If you don’t mind the look then either go ahead to loc your hair or just let your hair loc by itself. If you don’t like the look then you are also good. Take out the twists and go on with your natural hair.
Also called locs, dreads and Jata, dreadlocks are usually formed intentionally. But the methods used to create such hairstyles can vary depending on the hair texture.
Dreadlocks are made from strands of matted hair, and people use different methods to achieve the formation of dreadlocks.
When talking about pros and cons of dreadlocks, there are always some false myths to debunk. So, let’s do it.
FALSE MYTH: Dreadlocks are a way out of hair care.
Nope. You still need to take care of your hair, dreadlocks are not a way out of hair care.
FALSE MYTH: Locs are dirty.
Wrong again! Dreadlocks are no dirtier than any other hairstyle across the board. Locs are only dirty when you don’t wash them, not because every loc head is a dirty person.
FALSE MYTH: Locs thrive when you don’t do anything to them.
Absolutely not. Your dreadlocks need TLC, tender loving care to really shine and thrive. Take care of them and look amazing!
Backcombing is possibly the best way to create dreadlocks, which is also what most salons use. To get the best results, you’ll need the help of a friend as doing it on your own can be particularly difficult.
Backcombing is the method of dividing your scalp into sections. Using a steel-toothed comb, brush the hair from the tip inwards towards the scalp. This makes your hair frizzy and knotted together.
Alternatively, you can buy fake dreadlock extensions if you want instant dreads. You can opt for this method if you want to see how dreads would look on you.
So… do the pros and cons of dreadlocks make you excited or turn you off?
Truth is, dreadlocks are a whole vibe and a cool hairstyle to sport. But it may not be for everybody. If you can’t stand awkward stares or the stereotyping, then it may not be for you.
But, if you can handle all of the pros and cons of dreadlocks in stride, they may be a life-changing experience for you! Enjoy!