Dreadlocks have been a popular hair style for both men and women since ancient history. Composed of matted locks of hair, dreadlocks can be seen as far back as tribal Africa. The style evolved into a go-to for followers of Rastafarianism in Jamaica, and the term was coined for black males of this faith. While modern day Rastafarians still wear dreadlocks to show their devotion and ethnic pride, the hairstyle has become a fashion statement for people from all walks of life.

Many musicians and celebrities are known for their dreadlocked hair. The most recognized figure with dreadlocks is the late reggae musician Bob Marley. Marley’s son Damien followed in his father’s footsteps with knee length dreads. Actress Whoopi Goldberg is notorious for her eloquently groomed dreadlocks.

Whether composed of thin or thick locks, dreadlocks can be formed over time or developed in a few hours. To achieve dreads, a special type of hair wax or conditioner is applied to the strands and a comb is used to knot the hair and create the locks. This style will last for years with upkeep, or can be cut or brushed out with care.

Women and men can create new styles with dreadlocked hair. You can alternate locks with braids or pile your dreads into a hat. Shorter dreadlocks can be gelled straight up on your head, while long ones can be pulled into buns and ponytails. Funky wooden or clay beads look great woven into the lock or pushed onto the end of the lock at anytime to create a colorful style. Elegant body jewelry consisting of silver and gold coils are popping up on dreads, as well as charms that hang off the body of the lock.

Although dreadlocks appear low-maintenance, certain measures must be taken to ensure that they stay looking and feeling good. Dreadlocks can trap in dirt and moisture and get odorous, so be sure to maintain your hygiene with special lock shampoo or even a salt water mixture. Some dreadlocked wearers report an itchy scalp, so you must take care of that as well as your actual hair. Wash hair about once a week to tighten the dreadlocks, and roll the coil with your palms when wet to retain the shape. Apply wax to dry dreads within the first six months of having them, and wear a scarf to sleep to keep them shapely and healthy.

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