Because hair naturally tangles when not cared for or styled, prehistoric humans had their hair in a style very similar to dreadlocks, until they invented combs and other tools. In Peru, braids have been found on mummies dating from around 200 to 800 AD.
Traditionally, Aztec priests of the 14th and 15th centuries braided their hair. In Ethiopia, priests of the Coptic churches wore dreadlocks for hundreds of years. In India, followers of the “sadhu” sect of Hinduism paid homage to the deity Shiva whose hair was also long and curly. “Buddhists” in Japan, members of the Black Muslim Bayer sect in Senegal, Maori in New Zealand, and tribes in Namibia and Angola wear long hair. But by far the best known group to wear dreadlocks are the Jamaican Rastafarians. The Rastafarian Movement began in 1930 as a small sect that believed that Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930, was the Messiah.
They are also against washing their dreads except with purified water. In the early days of the movement, dreadlocks faced persecution and many were arrested in Jamaica. But their religion and hair style were increasingly widely accepted, and much thanks to Bob Marley’s most famous dreadlocks fan.
Dreadlock hair, is a look that people have learned to associate with Rastafarians and the image of Bob Marley. But having dreads does not mean that you are a “rasta”. In Jamaica, most of the “dreads” walking the streets who call themselves rastafarians are not truly rastafarians. It is a situation reminiscent of the popular saying, “The habit does not make the monk” …
Nor do curls make a rastafari. Dreadlocks are not even native to Jamaica. Hair grown in dense locks has been worn in Africa and India since Biblical and pre-Biblical antiquity. In Africa, they are seen in various tribes, such as the Masai of Kenya. The warriors of this tribe still wear the dread-style hair, which they dye red using dyes extracted from roots. In Jamaica, dreads began to be grown after slavery was abolished. The former slaves adopted the style as a challenge and cultural statement in the face of the European-originated Jamaican society.
The style was called “Natty Dreadlock. Later, the Rastafarians, followers of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie, also started to use dreadlocks. Nowadays, due to the ease of communication and information, the dreadlock is becoming more and more popular. Whatever the reason, Rastafarianism, Hinduism, among others. People choose this look because they identify and/or sympathize with one of these “tribal” styles. And even for a counter-cultural view of society. A form of expression outside the standard or simply a different style. There is even a large community of hippie descendants from the 70s, world travelers who love psychedelic trance culture, who very often sympathize with Hindu culture and also use dreadlocks as an expression of their culture.