The Fascinating History Of Dreadlocks

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Dreadlocks, dreads, locks, locs — whatever your term of choice for them may be — are essentially sections of hair that haven't been combed, brushed, or handled at all, according to celebrity hairstylist Lavette Slater. Over time, said hair becomes matted and knotted into itself, forming the anti-hairstyle hairstyle we've all come to know.

While more and more celebrities have adopted dreadlocks in their faux form today, the style itself still has a dated stigma and skewed associations surrounding it — as we've seen with the Giuliana Rancic and Zendaya controversy. But, contrary to popular belief, they're rooted in more of a spiritual affiliation than a "patchouli and weed" one. In fact, they date back thousands of years. 

While it's hard to nail down any kind of exact timeline, we talked to several hairstylists and experts in an attempt to give dreadlocks some kind of linear evolution. While the history itself is fascinating and worth a read, in light of recent pop culture events we also think a quick refresher on all things locs is important to help clear up misconceptions and negative connotations.

Read on for a look into the history of locs, from 2,500 BCE to today. 


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