Dreadlocks and women have long been a staple in American culture. They are so much more than a trendy, hipster fashion statement. They have stood and continue to stand for freedom and empowerment among girls and women of all sorts.

Dreadlocks originally began with the Rastafarians of Jamaica, but also soon became prominent in Indian and yogi cultures as well. The dreadlocks were symbolic of letting go of all worldly possessions, even one’s comb, and rediscovering one’s spiritual side. However, we Americans were introduced to dreadlocks in an entirely different and unfortunately depressing manner—slavery.

Dreadlocks are the natural condition that hair lays when it has been free from any combing or hair relaxers of any kind. The hair begins to intertwine and wrap around itself in way that creates ropes or “locs.” Slaves developed this hairstyle whilst traveling the several month’s voyage from their homeland to America. This type of hairstyle was highly frowned upon and even considered “dreadful,” which is where the term dreadlocks actually came from. Upon arrival to America, these dreadlocks were chopped off because of their dreadful appearance.

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