Dreadlocks - definition
DreadBay -Dreadlocks Shop & Salon in Sheffield
Dreadlocks, also locs, dreads, or in Sanskrit, Jata, are intentionally matted and sculpted ropes of hair. Various methods are used to encourage the formation of locks such as backcombing, braiding and rolling. While leaving long hair to its own devices – foregoing brushing, combing or cutting the hair – will generally result in tangles and mats, the formation of evenly sized ropes takes planning and maintenance. A common misconception is that those who have consciously formed dreadlocks do not wash their hair, but this is usually not the case; many dreadlock care regimens require the wearer to wash their hair as regularly as non-locked hair.
Dreadlocks - history
In Ancient Greece, kouros sculptures from the Archaic period depict men wearing dreadlocks, while Spartan hoplites (generally described as fair-haired) wore formal locks as part of their battle dress. Spartan magistrates known as Ephors also wore their hair braided in long locks, an Archaic Greek tradition that was steadily abandoned in other Greek kingdoms. The style was worn by Ancient Christian Ascetics, and the Dervishes of Islam, among others. Some of the very earliest Christians also may have worn this hairstyle; there are descriptions of James the Just, first Bishop of Jerusalem, who is said to have worn them to his ankles.
Pre-Columbian Aztec priests were described in Aztec codices (including the Durán Codex, the Codex Tudela and the Codex Mendoza) as wearing their hair untouched, allowing it to grow long and matted.
In Senegal, the Baye Fall, followers of the Mouride movement, a Sufi movement of Islam founded in 1887 by Shaykh Aamadu Bàmba Mbàkke, are famous for growing locks and wearing multi-colored gowns. Cheikh Ibra Fall, founder of the Baye Fall school of the Mouride Brotherhood, popularized the style by adding a mystic touch to it. Warriors among the Fulani, Wolof and Serer in Mauritania, and Mandinka in Mali and Niger were known for centuries to have worn cornrows when young and dreadlocks when old.