There was a time when only those who were black and in the Rastafarian movement had locks. But thanks to reggae music and music artists like Bob Marley, having locks became a symbol of freedom and self expression. These days it is even fashionable to wear locks and almost all famous designer fashion companies have come up with lines that match with wearing of locks. Wearing locks of hair is believed to have started in India first amongst the religious leaders there known as the sadhus. There are others who also say that it started in Africa where it is very common to find people who traditionally wore locks. In Africa and the African Diaspora which is found in places like Jamaica, wearing locks is seen as a way of reconnecting with your true self, a way of expressing how proud you are to be an African or of African descent. This is because natural African hair is not straight like hair of most other people and so tends to form the best locks. In some cultures in Africa like that of the maasai of Kenya, having the best locks makes one gain respect in their society.
There are many reasons as to why people wear locks. The number one reason at the moment is for fashion purposes. Many young people and even a few older folks of all races and backgrounds wear locks to complement their looks. Wearing locks is no longer considered an affair for black people only. Though forming locks in straight hair is difficult, it has been made easier by the availability of wax which when dry keeps hair stuck and coiled together. Even cultures that once deemed locks as unfit to wear are now accepting them with open arms. There has been such good acceptance of locks that in some societies like the British who were notorious for calling locks “dreads “, they have come to accept them as part of their culture.
Another reason why people wear locks is because of religious purposes. In India as mentioned above, the sadhus who are religious priests wear them because according to their traditions they believe locks symbolize been one with nature. In Rastafarian culture they believe dreadlocks are a symbol of the lion of Judah who was a direct descendant of king Solomon and queen of Sheba as mentioned in the Old Testament in the bible. To Rastafarians, locks also symbolize the acceptance of nature as it is and their proud African features. Another reason why people wear locks is because in some cultures it is a way of life and the norm. This is true for many communities and ethnic groups in east Africa and in particular the maasai, turkana and samburu ethnic groups.
There are many ways of creating locks. One way is by neglecting the hair by not combing it so that it tangles itself naturally and forms locks. Another way is by carefully separating the hair using a comb, applying gel or wax to it and then rolling the strands of hair until they are twisted into locks. This is the method that is done by most people and the good thing about it is that the locks come out looking clean and neat. There are many celebrities who wear locks some of them been little Wayne, little john, and actor Jason momoa. If you are the type of person that believes in freedom of expression and been at peace with yourself then locks are the way to go. Kindly join in the discussion and express your views about locks.