It is fascinating to watch a hair trend that starts in the earliest recorded historical times and eventually grows in popularity until it eventually becomes a fashion event.
Dreadlocks are the latest hair style that has emerged as one the hottest new hair fashion trend.
Before I get too far into this article I need to point out that I do not claim to have an in-depth knowledge of the cultural, political and spiritual aspects of black hair and hair locking.
Many people hold the belief that hair locking is not, and can never be, a fad but is the reflection of a long term cultural set of beliefs.
In the current 1999 hair and fashion industry, dreadlocks have become the hottest hair fad to hit the runways. I am reporting on this hot new hair trend and I am including just a little background information into how this fad has evolved.
The First Appearance Of Dreadlocks
Although many people hold many mistaken beliefs about dreadlocks, it was not invented by Reggae rock musicians. Dreadlocks have evolved from the very earliest of times.
Although many people have different opinions about when dreadlocks first appeared on human heads, the Bible actually makes reference to dreadlocks. King Tut is also pictured wearing what appears to be a "type" of dreadlocks.
Note: Photos for this article, unless otherwise noted are from the John Galliano for Christian Dior Collection).
It is a commonly acknowledged fact that the earliest Christians also donned dreadlocks. Throughout the centuries many tribal people wore dreadlocks including Australian aborigines, New Guinea tribes people, religious monks and some African tribes.
Ironically, dreadlocks were not originally developed as part of a fashionable hair fad. To the people that adopted dreadlocks they had intensively deep meanings that reached into physical, mental and spiritual realms.
Nekhena Evans, in her excellent book Hairlocking: Everything You Need To Know, African, Dread & Nubian Locks, points out that hair locked styles are often worn as a symbol of personal awakening for the wearer of the style.
In the 1920s dreadlocks were adopted by the Afro-Caribbean religion known as Rastafarianism (Rastas).
Influence of Rastafarians & Bob Marley
In the original days of the Rastafarians, the creation of dreadlocks occurred over very long periods of time that could take years. The hair was allowed to twist, knot and matte in its own time and its own way.
The result was a matted, knotted hairstyle that honored the Rastafarian religious beliefs.
Bob Marley and his reggae group, The Wailers, did a lot to promote dreadlocks for other musicians. By the mid-Seventies Bob Marley and his brilliant music became a part of mainstream music.
Besides bringing attention to his fabulous dreadlocks, Bob established reggae as part of the rock scene.
By the time of his untimely death in 1981, Bob was the official ambassador of Reggae. (Photo from the book: Marley, The Illustrated Legend 1945 - 1981 - Currently out of print).
Adoption By Hair & Beauty Industries
When hot 90s rock groups like Korn adopted versions of dreadlocks, the hair and beauty industry found a hot new trend ready to be exploited and promoted.
Dreadlocks that used to take five years to develop became available at the local stylist in about five hours. A wide variety of modified dreadlocks also emerged including multi-colored hair and "dread perms".
A great book with wonderful photos of dreadlocks is Dread by Francesco Mastalia, Alfonse Pagano and an introduction by Alice Walker.
As the 90s approached their end, lots of rocks groups, recording artists and celebrities began adopting the style.
With the appearance of dreadlocks at the Spring/Summer 2000 Fashion Collections it became apparent that deadlocks had moved even closer to becoming "the hot new hair fashion fad" that will be adopted by the mainstream.
John Galliano Inspired Dreadlocks
John Galliano for Christian Dior assisted in taking the dreadlocks to a new level of metamorphosis along with his stunning new fashion collection.
Galliano's stunning runway outfits were high fashion puzzles worn by Rasta inspired women decked out in three separate themes which included denim, fencing and horseback riding.
In keeping with the Rasta inspired collection the Dior models wore a variety of dreadlock inspired hairstyles.
Many of the dreadlock inspired styles were glammed up with fashion accessories such as matching silk scarves.
The dreadlock styles that were carefully created on the heads of the models were worn up and tied or pinned high on the scalp to create a dramatic almost warrior appearance.
Many of the dreadlocked models appeared to be wearing add-on hair in multi-colors.
Although some of the dreadlocks appeared to be carefully developed dreadlocks, all of the styles were carefully arranged and styled to add to the glamour of the clothing that the models were displaying. (Shown to the side - Knotty Boy - Dread Wax - For Blonde & Light Hair - 4 oz).
Dreadlock Hair Care Items
Since popular hair trends tend to follow the fashion trends unveiled at the hottest shows, it is easy to predict that dread locked styles will become even more popular for the 2000s. (Shown to the side - Knotty Boy - Dread Shampoo Bar - 4 oz bar).
Another indication of the ongoing popularity of dreadlocks is the emergence of a whole new industry that is offering all sorts of dreadlock hair care items such as wax, shampoo and jewelry. (Shown to the side - Knotty Boy - Peppermint Cooling Moisture Spray with Spritz - 4 oz Concentrate).
We continue to add all new dreadlock related products as they are announced from the good folks at KnottyBoy. (Shown to the side - Knotty Boy - LockSteady - Deadlock Tropical Tightening Gel - 4 oz).
As the fashion industry claims more of the dreadlock look you can expect to see many more dreadlock related hair care inventions.
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