Hairstyles: Appropriated or Appreciated?

The only reason they don’t ban white-guy dreadlocks is because that would exclude half the concert-goers.

I was wondering about that. Is that also considered cultural appropriation?
I liked the post of the woman apologizing. I’ve never worn a headdress, but I can totally relate to doing something as a younger person and later learning it had a history of offensiveness that I was unaware of. We aren’t born racist, but neither are we born fully informed. We all have to learn somehow.

ETA quote for context.


It would also require giving whoever controls entry the authority to decide who has enough melanin to qualify as black. So many ways that could go so very wrong.


That’s personal bias there.

If done correctly, locking one’s naturally coiled hair is not a style of laziness; it requires much maintenance, including regular washing, the inclusion of natural products for moisture, and the perpetual twisting of the base of each locked segment.

It’s not the the fault of the originating culture if the people who appropriate the style don’t even bother to do it properly.


In general, dreadlocks are one of the least “lazy” hairstyles out there, if you consider “proper” maintenance.


My shooting/gaming buddy has dreadlocks and he has to go like ever 3 weeks to get them worked on to keep them looking nice. I guess there might be other types of dread that are more natural and requires less maintenance, but I dunno.

My vote for the least maintenance are:

All around buzz cut with trimmers.

Just tie it back in a pony tail. That one worked for me for years.


That’s just matted hair.


That’s what I do.

I kind of wonder if the person who said dreadlocks are easy is conflating them with braids. Everyone I’ve ever known with dreads and/or cornrows works hard to keep them in ship-shape, or employs the services of a skilled hairstylist.


Well that’s the problem-- I know lots of people with long hair who end up with dreads in back, it even happened to me once, and there are a couple homeless guys in my neighborhood with thick nasty dreads. Sure, making them look nice is an effort, but just getting them only requires you grow your hair long and not comb/brush it (and I guess not have naturally fine silky hair.)

Um, that’s tangles, not dreads. Trust me, I’ve been there.



‘Pseudo-locks’ as the native island folks whom I lived among called them.

And yes, many island folks do look down upon that kind of cultural appropriation, since people who have no coil to their hair often resort to not washing or combing their tresses at all, in order to get it to clump together.


That’s just matted hair, not dreads. Do you not see the difference? These people have clumps due to their condition in life, probably not so much as an appropriation of another culture.


I think we’re quibbling over the definition of “dreadlocks.”

I’ve commonly heard this referred to as a “mono dread” (though it would more accurately be called a Polish Plait), I think even one of the guys from Israel Vibration had nasty matted dreads for a while-- I’m not about to tell him “it’s not really dreadlocks if you don’t keep them neat.”

Having one’s hair end up matted, tangled and nasty from a lack of maintenance and personal hygiene is NOT the same as locked hair, aka dread locks.

It’s just not.

There’s an entire process to ‘locking-up,’ that starts with first thoroughly cleaning one’s hair, then dividing it up into many segments, and then twisting until your freakin’ hands fall off. Some folks may implement small amounts of beeswax, while others don’t find that step necessary; just depending upon the individual amount of natural coil one’s hair has.


I suspect the vast majority of people who identify as members of a culture that incorporates dreadlocks would define them less expansively than tangled or matted hair, and so frankly would I, but I’ll concede that I’m unfamiliar with Polish plait.


Aye…entropy versus order (AKA negentropy).

If hair were self-organizing, salons and barbershops would be out of work in a jiff.


I’m speaking as not only someone who is a part of the culture being referenced in this tangential discussion, but as someone who is seriously considering locking my own hair once I reach a certain age. I’ve been doing my research for quite some time.


What? The styling and grooming is the difference. That’s what makes one thing a hairstyle and the other thing not a hairstyle. Dreads should be clean. Honestly calling matted moldy hair that’s just held together by grime “dreads” is already kind of a lowkey insult.

Perhaps it’s a sign that even the designation of what gets called “dread locks” has been appropriated? Also I suspect the reason you’ve heard it is the same reason for the “Polish” in Polish plait.


I live in Texas. I hear a lot of things all of the time. If I didn’t quibble about the things people say and effects of that I’d be an objectively worse person than I am today.


You probably should have clicked the link-- the Polish plait really was common in that area of Eastern Europe.