History & their origin
The name “dreadlocks” was given to people in Africa by the Europeans when they first visited during the years of slavery, as a means of spreading negative connotations about their hair.
To them, locks were seen as less privileged, problematic, especially nowadays, so locks were seen as dreadful, instead of what they truly mean. The word “dread” was added to locks to depict a negative idea. While people are okay with saying dreadlocks, mentally and emotionally speaking, there is literally nothing dreadful about having locks. Your hair is your crown so you should treat it as such. What you do with your hair is a true representation of who you are.
The correct terminology of this ‘hair style’ is Locks or as I prefer to spell it ‘Locs’. There are people who accept dreads, while some accept dreadlocks/locs. There are others who call it natty/natty dread, rasta, and then there are a list of types of locs out there such as goddess locs, sister locs, traditional locs, etc. Despite the negative connotation, we should be wise enough not to take things lightly when it’s been used by people around us who are really not supportive.
Locks were originated in Africa. People of religious authority back then could be easily identified by the locks on their heads. Locks bring people together, and to be one with nature. It also highlights true African identity. It doesn’t matter if you started your journey for fashion, it all narrows back to our roots, to our heritage. No one should criticize you for having locks, especially if you’re black. Know your heritage and know your worth.
People lock their hair because of religion, fashion, or they want to connect to their roots. There are some people who have them from they were a child because it’s in their family, so it’s also traditional.
I personally have been bombarded by many as why I have locks now. Some people think that I’m stepping out of the Christian religion, some think I’m only testing out this style, because I have been asked when am I gonna loosen them. Even when my locks gets to a desired length I’m not gonna loosen them.
Something I think about quite often is that, people with locks are so caring and free, and I’m speaking of conscious minded people. They could be so unbothered by the negativity going around them because as they grow spiritually and their locks grow, it becomes a learning process; something so much deeper about our culture and nature.
To conclude, you choose by which title you want to call them. Just remember that they are both of the same community, they are both beautiful, they both need to be loved and they both captivate the attention of people around us.