Why White Girls wear Dreadlocks

Thick lovely Dreads

Why do white girls love to wear dreadlocks? Some women who wear dreadlocks are Hippies, punk or simply regular everyday people who want to express themselves through their hairstyle.  You may ask why would someone who had long, straight or curly soft hair want their hair to get matted into dreadlocks?  Some people feel that dreadlocks on white girls constitute cultural appropriation or appreciation. It all depends on your views.

In my humble opinion, I think that we, are placing too much emphasis on a particular hairstyle. People wear their hair in many different styles for many different reasons.  It’s not just a Black thing or a Caribbean thing or a Jamaican thing or even Rastafarian thing.   It goes a lot deeper than most people know.  Some people wear their hair locked for religious reason, while others look at dreadlocks as simply a fashion statement. In an article from Vice, they asked white people why they wore dreadlocks. Here’s what one young woman said “I always loved the way they looked and wanted them for about five years and hated brushing my hair. Then, when I went traveling, I decided to finally get them made to keep my hair neat and low maintenance.”

Regardless of your reason for wearing dreadlocks, here is a brief history of the hairstyles origin:

Quaz Amir – Photographer

Dreadlocks have been worn by nearly every culture at some point in time or another. Roman accounts stated that the Celts wore their hair ‘like snakes’. The Germanic tribes and Vikings were also known to wear their hair in dreadlocks. Dreadlocks have been worn by the monks of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, the Nazarite of Judaism, Qalandri’s Sufi’s, the Sadhu’s of Hinduism, and the Dervishes of Islam, and many more! There are even strong suggestions that many early Christians wore dreadlocks; most notably Sampson who was said to have seven locks of hair which gave him his inhuman strength!

Now that you understand where dreadlocks may have originated,  you may want to take a look at the photos below to get some dread inspiration and learn how to make your dreadlocks uniquely YOU!


Longer dreads can easily be piled on the head for an elegant up do. Accessorize the look with bold flowers for a touch of color and chic flair sure to turn heads. If you prefer a more casual look, however, there are many other dreadlocks styles to choose from.



Shaving the sides of your locks are very simple. Here are the 5 steps:

  1.  Place hair into a pony tail
  2.  Take the hair that you want to cut and then pull out of pony tail
  3.   Use a scissor to cut off long hair
  4.   Use a clipper to shave the hair down close to the scalp

If you desire designs – use the T-Liner for easy designing of zigzag lines, circles or whatever creative drawing your mind can come up with.




How to put on your loc jewelry:

Step 1: Take a strand of your loc that best fits the hole of the loc jewel.
Step 2: Insert your loc into the hole of the loc jewel piece.
Step 3: Pull your loc through the loc jewel until it is secure.

*For those of you who wear loc extensions.  Please note that you many need jewelry with larger openings to fit onto your thick locs.  Use this quick beader tool to help place your beads or jewelry onto your dreadlocks.

Yarn & Synthetic Extensions

Yarn dreads, sometimes also called ‘knitted’ dreadlocks, are really faux dreads that you create with colorful yarn. As a Hair Braider, you can do Dreadlocks.  It doesn’t matter if the hair is kinky or straight.  You  can be creative and make it look beautiful to show individuality.  Visit Hair Braiding 16 Hour Course for information on how to get a Braiding License. 


14 thoughts on “Why White Girls wear Dreadlocks

  1. Hey, thoughtful article. A lovely read, thank you. I’m white and have had locs for nearly two years. I’m now 34 and after years of straightening, shaving, then battling with long, wild hair for the last five years before knotting, I can safely say this is the best hair decision.

    Your article is all-emcompassing and inclusive and I like that. Only thing I’d pick out though is that I locked my hair because I liked the elegance of long hair and potential for styles, but was so tired of the lengthy process of untangling. My hair isn’t soft whatsoever, it’s curly and feels like straw. I used to condition 2-3 times then lather it in serums from afro shops and LOTS of oil and even then it would absorb up to leave dry frizz. Now I just wash with bicarbonate of soda and vinegar once a week after soaking in a hot bath, then run through with argan oil and some essential oils. My hair grows out locked and just now and again I may need to wrap a loose curl around the base to tidy. I’m a secondary school teacher so wear my hair in a neat bun to look professional.

    All in all, dreadlocks is a beautiful and massively time-saving solution to a long battle with unruly, wild hair. It looks neater now than ever before and that’s with virtually no maintenance. I love that I can run my fingers across my scalp and through my hair now, as I never could so easily before.

    I have no piercings other than my earlobes, no tattoos and rarely wear beads in my hair. I think I’ll keep my locs for decades to come – trimming them into different cuts (they’re quite thin dreads) – they’re functional rather than a statement of identity…although naturally they become a statement of identity thereafter whether one like it or not.

    The only thing that I do consider is that as a white British woman, why would I choose a hairstyle that can attract negative discriminaton when there are people of colour who still face discrimination. I question, am I abusing some kind of privilege?

    I believe we’re all brothers and sisters on this planet and how we choose to look really isn’t so important; but it can make us feel nice. Just remember that there are a few whites out there who share in a few of the trials experienced by people with afro hair, and locs make more sense than anything else.

    Thank you again for your fab article.

    Lots of love,


    1. I am a 54 year old white woman… with half curly, half wavy, frizzy hair.. I live in Florida (humidity capital) .. I am considering partial dreads for the same reason .. although I do love the look, I feel like it will help tame my hair and make it easier to manage 😊


    2. Hi Ros,
      I completely identify with you and why you locked your hair. My naturally curly hair has been very diffucult to maintain and always was frizzy despite trying enumerous hair products and moisturizers. Trying to grow it long an ongoing challenge due to breakage from brushing. I started dreads a year ago and am very happy with the decision. Additionally, it has saved so much time in daily maintenance. Thank you for the perspective you presented.


  2. I have always wanted locs for as long as I can remember. My daughter had them in her 20s and I absolutely love them. At 53 I decided, what the heck, I’m not getting any younger! I’ve had my locs for just about two months. I love them! It’s kind of funny, people don’t know how to react when they first see them. Some people ignore them, which I think is really hard to do, and others ask why. I just explain to them that I am 53, I know who I am and don’t really care what other people think!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Congratulations Bev! I am so happy that you have decided to DO YOU! How empowering is that!:-) Enjoy your loc journey. Every year adds a new phase to you life that will be documented thru your locs. The changes and growth are remarkable. Take lots of pictures.
      Peace & Blessings


  3. Why is it that when black people come up with a way to where their natural [nappy] hair in certain style–perhaps even following their ancestor’s way–other groups get attracted by it, begin to imitate, then claim it and concoct a little story behind it in order not to give credit to the people they are borrowing from? This goes with just about everything that identifies black people; be their hair style, way of dressing, dancing, music, you name it. Hell, in some cases even the way we express ourselves as a people with its own culture. As if they sit around waiting for black people to come up with something–anything–then jump on it, imitate it, then when they are called out they manufacture a “history” behind it with the surreptitious implication that “that’s not really Black people’s creation, it’s being around since, blah, blah, blah.” I’d then ask you: Why then those ideas does not occur to you first? If it’s been around since antiquity, why isn’t you the one to bring it back? .


  4. Love the article. I got my locs 2 years ago and love them. I’ve noticed that people in the US found it a lot more “offensive” that I,a white woman, has locs. Even when explaining that I’m German and Germanics also had dreads…. Here in Germany, people are more accepting! 🙂


  5. Another point is that when a white girl gets tired of the statement their hair is making, they can comb, cut out those locks and guess what? They are still white!!! A black person will still be judged on their skin first and hairstyle statement 2nd.


  6. I am a 29 year old white mother of 4 (#5 is on his way in a few months). I started my loc journey last fall when my migraines became too much for me to handle. I had tried everything, every pill, every trial, every home remedy. I was in a car accident in 2013 and that is when I got my TBI. I now wear my hair in an UnderCut with my locs on top. I haven’t had a single Migraine since I started them. I decorate with thread and beads most of the time. When I’m looking for length, I braid in artificial braiding hair or yarn, depending on the look I’m going for. They’re so much fun and my kids (ranging from 15 months-17 years) think they’re fun and the older 3 get to help when we decide that I need something fun and funky.


    1. Dee, I’m so happy that your migraines have gone away since you decided to loc your hair! I think it awesome that you have found a hairstyle that works well with your lifestyle & health! It’s a bonus when your kids can join in and have fun making their Moms hair look pretty!:-)


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