I am a 54 year-old Mom, Wife and Grandmother
who has loved dreads from afar for many years I always thought they looked so cool, and somehow peaceful, and I eventually realized that most people with dreads shampoo them when ever they want, a few times a week on average. (They are not "dirty", at least not usually.)
I decided I didn't want to get to age 80 and regret not having dreads: I decided maybe I wanted to be age 80 with fabulous silver white dreads down to the small of my back! I took the plunge and went to Cliff's Fades and Braids yesterday (Earth Day, yes, I did that on purpose) to get all twisted up by their resident dreads specialist, Nancy Reagan (no baloney, that's this talented, tough-as-nails dreaded beautician's name) ~ here in Lincoln, NE where I have lived with my family since 1984. Nancy is about 57-58 years old & hails from the mean streets of Pontiac, Michigan and drives the hour commute to Omaha to work in a salon there, and does dreads here in Lincoln "in her spare time".
One of the religions most often associated with dreadlocks is Rastafari. The Rastafarians belive, among other things, that Jah (God) forms dreadlocks in your hair and that the shape of the dreads tells about your personality. Rastafarians are not required to have dreadlocks and certainly those who have dreadlocks are not required to be rasta. The ancient historians who first came across the Irish and Scot peoples wrote of them having "Hair like many snakes". Sounds like dreads to me. Ditto for the Vikings, they were dreaded up too. Ditto the early Christians, a description of our Lord's brother St. James has been handed down that describe shim as having what can only be named dreadlocks. If I had to guess I'd say the majority of the people who start dreadlocks do it as an outward symbol of something they feel inside. It may be part of a spiritual journey or it may be part of rebelling against consumerism (hair gels, mousses, shampoos, hair spray, pomades, 14 kinds of conditioners etc etc etc) or it may just be a stylish "do".
So anyhow, I am viewing this coming year of growing and tending my dreads as a spiritual journey towards patience and living in God's Will, as it takes about that amount of time to lock the new dreads up fully. It is a journey of the heart, mind and spirit towards patience and living in God's will, acquiescing to the direction of the Holy Spirit.