Maja Tabea Jerrentrup: A Non-Linear Style. Contradictions Surrounding Dreadlocks


This article revolves around the question why people in “Western” cultures grow dreadlocks based on observations on social media and participant observation. It addresses the issue of cultural appropriation and moves on looking at certain motivations. It is striking that many aspects are two-sided if not contradictory, e.g., the strong connection to naturality, though for the most part dreadlocks are not a natural style, being sectioned, crocheted, dyed, extended, etc. They seem to stand for harmony and stability and yet signify rebellion. They visualise people’s inner self – yet should not be taken too seriously. By these contradictions, dreadlocks seem to give a postmodern statement.

[dreadlocks, hair, style, look, cognitive dissonance]