Dreadlocks are rising in acceptance and popularity. Whether you see it as an identity, a fashion statement, or a political rebellion, let’s see the most iconic dreadlock styles. The Ponytail Dreadlocks are perfect if you’re simply a conservative person. Natural Dreadlocks are the most artistic dread style suitable for nature lovers. Wavy Dreadlocks have a way of giving an illusion of weighty hair. It’s your best pick for a beach holiday. Long Dreadlocks are similar to natural dreadlocks but they are extremely long! Twisted Dreadlocks are not the typical matted dreads. They are twisted as a style. Dreadlocks are rising in acceptance and popularity. Almost everywhere you go now, you're likely to meet discussion about the fuss of this hairstyle, what it is and arguments about where it originated from. Well, dreadlocks are matted, jungle-like rope clumps of hair formed by tangling or crocheting your hair together. As for its origin, it is connected to ancient Greek, Rastafari ethnicities like Jamaica and Aztec. Amongst Africans, it is long linked to the Maasai tribe of Kenya, Ashanti tribe of Ghana, Galla, and Fulani tribes. Whether you see it as an identity, a fashion statement, or a political rebellion, let’s agree to the most iconic style of this eye-catching protective hairstyle! Ponytail Dreadlocks: This unisex style is rocked more by Black men with unique creative styling. Many opt for the short ponytail dreads for a more clean, corporate look. If you’re simply a conservative person, this might be one of the lush dread styles for you. Natural Dreadlocks: If you look closely at these locks, you’ll see that there are no extensions attached. The wearer’s natural hair has been twisted and locked as it grew naturally from hair care neglect. You would even see tangled knots of the aged hair. This is the most artistic dreaded style and is suitable for nature lovers. Wavy Dreadlocks: This hairstyle has an illusion of full weighty hair. It is pretty on women and mergers well with different personalities and events. It’s your best pick for a boho beach holiday. Long Dreadlocks: This is as typical as natural dreadlocks but they are extremely long! You can do them with extensions or with your natural hair. It takes a lot of back pain from sitting to twist these unless you grew them your whole life! This style can be fashioned into a bun, to the side, and many other ways. It is an indisputable way of showing your love dreadlocks. Twisted Dreadlocks: These are not the typical matted dreads. They are dreads, twisted as a style. Normally, dreads are meant to appear as natural as possible but twisted dreads would show you the crisscross of twisted hair. This style is for people that want to highlight their hairstyle, making people stop and stare.
A long time ago, two brothers, Kuragu and Ameyaw were hunting in their homeland, Bonwire in Ghana when they came across a spider spinning its web. They observed the pattern and replicated it in weaving fabric. They called the technique Kente. The African Kente has more than 300 patterns. The Square pattern denotes Cosmology, earth, femineity, fertility, and life. The Triangle embodies life; both existence, birth, and death. Diamond signifies the duality, royalty, and royal functions. Circle signifies eternity and infinity of the royal sovereignty and lineage. Cross pattern means breath of life and the spirit, A Zigzag pattern means that the life path is narrow and golden stool means power. A long time ago in the 17th century, two brothers, Kuragu and Ameyaw were hunting in their homeland, Bonwire in Ghana when they came across a spider spinning its web. They studied the technique of the spider, made some hand-woven experiments. When they saw it was good, they introduced it to the king and the rest of the town as the African Kente fabric. The king was pleased and approved the fabric as an exclusive royal attire. Ghanaians believe this story to be a myth of the African Kente fabric; a unique spider technique. The African Kente textiles are an aesthetic full of vibrant colors with more than 300 patterns on the fabric. The fabric is woven three to four inches wide. Several yards are often sewn together to make full clothing for the people. This full garment is called “ntoma” and is reserved for the Chiefs and Queen mothers for festivals. Originally, silk fabric was used to make the cloth but with modern-day contemporary fashion, kente is made from cotton, rayon, and silk. For special events like weddings, funerals, or naming ceremonies, the patterns are specifically chosen to fit the event. The symbols on kente cloth are of particular significance as they interpret religious and political annotations; Square denotes Cosmology, earth, femineity, fertility, and life. Triangle embodies life; both existence, birth, and death. Diamond signifies the duality, royalty, and royal functions of the chiefs and kings. Circle signifies eternity and infinity of the royal sovereignty and lineage. Cross means breath of life and the spirit, and Zigzag means that the life path is narrow and golden stool means power. Currently, both original kente clothes and patterned replicas are used in popular fashion styles. It is however important to study what the patterns and colors mean because you wouldn’t want to be odd wearing it wrongly on an occasion and disrespecting one’s cultural essence.
5 celebrities that Promote African Fashion- Shammah When it comes to pushing boundaries in African fashion, these celebrities have their Afrocentric statement pieces on lockdown. Firstly we have Yemi Alade. This Nigerian musician known as Mama Africa rocks African wears especially Ankara. Sauti Sol is one boy band that doesn’t wear the same style and loves to creates several African design inspirations when they step out. Lupita Nyong’o loves to flaunt African headwraps on the red carpet seen especially during the Queen of Katwe movie promotions. Chimamanda Adiche is a universal speaker who is always spotted wearing African attire at her awards and TV appearances. Finally we have Jidenna who loves to wear a variety of Ankara prints especially since his music video “Classic Man”. When it comes to pushing boundaries in African fashion design and arts, these celebrities undeniably have their Afrocentric statement pieces on lockdown. Regardless of their field and nature of work, these superstars have a longstanding, unshakeable presence that tells you they are black and proud, any time and any day. From a first glance, it seems that in this life and in their next life, they would choose to be black. Below, is our best pick for the top five celebrities that steadily promote African fashion; Yemi Alade: Yemi, also known as ‘Mama Africa’ is celebrated for her beautiful voice but more often, for her colorful display of African fashion. In 2016, she became both brand ambassadors for Africa Fashion Week Nigeria and Africa Fashion Week London. From her entrance into the music industry, she rocks African wear especially Ankara. There is no better place to get inspiration from than her styles on the internet. She made a glam entrance on the 2016 BET Awards red carpet where she wore a Zuhair Murad’s piece from the 2016 Resort collection. It was reported to cost her about $6,900. She currently has a fashion label “ House of Tangerine’. In her latest 2020 music video, Shekere, she draws inspiration from different African tribes to piece the outfits she wore. The outfit is formerly from the Maasai tribe, an ethnic group in Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania. Sauti Sol: Their style is one that speaks for itself. The boy band does not collectively decide on what to wear on any occasion however, this creates a variety of trends, design, and styling inspirations for their fans and viewers. will walk into a room and you will know who they are Their fellow Kenyans may not be as open-minded to their style but the band doesn’t care so far as they are able to express themselves. Amongst all their bold statement pieces, the boys wore an exceptional African casual fit for the 2015 Coke Studio Africa performance with Yemi Alade. The pictures made it to an exhibition in Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, UK. They often use their Instagram as an art museum to showcase their outfit, rebutting controversies from haters and rubbing it in their faces. Lupita Nyog’o: The Kenyan-born actress, Lupita Nyong’o may be popular for her acting dexterity, but her fashion sense is something to behold. She has been flaunting African fashion and headwraps on the red carpet especially during her promotion of Queen of Katwe, in which she featured. In various fashion magazines, her wardrobe is rated among the best in Hollywood. The African fashion queen is a 2014 Oscar award winner and is prevalent in incorporating styles and designs that celebrate her Kenyan roots. Lupita, in a beautiful picture with some local Ghanaian ladies, rocked the African Rastafarian dreads hairstyle when she toured Ghana. The picture, of course, stole the heart of many and circulated online. Chimamanda Adiche: Almost every time, the universal speaker is spotted wearing African attire; from delivering a speech, to taking an award or just casually sitting at home. The famous writer of African feminism books supports a purposeful dressing intonation to promote Nigerian fashion products in the belief that it would increase the value of the currency when seen on us Africans. On Financial Times, she has shared her story of style titled “My Fashion Nationalism”. She launched her 2017 ‘Wear Nigerian Project’ on Instagram with the intention to support the fashion industry, from the tailors to manufacturers, retailers, and African fashion brands. Chimamanda wears attires and accessories made from local print fabrics, to sustain talented designers and small businesses. She is all about telling a story about fashion and empowering the African economy. When she posts on the gram wearing African, she tags the African designer and draws traffic with catchy hashtags like #madeinSouthAfrica or #wearAfrican. Jidenna: Since his music video “Classic Man”, where he wore breathtaking West African Ankara prints, Jidenna is known to be an African prince promoting a Nigerian rebirth and supporting black culture. He once said that his prayer is for every black celebrity on the red carpet to wear only black designers. During the 2019 New York Fashion Week, his creative director and stylist dressed him with outfits from an African American designer, Kenneth Nicholson. He has had collaborations with Laduma Ngxokolo, a renowned South African designer, creator of Maxhosa Africa knitwear. Although Jidenna claims to not know a lot about fashion, he is graced to have the best stylist and designer. Not to mention his handsome body structure that fits every outfit, Jidenna is perfect in African pieces.
The dreadlock hairstyle is unique to the continent of Africa as it has a very long history in Africa than other parts of the world. In Africa, it is as old as 500 BCE . The very first people to be spotted with dreadlocks were the Ethiopian priests. The Maasai tribe of Kenya also wore dreadlocks that were colored red in order to look different from other tribes. Some children in Nigeria are believed to be have been born with dread-like hair called DADA. The Rastafarians adopted the hairstyle from Ethiopian warriors who swore not to cut their hair until Emperor Ras Tafari, Haile Selassie their leader was brought back from exile.Did you know that the Maasai people of Kenya and Northern Tanzania carried dreadlocks that were often colored red in order to differentiate them from other tribes? It is also believed that in Nigeria there are children born into the world with dread-like hair and it is referred to as “Dada”. Many people associate the hairstyle with waywardness and lack of direction, but the fact is that many people that engage in this kind of conversation do not know the real roots of the famous hairstyle. It is believed by some people that it started in Africa however, another group of people disagree. They believe it came from the westerners when they came for their colonial businesses. Quick question to you before you continue reading this article, WHERE DID THE DREADLOCK HAIRSTYLE ORIGINATE FROM? While you're at it, let your mind wander a bit to the Rastas, care to imagine where they all come from or what inspired that religion? The Dreadlock hairstyle has a very long history in Africa and this is not to say that it doesn't have histories in other parts of the world but it is safe to say that Africa's dreadlock hairstyle is unique to only Africans. In 500 BCE (yes! as early as that), the very first people to be spotted with dreadlocks were the priests of the Ethiopian Coptic Orthodox Church. So is it safe to say that Africa is the birthplace of the famous Dreadlocks hairstyle? Maybe. Centuries after that saw more tribes in Africa sport the dreadlock hairstyle. Studies have shown that the RASTAFARIANS started following the teachings and doctrines of the Ethiopian Emperor Ras Tafari, Haile Selassie and in turn, adapted the hairstyle from the Ethiopian warriors who had sworn not to cut their hair until he was brought back from exile. These warriors were dreaded and this brought into existence the term "DREADLOCKS".