Alternative body modifications such as piercings and tattoos can hardly even be categorized as alternative anymore, they are so well represented in mainstream media that the facts regarding them are easy to find and makes these alternative life choices far more widely accepted. Dreadlocks are decidedly different, they have ugly connotations and there's far more misinformation out there repeated by the uninformed than there is actual knowledge. This post is intended to be used to set people straight on the facts regarding dreadlocks. It is not intended to make people love dreadlocks, but it should hopefully allow them to make a well-informed decision once they know all the facts.
Where to begin?...
Dreadlocks are dirty, they're made from unwashed hair.
This is a complete lie. Dreadlocks are formed from interlocked hairs. Basically it's hair that is matted together and then due to gravity and friction forms the tube shape. If you leave any hair long enough without brushing and conditioning, it will form dreadlocks, regardless of how clean or dirty the hair is. Dirty hair is actually counter productive to forming dreadlocks because greasy hair won't knot together as well as clean hair, because the greasy hairs slip past each other. So dreadlocks NEED TO BE CLEAN in order to grow and mature properly. They can be cleaned as often as you like, usually anywhere between every other day to once a week, the choice is completely up to the dreadlock-wearer and you can be damn sure that if they really were gross, they would be the first to know and would do something about it! Dreadlocks are a choice and why would so many people choose to have a keep dreadlocks if they really were so gross? Read my washing and drying post for exact washing details. Dreadlocks are as clean as any other hair, if you choose not to wash them = they become dirty. So someone with dirty unwashed dreadlocks would have dirty unwashed hair anyway, it's not the dreadlocks' fault.
Dreadlocks are full of bugs.
Seriously, who comes up with this stuff. There are thousands and thousands of people out there with dreadlocks, do you seriously think they would keep them if they had bugs in them? you actually think people would make the choice to live with bugs on their head? no, ofcourse not. Dreadlocks are solid tubes of hair, not hollow honeycombs like some people think. There is no where for bugs to go. The only bugs you'd find on dreadlocks are the same bugs that can be found on normal hair, like if a spider lands on your head, they're not attracted to dreadlocks. Bugs will not live in dreadlocks even if they could, because there is nothing in/on a dreadlock for a bug. Dreadlocks aren't food, nothing eats dreadlocks, so bugs would only hang around on a dreadlock as long as they would on normal hair. Also lice are not attracted to dreadlocks. Lice survive off of the blood of their host, they don't care if the host has dreadlocks or not. They're more difficult to remove from dreadlocked hair, but having dreadlocks does not make you more likely to get head-lice!.
You have to shave your head to remove dreadlocks.While of course the fastest method of dreadlock removal is to cut them all off, it is by no means the only method. Dreadlocks can be removed and the hair can return to it's normal unknotted state. I have a guide for doing this on this very site. Removal involves soaking your hair in warm water and rubbing conditioner into the dreads, before carefully teasing out the knots with a needle or knitting needle. It's also very easy to go from dreadlocks to normal short hair without being completely shaven - dreadlocks are not solid-locked all the way to the scalp. There is usually a good inch or so of normal hair in the root. You may cut above this length and be left with normal short hair.
Please pass this information on and repost it in reply to those who continue to speak of things they know nothing about. It's perfectly acceptable for someone to dislike the aesthetics of dreadlocks, that's personal choice, but they should know that there is nothing inherently wrong with them.