Thoughts on white people with dreads?

Thoughts on white people with dreads?

We don’t get dreads, we get mats.

Dreadlocks are a kind of lock pattern for hair that is very curly. A lock pattern is where the hair twists around and “locks” together.

Black people pretty much exclusively have the tightness of curl needed for a dreadlock pattern, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other lock pattern hairstyles (such as a peyot, the sidelocks worn by various Jewish groups).

So like “Goldilocks” was named after how her hair took a “lock pattern”, but those locks would be comparatively loose.

This is hair with a looser curl in a lock pattern

Hair with a tighter curl in a lock pattern (Dreadlocks)

Straight hair that has been matted

What’s the difference between the last two?

► Dreadlocks are twisted together neatly, mats are tangled in knots. 

► Dreadlocks are healthy hair that can be washed, mats are damaged and often non washable without risking mold.

► Dreads take effort and skill to apply, mats are the product of active destruction and neglect of hair.

► Dreads can be removed. Mats require cutting and shaving.

Now from a cultural standpoint, it’s also shit. Dreadlocks are a symbol on many different levels of Black culture, unity, and resistance to white assimilation. To take them is an act of furthering white assimilation and an act of casual racism.

Especially given that tropes about white hippies with “dreadlocks” have affected how people react to black people with dreadlocks.

So from a practical standpoint we can’t and from an ethical standpoint we shouldn’t.