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The Spiritual Meaning Of Dreadlocks

Using the biblical story of Samson as an example, how God has used natural phenomenon to display His glory, including the importance of hair in African-American culture, and how dreadlocks came to represent the enemy.

Dreadlocks are an ancient spiritual tradition that has been around for centuries. The spiritual meaning of dreadlocks is the same today as it was hundreds of years ago, and it’s all about overcoming fear.

The reason this is such a powerful practice is because we can’t overcome fear without first taking care of our physical appearance. So, when you wear dreadlocks, you’re saying to yourself and the world around you: “I’m ready to face my fears head-on.” And that’s a powerful statement!

Dreads also make a statement about how you feel about yourself. They show people that you’re comfortable in your own skin and that you don’t need to change who you are or what you look like in order to be happy or successful in life.

The Spiritual Meaning Of Dreadlocks

Dreadlocks are perceived as a connection to wisdom, and many believe that the head and hair are spiritual energy conductors. According to the Rasta views, the locs are believed to be a part of the Nazarite vows of Leviticus, which cautioned against shaving the head’s four corners.

Many of the people who visit this website are interested in spirituality. We are a welcoming community, and welcome visitors with many different perspectives, backgrounds and beliefs. Although each of us has a unique story and background, when it comes to our spirituality, we have something in common: dreadlocks.

Dreadlocks have a spiritual meaning. You see, the material world is actually a physical manifestation of your thoughts, emotions and beliefs. This “spiritual context” gives dreadlocks their spiritual meaning. In this post I will explain how dreadlocks represent an important spiritual concept. Before I do that, let me give you some context on dreadlocks:

Connection to Wisdom 

Dreadlocks are perceived as a connection to wisdom, and many believe that the head and hair are spiritual energy conductors. According to the Rasta views, the locs are believed to be a part of the Nazarite vows of Leviticus, which cautioned against shaving the head’s four corners. Locs also have connections to the Lion of Judah, which represents the power and strength of a person. 

Traditionally dreadlocks could be symbolic of a follower’s understanding that their physical appearance is unimportant and their disregard for vanity. It signified that they would not be distracted from a path of wisdom and their religion. In both Eastern and Western traditions, they believed that spiritual energy would emanate from the top of the head and hair, and dreadlocks could act as a conduit. Now, dreadlocks are both a beautiful way to wear your hair and a way to hold your spiritual beliefs.

Dreads as Rebellion 

Dreadlocks are not only a way to house divine energy, as some believe. Dreads have been a way to show rebellion to authority with nonconformity and nonviolence. In the 1930s, Ras Tafari became the emperor of Ethiopia. When Ras Tafari was exiled during an enemy invasion, his followers vowed never to cut their hair until he was reinstalled to his rightful throne. The followers, or Rastafarians, believed that the emperor of Ethiopia was the messiah or God incarnate. 

Rastafarians used their hair as a form of rebellion against their British colonizers’ enforcement of hairstyles. This rebellion was also a way to connect more deeply with their beliefs and share camaraderie with each other. Dreads were a tool for Rastas to symbolize their contempt for the starchy British ways and to hold their Afro-centrist leanings, natural living, and loving ideologies closer. 

What do dreadlocks symbolize?

From the origin of dreadlocks, they mean that someone has reached spiritual enlightenment and supreme knowledge. In others, dreadlocks represent the abandonment of physical possessions, which connects closely to many of the spiritual meanings that the hairstyle has.

Usually, you will find that those wearing dreadlocks are at the end of their spiritual journey, no longer needing to find enlightenment. 

The more dreadlocks someone has the more it means that they have mastered their spiritual self, with those that only have a few dreadlocks still being at the start of their journey.

This is why you will find many elders in cultures like Rastafarians have several and longer dreadlocks than those who are still learning about their spiritual selves. 

If you move away from spiritualism many start wearing dreadlocks as a sign of rebellion, or just as religious freedom owing to many of the stricter religions around the world advocate against the hairstyle.

Whatever the reason for wearing the dreadlocks are, you should be aware that people will have close connections to them and that they may not have the same connection to the hairstyle that you will have. 

What has dreadlocks spiritually meant for different cultures?

Modern interpretations of dreadlocks are easy and simple to understand, even if the spiritual connections have been forgotten by some, however, throughout history, many have connected the hairstyle to other meanings.

You must understand how the meaning of dreadlocks will differ wherever you go throughout the world. 

While it may not be that people will hold dreadlocks in the same regards as they used to, there will still be many spiritual people that may remember what the dreadlocks once meant.

You should be sure that when traveling you understand why places like Egypt will have a different connection to dreadlocks than places like Jamaica. Especially as you may find that those in some countries never wash their dreadlocks, while others are constantly washing and oiling their dreadlocks. 

Ancient Egypt

In ancient Egypt, we know that dreadlocks held some of the closest connections to confidence and great power. Many of the great pharaohs, gods, and the strongest women of Ancient Egypt are depicted with dreadlocks.

This is why it important to remember that spiritually dreadlocks can represent these properties when you see a spirit that is wearing them, or when you are wearing them on yourself.

An interesting caveat that should be noted about Egyptian dreadlocks though is that many of those that held the greatest powers in Egypt practiced shaving their heads.

Both sexes practiced this, especially when they were pharaohs, and the dreadlocks that they wore comes from wigs. This is why you can find many mummies that still have intact dreadlocks, while the rest of the body has shriveled up over time. 


In India, the goddess Shiva is usually depicted with long flowing dreadlocks, which means that dreadlocks closely became connected to the spiritual meaning that the goddess has.

Shiva is the goddess of good, she is also the destroyer and the transformer, the supreme being that creates, protects, and transforms the universe. Further, it is believed by many who practice the faith that the power and energy of Shiva are stored within her dreadlocks. 

Today the spiritual connection of dreadlocks for those in India should never be underestimated and those wearing the hairstyle are usually ranked high within the faiths of the country.

There should be a limitation on how you are wearing dreadlocks in the country, with many people not always aware of how important it is. The spiritual meaning of the hairstyle should never be underestimated when you are traveling through India, with respect being paid towards those that are wearing the hairstyle. 


Linked closely to the Rastafarian movement that has overtaken many parts of the world, dreadlocks in Ethiopia are not as old as many believe.

Starting in the 1930s when king Ras Tafari was crowned, then subsequently forced out, the guerrilla warriors that stayed loyal to him refused to cut their hair. Soon the religion that they had resonated with many of the ideologies of others from around the world, making the hairstyle a way to protest against the most popular religions. 

Along with this, you will know that many Rastafarians like to smoke cannabis, which makes them see the world in many different ways. Modern-day Rastafarians are spread far across around the world, with every country having its subculture of Rastafarians.

This is usually why you will find that the culture that started in Ethiopia is spread so far and why most people forget about the actual history and spiritual meaning of dreadlocks, instead of connecting them to this specific culture. 

What is the spiritual impact of dreadlocks?

While the ancient history of dreadlocks should never be forgotten and many people around the world are quick to judge those that are wearing the style, there is still a lot of spiritual impacts that the locks have on your life.

Throughout the world, different things are believed to be had from the hairstyle, however, as you travel more and more you may see some similarities. 

There are three things that we have learned from looking at spiritual beliefs that dreadlocks can help you with. Each one touches on the way that dreadlocks can affect your life, with the needs that many have being provided by the dreadlocks.

Usually, this is why you may find those that are undergoing a spiritual journey willingly growing dreadlocks, while those that have already completed their journey will have clean-shaven hair. 

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