Masike’s dreadlocks: Culture or just a hairstyle?

YEARS ago, dreadlocks, dreads or locks, whatever term of choice for them, used to be associated most closely with Rastafarians, but now, people from different cultures are spotting them.

BY WINSTONE ANTONIO

Hope Masike

Hope Masike

While dreadlocks are said to be difficult to grow as the first month is often characterised by a heavy cost, extensions are now available, without one having to wait for months or years for the hair to fully lock.

The choice to wear dreadlocks is believed to be a major decision because of the numerous connotations surrounding the style.

For some, wearing dreadlocks is a symbol of spiritual or cultural affiliation, while for others, it is just for fashion or to make a statement.

Mbira queen, Hope Masike, says that sporting dreadlocks does not mean she follows the Rastafarian culture, but prices being African.

Masike has been dreadlocked for close to a decade and says her trademark hairstyle has helped define who she is in associating her with African culture.

“Although I would like to learn more about Rastafarian culture, as any other important culture, I am not Rastafarian. My locks are, of course, my hairstyle of choice, but they represent more. Beyond being a mere hairstyle, by default generally, they are also personally by design and by desire too,” Masike told NewsDay Weekender.

Her inspiration to sport dreadlocks has also been a result of her not wanting to put chemicals on her scalp.

“Dreadlocks for me are convenient, less time-consuming and very cost-efficient once you can retouch them yourself, which is easy. They are also stress-free for people like me, who do not fancy putting chemicals on their scalps or plaiting their hair quite often,” she said.

The celebrated musician said dreadlocks have not brought any change to her persona.

“Hairstyles come with personalities. But what is good is to have a hairstyle whose personality complements yours, then there is no discord. I guess that is where we belong. Locks complement the rest of me, they do not change me,” Masike said.

When it comes to retouching, she said she does it as often as required, depending with the nature of the style.
“I do not have a set retouch routine. It depends with my current lifestyle,” she said.

“However, as long as the locks are clean, I like the rougher, more casual look of ‘unretouched’ locks as opposed to the absolutely neat, tight look of recently retouched locks. Fortunately, I have the licence to rock my locks as I desire, being a creative and self-employed person,” Masike chuckled.

While many a people are now sporting dreadlocks, they are still sometimes looked down upon by society.