Did Vikings Have Dreads?

Vikings Dreads

Many questions still need to be answered when it comes to the mysterious and fascinating world of the Vikings. One of the most intriguing topics centers around their appearance, specifically their hairstyles. In this article, we will delve deep into the question: did Vikings have dreadlocks? We will explore the possible existence of Viking dreads, the difference between Viking locks and dreadlocks, and the cultural implications of adopting such hairstyles in modern times.

Where Did Dreadlocks Originate from?

The history of dreadlocks is a complex and fascinating subject that spans various cultures and thousands of years. Pinpointing the exact origin of dreadlocks is challenging due to their widespread presence across different societies and periods. However, examining the history of dreadlocks can provide insights into their cultural significance and the factors that led to their emergence.

Ancient Egypt is often cited as one of the earliest known cultures to have worn dreadlocks. Archaeological evidence, such as the well-preserved hair of Egyptian mummies, reveals that dreadlocks were present as far back as 1500 BCE. This hairstyle likely held spiritual and religious significance for the ancient Egyptians.

Dreadlocks have also been documented in ancient Minoan culture, which thrived on the island of Crete around 2000 BCE. Frescoes and pottery artifacts from this time depict individuals with long, braided, or dreadlocked hair. This suggests that dreadlocks were a part of Minoan society, although their cultural significance remains unclear.

In African cultures, dreadlocks have a long and storied history. Some of the oldest evidence of dreadlocks in Africa dates back to the Maasai and Himba tribes, among others. In these societies, dreadlocks held various meanings, ranging from spiritual significance to social status. The emergence of Rastafarianism in Jamaica during the 20th century popularized dreadlocks as a symbol of African heritage and spirituality, further solidifying their connection to African cultures.

The presence of dreadlocks in other societies, such as the Celts and potentially the Vikings, demonstrate the widespread nature of this hairstyle across diverse cultures. The origins of dreadlocks cannot be attributed to a single culture or time but rather reflect a shared human experience and a deep-rooted connection with hair as a means of self-expression and identity.

What Cultures Had Dreadlocks? 

Dreadlocks, a hairstyle characterized by matted or rope-like strands of hair, have a rich and diverse history spanning different cultures and periods. In this exploration, we will delve into some of the prominent cultures known for their connection to dreadlocks and examine the significance of this unique hairstyle in their respective societies.

  • Ancient Egypt

One of the earliest documented instances of dreadlocks comes from Ancient Egypt, with evidence dating back to 1500 BCE. Archaeological finds, such as mummified remains, show that some Egyptians wore their hair in dreadlocks, which may have held religious or spiritual significance within their culture.

  • Minoan Civilization

The Minoan civilization flourished on the island of Crete around 2000 BCE and is another ancient society known for its connection to dreadlocks. Frescoes and pottery artifacts depict individuals with long, braided, or dreadlocked hair, indicating that this hairstyle was prevalent among the Minoans.

  • African Tribes

Dreadlocks have a long history in various African tribes, such as the Maasai and Himba. In these cultures, dreadlocks held different meanings, ranging from spiritual significance to indications of social status. Additionally, dreadlocks have played a crucial role in the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica, symbolizing African heritage and spirituality.

  • Celtic Culture

Celtic tribes, known for their warrior spirit and intricate art, also had a connection to dreadlocks. Historical accounts and archaeological finds suggest that Celtic warriors may have worn their hair in tight, matted locks to display their fierceness in battle.

  • Sadhus of India

Sadhus, the holy men of India, have been known to wear their hair in dreadlocks to signify their spiritual journey and renunciation of materialistic life. For these ascetics, dreadlocks symbolize their detachment from earthly possessions and desires.

  • Indigenous Australians

Some Indigenous Australian communities have also been documented with dreadlock hairstyles, which may have held cultural or spiritual significance within their societies.

As you can see, dreadlocks have been a part of diverse cultures throughout history, each with unique meaning and significance. From ancient civilizations to tribal communities and spiritual movements, the presence of dreadlocks transcends geographic and cultural boundaries. This timeless hairstyle continues to captivate and inspire, serving as a testament to the richness and complexity of human artistic expression.

Vikings Dreadlocks: A Hairstyle Mystery

When we think of Viking hairstyles, braids, and long hair often come to mind. Yet, there is much debate among historians and anthropologists regarding the existence of Viking dreads. Did Vikings wear dreadlocks, or is this just a myth perpetuated by popular culture? To answer this question, we must examine the evidence and historical context.

While a few accounts and artistic depictions suggest that some Vikings might have worn their hair in dreadlocks or matted locks, the evidence is scarce and often contradictory. Some argue that these depictions could represent artistic interpretations or symbolic representations of strength rather than accurately portraying their hairstyles. Furthermore, it is essential to consider that the Viking world encompassed various cultures and geographic regions, meaning that there might not have been a one-size-fits-all hairstyle among these fierce warriors.

Celtic Dreadlocks: An Intriguing Connection

One potential link to the Viking dreadlocks theory comes from the Celts, another group of warriors from ancient Europe. Celtic dreadlocks are documented in historical texts and archaeological finds, showing that these tightly knotted hairstyles were prevalent among Celtic tribes. Some historians speculate that the Vikings might have adopted or been influenced by Celtic hairstyles during their interactions and trade with these neighboring cultures. But this theory remains speculative, and the evidence for Viking dreadlocks remains inconclusive.

Did Vikings Have Dreadlocks before Africans?

The question of whether Vikings had dreadlocks before Africans is an intriguing one. It is essential to recognize that the history of dreadlocks as a hairstyle dates back thousands of years and spans mixed cultures and geographic regions.

Dreadlocks have been documented in various ancient societies, including the Egyptians, the Minoans, and the Rastafarians. Yet, they are often associated with African cultures, particularly the Ethiopian and Rastafarian traditions. In Africa, dreadlocks are believed to have existed for thousands of years, well before the Viking Age, which spanned from the late 8th to the early 11th century.

While some historians and anthropologists argue that Vikings may have worn their hair in dreadlocks or matted locks, the evidence for this theory is scarce and often contradictory. Most of the available evidence points to braids and long hair being more prevalent among Vikings than dreadlocks. Furthermore, the possibility of a connection between Celtic dreadlocks and Viking hairstyles remains speculative, without definitive evidence.

It is important to consider that dreadlocks, as a hairstyle, can occur naturally in different hair types if left uncombed and allowed to mat over time. Thus, the existence of dreadlocks in various cultures should not be seen as an exclusive hairstyle attributed to one specific group.

In conclusion, insufficient evidence supports the idea that Vikings had dreadlocks before Africans. While a few accounts and artistic depictions suggest that some Vikings might have worn their hair in dreadlocks, the evidence must be more conclusive. On the other hand, the history of dreadlocks in African cultures predates the Viking Age by a considerable margin. Therefore, it is more accurate to attribute the origin of dreadlocks to African cultures and acknowledge that this hairstyle has appeared across different societies throughout history.

Did Vikings Have Dreads or Braids?

The question of whether Vikings had dreads or braids is challenging due to the scarcity of direct evidence. While a few depictions indicate matted or knotted hair, there is also substantial evidence indicating that braids were a common hairstyle among Vikings. This evidence includes archaeological finds, such as hair combs and hairpins, as well as textual descriptions of Viking hairstyles.

One famous example of a Viking hairstyle comes from the Oseberg ship burial, which dates back to the early 9th century. The grave contained two women’s remains, one of whom had her hair in an intricate, braided hairstyle. This find provides strong evidence that braids were common among Viking women but did not necessarily rule out the possibility of Viking dreads.

Viking Locks vs. Dreadlocks: What’s the Difference?

The terms “Viking locks” and “dreadlocks” are sometimes used interchangeably, but they refer to different hairstyles. Viking locks typically describe braided or plaited hairstyles, while dreadlocks are formed by allowing hair to mat and clump together over time. There is evidence for Viking locks in archaeological and historical texts, while evidence for Viking dreadlocks remains sparse and ambiguous.

Are Viking Locs Cultural Appropriation?

In recent years, the concept of cultural appropriation has become a topic of discussion in various aspects of modern society, including fashion and beauty. The term “cultural appropriation” refers to adopting elements from a culture other than one’s own without understanding or respecting the original culture’s significance and context. In the case of Viking locs or dreadlocks, the question arises whether adopting such hairstyles might be considered cultural appropriation.

It is crucial to consider these hairstyles’ historical context and cultural significance before labeling them as appropriative. Since the evidence for Viking dreadlocks is scarce and ambiguous, it is difficult to claim definitively that these hairstyles were a crucial part of Viking culture. Additionally, the Viking world included various cultures and regions, further complicating the matter.

In terms of Celtic dreadlocks, it is essential to understand that this hairstyle was more prevalent and well-documented. However, one must consider that the Celts and their culture have evolved, and the cultural significance of these hairstyles today may differ from their ancient origins.

Ultimately, when it comes to the question of cultural appropriation, it is essential to approach the topic with sensitivity, respect, and a willingness to learn. Adopting elements from historical cultures should be done with an understanding of the context and an appreciation for the culture from which it originates. It is also important to acknowledge that cultural appropriation is subjective and might vary from person to person.

Viking Dreads History: A Brief Overview

As discussed earlier, the history of Viking dreads remains elusive and inconclusive. Some historians and anthropologists argue that Viking dreadlocks might have existed, while others believe this idea is based on misconceptions or artistic interpretations. The evidence for Viking dreadlocks is limited and often contradictory, with most evidence pointing towards braids and long hair being more prevalent among Vikings.

While there might be a connection between Celtic dreadlocks and the Vikings, this link remains speculative. It is worth noting that the Viking Age was marked by cultural exchanges and trade between various groups, which could have influenced their hairstyles. Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine whether Viking dreadlocks were a common hairstyle among these ancient warriors.

What Are Viking Dreadlocks Called?

Given the lack of concrete evidence for Viking dreadlocks, there is no specific term for this hairstyle in historical texts or archaeological records. The few artistic depictions and descriptions of matted or knotted hair among Vikings do not provide an exact name for these hairstyles. Consequently, the term “Viking dreadlocks” is a modern invention that attempts to describe the possibility of dreadlocks among Viking populations. It is essential to recognize that this term has no historical basis and is rooted in speculation rather than solid evidence.


Whether Vikings had dreadlocks remains a topic of much debate and uncertainty among historians and anthropologists. While some evidence signifies that Vikings may have worn their hair in dreadlocks or matted locks, the evidence is scarce and often contradictory. Besides, the possibility of a connection between Celtic dreadlocks and Viking hairstyles remains speculative.

When adopting Viking locs or dreadlocks in modern times, it is crucial to approach the topic with sensitivity, respect, and a willingness to learn about the historical and cultural context of these hairstyles. In this way, we can appreciate and celebrate the diverse and fascinating world of the Vikings while also acknowledging the complexity of their cultural legacy.

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