Skip to main content

What's the Difference Between a Dread and a Rastfarian?

  • Author:
  • Updated date:
No doubt , this is a Rastafarian

No doubt , this is a Rastafarian

Both Dreads and Rastas have hair that is locked, that is, hair grown into matted lengths. Obviously you need dreads to be called a dread, but as Morgan Heritage sings,"you don't have to be Dread to be Rasta, this is not a dread lock thing".

Many who follow the RastafarI Movement, philosophy and culture choose to let their hair grow out naturally, hence the term "Natty Dread". They shun the scissors, razors and brush to let the hair lock up, using only fresh water to wash them in. To the Rasta growing locks takes patience, part of the lifestyle and spiritual journey.

The Dread, often referred to as "fashion dread' hurries the locking pracess along by twisting, backcombing, waxing, threading etc,(see my hub How to grow Dreads) and even trips to the salon. For Dreads shaving the facial hair is not an issue. Dreads tend to be proud of the hair and show it off. There is a little sub group of Dreads, I call the Hippie Dread, these are younger, hemp wearing dreads usually with masses of wooden beads and ornaments in the dreads.No matter how you get dreads by wearing them, we show an affinity for the Rastafarian Movement.

The Rasta is a religious person, following the beliefs of the Old Testament, taking solace and encouragement in the parallels between Judaism and the struggles of the enslaved black man. Sharing similar diet restrictions, the Star of David and the belief that they too will be restored to the homeland, Zion, (Ethiopia) Rastafarism arose in Jamaica in the 1930s to empower the black man, however the movement allows any person who agrees with the theories to join. The goal being One People Different Colours. One Love and One God (Jah Rastafari).

Dreads on the other hand can believe in any thing, not much if any restrictions on diet and alcohol intake. Rastas eat no pork or shellfish, like the Jewish, and some are vegans or vegetarians, alcohol overuse is seen as a weakness. Me? I am a carnivore and borderline alcoholic, so I'm not Rastafarian.

Now, ganja aka marijuana, is used by many recreationally these days but the Rasta uses ganja to bring enlightenment, to feel peaceful and to be at one with Jah Rastafari. It enhances meditation and the spiritual journey. The rest of us are just

So that's the diffs as I see them, personally I try to use some of the more spiritual principles in my life. I try to be one with Jah (a lot..) and I meditate but I ain't giving up Canadian bacon for anything!

I'd love to see comments, sho som lov fi yu dread sistah ya!

Dread or Rasta? You'll have to ask...

Dread or Rasta? You'll have to ask...

Just a carnivore dread...

Just a carnivore dread...


Bear Stevens on September 01, 2019:

Greetings and blessings to one and all. Nice article but a little contradicting. The beginning of the article states the Dreads and Rastas are different people, which is very true, but then say's Obviously you need dreads to be called a dread, which is totally wrong, one needs locs to be called a Dread or Rasta. Hair don't dread, it locs together specially pepper seed hair, if the person is called a Dread and the Hair is called Dreads then we would be calling them Dread Dread instead of Dread Locs, the person is or people is called Dread and the hair is called locs ...hence the name Dread locs. Dreads were called Dreads cause people feared the looks of them when they were first acknowledged way way back, these man lived like hermits, no care in the world about their appearance, Ital living, little piece of garment to cover their body, most time no shoes, kind of like what are called bums or homeless in today's world.

Chris -on the road to zion on May 22, 2012:

Thankyou for your piece. i am always looking for brothers with knowledge of further enlightenment. JAH Bless

Scroll to Continue

Explorer01 from Mid-Atlantic, U.S.A. on March 23, 2011:

Interesting. So is there a large number of Ras in Belize?

Gibran on November 24, 2010:

Damn that canadian bacon is gooooood!

Snapa (author) from Belize on July 16, 2010:

Dchosen Lion Not to label us or anything, but its a dif worth noting.

Snapa (author) from Belize on July 16, 2010:

Dchosen Lion Not to label us or anything, but its a dif worth noting.

Dchosen_01 on July 15, 2010:

no information is wasted. Little info like this one counts.. Wow! Now I know, I muon da lion man. Me no rasta muon!


Snapa (author) from Belize on July 08, 2010:

Ha ha, I never knew there was a difference either, but here, if you call someone a rasta an he isn't he;ll tell you, "me no ras gyal, me da lion" Which means he eats meat. So I started asking around about it. It feels better not to faux pas. LOL

Ivorwen from Hither and Yonder on July 07, 2010:

I've been seeing these terms frequently, but had no clue what Rastafarian meant, or why it would matter to anyone how their dreads came to be. Where I came from, I don't think dreading the hair naturally would take much patients -- just a bit of time out in the wind.

Related Articles