American Idol contestant Crystal Bowersox has focused attention once again on the ancient art of locking, perhaps causing many Americans to look at the hairstyle with fresh eyes.
“I’ve had these for about four and a half years now,” Bowersox told AccessHollywood.com in March. “I do wash my hair— just so everyone knows. There’s a lot of myths out there about dreadlocks, but they’re very clean and well-kept.”
A story about Bowersox’s hair on Stylelist.com attracted comments ranging from compliments (”they fit her perfectly”) to critical (”disgusting and distracting,” “horrible” and “[she] looks like a pothead”). One poster summed up voter expectations this way: “You keep those dreadlocks and be happy, but you won’t win ‘American Idol’ with that look—do you really think [fourth season winner] Carrie Underwood would have won if she looked like Crystal?”
With the renewed attention on locs, we thought it was a good time to present a primer on this hairstyle.