Vikings dreads

Did Vikings have dreadlocks or braids?

The Vikings were famous for their superior fighting skills and their unique hairstyles. Archeologists discovered treatment artifacts such as combs that Vikings used to manage their hair. This is proof that the Vikings were keen on hair grooming.

Most Vikings had dreadlocks, while some preferred long braids. The Vikings had a distinct way of growing their hair into dreadlocks. Both men and women Vikings grew dreadlocks. In this article, we will look at the history of Vikings’ dreads, their significance, and how to do Viking dreads. Enjoy!

Vikings braids facts

Vikings dreads history and facts

The Vikings are one the famous people that wore dreadlocks. Instead of wearing dreadlocks for appearance, the Vikings wore this hairstyle for practical reasons. Though the Vikings rarely kept any historical records, those who encountered them did. According to the Roman writers, the Vikings had rope-like hair.

Many people assume that the Vikings did not pay much attention to personal hygiene. This is a wrong assumption since the Vikings had time to groom themselves and make their hair. The hairstyles of Viking dreads differed based on the hair texture and thickness.

The Vikings believed that dreadlocks had religious meanings.  For instance, unmarried Viking girls did not cut their hair but grew it into dreadlocks to mark specific occasions. They used certain elements that matched their clothes to accessories their hair during festivals.

Vikings also locked their hair in different hairstyles to symbolize their social status. For instance, married Viking women tied their locked hair with a knot at the top of their heads while slaves cropped their hair.

On the other hand, the Viking warriors wore their hair in either dreadlocks or long braids. Styling their hair in distinct hairstyles helped Viking men intimidate their rivals during wars. Since Viking men had long hair, growing it into dreadlocks also helped them keep most of the hair away from the face during battle. This enabled them to focus on defeating their enemies.

Viking dreadlocks

The origin of Viking dreadlocks

Dreadlocks originally came from different sources. While some people believe that dreadlocks originated in India, archeological proof reveals that dreadlocks came from Egypt. People in different countries have grown their hair into locks since early civilization. Many people associate the origin of the term dreadlock with the Rastafarian culture.

The Vikings were Norse people that originated from Southern Scandinavia. This is one of the groups that enjoyed combing their hair and growing it into dreads. During the Viking era, this group lacked the hairstyle products and gear available today. They, therefore, found locking their hair into dreads a more convenient way of styling their hair compared to braiding.

Since Viking locks gained popularity, many different cultures started embracing this hairstyle. For instance, the Celts and Germans also began growing dreadlocks. People with different spiritual beliefs also emulated the Viking dreadlocks, including Christians and Hindus.

Though the Vikings loved dreadlocks, this group did not invent the hairstyle. Dreadlocks were common among the Vikings and in other people who lived in ancient Egypt, Guinea, and Pacific Island. In some cultures, male hair was connected to manliness, while female hair was connected to femininity.

The Vikings’ neighbors were known as The Celts. Since they were close to the Vikings, they influenced them differently. The Celts used to make their hair in a hairstyle that was called fairy locks. This hairstyle was not very different from Viking dreads since it comprised knots and tangles. Celts believed that untying the knots could cause bad luck. Like the Viking dreads, Clets did not brush or comb the fairy locks.

How to Do Viking Dreads

How to Do Viking Dreads

If you want a beautiful hairstyle that you can maintain for long, you can consider Viking dreads. Though this hairstyle has been in existence for a long time, it is still popular to date. People nowadays use hair weaves or extensions in creating Viking dreads. Such hair extends over time and looks quite stunning.

You must consider your hair texture before growing it into Viking dreads. This determines the right technique to use to lock the hair as well as the time it can take to do the dreads. If the texture of your hair is soft, you can grow Viking dreads for longer compared to a person with tough hair.

If your natural hair curls and you choose not to comb it for a long time, it can start locking on its own. You can begin with starter locks for you to grow Viking dreads. Once you install these two-strand twists, they can eventually grow into mature Viking dreads.

Hairstylists use a locking tool to make Viking dreads in a coil pattern. The locking method used may be different based on the length of your hair. You have to take care of Viking dreads to avoid hair damage. For instance, during untangling, Viking dreads require matting and teasing.

Before doing Viking dreads, you should wash your hair using shampoo. This can get rid of dirt or product buildup on the hair. It can also prevent the hair from smelling within a short duration. Note that Viking dreads are more permanent compared to other hairstyles like braids.

Due to the popularity of Viking dreads, different hairstyles have come up. You can do Viking dreads in the following hairstyles.

  • Short dreads
  • Braided Mohawk
  • Undercut locks
  • Blond locks
  • Man Bun undercut

Regardless of the Viking dread hairstyle you choose, you need to learn how to maintain them properly. Treat Viking dreads regularly and retouch them after some time.


The Vikings are famous for their brevity to fight for survival during battle. Many people assume that the Vikings had unkempt and dirty hair. On the contrary, these barbarians grew their hair into dreadlocks while some people preferred braiding. Viking dreads were not only good-looking but were also used to express social status. These dreads are still popular today, and many Viking dread hairstyles have come up. Would you like to try one of them? Pay attention to the tips that we have highlighted.