Vikings Have Dreadlocks

Debunking the Myth: Did Vikings Have Dreadlocks?

The Vikings, famous for their seafaring prowess and formidable warrior culture, continue to captivate the imagination of people worldwide. As we delve into the realm of Viking aesthetics, one question frequently arises: did Vikings have dreadlocks? In this article, we will examine the topic to determine whether there is any historical basis for associating Vikings with this particular hairstyle.

Historical Appearance of Vikings

To gain insight into the hairstyles of Vikings, we rely on a combination of archaeological findings, artistic representations, and written accounts from the Viking Age (793-1066 CE). By studying these sources, we can form a clearer understanding of how Vikings groomed and styled their hair.

Traditional Viking Hairstyles

Vikings were meticulous in their personal grooming and cleanliness, considering it a reflection of their societal values. While they had various hairstyles, long hair was particularly common among both men and women. Men often grew their hair long, with some opting to tie it back in ponytails or braids. Women, too, embraced long hair, adorning it with intricate braids and embellishments.

Shaving and Trimming

It was not uncommon for Vikings to shave or trim their hair in distinctive ways. The “norse cut” or “half-moon cut” was a popular style where the sides of the head were shaved, while the hair on top remained longer. Additionally, Viking men sometimes shaped their beards to varying lengths and styles, contributing to their overall appearance.

Lack of Historical Evidence

Despite the diverse range of hairstyles prevalent among Vikings, there is no concrete historical evidence to suggest that dreadlocks were part of their grooming practices. Dreadlocks, characterized by intentionally tangled or matted hair, have a rich cultural history in other regions, but they do not appear to have been a common hairstyle among the Vikings.

Modern Interpretations and Misconceptions

The association between Vikings and dreadlocks can be traced back to modern interpretations, artistic depictions, and misconceptions. In popular media, such as movies, television shows, and even certain works of literature, Vikings are sometimes portrayed with dreadlocks to enhance their “wild” or “barbaric” image. However, it is important to recognize that these portrayals are largely based on creative liberties and should not be mistaken for historical accuracy.


When examining the historical evidence, it becomes clear that Vikings did not have dreadlocks as a prevalent or culturally significant hairstyle. While Vikings embraced long hair and experimented with various grooming techniques, dreadlocks were not a part of their repertoire. It is crucial to distinguish between historical facts and modern interpretations to gain a more accurate understanding of Viking culture and appearance.

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