Zac Efron's new dreadlocks spark charges of cultural appropriation

Kim Kardashian isn’t the only celebrity whose hair has sparked accusations of cultural appropriation.

While Kardashian has persisted in wearing Fulani braids in spite of criticism that she’s appropriating a hairstyle created by and for women of colour, it remains to be seen how Zac Efron will respond to the backlash he’s getting over his new dreadlocks look.

The actor, who typically wears his brown hair short, shared a photo on Instagram showing off his new dreadlocks.

Zach’s caption read “just for fun,” though it’s possible the hair makeover is tied to a film role.


It’s a dramatic new look for Zach — but many people don’t see it as “fun.” The 30-year-old star is being slammed by some fans for appropriating a black hairstyle. Another point of contention is that, when worn by black people, dreadlocks can be met with racially charged negativity.

“This is so racially insensitive,” read one comment.

“Cultural appropriation ain’t fun,” another commenter added.

“We love you, just please don’t cultural appropriate — cut those off before they cancel you,” pleaded a disappointed fan.

A more typical look for Zac Efron and his hair. (Photo: Steve Granitz/WireImage)

The uproar over Zach’s hair prompted many to defend the star and his hair, arguing that dreadlocks were up for grabs for any race.

“It’s a hairstyle, who cares,” wrote one commenter. “People will bring race into anything these days. If you have to bring color into a conversation then maybe you should look in the mirror and question your own values.”

“It’s just hair!” added another supporter. “He’s not doing it for a cultural or political reason, just like when Kim had her cornrows. It’s just a hairstyle — get over it and have fun with your life.”

Zach isn’t the first white male celebrity to get flak for having dreadlocks. Justin Bieber received similar backlash when he dabbled with the ’do in 2016.


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