There is a custom to let the area of hair above one's ear grow long this is manifest in varying degrees, from small, barely noticeable locks behind the ears, to long, curled locks that come down below the shoulders.

I am looking for sources for this custom in general, and for its varied manifestations. I am not looking for mentions of the minhag, but for reasons forit. I will upvote any answer that explains why side locks are grown, and any answer that explains why they are grown in a specific way in certain communities.

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