Zimbabwean Mutsa Modonko experienced the epitome of a bad hair day when he was partying at a Johannesburg, South Africa, nightclub. After 10 years of growing his dreadlocks, friends at the party found him passed out with his head cleanly shaven, and according to Johannesburg’s Times Live, stealing dreadlocks is becoming a growing trend.
Natural hair and dreadlocks are huge business in South Africa. The locks can be sold as hair extensions and can typically go for as much as $275, depending on the length. As a matter of fact, the demand for the matted locks is so high that patrons often will not even question where the hair came from.
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Hairstylist John Wushe, who owns a Johannesburg salon told Times Live, “They are becoming very popular. On a busy day we get about 10 people [wanting] to extend their hair.”
The stolen hair can be weaved on to the head of a male or female, whereas before, synthetic hair had been used for eons. The typical weaving-in process can take up to two hours and can be woven on to the head using a crochet hook or needle and thread. A stylist can charge up to about $170 to weave in the dreadlocks.
Although there appears to be numerous dreadlocks thefts, according to Johannesburg police, they have thus far received only one such report that came through last year. Johannesburg police spokesman Captain John Maluleka told Times Live his department encourages residents to file police reports over such hair thefts, but he thinks their hesitation can be attributed to just sheer embarrassment.
In most of the cases, dreadlock thieves are zeroing in on the fairer sex, and according to Randburg hairstylist Lebo Masimong, he says, it is because women appear to be easier targets, “You are an easy target if you walk around the CBD (central business district) and your hair is loose. They don’t care about your money or fancy phone. They are only after your hair.”
A real hairy situation indeed!