‘Hair thieves’ cause fear among Kenyans with dreadlocks

World Today

Customers with dreadlocks

Dreadlocks take patience to grow, but some who want the hairstyle are unwilling to wait. In parts of Africa, that’s created a black market for dreadlocks.

Some have reportedly lost their locks to thieves in South Africa and Zimbabwe. There is growing fear that hair thieves have cut a path east to Kenya.

CGTN’s Robert Nagila reports from Nairobi.

Hair thieves cause fear among Kenyans with dreadlocks

Dreadlocks take patience to grow, but some who want the hairstyle are unwilling to wait. That's created a black market for dreadlocks. CGTN's Robert Nagila reports from Nairobi.

Kenya’s history with dreadlocks has not always been rosy. Pre-independent fighters against British rule identified with them. In the 1980s, growing dreadlocks and sporting a beard were viewed as anti-establishment acts and could lead to arrest.

Now there may be a new trend, which is causing worry among wearers of the hairstyle. A report in a local paper claimed a young lady unwillingly had her locks cut off while riding on a bus.

Steve Roots, the proprietor of Roots Saloon that deals exclusively with dreadlocks, had his doubts.

“Can you imagine someone cutting your dreadlocks, taking scissors and chopping them? Once you move you could be found. It’s not really possible unless someone knocks you unconscious,” Roots said.

CGTN has yet to confirm the hair theft.