Fashion, they say evolves. What is trendy today may not be an in-thing tomorrow.
So many fashion trends, when it comes to dressing and hairstyles, have undergone numerous transitions, upgrading and transformation with time. Some permanently disappear yet some are revived in a slightly different form.
Not so long ago, sights of women spotting short gold-tinted hair were common. But slowly the obsession now seems to be behind their fashion taste. These days, there is a new fashion craze which is silently taking root: rocking natural dreadlocks.
Dreadlock enthusiasts say the locs are in high demand these days because they are fashionable and easy to manage.
“Dreadlocks make you look pretty and natural,” explains Zion Chauta, a lady who likes to wear dreadlocks.
She says besides the natural look, one does not waste money.
“You don’t have to go to the saloon [regularly] to undergo processes such as steaming and the like which are time consuming,” she adds.
Peace Kalua, a dreadlocks stylist, agrees. He actually operates a hair salon and says his business, specialising in crocheting dreadlocks, is booming.
“It is a business that I have been doing for a good six years now. I do both real hair and synthetic dreadlocks,” he says.
His shop Gomegzani Dreadlocks, at the heart of Blantyre Main Market, is a beehive of activity due to the high demand for his services.
The 36-year-old cannot help but smile, saying he works on people’s dreadlocks from 6 in the morning to 6pm.
Dreadlocks for sale
Armed with hair food oil which he makes on his own, he has transformed many people’s outlooks.
Kalua explains: “The new and trendy style has led to a huge demand for both women and men to have dreadlocks to the extent that some are buying dreadlocks nurtured from somebody’s head and have them crocheted in their growths.”
He justifies the rising demand for natural dreadlocks in the country because most women are going for natural hair.
The hair stylist says prices for natural dreadlocks vary according to the length of the hair.
“Normally it costs K40 000 when it is shorter but the long ones can cost you up to K100 000 and above,” he said.
He said the reasons why people cut and sell their dreads is two-fold: Some do it just to make money while others just get tired of keeping them.
The hair artist said: “It takes me a maximum of two hours to transfix the dreadlocks into the head of the new host.”
Pemphero Phiri from Zomba, is one of those who have cashed in from locs. Having worn dreadlocks for some years now, has decided to cut and sell them.
“I am selling them at K50 000. They are shoulder long. I hope that a buyer will come through because I know there are plenty deadlock enthusiasts out there who will need them,” she says, smiling.
Phiri explains that the process of keeping dreadlocks is too tasking to an extent that some people take the shortcut of just buying and embedding the locs.
“There is what we call the ugly stage of the dreads which most women don’t like. So if there is an option where one can get past that stage then why not go for it?” she says.
Sheela George, 26, from Ndirande township in Blantyre sold hers at K20 000. She had grown them for four years.
“Some people are just lazy to keep and grow dreadlocks on their own,” she says, adding that the new two-year locs she is keeping now will not be offered anytime soon.
“It takes a lot of work and I don’t think I am going to sell them anytime soon,” she says, chuckling.