THE naturally entangled hairstyle known as Dreadlocks is one of the timeless hairdo that has shown no signs of going out of style.
The hairdo has been embraced in countless cultures and it has continued to influence current fashion trends.
In some cultures, the natural hairdo is associated with supernatural powers. It is believed that those who spot the hairdo are divinely endowed.
For this unique reason, many people who ordinarily did not have natural dreadlocks, began to lock their hair to form dreads. With time, this also came with innovation. Artificial dreadlocks became prevalent.
However, Economy&Lifestyle has discovered a shocking development around the hairdo. Most people now who have natural dreadlocks, particularly those who have carried it for long and have grown long dreads, now cut it and sell to survive the harsh economy.
Because of the divine powers associated with the hairs, those natural ones come a bit costly. Some can be sold at N100,000 or more, depending on the length.
Some of the people who spoke to us, see it as business and described their action as side hustle.
An undergraduate Alfred Lawal, who confessed that he has sold his dreadlocked hairs a couple of times and made good money, said: “This dreadlock on my head is part of my side hustle. I will be cutting it by June.
Then it will be 12 inches long. I will treat the dreadlocks and sell them at a minimum price of N70,000, because of the length and cost of maintaining them while they’re worn.
“It is also expensive to keep locks because you need to treat it at least once in a month and relock it every two to three months.
“Some of my buyers are hairstylists who request it for their customers and the locks go to the highest bidder.
“I am not happy selling my hair because it is one of the most cherished parts of my body but man must survive.
“I do this to support my academic pursuit.
“I have other friends too who sell their natural dreadlocks.”
Human hair extensions that are soft like natural hair and made by attaching it to braided hair were the only extensions in vogue.
But the various innovations in the world of beauty saw the emergence of artificial dreadlocks which is another type of extension.
Prior to the advent of these extensions, natural dreadlocks had been in existence. They were worn by most persons given birth to in spiritual churches. Some of these persons are being told through prophetic revelations to carry their hair without combing it for a specific period of time before it is then cut.
Apart from that, musicians, lock their hair in dreads to look different and easily recognized by their fans.
Today, both the natural and artificial dreadlocks are being worn and traded.
According to Mrs. Ronke Adepitan, a hairstylist, many people go into the business to raise funds and not every customer likes wearing someone else’s hair.
“I have some customers who request for natural dreadlocks. I don’t have it handy but have some friends whom I do contact to get them.
“The situation of things in this country has made many people delve into things our fore-fathers then see as a taboo.
“As a Yoruba cultured woman, we see the head as sacred and should be awarded respect not to talk of the hair.
“Even after combing your hair, we are told to thrash the strands on the comb with caution.
“But, things have changed. Everybody wants to make situation of the economy has given them reasons to trade even with the most cherished things.
“Though not everybody is in the habit of wearing a stranger’s hair, some people just like the natural look.”
Mr. Jude Momoh, a hairstylist, noted that these locks come in different lengths which determine the costs.
“There are different lengths of natural dreadlocks and this criterion among other things determines the price which ranges from N30, 000 to N100, 000 above.
“Some customers prefer the artificial dread locks which are affordable at prices between N2, 500 to N5, 000.
“While some people will tell you they can never attach someone’s hair to thiers which depicts our beliefs and values as Nigerians.
“So the natural dreadlocks are sold on request. Some people even sell theirs on electronic-commerce.”