Photo by David Goehring
A worrying and very odd trend has begun in South Africa: people having their deadlocks cut off and stolen in the street, then transplanted on tot the heads of people who are too lazy to grow their own. It's known as a "cut and run" apparently and sounds like basically the most distressing thing that could happen to you besides any of the obvious jailable offences.
There hasn't been much in the way of reports from people who've actually had their hair stolen, so we thought it best to speculate by asking people in London how they'd feel if they were the victim of a cut and run. London, how would you react if someone stole your hair?
(R - L) Rebecca, Sarah, Lotte, Bella and Catherine, illustration students.
Bella: I don't know what I'd do, but I'd feel a bit violated, I guess. That wouldn't be very nice. I don't know – I'm not very protective of my hair, but I don't really like the idea of someone else having my hair.
Would you ever steal someone's hair to make money quickly?
Catherine: I probably would if I needed to feed my kids, or something.
Wouldn't you feel bad if they had really long, luscious hair and you were taking a part of them away?
I mean, if you need to survive, then you'd probably turn to thieving as a very, very last resort, but I'd sell my own hair first. But, as a last resort – if it could stop people from starving to death – then yeah, probably.
Anna, student: I'm trying to think of a more eloquent way to say "pretty shit". That's crazy, though. How could they be allowed to get away with stealing people's hair?
They attach it to someone's head pretty quickly, I think. Would you ever steal someone's hair?
If I really had to make money, then yeah, of course. You've got to face the reality that they're in that situation for a reason and it's probably because of structural things that have driven them to get there rather than them deciding, 'I'm going to wake up one day and steal hair.' They're probably being forced into it through various circumstances.
How would you go about stealing someone's hair? What would be your plan of attack?Probably sneak around a corner – something like that. Or maybe come up with some crazy scam, like becoming a travelling barber and then just stealing their hair like that. Yeah, that's what I'd do. I'd tell people I was a barber and just cut more off than they wanted.
Alibaba, mechanic: I don't think that story is true. They can sell fake hair, but how can they sell real hair?
They steal dreadlocks and use them in salons so that people don't have to spend time growing their own.
I don't believe that. I only believe in natural things. If you've got it, then you've got it. If you don't have hair, then maybe that's your problem.
You're right there.
If someone wanted my hair, I would tell them to take it.
If they asked me, I would give them all of my hair – if they needed it, that is, or if they were having problems. If they took it without permission, then I'd have a problem with that. If it was a good man, I'd forgive them. If it wasn't, then I'd have to have an argument.
That's very noble of you, I think.
Tony, works in a hospital: I'd be lucky if they wanted my hair; I haven't really got any.
If you did, how would you feel if someone just ran up and took it from you?
I would consider that a personal injury against me. I would be most upset about it.
Would you do anything in reaction?
I would probably feel quite aggressive and have to thump them.
What about if you then saw someone wearing your hair?
I don't know. I don't think I'd let it happen in the first place. Once it's gone, it's gone. I'd know that it was stolen and that I'd “treated” the thief already.
With a thumping?
Yeah. They wouldn't have run off with it if they stole from me. I would take their hair.