We checked and checked again, and we’re certain this story isn’t from the Onion. (First piece of evidence: No profane insults to little girls; second one: The URL actually contains “BBC.”) But the report of an epidemic of South African dreadlock stealing, fueled by intense demand on the part of those who just can’t wait to grow out their own hair, strikes us as completely absurd. (Ever heard of wigs? Weaves? You can get them without attacking people on the street, FYI.)
Apparently, gangs operating mostly in Johannesburg have been stealing the hair in what is known as a “cut and run” and selling the dreadlocks to stylists. A method known as “crocheting” provides instant locks to clients in a newly popular style.
One victim told the BBC that he’s living in fear thanks to the “hair-jackers,” and the concern is not just for his locks but for his life. “I’m afraid to have dreadlocks. I’m afraid that they are going to cut them again,” he said. “My friends have warned me not to grow them — next time they might kill me.”
Read more at the BBC.