True Power

True Power

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Stephen Walrond Interview Part 2

Image: Lenny Kravitz
1.When and why did you decide to wear dreadlocks?
I really didn't enjoy the experience of going to the barbers, they often left me with razor burn and because they spoke in thick Jamaican accents or sometimes in patois, I often couldn't understand them. I lived outside of London (England's capital) in a small town called Stevenage, which at the time didn't have any barbers who could cut afro-Caribbean hair competently, so there was the added factor of expense and time when I wanted to go to the barbers.

These factors coupled with the fact that my friend had dreads and could dread my hair for free lead me to decide to wear dreadlocks.

I have carried on wearing them because I like the way they look on me and I like that they are easy to maintain.

2.What was the initial response to your hair style from friends, family, and peers?
They liked it. As I have stated I wasn't the first friend to have Dreads, and I was not the first person in my family to have dreads either. The most adverse attention about my dreads I get is from people I do not know well.

3.What do you like or dislike about your hair?
I like the way it looks, my dreads are quite thin, not perfectly thin but quite thin. When they hang down they look very good and the look great pulled back too. I can tie my hair behind my head with my hair, which is convenient.

I don't like the fact that they are so hard to dry. In the summer time I can wash my hair far more often than in the winter because I know they will dry that much quicker. They also make my head massive, to the point where I have had trouble fitting into crash helmets on occasions I've needed to use them.

4.Have you noticed a boost in confidence or any other personality changes?
I have had my dreads since I was 18; I don't think that as an 18 year old your personality or confidence is fully developed anyway. I'm now 28 and feel more confident than my 18 year old self in some respects and not so much in others, but this isn't due to my hair, it's just life.

5.What is the response to your hair now?
Now that I live in London people really don't talk about my hair, nor do they ask me about it that often. I find that the people who do want to talk about my hair are foreigners who have never had contact with people with dreadlocks before, they are often surprised that it is all my real hair and want to know how I maintain it.

There is still the common misconception that it is impossible to wash dreadlocks, that they turn back into an afro if they become wet and that the process is easy to reverse. These misconceptions are easy to correct and are not often presented as insults but as genuine questions.

6.What country are you from?
I'm was born in and now reside in The United Kingdom, England. I previously lived in Japan for two years in a small city called Saito in Miyazaki Prefecture on the island of Kyushu.


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