The Trinidad Guardian 2004 – Womanwise: Locking In London

The Trinidad Guardian

Issue: Sunday December 12, 2004.

Womanwise: Locking In London.

By: Natasha Ofosu

INTRO: HAIRSTYLIST Morris Aberdeen always knew, in that pit-of-the-stomach intuitive way we all feel at times, that he’d open a business some day and prosper. That knowing caused him to ditch the torrid hills of Laventille, nine years ago, for the chilly, impersonal streets of London. He carried with him the business teachings of his mother, a strong spiritual belief and a hunger for knowledge of all things African that would minifest in him growing locks.

Those locks, now plentiful, jet black and hanging in thin spirals past his shoulder, sparked the fulfillment of his business dreams. Since he opened his natural hair salon in 2001, he has emerged as one of the premier lockticians in London and, some would argue in the UK.

For this interview, we meet at his salon, Morris Roots in Tooting Broadway, a busy shopping district in south westLondon. It is filled to capacity with clients, but it’s neither choatic nor excessively noisy.

When you walk in the celebration of an African asthetic in visual and aural. Masks and other carvings hang between photographs and mirrors on walls that are painted lilac and apple green in tribute to his mother and grandmother.

The high-pitched voice of an African singer wafts through the air from elevated speakers. Depending on Aberdeen’s mood, the choice is sometimes reggae.

The staff, about nine in all, are dressed in black and their hair is either locked or in other natural styles. It’s a powerful vista.

Aberdeen is the only one breaking the uniformity of the view, with baggy jeans, T-shirt and a white knitted floppy cap. He’s a surprisingly cool operator who speaks with a subtly husky voice. [read more…]