Interview: with Marlene from Camden Locks

Camden Locks

Marlene from Camden Locks Q&A.

Camden Locks is popular loctician, salon, tattoo & piercing studio and number one place for dreadlocks in Camden. itzcaribbean talks to Marlene, manager of Camden Locks to find out a bit more about the business.

Have you always known you wanted to work in the hair industry?

I am from Trinidad and have been living here in the UK for over 20 years, my mom – and two brothers are there – one brother in New York and the last lives here – he is actually our Tattoo artist – we are from very artistic family, (well the first and last child). I love dressing up still and making people happy and hair is and has always been my passion.

When did you launch and what inspired you to start your business?

We opened in Camden lock market in October 1990 operated there for 10 years and then we moved to our present location in December 2000. I trained in Trinidad and my last place of employment was the Harvey Nichols salon called Glemby.

What are the benefits of running your own business?

There is the positive aspects of making sure that you will always have a job – knowing that you have the control and responsibility and information needed to know where your business are in the market.

What makes you unique?

The salon has been known as the top salon for European dreadlocks in the country and that makes us unique, we practically developed making locks in hair that would not want to naturally dread.

How would you chart the popularity of dreadlocks since you started out in the business?

I would be very proud to have taken dreadlocks to another level, as our clients came from all over the UK and around the world. European locks have definitely become more popular over the past 20 years, generally speaking. We also maintain interlock, twist and make afro- lock, mixed race hair textures that want to have dreads on the same day…. rather than have the twist that takes anyway up to six months to begin to lock. Most Afro locks need to be given moisturising treatments occasionally and need not to be pulled and twisted to tightly which may result in stress alopecia occurring.

Who is your typical customer?

We cannot say for sure-we get all cultures and kinds. There is nothing typical about Camden Locks we do hairdressing, body piercing and tattoos!

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs starting out in the hair industry?


How have you found it bridging the cultural gap? Has it been a challenge?

The cultural as well as the sexist gap has and always going to be a challenge.

Being a woman in business, what are the problems you have encountered, and in what ways has it helped you?

Being a woman in business you have to try that bit harder-in every aspect

What is the most creative act of hairdressing you’ve ever committed?

The most creative would be the hair tattoo -which is a hair design for eg. leopard print on hair, Zebra, etc

What are the biggest myths in afro hairstyling?

‘Leaving a relaxer on hair until it starts to burn’

Have you ever invented a hairstyle or won an award?

I have won many awards in my client hearts and have done all different hair textures. Invent a hair style might be incorrect as more important would be adapting that style to suit your client face shape life style……..etc

So would you say you love your job?

I have been a hair dresser for over 20 years and would safely say that…. I Really Love What I Do…. and have not got bored yet 🙂 Being in the heart of Camden has helped, I could not be so passionate doing hairdressing in a semi – rural area. It has been my only job and that to me is the key, I’ve never had the urge to change direction and am still happy.

Camden Locks Hair Salon