Millicent Dube, Showbiz reporter
The Bible states in 1 Corinthians 11:15 that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory. For long hair is given to her as a covering. In the Songs of Solomon 4:1 it waxes lyrically about a beautiful woman with long hair — “How beautiful you are, my darling, your hair is like a flock of goats that has descended from Mount Gilead.”
Hair has been globally recorded as a beauty standard. Certain races such as the Indians, Chinese as well as Africans have been noticed because of the length of their hair, texture and colour.
Women have been seen going out of their way to have their hair done lately. Wig frontals have been a trend, expensive Brazilian hair used. A man paying for a woman’s hair appointment is considered to be the most caring and very sexy at that. In all of this little much is known about the hairdresser who is responsible for nurturing it.
Most women are not gifted enough to do their own hair, they leave the job to the hairdresser. These men and women spend hours on foot braiding, installing wigs, cutting hair doing a whole lot of hair styles.
In a quick survey in the top Bulawayo hair salons a lot was brought to the table of what exactly is a hairdresser’s daily routine.
Jackie Beulah Sibanda
I have been in this industry for 15 years and as a woman it has not been really easy. I was never a natural hairdresser but I enrolled at a college and underwent classes to learn how to perfectly do the different styles.
The first three years were very hard and I lost clients because I was not good enough but as time went on, I mastered the art.
This job has seen me educating all my three children up to university and for someone who was not very much educated, having a hand skill is the best.
This is my third year in the industry. My daily routine is very much the same, school runs in the morning and I normally start work around 9am.
On a busy day I can take up to six or nine customers, depending on the type of style they require.
The working hours in such an industry are not flexible because you cannot risk losing a client because the money pays the bills hence a certain part of life will be compromised.
Many times, you end up seeing lots of children playing around the salon premises, those children are ours. House maids have challenges; hence you are forced to bring your kids to your place and some days the load is unbearable.
I almost lost my husband as a matter of fact because of the imbalanced time schedules here.
They generally do not understand why you can have clients up until 10pm even if there is a legit excuse.
The time I get home I am extremely tired and I just want to get the bare minimum sleep and to my partner that is very not reasonable.
I have been doing this for the longest and my biggest issue has been with indecisive clients. Even here at my workplace everyone knows that I deal with difficult clients very well and they make sure to send them my way. In my 20 years of experience, I will vouch that clients have misused their right of always being right.
Difficult clients make the workplace unbearable and we end up fighting among ourselves as hairdressers which is not appropriate.
I have been a nail technician for 15 years. I went to school and I graduated with a degree in nail designing.
People have underestimated the skill of a nail technician unlike hairdressing which in many cases it’s a natural talent. There are chemicals involved here and you have to be gentle with the way the process is carried out.
Most of the clients do not understand that their hair type is very different from that of white people. The hair texture is very crucial when doing a certain hairstyle. Other textures are very hard, spirals which is very good for dreadlocks but a client will continuously want to use chemicals on it.
The use of chemicals to soften the hair is very bad on the scalp, it damages the root of the hair which promotes hair loss. When such happens, the client blames you but you had long advised them to stop using adhesive chemicals on hair.
We as nail technicians know each other and we are very much aware of the mischievous clients. In our chat groups we discuss such instances. I will definitely notify the ladies that client Z was in today. I did her nails and, in a month, or two, somebody else will check in about the same client.
I charge for extra designs and these weird patterns they get from Pinterest. I take more time doing such designs and the more time it takes I put a certain percentage on top.
Sithulisile Senda (hair by Doe)
I have loved hairdressing since childhood. I have a decade in this industry but what has stood out for me is the gossip. Women are known for gossip regardless of which environment. Gossip has destroyed workplaces; in what I have witnessed I have legit seen other colleagues perform rituals in other people’s work stations.
I celebrated a decade in the industry just last week and my experience is no different from the rest. I am married with three kids with the oldest being in Grade 3. I wake up every day at 5am to prepare for everyone.
We have built a strong clientele that even the customers do not feel unsafe in someone else’s hands within our saloon. We communicate among ourselves and agree to share customers or the money in case some attends to a client that was not theirs.