Hairdressing in the glorious heart of Constantia
The day began with a gorgeous drive into leafy, peaceful Constantia, where I met Jean Witte, owner of Synergy Hair Intercoiffure. This was the first time I'd been to her gorgeous salon and I was quite surprised to find the shiny tiled floor covered in cardboard. The reason? Well, amid great excitement, they were unpacking the brand new Wella SP (System Professional) product range... Synergy is one of a select few salons that have been chosen as flagship destinations in Cape Town for this innovative range. By the time I'd had coffee and a chat with Jean and Shawn, who despite running a wildly successful salon business are two of the nicest and most down to earth people you will ever meet, the range was all unpacked and ready for the photo opportunity above!
Just a few minutes' drive away, in Diep River, is the professional products and distribution company Salon System, which is run by an industry icon, Len Theunissen. Len originally started his career in accounting. Then he moved to hairdressing... as you do! He owned a chain of salons and has trained more than 600 apprentices. Back in the days when hairdressing was all about doing a quick cut, Len's record number of clients within a single day was 81. Can you believe it, hairdressers of 2017? Pick yourselves up off the floor!
Constantia Mall is a very busy place. It's so busy that my GPS tried to direct me to a wine farm instead. Bravely, I kept trying to find the mall... after all, I could actually see where all the cars were parked, and I had an exciting meeting to attend. The meeting was with Kirsty Jooste, who is the dynamic and lovely manageress of Carlton Hair Constantia. Kirsty has spent her 10 year hairdressing career with Carlton and she loves the creativity of her job, and making people look and feel fabulous. Training and more training is her number one advice to other hairstylists - she's travelled overseas numerous times to do courses with top international educators - and she agreed to do a quick video interview for our Hairstylists of South Africa series.
(This is my first time trying this, so if the video doesn't embed, here is the link to it:)
After this awesome interview, I turned around and who should I see in the salon opposite but another good friend - Mark, from the successful salon chain Edge for Men. Mark was hectically busy with queues of gents waiting for his awesome barbering services - and also busy opening another salon, he told me... but he took a moment to be photographed.
Then, it was time for a lightning drive from Constantia to the sumptuous Kloof Street House, where I had a lunch time appointment with two of the biggest movers and shakers in the industry - Eric Way and his husband Martyn. Eric is a fashion designer who spent years working in the UK and has thousands of fascinating stories to tell. He started hairdressing only a few years ago after returning to South Africa, and has taken the barbering industry by storm. His training academy, the Groomed Academy, offers incredible education for those who want to learn or perfect their barbering skills - skills which are hugely in demand at this time.
What a lovely way to conclude an awesome, sunny day (does it ever rain here?)