• Hairnews SA

Tributes to Darrel Watt, Industry Legend

On 20th March, industry legend Darrel Watt passed away. As Twincare’s education director, he inspired hairdressers for decades with his passion, wisdom, and larger-than-life personality. Below are some tributes from his industry friends and colleagues.

We will be adding to this page over the next few days, so if you send your tribute, we will include it.

Memorial Service

Darrel Watt’s memorial service will be held at Twincare International, Peltier Drive, Sunninghill, on Tuesday 27 March, at 12 noon.

Industry Tributes

Stav Dimitriadis – CEO, Twincare International

For the past 3 years, after his retirement Darrel would come to the office around 9.30 and make pancakes for all the Twincare staff. By 9:15 everyone would be peeping out of their office into the kitchen hoping for a glimpse of a little bent over man wearing a striped apron, and waiting for the smell of pancakes to fill the office. Often new staff would ask me who the grumpy old man was, a question that would always surprise and sadden me because how were they to know who that man was and the impact he had on so many lives. How could I even begin to explain to those who were never touched by his magic. No other personality had such an impact on our industry and doubt anybody else will ever have. He taught us, challenged us, entertained us and sometimes irritated us with his huge personality and even bigger heart.

Over 28 years I got very close to Darrel and got to appreciate a more complex and sensitive personality. We shared a lot of happiness and sometimes tragedy together. We built a fabulous company, changed the industry and often made fools of ourselves with our silly antics, often done just to entertain each other. I felt like half the Laurel and Hardy team, spending more time laughing at ourselves than focusing on work. Every time we were backstage, about to once again embarrass ourselves, whether wearing a clowns outfit, jumping out of a cake or just running around in his underpants, Darrel would look at me and say, “What we do to sell shampoo!”. That captured the wit, humor and sarcasm that everyone grew to love. We cheered him on stage, vied for his attention and hid from his tantrums.

In his later years I gave him the name of G.O.C, meaning Grumpy old… the final word would be unmentionable and we would kill ourselves laughing. Twincare became Darrel’s life and by extension the South African hair industry, he was grateful for the career he had and the friendships he made.

On hearing the news I began to follow the posts on Facebook and a word that kept recurring was “Legend” and that he most certainly was. So, how would I begin to describe the little man in the apron to those that did not experience him? Most of the time I would just say enjoy the pancakes because words alone could not capture the man that Darrel Watt was.

I last saw Darrel at our Twincare Awards dinner 2 weeks ago, he was happy, content and shouting obscenities over the microphone. Just like he always did.

Goodbye my little underpants man, I love you and will miss you in my life.


Jassy Mackenzie – MD, Hairnews South Africa

Dear Darrel, for nearly 20 years, I’ve been privileged to know you. Seeing you at industry events, interviewing you for articles, listening to your golden voice booming over the microphone at competitions. Watching you on stage, stripping down to your white underpants amid deafening screams of encouragement.

I remember you explaining to me the challenge of being a non-hairdresser, teaching hairdressers technical and scientific knowledge. How you took the information and brought it alive, made it not only understandable but exciting, thrilling, and unforgettable. So many of our industry’s rock stars owe their meteoric successes to the spark that you first lit.

Outside of hairdressing, you were the kindest, most generous person, who always had time for people and thought about others, putting yourself in their shoes and chatting away with empathy, humour and understanding – usually including a few eye-rolls, and a good laugh. You were the person everyone in the room would seek out, because after a short conversation with you, the world always seemed to be a better place.

RIP… my love and sympathy goes out to your family, to Stav, and to your extended hairdressing family. We will all miss you terribly.

Intercoiffure SA

Today we as an organisation pay tribute to an icon and legend in our industry, Darrel Watt. This bright and gregarious man, with the softest heart and unbelievable work ethic, made such a mark on this industry and this earth we were all sure he was immortal. Darrel's contribution to Intercoiffure, its members and young folk was immense. He never pulled punches and said it like it is but always, always having our best interest at heart and more often than not was so very right. As much as he was respected for his knowledge and commitment to his work he was also so loved for being a prankster and joker and was up for anything. Over the years of attending Intercoiffure Congress there was no doubt about it, that the team that Darrel was in for our Icebreaker skits, would win. We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and extended family Stav Dimitriadis and the Twincare International team, who he loved and respected so much. Our thoughts are with you at this time. To Darrel, so often when someone leaves us there are always regrets of things left unsaid, but we know in your case this is not so, we have all had a moment to extend a thank you, share a moment of sincerity followed by a laugh and most of all show you through our success how grateful we are for the mark you left on all of us. KEEP RUNNING WITH SCISSORS DEAR FRIEND. You will be sorely missed.

Ann Mincey

The consummate host, the faithful friend, the hairdressers’ guide, the selfless family member, the loyal employee, the wise Bush tracker, the best memory-maker I’ve ever experienced in my Redken life, this is Darrel Watt of South Africa, who left this earth today. Peace and comfort to all who loved you of which there are thousands.

Christine Jeffrey – Franco International

Darrel Watt was not only a Legend but a brilliant educator and mentor. Personally he made a huge impact on my career. As an educator he was one of the best. His sense of humour including his stage shows were memorable. But only Darrel could pull it off literally. We at Franco International would like to say Rest in peace. The Hairdressing world will miss you. God bless you.

Clinton Valjeaux – Jeauval

Sincere Condolences To All Darrel’s family, loved ones and all at Twincare. Darrel Watt, a true legend, master educator and icon and icon of our industry. Sadly Missed, Never Forgotten!! His absolute passion was always absolutely inspirational.

RIP Darrel From All The Valjeaux Family & All @ Jeauval Hair Salons

Partners Hair Design

We are sad to hear about the passing of an industry icon. Our sympathies go out to his family as well as the Twincare family.

Lewis Thomas and the Partners Hair Design staff.

Palladium Hair Co

In loving memory of an industry legend, today we commiserate with the family, loved ones, friends and colleagues of Darrel Watt who touched the lives of so many.

Darrel was a force of love, not only as an educator and professional, but as a friend and mentor. His magic graced many facets of our business as well as influencing the hearts and minds of many of our staff. Palladium Hair Co will miss his bright light greatly.

We also pay our respects to Stav Dimitriadis and the team at Twincare International

You are in our thoughts.

Maria Gough – Pasquale Intercoiffure

Rest In Peace Dearest Darrel. You have left the Greatest Legacy of all - A Legacy of Love. You inspired so many Stylists to be better than they ever thought they could be. Always laughing, always entertaining, removing your clothes at the drop of a hat, not because it was pretty but rather to make your audience cry with laughter at the sight of your chubby body in the white underpants. Always a big hug and chuckle when we met and your great love and pride in your beautiful home and garden. Your love for your friends and family was always there. Your loyalty to Stav and your Twincare family through many changes in the industry and Stav’s great loyalty and caring for you in your later years was a beautiful sight to behold. Darrel you were Mr. Hairdressing and I know of no other person who made a greater impact on our industry here in our beloved SA. You are gone but never forgotten, your legacy lives on in the Knowledge you shared with so many. We will love you forever and remember you as a friend and the Greatest Hairdressing Educator ever. Go into the Light my Friend.

Yvonne Bryson - Pasquale Intercoiffure

May you Rest in Peace Darrel Watt You will be sorely missed 😢💜🌸 You’ve left a legacy behind, your knowledge lives on in SO many of us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for teaching us to be thé best we can be. There will never be another Darrel🌟🕊🕊 ♥️ From us and all at #Pasqualehairstylists

Cindy at Twincare TPO PE

A million memories.... I wouldn’t even know where to begin... 20 odd years... Going to miss you Darrel Watt.... a true icon in this industry and somebody that I have and always will hold close to my heart... love you forever and always... miss you already.

Jean Witte

Dear Darrel Watt as I hear of your passing my immediate reaction is to reach out to your close family, your nieces, nephews the twins that brought you so much joy, who I have got to know through your posts and extend my sincere and deepest condolences. But dear friend you have the biggest family of any man I have ever known.. In our industry you have been a brother, father, uncle, friend, educator, entertainer, aggravator, cook and jester to us all. I'll miss your stories, your big “bek” and hearty laugh and just knowing you are there. Thank you for setting out the most amazing foundations for me as a young hairdresser and showing me that being an educator can truly be rewarding, that knowledge is power and that integrity is key. So as I blow a kiss to the heavens I can't help see an angel in white undies blow a kiss right back. RIP till later 💔💔💔💔

Lorinda Karageorgiades

It is a very sad day and year, as we pay tribute to a man that inspired me to great heights, he would be greatly missed by all that knew him and the new generation will hear his name in the future as he will be spoken about for many years to come. He will always be my YES YES YES man and I salute him for always having such a positive impact on all.

Thank you Darrel

Garry and Nicky Frasca

A sad day indeed. You gave so much and asked for nothing in return. You will be greatly missed. Thank you for always being willing to share your knowledge. I learned a great many lessons from you. Fondest of memories remembered.

Constanze Nunes

Darrel Watt was the best educator. I learned so much from him. He had endless knowledge and combined the science of chemicals with our products we used every day. I still use all his theories and guideline in my salon today.

I loved his sense of humour and his great personality.

He shall be sadly missed.

R.I.P dear Darrel

Brett Crawcour

Wow what an inspiration you were. Thank you for changing my life and all the knowledge I learnt from you

You will be sadly missed, but as The Legend you will live in many of us for many years to come.

Rock on forever

Yes YeS YES!

Hairstylist of the year will miss your entertainment!

From Brett Crawcour, I am Brett

Morne Coetzer

Mr D, I have no words. You were a true Legend, a role model, teacher and friend. You will never be forgotten. Until we meet again, RIP.

Luciano dos Santos

I remember Darrel when he was with Redken in the 90's. I worked for an international hairdressing company and we had an inter-salon hair competition. My theme was Medieval and I headed the team with make-up, music, props and dance routine and our team won first prize. Darrel had tears in his eyes and said to me that a spectacular show like mine could go to America. He was a passionate gentleman and always eager to give advice.

Shafia Cassiem Haffejee

Rest in Peace Darrel Watt Amazing soul, always made me laugh. Never stood talking to me without his arm around me. Never a dull moment. A fatherly figure to so many hairstylists. To Stav Dimitriadis be strong. To his family and friends. Sending you a kiss and may you rest amongst the angels.

Terry Scott

He lit up the theatre, it was his stage, he educated like no other, he was an enigma, we all loved his energy, enthusiasm and passion for the industry we call ours, but he was the industry, willing to share, encourage, push, teach and impart his enormous knowledge and expertise with all who wanted to learn and grow in the industry, he was my educator guru and I thank him for imparting all he knew, thank you Darrel, we miss you already, RIP my friend, from Terry of Terry Scott Hairfashion.

Ursula Brett

My friend for 30 years, never have I laughed and had more fun at work and in our friendship than I did with you. Still you will always be deep in my heart forever and we will miss you always, till we meet again xxxxxx.

Belinda Swart

I am heartbroken to know my dear friend and icon in South African hairdressing Darrel Watt passed away. Darrel, you were an inspiration to me, an icon to the industry and you will be sorely missed. RIP my friend, fly with the angels ♥️

Andrew Young

Very sad news to hear of the passing of Darrel Watt . An industry icon a legend that evoked such energy and passion in so many stylists and educators alike! Gone but not forgotten

Shantal Benecke

RIP Darrel Watt......my eyes are full of tears and my heart heavy but my memories of you are full of happy times you spent teaching us and inspiring nearly every hairstylist i know..you were a true living legend ... our Hair Father... my heart breaks for Stav Dimitriadis and your family at Twincare... xooxoxo

Debra Tunbridge

Learnt soooo much from this amazing legend and enjoyed a good few laughs... May he Rest in Peace! Condolences go out to his nearest and dearest.

Craig Hopkins

A sad day to hear the passing of Darrel Watt. The man who I remember from my early days as a young stylist. Always motivating, inspiring and a good story to tell. You will be sorely missed by those lives you touched with your uplifting personality.

Ilana Veretnik

You were one of a kind Darrel. In my early days you taught me so much. You were a gentle soul. And at times you were so funny..😢 For the hairdressing industry it is a very sad day. May you R I P. I know you will be watching us from above.

Thys Janse van Vuuren

Rest in Peace Darrel Watt. We are going to miss you! True Legend. Condolences to Stav and to your family!

Mandy Bock

It's so sad to hear of the passing of the legend in the hair industry, Darrel Watt. Your beautiful energy, your passion for teaching, the best flapjacks on Friday morning at Twincare, your wonderful cooking and garden. It is no coincidence that you got your wings on the same day that the last white rhino on earth got it's wings because you Darrel were one in a million. The memories I have of redken education, preparing for the big reveal of Paul Mitchell, MOP, Fudge, American Crew, Nioxin, to running away from Lions at the Carlton conference 😀😀 to the tours around the country with the Nioxin scalp renew launches your wonderful laugh and beautiful energy and love for the hair industry will always be in my heart. My thoughts go out to Stav Dimitriadis and your Twincare family and to your family who you loved dearly at this very sad time, a one in a million human being has graduated to the heavens! Your memory will live on in every person whose lives you touched.

Ryan Spruijt

What an amazing “Hairo”. Met you about 23 years ago. Introduced me to the trade with great insight. Passion and education. You were a great inspiration and leader to many. Youngsters will never see this again. Condolences to the family and friends. One of a kind.

Grant Jenkins

To the legend, thank you so much for taking me under your wing and teaching me how to fly! You are nothing short of a hero and the angels are blessed to have you amongst them! Your love for the hair industry will always shine through!

Till we meet again good friend RIP Mr D.

JC Aucamp

Such sad news. You will be missed my friend. Always been such a inspiration and taught me so so much as an apprentice. Will always have great memories of our times together. RIP.

Jeanne van Zweel

RIP Darrel Watt Such an energetic , hair industry icon you will be sadly missed , A wonderful person that touched so many

Ilana Meyerson

Darling Da. I am so shocked and heartbroken to read of your passing! You were so special and kind, talented...a legend in the hair industry, charismatic, humorous, but most of all a friend to us all. I will never forget you and you will always have a special place in my heart. I hope darling Jan Roeloffze will be there to meet you as you enter the Pearly Gates of Heaven. RIP.

Nadine Keyter

It's with great sadness that we say goodbye to this great man.. Darrel Watt. He was an icon in the hairdressing industry.

I don't think he ever knew how many lives he touched through the years.

Thank you for all the knowledge you shared, and all the laughs (especially when he always dropped his pants on stage!)

RIP Darrel Watt.

We salute you.

Diane Vengedasamy

What an inspiration he was to us... There was never a dull moment during our education with him. Thank you Darrel for everything you instilled in us and for uplifting our profession as hairstylists! I will never forget that weekend away and so many more great times we had with you ♥️ R.I.P. my dear friend. You will always be remembered ♥️ my heart is filled with soo much sadness seeing this. 😢

Tony Martin

So sad to hear of his passing. What a great educator, and fun-loving person he was. A true pleasure to have known Darrel for more than 3 decades.


Tony Martin

Yazo 4 Hair

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