Judy Hayman.

A professional hair styling academy was launched this morning by Dark and Lovely. Dark and Lovely Academy was initiated on October 10 last year, to bridge the gap of unprofessionalism in most salons in the country and also ensure that hairstylists get qualified. 

“For some reasons, South African ethnic salons have issues and the most important issue is that we have salons that are equipped but lack sustainability with management and  stylists being professionals and that’s when they came and on and said ‘we need an academy’. 

Botlale Satsha in a natural up-do.

"For someone who’s not qualified and doesn’t understand a career in hairdressing,it can be a shock when you realise how intense it actually is,” said Mimmi Biggar, head of education of the academy. 

Tshegofatso Dhlamini in an up-style. 

Since October last year, the academy has recruited over 130 hairdressers, some of which had no experience but are now pros. 

“I joined the academy last November with no experience. I did my beginner’s course for three months and then moved to advanced, which I’m currently doing while I work at a professional salon”, said Selina Majoro, one of the trainees at the academy. 

Tebello Mokoena of services SETA spoke about the importance of having institutions like the academy as an opportunity for young people to empower themselves. “We as parents encourage our children to go to school and get educated. Some of us think that for our children to be educated, it’s only when they have a university degree. 

Kgaugelo Puka in pencil and finger wave.

"Being educated doesn’t mean you have to go study everything at university, there are institutions like this which offers you real opportunity to earn a living for the rest of your life”, said Mokoena. Being a qualified hairdresser is regarded as one of the most privileged contender because you have the opportunity to be your own boss and create employment instead of seeking to be employed. 

Khanyisile Moilwa and Seline Majoro, trainees at the academy.

* The academy is not only for hairdressers but also for those who aspire to build a career in hairdressing. For more information,visit www.darkandlovelyacademy.co.za.