Kwena Baloyi. Picture: Picture: Esther Sweeney.
Since the ancient times, hair has always been something worth celebrating and to commemorate Heritage Day and celebrate the sheer glamour of our African heritage, Darling stylist, Jimmy Shibambu shares tips on how to create three traditional hairstyles that are making a major comeback in this century.

Threaded hair

Hair threading has always been an integral part of African beauty, especially in West Africa. It is both fashionable and protective and has been worn for ages. In this hairstyle, a smooth thread is wrapped around parted hair from the roots to the ends.

Threaded hair artwork by Nikiwe Dlova. 

To create this style:

  • Wash your hair with good shampoo and conditioner.
  • Moisturize your hair very well (Olive Miracle Anti Breakage Crème from African Pride is recommended).
  • Comb your hair until it is completely detangled.
  •  Part your hair into sections starting from the back.
  • Take a strand of Darling one million hairpiece and braid/plait together with your own hair up to where your hair ends.
  • Then take another strand of the hairpiece and wrap it around the braid right up to the end. (Make sure you do a tight wrap otherwise the lock will unravel)
  • Secure your locks by burning the end using a lighter (be extra cautious so you don't burn).
  • You can style your hair as desired.
The Zulu topknot

The conical hairstyles of 19th century Zulu women have evolved into the intricate headdresses now worn by many Africans. For this look, hair is gathered into a top knot and stretched into sections, separated by ties.

Braided topknot. Picture: Instagram. 

To create a topknot style (unbraided):

  • Start by washing the hair with a conditioning shampoo
  • Follow up with a deep conditioning treatment to moisturise the hair.
  • Rinse out the conditioner and gently towel dry the hair.
  • Using a wide tooth comb, comb and dry the hair on medium heat.
  • Tie the hair into a ponytail at the crown, leaving a small section free in the front.
  • Attach a Darling Yaki Braid to the ponytail and tease the hairpiece to create volume.
  • With a brush carefully create a bun. Secure this with wool before you make a second bun on top of the first one, again securing with wool. Repeat this until you have made all four buns.
  • Now take the section you left out in the front and pin it back.
  • Finish the look off with a little shine spray.

Amasunzu was traditionally worn by Rwandan men and unmarried women until about 100 years ago. The style indicated social status and signalled that the wearer was of marriageable age. In this style, hair is pulled into crescent shapes with sharp lines.

To create this style:
  • Start by washing the washing hair with Mega Growth Stimulating Shampoo and Deep Conditioner.
  • Prepare the hair with Mist Nourishing Water and TCB Bone Strait.
  • Follow up with Mega Growth Anti-Breakage Strengthener Crème- this protects the hair from heat damage before smoothing it with a flat iron. Leave the natural texture of the roots intact.
  • Use your hands to mould the hair into shape and secure it a classic French braiding.
  • Finally, use a classic stitching technique to weave a golden thread throughout the hair.