8 most popular hairstyles

2014-11-24 13:44

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iPhondo and Bassie

Basetsana Kumalo’s style, on and off screen, has been emulated for many years. In 1994, the then Basetsana Magalemele was crowned Miss South Africa and later that year, runner-up in the Miss World pageant. She was also a presenter on Top Billing and spokesperson for cosmetics giant Revlon, as well as beauty editor for Drum Magazine, among all her other involvements. In many ways, Basetsana paved the way for the likes of Bonang Matheba. Her relaxed hair and extension ponytail (iPhondo) style, which she wore for many years, became a hugely popular look – worn to many a wedding and matric dance, and by many other local personalities. It remains the mainstay of relaxed hairstyles.


Boom Shaka braids / Twists / Havana braids

Boom Shaka were one of the most popular groups of the 90s, and Lebo Mathosa and Thembi Seete’s style was as popular as their hits. Later, Mathosa’s hair in particular would be as unqiue as her solo career. Before that there were Boom Shaka braids, which were twisted all the way past their shoulders, and sometimes their waists. Around the same time, the likes of Janet Jackson and Queen Latifah were also rocking Havana twists or box braids, which have never gone out of style.

The Rebecca Malope cut

The Rebecca Malope German cut

South Africa’s Queen Of Gospel has an incredible career, having sold well over 2?million copies of her recordings. This year, she released her 35th album. And throughout her decades-long career, she has rocked a variety of different hairstyles, but none like the German cut. She’s played around with lengths over the years, but has consistently kept the look. It’s back “in” and new personalities such as singer Chrisette Michele and Nandi Mngoma are rocking the Rebecca Malope.

Dreadlocks ala Claire Mawisa


South Africans had been locking their hair for years before it suddenly seemed to be “cool” in the late 90s. The likes of Bongo Maffin’s Jah Seed and Thandiswa Mazwai; the hugely popular Sello Maake ka Ncube, who played Archie Moroka on Generations; Shado Twala; Pamela Nomvete; and media personality Claire Mawisa have had them for a while. But then they became really popular, many argue coincidentally around the same time of Thabo Mbeki’s African Renaissance. Around the same time, we saw the introduction of Jabu Stone products on the market.


The Halle Berry pixie cut

Before Miley Cyrus and Rihanna in the Take a Bow era (Rihanna’s influence on hair trends is worthy of its own article), there was Halle Berry’s. Ms Berry’s pixie cut has inspired many local hairstyles. Top Billing’s Ursula “Brown Sugar” Chikane also made a statement with her blonde pixie cut, which she sported for many years.

The Abashante

The Abashante and Pabi Moloi

Queen Seseko and the other members of Abashante rocked the hell out of their bald heads during their wave of popularity. This meant that if you were a woman and had a bald head, chances are you were going to be called Abashante. Later, Noni Gasa and Pabi Moloi rocked the look.

The s-curl

Benni McCarthy’s S-curl

One of the swaggiest hair trends of them all, the S-curl was all about the cool (and greasy collars and pillows). One of the most popular players in South African football history, Benni McCarthy, made it supercool, especially while he sang his lyrics to TKZee’s Shibobo. South Africans contributed significantly to Easy Waves bottom line while keeping their S-curls shiny and perfectly curled.

Corn rows ala Jub Jub

We’ve pulled and plaited our hair into a variety of corn rows for many years, with the “straight back” being a popular variety. And before becoming a convicted criminal, artist Jub Jub’s plaits were the coolest. And because trends are cylical, this wasn’t the first time that plaits were “in”, but they were in again.

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