My career started when I did a cosmetology course at Alexandra Technical College. I didn’t finish it, but started working as an apprentice at a local salon for about eight months. I then enrolled in a make-up artistry course at the Black Like Me beauty school. I have done work for TRUE LOVE magazine as well as TV shows such as Yizo-Yizo and Top Billing. One of my biggest achievements was being head of make-up and hair for Face of Africa 2009/2010. I have also been an ambassador Iman Cosmetics and Elizabeth Arden, and am now the ambassador for Motions.
Bonang Matheba, Lira, Malaika, Basetsana Kumalo and The Royal Bafokeng’s Princess Tirelo Molotlegi are some of the well-known people I’ve styled.
I like working with any kind of hair, even if it’s synthetic. I’m like a doctor; I like to challenge myself. The only thing I don’t like is hair that is not taken care of and not washed. I have recently developed a lot of love and interest in natural hair. There is actually so much that you can do with it.
I get asked about a signature hairstyle, but I don’t have one. I’m versatile.
A haircare tip that I like to share with people is to visit the salon regularly. Find out about trends and how you can solve the problems you may be having. Nourishment is also important. Our ethnic hair is very dry, so if we condition it and treat it all the time the scalp and hair will be nourished.
One of my fabourite things about being a haistylist is being able to change someone else’s life through my work, and empowering them with knowledge while I do it.
Sadly, some people don’t respect the craft because they think it’s a money-making thing that anybody can do. Our ethnic hair industry is not regulated and it breaks my heart, because it’s actually a multi-billion-rand industry.
StylingTerry Pheto, September 2013 cover star