3 celebrity stylists behind Busiswa and other stars' looks share key haircare tips

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Busiswa in a braiding style by Bonolo Gabuza.
Busiswa in a braiding style by Bonolo Gabuza.
Photo: @beezybraidsza_/Instagram

The hairstylist behind celebrities work together with their clients to create memorable moments on pop culture. We get to know the professionals behind some of South Africa's biggest stars and learn what their best hair advice of all time is. 

Jawad Maphoto

Celebrity Hairstylist and Owner of Lajawi Hair Salon

Jawad Maphoto, owner of the upmarket salon Lajawi Hair, is fondly known as the hairstylist to the stars. It’s not surprising that women, and a few men, in showbiz choose him to treat and style their tresses because he sure knows how to turn heads of hair into artworks.  

Jawad has styled the hair of, among his loyal client base, media personalities Bonang Matheba, Joan Ramagoshi, Terry Pheto and Minnie Dlamini, TV presenters Toke Makinwa and Carol Manana, and musos Tiwa Savage and Asa.

The rule breaker tells us about his journey with styling hair.

Why did you become a hairstylist?

I’ve always known that hairdressing was going to be my full-time occupation. I love the creativity and the space for artistic awareness it affords me. I find it appealing that I get to work closely with the person whose hair I’m styling. I started working in a hair salon in 2002, sweeping the floors and washing clients’ hair. Humble beginnings, for sure, but I always knew that the work I would eventually do would be beyond my wildest dreams.

What has been your biggest career highlight?

I began working with the Miss South Africa organisation in 2015, styling that year’s winner, Liesl Laurie’s hair. I volunteered my services when I saw an opportunity to style ethnic hair. My association with Miss SA was so successful that I signed on as the first Black salon to become an official sponsor. One of our proudest moments was working with 2019 Miss Universe Zozibini Tunzi to create her famous haircut. I’ve also had opportunities to style hair for cover stars and editorials in fashion and lifestyle magazines.

What can we look forward to from the Lajawi brand?

My latest venture is an investment in the new Lajawi Hair Salon in Midrand (Big Bird Petroport). That will be followed by a salon in Polokwane. I’m also excited to continue the journey with Miss SA.

What’s your best hair advice of all time?

Don’t be afraid to experiment with cuts and colour. However, make sure your hair is healthy and ready for hairstyle changes. Condition and treat your hair regularly. Moisturise your hair underneath a wig or in its natural form. Remember to also care for your wigs. Wash, condition and store them on a wig stand to avoid damage.

READ MORE | 5 minutes with celeb hairstylist Melford Hlabola who has touched the crowns of Sonia Mbele and more 

Bonolo Gabuza

Celebrity Hairstylist and Braid Specialist

Bonolo Gabuza is a braid specialist and owner of hair brand, BeezyBraidsZa. She specialises in braiding and has created intricate and creative hairstyles on clients such as musician Busiswa and radio presenter Mantsoe Pout.

Bonolo, who prides herself on pushing boundaries with her creations and inspiring black women to play around with their cornrows and braids, has also created trendsetting braid looks for magazine editorials.

The trendsetter takes us through her styling highlights and her hair advice of all time.

What inspired you to specialise in braiding?

I realised that we needed more representation, and awareness, of young black women who embrace their natural hair. The more I make braids look more versatile, the more I inspire women to try out natural hairstyles. I’ve always loved working with my hands and am constantly inspired to come up with new creations.

What has been your biggest career highlight?

Styling Busiswa’s hair for the TRUE LOVE December 2019 cover was a dream come true. Seeing my name on the cover story credits was priceless. I’ve also collaborated with Busiswa in creating braid looks for her music videos and other shoots as she travels across the African continent. Receiving calls from new clients after seeing one of my creations on Busiswa is always the highlight of my day.

What can we look forward to from Beezy Braids?

More collaborations with brands and celebrities. I also intend to travel outside the country to grow my brand. Travelling has opened my eyes to different hair trends from other African women.

What’s your best hair advice of all time?

The key to maintaining healthy hair, especially if you braid often, is to care for your scalp. Apply a hair food with coconut or olive oil to your scalp daily to avoid dryness and flaking. Also wash your hair with a braid shampoo once a week and use an anti-dandruff conditioner and hair spray.

READ MORE | Micellar water, plus 5 other skincare ingredients that are key to having healthy hair 

Jabu Stone

Natural Hair Specialist and Founder of hair brand, Jabu Stone

After completing his studies in engineering and business, Jabu Stone had a drive to offer unique solutions to the ethnic consumer. He decided to look into natural ethnic hairstyles. Jabu believed that if he could find an attractive way of presenting dreadlocks, he could create a door in the wall of an unaccepting population.

The Jabu Stone brand has been around for 25 years now and offers haircare products that celebrate nature’s finest ingredients and combine these to provide ideal nourishment and care for natural hair. The range includes shampoos, beeswax, moulding cream, gel, braiding spray, hair nourisher and a twist-out clay.

What inspired you to specialise in natural hair?

In the early ’90s, the trend was curly perm that used Step 1 and setting rollers to temporarily curl your hair. Then came the relaxer, which made hair straight. While assisting my sister in her salon doing marketing, I saw serious scalp burns caused by chemicals. That is when the idea of maintaining natural hair came into mind. I came up with a cultivated method to twist hair in the same direction and the same size in thickness imitating the look of braids.

What has been your biggest career highlight?

After aggressive marketing, educating more stylists on how to style and maintain dreadlocks and natural hair, and celebrity endorsement from the likes of Gerry Elsdon, Sipho Hotstix, Shado Twala, Ray Phiri, Judith Sephuma and many more, I saw a natural hair movement being created. Stylists became more innovative and more natural hair salons were opened. My biggest career highlight was turning an idea I had in my apartment in Hillbrow into a natural hair movement that created employment for others.

What can we look forward to from the Jabu Stone brand?

We have launched Jabu Stone Pebbles for kids that includes a 3-in-1 shampoo, body wash, everyday spray, and styling crèmes for boys and girls. We’re also launching AfroBiz by Jabu Stone, an app to help stylists and salon owners to run their business from their phones.

What’s your best hair advice of all time?

Keep hair moisturised and don’t allow stylists to pull your hair when styling. Avoid styling dreadlocks every time you visit the salon. A full hot oil scalp treatment is also beneficial. Be gentle when combing an afro. Use detangling shampoo, conditioner and moisturiser to keep hair soft and manageable.

Show Comments ()