Celebrity hairstylist shares her hair secrets

Celebrity hairstylist shares her hair secrets

Thandiwe Nkoana chats to us about styling some of South Africa’s biggest stars.

Model with long, wavy, well groomed hair
Woman with long, wavy, well groomed hair/ iStock

Thandiwe never thought she would be making wigs for a living. The 28-year-old who grew up in Witbank says she always dreamt of becoming a musician. But after feeling frustrated with her own hair and not finding the best treatments at salons, she started experimenting with wigs.

 “I started making wigs when I was pregnant with my first child in 2013. I had two problems when it came to hair. One, I found that I was very impatient when getting my hair done at a salon, so I wanted something quick and convenient, but I still wanted to look good. Two, I had natural hair (still do) and a lot of people were not trained or clued up about taking care of natural hair at the time,” she says.

This led to her doing research online about how to make wigs.

She says she taught herself the technique of making wigs by watching YouTube videos.

Although she started making wigs in 2013, Thandiwe said it took two years until she was confident enough about her products and opened her business ‘Love Your Crown’.

 “I only started operating in 2015 because I had to do a lot of research with regards to finding the right suppliers in order to produce high-quality products for my clients. This takes time because before I can introduce anything to the market, I have to test it out myself, ensuring that it meets my requirements,” says Thandiwe.

Her ‘Love Your Crown’ wig business is thriving, and she was recently approached by True Love to style their cover women.  She says the deal made her feel honoured. 

“Oh my, I was so honoured by this. It made me realise that all the work I have been putting in is worth it and paying off. It made me feel like I shouldn't despise small beginnings, little steps in the right direction will eventually lead me to my goal, well if I don't keep moving the goal post,” says the proud founder of 'Love Your Crown'.

“I have made pieces for actress Zoe Mthiyane currently on the cover of True Love Magazine (May issue), Boss model Naledi Mogadime and Gospel Singer Tebello Sukwene,” she adds.

Thandiwe says she still dreams of working with Bonang Matheba and some of her favourite celebrity looks include Khanyi Mbau and Nomzamo Mbatha. 

“I love Bonang's straight long look with a middle part, I think it so timeless. Although she doesn't wear a lot of wigs, Nomzamo Mbatha really pulls off her kinky curly looks very well. They're so fun and flirty. Khanyi Mbau's blonde units are also stunning. They're quite daring but she pulls them off so shamelessly!”

Talking about the secret to her wigs, Thandiwe says: “I put my heart out on every unit I make if that makes sense. My goal is to make the client happy and turn heads while they're at it. Because most of my business comes from referrals, I need to make sure that every piece of work I produce is worth being on someone’s head, out there in public for all to see. I also offer after sales services in order to teach every client about their unit and how to get the most out of it. It’s not just about making a quick buck and moving on to the next person but it’s about creating long-lasting relationships with every person I engage with.”

On tips for taking proper care of wigs, Thandiwe says: “wigs need to be handled with care because they are made of real hair so, in order to get the most out of them, washing and conditioning is vital. I usually advise my clients to wash their units every week if worn every day. This allows the hair to look bouncy and lustrous instead of limp and oily. Investing in a wig stand also helps with keeping the hair looking fresh for longer. And lastly, wigs are like underwear and should never be shared with other people.”

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