At peace with hair . . .

NOTHING can bring a good hairstyle down and a bad hair day can easily be fixed by going to a hair salon. However a bad hairdresser is just as bad as having a bad hair day.


So how do you balance the two? Men might say that going bald is the solution but women will tell you that you should find a good hairstylist who understands hair.

Callista Swartz, a hairstylist at Salon Hafa situated in Wernhil Park, is the type of person who understands that healthy hair has to be nurtured and taken well care of.

Her entry into the profession as a hairstylist dates back to 12 years ago when she fell in love with styling hair.

She relates that even though she initially wanted to be a social worker, her natural flair for doing her own hair and of others found her redirecting towards hairstyling.

“I am self-employed with an assistant. What makes me different is that I am outspoken. If I have something on my mind, I will not keep it to myself. If I am unhappy about something, I will not keep it to myself; I will always speak my mind.

I work well with my clientele and I understand every client’s needs. So when they walk into Salon Hafa and say “make me beautiful” I know what they want and I give it to them,” Swartz said.

“There are hairdressers who really don’t know what they are doing and when someone’s hair is not done or styled the way they expect, then the client will never come back.

“When they leave dissatisfied, they will not say that a hairdresser at that salon does not know what she is doing, but they will refer to the whole salon.

“Being a hairdresser means you should do what you know best. I am good at weaving, washing, trimming and styling. I work fast and I do it well.

“What I don’t do is braid hair because it takes hours. I have many clients and I cannot make them wait, that is why I prefer not to spend three to five hours braiding one person’s hair.

“But I personally think if a hairdresser genuinely does not know how to do a certain hairstyle, then they should be honest enough about it and ask another hairstylist to do the client’s hair.

“I can confidently say that I can turn any hair texture into a beautiful hairstyle,” she said.

There are hairdressers who know how to take care of customers’ hair but when it comes to their own hair, one wonders whether they are exempted from taking care of their own hair too.

Swartz however, feels that a client’s trust is built on your appearance. If a new customer sees her hairdresser with a bald head, that customer will lose confidence in the hairdresser.

“I think it is important that every hairdresser sets an example for their clients by having well-done hairstyles themselves.

“Hair for a stylist is like competition. It requires for you to be innovative and creative. If you cannot give the customer what they want, then they will find someone else who can meet their standards of expectation.

“Therefore, as a hairstylist you really need to keep up with a standard and be open to new things (hairstyles),” she says.

She adds that one of the things she dislikes about working in a hair salon is the gossip and petty jealousies.

“As for salon gossip, my goodness, a lot of that goes on. The most common gossip is usually talk about other employees or colleagues.

“There are instances when a hairdresser is having difficulties with a certain hairstyle and when you try to help or advise them, they feel you are trying to interfere in their work, criticise or make them appear as though they do not know what they are doing, which will not be the case. In turn they gossip about you.

Besides being a hairdresser Swartz describes herself as an open minded person.

“I believe that communication is the key to all problems. I am not a pretender and if I am under stress, I will iron out my issues before they become too big to handle. I am a family woman with two daughters.

“I don’t work during the festive season, I spend it with my family and we travel to whatever destination we choose as long as it is outside Windhoek. I also don’t work on Sundays because those are reserved for my family.

Hairdressing is definitely a calling for me. I cannot imagine myself working in an office. I would like to retire at 40 and by then, I would like to have opened my own hair salon. Financial wise, I am happy and it is working for me. – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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