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Largely viewed as a lowly profession without many prospects in life, hairdressers have now emerged as the much sought out beauty enhancers whose craft and excellence can transform the looks of many discerning women worldwide.

While others prefer to call them hairstylists, hairdressers have bloomed across the globe and in Zimbabwe their business is booming driven by the desire by locals to catch up with the international trends.

Zimbabwean women last year reportedly blew more than US$13 million on imported fake hair and hair products, an indication of the business activity in the sector.

When one decides to become a hairdresser, is it because they simply love working with hair or they are inspired by a mere desire to work for a living or it is a calling they have answered to?

Adiona Gatsi is a 31-year-old full- time professional hairdresser who lives in Greendale, Harare. She is a mother of two — a boy and a girl — and has conquered in the hair and beauty industry in which she has been working in for four years now.

“I have always had a passion for hairdressing.

“In 2000, I enrolled at Lindsay School of Hairdressers where I got a diploma and I did my attachment at Nice and Easy hair salon.

“From a young age I had always known I had a gift, I would plait people’s hair and they used to tell me that I should consider having my own salon because I was very good,” she said.

Adiona said her family supports her because they have seen that it is a real career path that she can live by.

Her excellence was recognised recently at the first ever Zimbabwe Afro and Sleek Hair Show in Harare when she was named Best Hairdresser Day Style. The ambitious Adiona is always aiming higher and views the challenges she faces as stepping stones. She plans to further her studies next as she prepares to opening her own salon.

“In my job there are highs and lows because aside from the ability to play around with people’s hair all day, it’s rewarding to make a person look and feel great with a new hairstyle. Plus it’s great to know that when a happy customer leaves, they’ll come back and bring all their friends with them.

“As hairdressers we spend most time on our feet, standing for eight hours a day or beyond. Clipping, styling and sweeping up the mess afterwards can leave you tired and in need of a good foot massage. This can be frustrating.”

She said that how much a hairdresser makes depends on which salon they work at, how many regular clients they can rake up and what the client wants done to their hair.

“Potentially, a hairdresser can make up to US$100 per three clients in ordinary salons and the amount increases in upmarket salons.

“We get paid mainly on a commission basis for the treatments that we do and from the sales of products, it is always a good idea to try and give the clients that extra special treatment and ensure that they are happy with the service they have received,” she added.

Gatsi has been a hairdresser for the past four years and worked after her apprenticeship at Nice and Easy hair salons then joined Red Rose. Now she is at Angwa City and has completed extensive training in colouring, both male and female haircuts, treatments and hairstyling for any occasion.

Source : The Herald