BREAKING STEREOTYPES IN THE BEAUTY & HAIR INDUSTRY

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BThe world is shifting into a space where creative industries are rapidly contributing to the growth of the economy, where millennials are encouraged to become more free-spirited and open minded, and are more exposed to the “possibilities” of breaking beyond the expectations of being a doctor, or a lawyer or an accountant.

Beauty is becoming the centre of it all. With every star-studded post by your favourite celebrity on social media, there is a sense of ‘effort’ to portray that ‘it looks’, and with that ‘it look’ is a hairdresser that made a work of art and a make-up artist that mastered the canvas. With that glowing skin, there is a somatologist who had an interest in assisting others in improving their general wellness and aesthetic appearance through information and practice of healthy lifestyle habits, product use and clinical treatments.

It is without a doubt that the recognition of the Hair and Beauty industry strengthens with each year and with growing trends, yet the perception of a career in it remains a negative sentiment for many reasons.

Over the years we have seen social media tutorials, hair and beauty tips and tricks, or even beauty ‘how to’ videos impactfully rise, especially on platforms such as youtube, facebook and instagram. The question remains – who are the credible experts in this industry? Who are the professionals behind these ever-so rising trends? Where do they get their skills-sets and knowledge? Who accredits these professionals? How do we differentiate between a ‘self taught’ beautician and a professionally trained and certified expert?

This thesis is what gave birth to the Enzi Hair studio in 2010, which lead to the development and opening of the Enzi Hair & Beauty Institute in 2017. Founded by a mother of three, Tshidi Molefe.

“Our aim is to increase more qualified ethnic professional Hairdressers and Beauty Therapist in South Africa”, said Tshidi. “This will contribute in changing the face of the Ethnic Hair and Beauty industry which is largely informal and perceived to be unprofessional. We will achieve that through providing quality education and training, this will contribute in creating sustainable jobs and viable businesses especially among the youth” said Tshidi.

The Enzi Hair & Beauty institute is a Services SETA Accredited training academy offering qualifications aligned with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF) and the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA). Enzi Hair & Beauty Institute provides full-time and part-time courses, and it is also an accredited Trade Test Centre for Hairdressing. The Johannesburg-based institution and salon has a staff complement of 14 and 150 students.

“The Enzi brand story is a beautiful one for me because a lot of the people who worked at the hair studio only knew how to groom, but never really had the necessary training or qualification in finding an accredited institution”, said Molefe.  “It is because of that and other reasons that I decided that we need to educate and train our hairdressers and beauty therapists and contribute in building the industry’s professionalism by helping people become accredited   employees, business owners and industry experts. We believe in building more than just a successful career, but also international recognition”, Molefe concluded.

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