THE BEAUTY GROUNDBREAK­ERS

MIL­ISUTHANDO BON­GELA, WRITER, BLOG­GER, CRE­ATIVE CON­SUL­TANT TARYN GILL, FOUNDER OF THE PER­FECT HAIR

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - REAL LIVES -

Taryn Gill left a ca­reer in me­dia to launch a range of lo­cally made nat­u­ral hair care for African hair, which is sold on­line and at its retail space The Potato Shed in New­town, Jo­han­nes­burg. Mil­isuthando is a mem­ber of The Fem­i­nist Stokvel, a group of women host­ing events talk­ing about so­cial is­sues af­fect­ing South African women, as well as monthly hair soirees talk­ing about nat­u­ral hair. She is work­ing on a doc­u­men­tary about hair as a tool for ex­pres­sion and re­pres­sion of black iden­tity in the new South Africa.

TARYN

‘Hair is a very emo­tional thing, and for many South African women, how we feel about our hair is in­trin­si­cally linked to how we see our­selves in our com­mu­nity. For a woman, choos­ing to wear her hair nat­u­rally, tak­ing that weave off, is a huge psy­cho­log­i­cal state­ment, and there is much free­dom in that. I’ve tried to build a busi­ness and brand that touches that part of South African women, one that cel­e­brates the power that comes from treat­ing your­self kindly. We em­ploy black women, source lo­cal in­gre­di­ents and pack­age and man­u­fac­ture the prod­ucts here, too.’ Thep­er­fec­thair.co.za @thep­er­fec­thair­taryn

MIL­ISUTHANDO

‘It’s about time that women lead. De­coloni­sa­tion – whereby ev­ery­body be­comes free – is very much about the fem­i­nist agenda, and it is not a one-di­men­sional strug­gle. I’ve come to know that I walk around in an op­pressed body and that as women, es­pe­cially black women, we all have so­cial scars to heal on top of our per­sonal ones. I’m cur­rently work­ing on the se­cond-last stage of my doc­u­men­tary about the his­tory, evo­lu­tion and pol­i­tics of African hair. I hope this will take the con­ver­sa­tion about the re­al­i­ties of the re­la­tion­ship that women have with their hair to a greater au­di­ence.’ @miss­mil­lib

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