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Moloto secures her position in the fashion industry

Celebrated hairstylist in demand following stints with top magazines

Thango Ntwasa Lifestyle Digital Editor
Khomotso Moloto at the official launch of Flawless by Gabriell Union.
Khomotso Moloto at the official launch of Flawless by Gabriell Union.
Image: Samantha Clifton Photography

Khomotso Moloto might be a name foreign to many but over the years, she has secured her position in the fashion industry.

Highly regarded for her approach to hairstyling, she has worked with some of the top magazines in the country. Recently she got the highest honour when she was announced as the lead hairstylist and ambassador for lauded Hollywood actress, Gabrielle Union’s hair care brand – Flawless.

We speak to her about her journey in the beauty industry and rubbing shoulders with the late singer Lebo Mathosa.

How did you feel when you received the news about this opportunity?

Joy, tearful gratitude, excitement, humility. To have this international, award-winning, black-and-women-owned brand with affiliation and affinity with some of the biggest names in the US entertainment industry and its local representatives reach out to lil’ ol Khomotso Moloto from Soweto to express interest in working with them as their official hairstylist and brand custodian in Southern Africa – it’s a dream. It’s a big deal that I don’t take for granted or lightly.

What made you say yes to working with Flawless by Gabrielle Union brand?

To have an opportunity to be part of a brand I relate to from my personal experience of hair loss and feeling hopeless, Gabrielle's story felt like mine. Being a part of this narrative that is black-owned and dedicated to giving as many people access to quality hair care is more than just about hair, it's restorative in many ways.

Speaking of your career, can you take us back to the very first moment you realised you wanted to work in this industry and what led you to follow this path?

Well, that's a bit difficult to say because as far as I can remember I've always been a fashion and beauty girl. I started braiding around 6/7 years old on a mop then my great grandmother's hair, forcing kids in my neighbourhood to be part of some kind of production during the holidays.

I distinctly remember seeing a picture of my mom modelling in my aunt’s fashion shows and thinking, “I knew I was meant to be in this space” which further confirmed my passion. My dad was also later in the music industry, so I was always surrounded by fashion icons like Lebo Mathosa and Abashante who were the first ladies’ group on the SA Kwaito scene to rock bold heads like no one had seen before. I don’t see how my career would have gone in any other direction.

Throughout your career, was there ever a moment you wanted to just give up, and what made you keep pushing?

Every other week! [laughs] I remember my first solo editorial shoot as an intern, I had a 3-year-old son, an 8-month-old baby at home, and everything to prove to myself. So on this shoot, we had about 10 models. It was on location with a swimwear theme. I didn’t protect the shoes and hats adequately for us to return to the store as they were on loan (appro as we call it). I ended up having to pay a month and a half worth of my measly intern salary to pay them off. I cried for two weeks straight.

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