Ups and downs of a small hair salon owner

Sibusisiwe Kraai, founder of hair salon called Platinum Glow SA.
Sibusisiwe Kraai, founder of hair salon called Platinum Glow SA.
Image: Fetola.

There is an increasing demand for ethnic hair styling services and small salon owners like Sibusisiwe Kraai are booked and busy. She started her hair business, Platinum Glow SA after she struggled to find hair salons that catered for her natural hair.

“I found myself disliking going to salons because hairdressers would complain about my course hair and insist on using harmful chemicals on it,” said Kraai.

She didn’t want her daughter to go through the same predicament and in 2019, she became an entrepreneur and opened her first hair salon in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal.

Her business provides hair and beauty treatments using quality products administered by qualified hairdressers and beauty therapists.

To ensure her client’s hair care needs are catered for, they all receive a free hair and scalp analysis and porosity assessment.

Her family friendly one stop hair and beauty salon has been welcomed by her community and in late 2019 she opened another branch in Durban to cater for her growing customers.

According to a report titled; South Africa’s Haircare Market Assessment and Forecasts to 2025, the compound annual growth rate for the South African haircare sector is expected to grow at 5.7% during 2018-2023.

However, the pandemic’s lockdown restrictions affected the growth of this sector and small businesses. In the second year after Platinum Glow SA opened its doors, both branches had to close for three months because of lockdown restrictions, looting and riots.

The business’s resilience was tested and Kraai had to find innovative ways to stay afloat. 

“To generate income during those tough months, I started selling haircare products online,” she said.

South Africa’s natural hair movement is big because many women have stopped using harmful chemicals and now only using organic hair products. 

However, there is still a limited number of qualified hairstylists that know how to work with natural hair.

“Getting accredited was important to me and I made sure I studied hard to become a SETA accredited professional,” said Kraai.  

Platinum Glow SA prides itself in creating employment for women and the business currently employs over 25 qualified female staff members.

One of the business’s proudest achievements is running a small business that is fully compliant with legislations from the South African Revenue Services and Unemployment Insurance Fund.

“I adhere to the Department of Labour’s minimum wage and I’ve never missed salary payments even during lockdown,” she said proudly.

Small businesses continue to face challenges but as long as there are bad hair days and grooming to be done, salons will continue to grow despite the ongoing challenges.

Supporting small businesses and buying locals helps create jobs and boosts the local economy; it’s a simple way for consumers to be part of the solution.