Hairtoo craze is here today and here to stay

The silly season is upon us and with schools breaking up, the queues at the barber will be unusually long in a bid to sport the latest hair craze.

Right on trend are hair tattoos (called hairtoos) and vinyls. Referred to as a hair magician, Gavin Boolchand from Florida, Roodepoort, better known as G-Force, is the right man for the job.

He literally carves masterpieces into people's heads, describing what he does as "art".

Images include the map of Africa, famous faces, and abstract designs known as vinyls. Boolchand says he is especially busy this time of the year.

The 37-year-old has been cutting hair since he was 12 and is self-taught.

He says he perfected his drawings in his grandfather's airbrush shop and practised on friends and family.

"Today, I can proudly say I am sought-after. People have come from as far as Cape Town to have me design their heads. People come with pictures - but I look at it only once and draw from memory. I start with the clippers, carve it out with blades and perfect it with fading techniques and hair dye."

And his work is not limited to males. "More and more females are having their hair done right through the year."

Candice Nolan, an SABC journalist, chopped off her curls one day after spending too hot a day at the zoo.

"I decided to do a mohawk cos my hubby's name is Mo.

G-Force cut my hair and did my first hairtoo [tattoo], a feather. After that I started using the hairtoos to express myself. I had the Joburg skyline done, rock art of African women, and the map of Africa."

Nolan says with Madiba Day, she challenged him to carve Madiba's face.

"That was my favourite one. Madiba's face took 67 minutes. No jokes. He had to shave off the bottom half of my mohawk to do that one. He uses a blade. Then he shades it with hair dye. Maintenance is hectic. He has to do touch-ups weekly."

Nolan says her Dezemba style will be an image of Krotoa on one side and arms in chains on the other to symbolise slavery.

Boolchand says this summer, blonde for men is out as well as man buns. "The New Zealand symbol of the feather is quite popular, baby-faded afros with tribal art on the bottom of the afro is also trending," he says.

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