Pensive Tatenda met her Chinese husband Hao Wang when he was working as a geologist for a mining company in her home country Zimbabwe. They married in Zimbabwe almost seven years ago before coming to Beijing two years later to live with his parents near the CCTV tower in Haidian. Their daughter Deling Wang (age 5) was born here, and attends Number 304 Army Kindergarten. Wang’s parents are former scientists who had worked overseas in the United States and Italy. “His family is very internationally-minded, and they welcomed me into their family. They always tell me not to worry about being away from home, because they are my family now. Like typical Chinese grandparents they help me to raise Deling; they are so sweet, and they make my life much easier,” says Tatenda.
Tatenda and Leader’s Salon and Barber Shop’s Ugandan Barber and Head Stylist Zziwa Kennedy are well acquainted: Tatenda changes hair-style here frequently – up to every three weeks! Today she brings human hair she purchased four years ago with her; because the hair is good quality it can be reused over and again. Leader’s can order any type of extensions for their customers. Most of the hair they use comes from Mongolia and India via factories in Guangzhou. “In general my customers want virgin hair that has some texture to it,” says Kennedy, “Dead straight hair can look quite fake.”
As Tatenda pirouettes and brandishes her rainbow umbrella, she admits she enjoys the process and the result of having her hair done equally. “I can have a truly dramatic change without damaging my hair,” she says “And it’s always a sociable experience.” Kennedy readily agrees, “African salons are always busy and full of gossip!”
• MAC LadyGaga Hyper Real SPF 15 Liquid Foundation
• MAC Satin Lipstick in MAC Red
• MAC Eyeliner Gel in Black
• MAC Eye Shadow in Indian Ink, Deep Damson, and Nylon
• A selection of local Chinese and Korean brands
Get the Look:
1 Tatenda’s hair has two textures: about an inch of natural untreated hair at the roots, and the remainder which has been chemically relaxed and needs some extra TLC. Kennedy applies a nourishing treatment through the hair, before braiding Tatenda’s hair except for an inch or two either side of her part. He then applies oil to her scalp to keep her skin moisturized underneath the weave.
2 Beginning at the back of the head, Kennedy sews the weave to the braids. He then styles both the hair extensions and the unbraided hair along the parting into loose, retro curls.
3 Kennedy raids Tatenda’s makeup box for the final look. After moisturizer, primer, foundation, and powder, he shapes and fills her brows. Lining the eye in black, he uses purple, red, and gold shadows to define the lid, crease, and brow bone respectively. He minimizes the lips by lining with a black kohl pencil before finishing with a bright slash of red lipstick.
Leader’s Salon and Barber Shop
Daily 11am-11pm. Room 138, Building 3, Sanlitun SOHO, Chaoyang District (132 6423 1603) 朝阳三里屯SOHO3号楼138室
This article originally appeared on page 20-21 of the beijingkids July 2015 issue. Click here to read the issue for free on Issuu.com. To find out how you can get your own copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photos: Adrian Xuan at Neverland studio