Monday, November 19, 2012


Everywhere you go in Tanzania there are hair salons (or saloons as they are commonly misspelled). But they are not of the hair cutting variety, but for hair braiding.

Tanzanian ladies spend a lot of their pay on their hair if they are able to. Magdalena told me that if a woman has some money she would probably spend it on her hair rather than on food.

I have blogged about dreadlocks before, but here is a run down on the types of hairstyles you can ask for when visiting a salon.

Twende kilioni - the hair is braided from front to back. This is a very popular style, and is especially seen on school girls. Schools may specify on how many rows a student may wear to school - a little bit like a uniform creating equality.
mbili kichwa - 2 rows, tatu kichwa - 3 rows, tano kichwa - 5 rows, asab kichwa - seven rows

Below: Upendo has twende kilioni

Kilimanjaro - braided so it meets at the top (like a mountain)

Kilimanjaro upande - braided so the 'mountain top' is on the side of the head.

Bob Marley (bob) - parted in the middle with weaves that fall on both sides of the head.

Mdomo wa kuku - the braiding points begin at one of the temples and finish at the back of the head (diagonal pattern)

Below: Upendo's hair braided in the mdomo wa kuku style

Jongoo - small spiral braids (like a millipede)

Rasta or Mabutu - 3 lines of hair extensions are plaited onto the original hair.

Below: Paskalina has a mabutu style.

Twisti - 2 lines of hair extensions are joined to the original hair.

Below: Magdalena has hair extensions joined to her already existing dreadlocks

Mapande - random (shagalabagla) lines of braiding.

Vijiji vitatu - literally translated as 3 villages.
Above: Rachel's hair is braided into '3 villages'

Mabutu - braiding that stands up all over the head in tufts.

Kiduku - what I would describe as a mohawk.

 Above and below: kiduku

Yeboyebo - (this one I think is the most difficult for me to understand, although apparently I see it all the time) hair extensions are joined and braided into the original hair and the style is sewn together.

Each week as the ladies at work change their hair I'll endeavour to photograph it and add the pictures to this post.

1 comment:

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