There is a flair about Matitimane Sibuya that makes you immediately trust him with your hair. You just know that he is going to do something fabulous with it.

Dark and Lovely clearly know this too; they recently crowned him the 2018 winner of their Golden Scissors Awards, recognising hair stylists with an abundance of talent and creativity.

Related: Get ahead of the pack by finding out the top beauty trends for 2019

Matitimane’s winning hair-do

Hairstyles presented on the night were all breathtaking, but Matitimane’s ‘Jungle Queen’ stole both the show and the prize. Matitimane says the inspiration behind creating an elephant out of hair was symbolic.

“In almost every African language there is a saying ‘as big as an elephant’. For me, the Elephant is a symbol of growth and greatness, strength. While designing the hairstyle, I knew it would speak to everyone who saw it the same way it spoke to me,” he says.

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Healthy hair takes work

The biggest lesson Matitimane learned from The Dark and Lovely Golden Scissors Competition is to never give up, and he says that is a lesson anyone who wants healthy hair can take on too.

“People want healthy beautiful hair, but don’t want to put the work in. If you want the hair of your dreams, you shouldn’t give up on it. That means working towards it daily,” he says.

Matitimane realises that not everyone is as passionate about hair as he is. “People would care more if they understood that they can’t have the hairstyles they want without good, strong, healthy hair,” he says.

Related: Chemicals you should never put in your natural hair

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Award-winning tips for healthy natural hair

  1. Wash your hair at least once every two weeks. This reduces build-up and itching.
  2. Get your hair assessed by a professional regularly. Using random products on your hair can be a gamble that doesn’t pay off. A professional hair stylist can make an educated recommendation on what your hair routine should look like and which products you should be using.
  3. Always moisturise. Whether you use hair food or a light moisturiser, there is a wide range of products out there to suit all hair types and needs, so there’s no excuse for skipping this step.
  4. Although it may be convenient, never keep the same hairstyle for over a month. Most styles don’t let you take proper care of your hair, and while they might look good, your hair is being neglected and may become damaged.
  5. Invest in regular hair treatments. Matitimane says Dark and Lovely’s Anti-Breakage Healing Treatment is great for using after you’ve taken down intricate hairstyles like braids.

Related: how to take care of your natural hair after swimming