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Creating hair with flair

FLAME HAIRED: Model sports a long red plait

THE HUGELY anticipated Africa Fashion Week London 2011 was, undoubtedly, a huge success. Taking place earlier this month, the two-day event saw over 2,000 people flock to see the creations of over 50 designers.

Responsible for the models’ fabulous and creative hairstyles was Clara Alexander, CEO of hair company Real Hair By Clara. Here, the stylist talks about creating hairdos for such a massive event.

How did you manage to come up with such creative hairstyles?
I have always been creative. My mother always told me that left-handed people , which I am, tend to be very creative. I chose to put my creativity in hair. I like to come up with designs that are different from the norm, so for me, it is paramount that I have a team of stylists that are capable of bringing my designs to life.

SKILLS: Clara (second from left) and her team

Were there any models who’s hair proved a bit challenging to do?
I would say the girls with very short hair because my original idea was to leave their hair as it was. It was after seeing how one of the models in particular totally fell in love with our latest product, the Flexi Braid, which made me change my mind. She was so adamant we could attach the braid to her hair. So I tried it on her and decided to incorporate the idea on the other models in different ways.

The model who wore the long, blonde pony tail braid was very striking. How did you come up with that idea?
With the Flexi Braid, you really can be flexible because it’s so easy to play around with it. Using it on extra short hair is like working with a blank canvas and painting it with lots and lots of creativity.
We wanted the model to look fierce and edgy and really wanted to bring out her features and match the boldness of her look and makeup. Overall, we wanted to show her as a strong woman and we are very happy that we achieved that on the day.

BIG HAIR: A two-tone afro

How long have you been doing hair?
I have been interested in hair since I was nine years old. I had my first Girls World doll when I was 10 and used to do so many different styles in different combinations.
I would make different designs on my sisters’ hair and although my studies and career were not in the hair industry, I always knew I would own a business that would enable me to demonstrate my love for creativity and flair for hair, someday.

Tell us a bit about your business…
Real Hair By Clara started in 2008 and is all about empowering women to gain independence by selling hair products of a high quality from the comfort of their own home. Our hair range consists of Brazilian and Virgin Indian hair, which can be ordered as clip-on extensions, weaves and lace wigs. They’re primarily sold through independent hair consultants that buy the products for a very small fee and gain commissions on all products they sell, as well as on products sold by individuals they have brought into the business to do the same.

STRIKING: the attention-grabbing blonde barnet

What was the inspiration for starting this business?
We believe that anyone can be successful in life and we simply provide the mechanisms to allow that to happen with our constant support, mechanisms and training.

What else can we expect to see from Real Hair with Clara?
I am so proud of my team and what we have managed to achieve in such a short space of time. So, next year we expect to do so much more!
My goal is to be the company of choice for hair extensions and hair extension products, whilst at the same time building my couture range of hair designs.
The Flexi Braid is destined to become a trendsetter, however, I have so many designs just waiting to be unleashed. So watch this space!

For more information, visit

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