What lies behind the public face of your hairdresser? Probably as many different emotions and thought processes as there are people in the world…and definitely more than current hairstyles. Here, PAM BAILIE gives us a peek into the life of Capetonian REVONA HENDRICKS, 40. Revona grew up in Cape Town’s challenged suburb of Manenberg with her younger sister and brother. Their father worked in lift and escalator maintenance and their mother died when Revona was 20. After matriculating from Manenberg Secondary School, she went straight into hairdressing, a career that took her to London and back. She now lives in Southfield, Cape Town, and runs a salon from her home
‘I never thought divorce would happen to me,’ says Revona | Photo: Tonya Hester

‘Most mornings I wake up naturally at 5 am. My phone’s on silent at night, so the first thing I do is get onto Whatsapp to see if my family has tried to contact me. My sister has a young baby and my dad’s diabetic, so I do worry about them. I also check on my brother, his wife and kids who live with him in Manenberg.

I check my clients’ messages from the night before, drink two glasses of water with mint and cucumber, then pray for my family and the day ahead. I think of prayer as simply doing life with God. After that I spend around half an hour exercising on my treadmill and with weights. I try to exercise every day before work. Breakfast’s the only meal I eat during the day when I’m working, so it’s full-on eggs and bacon in the morning. I’m definitely not a cereal girl!

I converted my garage into my salon so at 8am I just lock my back door and walk across! I love my job and pride myself on offering an excellent service. I rarely keep my clients waiting and they seem to like the intimate space a home salon provides. One of my clients said I’m cheaper than going to therapy and the bonus is that she has great hair when she leaves! I decided to go into hairdressing after getting my hair done at Carlton Hair for my Matric dance. I loved the buzz of the salon and the creativity of being a stylist. I also knew I’d be able to travel with this career.


Hairstyling is constantly developing, and there has been amazing progress on the colour front. Gone are the days of solid, opaque colour that was ageing and dull: hair can now look translucent, as if the sun’s coloured it. The only thing I don’t like about the job is the admin! I consult a business coach who’s helped me understand that running the salon isn’t only about what comes naturally to me but also about getting to grips with the admin side, so I’m reading up about this, plus getting blogs and a Facebook page up and running.

On average, I see six clients a day, helped by my assistant Priscilla. I only have time for quick breaks, so rather than have lunch, I nibble cheese, biltong or apples. On an easy day I take a break and drive to my dad or visit someone.

‘I feel nurtured,’ says Revona, even though her life hasn’t always been plain sailing  |  Photo: Tonya Hester

I was married very briefly four years ago and was devastated when things fell apart. I never thought this would happen to me. I felt stripped of my confidence: was I not enough? I also began to doubt my ability to judge people. It’s taken a long time to recover and while I do feel I’ve finally healed, I’m not quite ready to start anything new and have not encouraged any advances! Meanwhile, my family keeps me busy. At any given moment I could get a call from a family member in need and I’ve decided to see this as a blessing that enriches my life!

We come from an ‘every Sunday’ church family, but at 16 I started questioning life and drifted away from church, though I always believed t we are called to have a personal relationship with God, and had my own private time with Him without telling anyone. One Sunday I decided to visit Jubilee Community Church in Observatory. Before I left home, I said to God, ‘if this church doesn’t say we are called to have a personal relationship with You, I’m not going to another church!’ In the middle of the sermon, the pastor said: ‘You’ve been called to have a personal relationship with God, you were created to be in relationship with Him.’ That’s all I heard and seven years later I guess the joke’s on me!


I believe in God because I’ve never known a peace like this, never felt so deeply loved. He’s with me all day. When I don’t know what colour to mix, I’ll say, ‘I’m out of ideas here, show me what to use.’ Even on a date I’ll ask, ‘Is this OK?’ I quite often get promptings to contact someone, and if I ignore them, I usually find out later that the person needed help. I believe such promptings are often the Holy Spirit trying to get my attention. I have come to realise my worth isn’t in my relationship or my partner, but in the fact that I’m loved by God. I genuinely feel Him nurturing me.

I think life’s all about us trying to be kind to one another, not judgmental, and making the most of each day. Personally, my dream in life is to have a bigger salon, with more staff. Having worked in London for two years, I also dream of working in New York.

I close up the salon around 5 or 6pm, go into my house, check my personal Whatsapps and decide what to eat, which is usually protein and veg. If I go out with friends, it’s maybe to an evening market or a walk on Muizenberg beach. If I stay in, I usually read after supper. I’m interested in nutrition so at the moment it’s Tim Noakes’ Real Meal Revolution.

I go to bed around 10pm and say Psalm 91 out loud. It speaks of God’s faithfulness to us. When I say it, a peace comes over me and I can fall asleep (after checking my Whatsapps one more time!)’

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