South African Township Barbershops & Salons is a compilation of photographs documenting the thriving grooming industry in communities once designated for black occupation by apartheid legislation. After working as a cover designer for Penguin Books and Harper Collins, the book’s UK-based author Simon Weller turned to freelance photography, and this vibrant and compelling collection of images is a result of his interest in South Africa’s growing pains in the wake of institutional segregation.
“A stunning and enigmatic variety of hand-painted artwork [adorn] these businesses,” he writes, “illustrating the hairstyles on offer.” From King’s Hair Clinique in Dzanani and the Boys II Men Salon in Durban, to the 3rd Class Barber Shop and the Judgment Day Hair Salon in Khayelitsha, South African Township Barbershops & Salons is a moving and visually stimulating collection of images that chronicles a phenomenon unique to post-apartheid South Africa.
Click through below to preview a selection of images from Weller’s book.
King’s Hair Clinique, Dzanani
Boys II Men Salon, Durban, artwork by Espoir Kennedy
The Blue House Barbershop, Khayelitsha, artwork by Anathi Tyawa
3rd Class Barber Shop, Khayelitsha
New Generation Salon, Khayelitsha
B.J. Hair Salon, Soweto
Eyethu Barber, Soweto
Grace Hair Salon, Langa
Judgment Day Hair Salon, Khayelitsha
Serious Hair Salon, Khayelitsha