Queues weave through Cape Town CBD as women go big on hair

29 November 2019 - 12:46 By Jamaica Ponder
The Black Friday queue outside a hair shop in Strand Street, Cape Town, on November 29 2019.
The Black Friday queue outside a hair shop in Strand Street, Cape Town, on November 29 2019.
Image: Jamaica Ponder

Some of the longest Black Friday queues in Cape Town's city centre were outside hair shops — and they wrapped around the block.

“We’ve been here since 7am,” said a group of schoolgirls waiting outside Esther Hair Salon in Strand Street. “Everyone is here because everyone needs a weave.”

Steve Austin, the employee tasked with wrangling the throngs of women inside the shop, looked stressed as he directed customers into their respective lines.

“I would say there are more than 1,500 people who have come into the shop so far,” he said, “and it’s still early.”

It was standing room only for would-be Black Friday weave buyers in a hair shop in Strand Street, Cape Town, on November 29 2019.
It was standing room only for would-be Black Friday weave buyers in a hair shop in Strand Street, Cape Town, on November 29 2019.
Image: Jamaica Ponder

Across the street, E-Styles Professional Hair and Beauty Salon’s lime green storefront was also overwhelmed with women waiting to be allowed inside.

Glamorous employees wearing shiny weaves worked the pavement, handing out white slips detailing each shop’s special deals.

In Esther's window, there was a sign advising men to go elsewhere. Usually welcome in the store, on Friday they were not part of the frenzy.

“We are only attending to women,” said Austin. “Men cannot even come into the shop.”

He said he wasn’t surprised by the length of the queue outside his shop. “They want good service and beautiful hair,” he said. “A good weave is worth waiting for.”


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