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s a haird resser who runs a salon specifically
catering to Afro hair, Rumbie Mutsiwa strives to
practice what she preaches to her clients at Rumbie
and Co. salon, which, by her admission, isn’t always
an easy task.
“It took me a long time to do this,” she said about her short,
natural curly hair. “I preach to my clients that you’re enough and
you don’t have to have your hair chemically straightened, but
it was hard to go through with it. I remember one night picking
up the paper scissors on my bedside table and just cutting it off. I
thought, ‘this has to happen right now or it never will.’”
Feeling close to her natural self has been a large part of Rumbie’s
personal mantra and business model. Encouraging others to
embrace their Afro and curly hair is what has established her
flourishing business. Now in Sydney, she has found her place
inside the sizable industry as a beloved and successful wavy, curly
and Afro hairdresser and extensionist.
Growing up in Zimbabwe, she said, hair was considered
immaterial. “In Africa you can just sit down while you’re hanging
out and braid – it’s not like every body braids but you’re just siting
and laughing and someone is doing your hair. So you don’t look
at hair as valuable, its just hair,” she said. Making the move to
Sydney has provided an industry that she would have otherwise
not experienced in Africa. She said it is only now that she has
viewed hair as art – after watching Australian hairdressers’
creative processes. In an industry she believes to be lacking in
Afro stylists, she feels she is offering an artistic and necessary
aspect to the industry by going back to her roots.
Though now a blossoming industry professional, Rumbie’s
inspiration wasn’t always so prevalent when conquering the world
of hair. “I worked in nursing for about 6 years but I knew it wasn’t
right. I kept changing roles to try something new and I was never
satisfied,” she said. “Every night I would come home it would be
‘me’ time. I would write down what I’m good at, what I love, and
my strengths. Time went on and I did this every day still, but then
one day I had a feeling rush over me and I knew that I needed to
quit my job.”
Without a job or a clear plan to conquer her new career path,
Rumbie started applying extensions from her home. This was
a perfect first move as a haird resser, but slowly she began to
discover the pitfalls. “I could apply extension and weaves
flawlessly, but I couldn’t cut or colour, so clients would go
somewhere else to finish the look,” she said. “That was my work,
but I couldn’t reap the rewards.” This realisation pushed Rumbie
to attend hairdressing school and take her career to another level.
After educating herself in the art of curly hair from a range of
impressive mentors at the Pivot Point International Academy,
Rumbie began her journey as a fulltime Afro and curly hairdresser.
In the past she has experienced difficulty finding an Afro stylist for
her own self and even now struggles to find apprentices who want
to learn the components of curly hair.
“I preach to my clients that you’re
enough and you don’t have to have
your hair chemically straightened,"
Rumbie Mutiswa’s journey from
Zimbabwe to the Sydney hair scene
is a bold, inspirational tale that
champions the idea of embracing your
true self. Best of all, she’s just getting
started, writes McKenna Uhde.
In an industry that has struggled to provide curl professionals,
Rumbie has had the opportu nity to make her mark. She is
currently creating a line of extensions ranging from Afro to kinky
curl, to better suit clients’ ranging curl patterns.
“Most extensions I find don’t offer a multitude of curl patterns.
So, if a client wants extensions, they often have to chemically
straighten their natural hair to match the extensions. I plan to
create a line that will merely enhance the hair you already have,”
Now based in Chippendale, this Afro hairstylist and artist is
constantly preaching to her clients the importance of being your
true self, with or without a weave. She strives to display an excited
and confident energy in her own work and life to inspire her
clients to believe in her business mantra: ‘you are beautiful.’ So
far, we would say, she’s succeeding.
For more information visit www.rumbie.co
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