History of the Academy

The Dark and Lovely Academy in South Africa was officially commissioned on 10th October 2016. The DNA of the brand has always included Professional Expertise. This means that Dark and Lovely provided solutions that could be used by professionals and consumers alike. Therefore, there was a need to maximize this strength by providing formal and accredited education for the professional community.

Since the formation of the Dark and Lovely Academy, over 300 students have been professionally trained and accredited. The Dark and Lovely Academy is one of the few hairdressing academies to have won a bursary from the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) of South Africa.

Accredited Institution

The competitive edge of the Dark and Lovely Academy, is the accreditation of the institution to deliver formal education. These are…

  • Accredited SETA Hairdressing Academy
  • Accredited Trade Test Center
  • Accredited Pre – Trade Test Center
  • Accredited Commercial Salon

Meet the Dark and Lovely Academy’s Lecturers

Lessons are delivered by experienced and qualified lecturers in lecture halls for theories and in fully functional salons for practical lessons.

Mimmi Biggar

Mimmi is one of the pioneers of the Dark and Lovely Academy and currently the head of the institution. She holds a master’s degree in Hairdressing from Pivot Point International under the tutelage of Don Carr. Her career took off at a very young age after winning the National Hair Competition. After which, she proceeded to lead the team to win an African title in Ivory Coast.

She is accredited with most of the prestigious and high-ranking accreditations like Trade Test, Moderator, Assessor, Masters and Teachers Training.

With a diverse and multi-cultural background, she has worked in and trained in Chicago, Arkansas, Atlanta, London, and multiple cities in South Africa.

Her objectivity and ability to give constructive feedback has put her on a panel of judges for many competitions across South Africa.

Discernment Mamabolo

He started his career as a hairdresser in 1994 as a beginner student at Mark Bernard hair academy and has since then been on a journey to upgrade himself. After his Board Examination and Trade Test certificates in 2001, he furthered is education in London to train at Stainer Academy. This afforded him the opportunity to work overseas in America, London, the Caribbean, and Canada serving aboard five cruise ships for two cruise lines, Carnival Cruise line and Royal Caribbean cruise line. He then returned to South Africa and worked with numerous institutions and brands.

He has been a head judge for a few national competitions in South Africa including EOHCB Hair competition and the Golden Scissors competition. He is proud to be a part of the Dark and Lovely Academy’s team as one of the senior lecturers. He has trained numerous students who have proceeded to win competitions like EOHCB competitions and taking 1st   and 2nd prizes.

Margaret Swartz

Driven by the passion to see young women and men succeed in the field of hairdressing, Margaret approaches her teaching with a lot compassion and patience. She joined the Dark and Lovely Academy in 2016 and the first batch of students they presented for hair competition all placed in the top three positions.

She holds over 35 years of experience in the hairdressing teaching sector. She completed her college N1 – N3 and worked in a Technical College heading the Hairdressing department for 10 years after which she obtained her Teaching Qualification. She participated and won the first ever Africa Nova Hair Competition which was organized worldwide.

She has also obtained qualifications in Afro Hair (Trade Test), Gents Trade, Assessors, and Moderators.

She worked on a British Cruise line as the Head Stylist, in the Spa as well. After which she returned to the teaching as a Snr Lecturer and acting Head of Department for about 15 years. During which she conducted a lot of eternal examinations for other colleges and assessed Trade Testing.

Over 100 students have been trained by Margaret since she joined the Dark and Lovely Academy, many of whom now own their own salons or work in reputable salons. Her passion is also fuelled by the fact that she also gets to learn from the students each day. She is fulfilled, knowing that she has played a part in creating some of the most brilliant, Professional Hairdressers.

Thabiso Twala

His love and passion for hairdressing started way back in the nineties. Since then, he has worked very hard to rise through the ranks winning an EHOCB Hair Championship in 2009 and 2011. He has worked in top salons across Johannesburg and has full accreditations as a professional hairstylist.  He joined Dark and Lovely in 2015 and has since trained numerous students, some of whom have proceeded to win EHCOB championships as well.

Detailed curriculum that combines both theory and practical education

The Dark and Lovely Academy places equal emphasis on both theory and practical approaches to learning. These allow students to practically apply what they have learnt in theory. The theory approach teaches the students about:

  • Business Management – Communication skills, Professionalism, Sales and Marketing, Ethics and Etiquettes, Deportment, PR, Advertising, etc.
  • The composition of hair
  • Scalp and Hair Health
  • Hair Typology
  • Sculpturing
  • Barbering
  • Chemistry
  • Chemical Reformation
  • Sanitization and Hygiene
  • Communication Skills
  • Basic and Advanced Cutting Skills
  • Introduction to the Color Wheel

The practical approach requires students to learn hands on, what has been taught theoretically. Some practical courses include:

  • Shampooing, Conditioning and Treatments
  • Massage techniques
  • Chemical applications
  • Styling techniques: Up styling, Commercial Styling, Bridal, Avant Garde and High Fashion Styling
  • Introduction to cutting
  • Barbering
  • Natural Hair Care
  • Braiding and Weaving
  • Basic Makeup Application