After a completion of a course, there is a formal graduation ceremony with bells and whistles. We consciously celebrate the hard work and dedication of our students. The ceremony is also symbolic to commend their achievements. During the graduation ceremony, top achievers are awarded for their extra work and diligence. This event is a huge frenzy with media presence. Since the inception of the current Dark and Lovely Academy, we have graduated over 300 students and counting.

The MCK Special School Project

MCK Special school is dedicated to students with special needs. Most of these students are also under privileged. Students who show interest in the hairdressing profession were identified and given full scholarship to train at the Dark and Lovely Academy in South Africa. The students are transported in and out of the Academy to ensure their safety. The Dark and Lovely Academy with support from L’Oréal South Africa Management supplies each student with a complete set of hairdressing kit to enable them take part fully in all practical courses. In addition, each student is given a monthly stipend to cater to their personal as well for a full year. To give the students a learning environment closer to them, L’Oréal upgraded their in-house salon to an international standard. This gives the students the opportunity to also earn a salary from practicing what they have been taught.

The fruition of the partnership with MCK Special school is evident in a 100% pass rate for all the students who were enrolled in the first batch in 2020.

Competitions and Awards

The Employers Organisation for Hairdressing, Cosmetology and Beauty (EOHCB) hosts the most prestigious annual hairdressing competition in South Africa. This competition is open to all hairstylists, salons, and academies across the nation. The competition features seniors, juniors, and open sections for all to enter. The Dark and Lovely Academy enters all competition levels catered to afro-specific hair. From 2016 to 2019 all Dark and Lovely Academy students who partook in this competition placed in the top 3.

Here are some of our students with success stories

The Dark and Lovely Academy has produced a host of students of have moved on to have successful businesses. Some students have been able to successfully open their own salons whilst others are successfully placed in top salons across the country.

Lerato Sejanamang

“I started off as a wedding planner, and quickly realized that I was missing out on the opportunity to be versatile. I enrolled at the Dark and Lovely Academy and exceled in my craft, creating a one-stop shop for all my clients. I did not only upgrade my business, but I also upgraded my personal knowledge and entered and won in national championships. This greatly impacted my confidence and expertise positively” Lerato Sejanamang

Nandy Nyalenda

“After the first three months of practical lessons, we are usually placed in salons to have an in-depth practical knowledge and on-the-job training to fulfil our practical hours. Due to the high level of training received at the Dark and Lovely Academy, I was quickly employed as a permanent employee of a top salon in Johannesburg. I am opening my own salon in a few years… Keep watching this space!” Nandy Nyalenda

Maggie Haskins

“For me I had a calling to become a hairdresser. I was successfully employed in corporate. I enrolled with the Dark and Lovely Academy and by the end of the six-month course, I was ready to open my own salon. Today I run a successful salon business and employs some of my fellow students.” Maggie Haskins