Style is more than an aesthetic. It’s a tool every woman should embrace on their rise to the top. Your style is a representation of your identity, personality, abilities, and ambition. Every TRES Girl knows that it’s the core of her self-expression, and as she and her style evolve, she wants to redefine her story. Own her story. Style her story.
TRESemmé has partnered with some of South Africa’s boldest, most ambitious women to honour their status as entrepreneurs, influencers, and style icons.
Whether they’re self-made moguls, legal fashionistas, style gurus, or all-around trailblazers, they epitomise the spirit of the TRES Girl.
In part 2 of our four-part Style Your Story series, we talk to TRESemmé professional stylist partners and a TRES Girl making a name for herself in the beauty industry.
THE STYLE GURUS
Salon owner, stylist trainer, hair and fashion consultant Smangele Sibisi’s work in the beauty industry is as diverse as her skillset – and she’s been recognised repeatedly for her relentless entrepreneurial spirit. From founding her haircare company, Indalo Nubian Naturals, to facilitating the TRESemmé Stylist Training Programme, to consulting on big-brand beauty campaigns, Smangele refuses to limit herself.
But her story isn’t as direct as her rise through the industry. Smangele is open about the ways in which she has juggled her business, her personal life, and her aspirations.
“We so often measure ourselves against others. We want to hit the targets, always be the best, be a role model. You can’t always be 100% focused. Sometimes you have to lean into something else – expand your creativity, and learn to delegate,” she says.
This creativity extends to her personal style, which has helped her clientele realise that they can also try new things.
“When they see me with purple hair, and it looks great, then they want to try it. We end up teaching each other about personal style and what works for us individually,” she says.
Smangele is dedicated to helping the battle against South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis and says it’s vital to promote alternative careers beyond typical academic pursuits – especially where there is space in the stylist industry for young people to shine.
Deborah Somwe doesn’t believe in trade secrets. She doesn’t lock away her knowledge so only her clientele can benefit from it. When she works with a new stylist, or shares her expertise on socials, she wants to help build a bank of knowledge that can be built on by others who are passionate about style.
“My salon (Reine de Beaute) has always been a small, intimate space – a place where my customers can feel at home. But if I hold onto all my skills and knowledge, then that means only a few people can benefit from them. I would rather there be many quality salons out there, where we all share our haircare knowledge. That way, everyone can have an experience where their aesthetic visions are brought to life,” she says.
Salon owners, she believes, can empower and educate their clientele, help close the unemployment gap, and build a South African beauty industry that can rival the world’s best. But to do this, they have to stay humble.
“Don’t ever get comfortable. Every time I work with hair, I still get a bit nervous, because I always want the best outcome. And when your work shines, you feel relieved, but know you can always get better. Keep learning!”
Even as a young teenager, Sayla Dean had a passion for make-up artistry. The ability to bring out the best features, build entirely new looks, and help someone become their authentic self had always attracted her to the craft. While she originally wanted to become a full-time cosmetics artist, Sayla stumbled upon the power of social media and sharing her make-up expertise. But starting her influencer journey as an introverted high schooler meant learning how to deal with the worst side of the internet.
“You get so much hate, and a lot of unsolicited opinions about you when you share yourself – and that was so tough to navigate, especially in school. So now, I always encourage people to not care what others think. It took me a while to find myself, and drown out all the noise, but it’s been such a fulfilling journey,” the 22-year-old says.
Her personal style, she explains, is what allows her to tap into her most confident persona.
“I’m extremely shy and public speaking has never been my thing. But when I’m fully styled, I feel confident, I can walk into a room and speak with anyone. Finding my style and inner self has helped me branch out and become a full-time content creator.”