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Meet male hairdresser prides in unique hustle

He stands at an impressive 6 feet; his dreadlocks are neatly tied up into a man-bun with a single strand left lingering over his face.

He is in black distressed jeans and a tan colured pull neck.

The man is an eccentric soul and his grooming is expressive of that.

Joel Kiyondi, popularly known as Jay Jay on Instagram is the go-to celebrity weaveologist.

He makes weaves from synthetic and human hair bundles, leave-outs, sew-ins, extensions, relaxing natural hair, coloring, and haircuts.

His expertise has earned him the tag ‘the weave guru’ and ‘weave by Jay Jay’.

His clientele spans from celebrity figures such as Kobi Kihara and Victoria Rubadiri to Digital influencers such as Natalie Tewa, June Claire, and Miss Barakeila.

Joel is the second born in a family of four children. He grew up toying with his sister’s hair. He would style and even braid his sisters’ hair.

Little did he know that years down the line, hairdressing would be the way he earned his livelihood.

“Hair was meant to be a side-thing but surprisingly I have been doing this for 8 years,” he tells Nairobi News.

After failing to raise enough money to join university, he decided to enroll to Ashley’s Beauty College in 2013 where he took a hairdressing course.

He then moved to Ebony Salon in Nairobi where he apprenticed under different hairdressers to learn the craft.

Joel uses social media to hone his craft.

He watches YouTube tutorials from popular tubers such as Anthonyhaircuts to learn new skills.

The weave guru also runs an Instagram account that he uses to market his work and attract new clients.

“Social media plays a powerful role in running of my business. My clients take pictures and tag me on Instagram stories. That’s how my business has grown to what it is today.”

His salon space at Classy Lauren’s along Mama Ngina Street is always packed. He works on an average of eight clients a day and has two employees who assist him.

Being a man in a female-dominate industry, he has faced numerous challenges including ridicule from friends for working in the cosmetics industry and losing clients who would not work with male hairdressers for religious reasons.

Joel, however, maintains that hairdressing brings joy to his heart, pays his bills, and fulfills his passion.

“I don’t have Mondays because I enjoy what I do. I encourage men who want to venture into this industry to not shy away.”