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Vanguard Styles App: Keleabetswe Mahuma Digitizing Beauty & Hair

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The international hair industry is huge, with black people accounting for most of its revenue. In South Africa, this is no different; however since moving back, I’ve always been weary of hairstylists. From watching neighbors come out of local salons with freshly relaxed hair without any bounce and too much shine to not finding a stylist in the suburbs, black hair care can be stressful.

Vanguard Styles app allows users to book mobile hairstylists, nail technicians, and makeup artists in the Johannesburg and Pretoria areas. In addition, users can purchase hair bundles on the app. The platform was started by 24 year old, Keleabetswe Mahuma. Keleabetswe studies Mathematical Science at Wits, while doubling as a Financial Adviser, on top of her work as CEO and founder of Vanguard Styles. 

The app went live on the Google Play Store in February 2018, though it has yet to reach the Apple iStore. The 24 year old founder says the most frequent services she sees requested are makeup artists for special occasions. Imagine how convenient it would be to call a beauty team to your home for something like graduation day, or a Monday Blues pick me up!

Here’s what Kelebeatswe had to say about beauty, hair, and Vanguard Styles…

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Keleabetswe Mahuma (CEO, Vanguard Styles)

Q: At home beauty services are not uncommon, however what made you want to commit to an app to accomplish this effort?

Vanguard is an APP [to make] style personal. I believe that my APP offers convenience to our clients, which is our number  one priority; especially because as women we are so busy, and we still prioritize looking good. Our platform also helps beauticians that need clients reach a wider audience; which is also important to us.


Q: Like Uber, there are safety concerns for consumers about who they allow into their homes. How do you ensure the safety of consumers when they order services/goods form your Vanguard service providers?

Our service providers provide us with enough information to enable us to ensure that we do a background check [for] the safety of our clients. We also have a relationship with every beautician that comes on board so that I can communicate and ensure their [safety] when traveling to and from an Appointment.

Q: When did you realize your passion for hair and beauty? 

My love for Computer Science started in 2014, when I started studying Mathematical science. Although I had fallen in love with making apps, I had always been very business oriented and loved beauty. In 2016 I started a hair sales business, which I call Queening Hair (because I believe every woman is a Queen) which was great, but I needed a greater challenge. Slowly I started thinking [of] how [I could] put together the love I have for business, especially with regards to the female beauty sector, and what I was studying and learning at school. That’s how Vanguard was born.

Q: What is something in the hair and beauty industry that you want to see change? Does the lack of this change impact your business at present?

I would like to see the hair and beauty industry growing in terms of being mobile and easily accessible. This lack of change is the reason  I started my Business, and is the reason I keep going. Its not a obstacle, but a barrier I believe we can break.

Q: What beauty treatment is your go-to when you want to feel like your best self?

I, personally, love wigs. I could change my hair everyday if I could.

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