Hair all about it! We interview #DI Emerging Creative Nikiwe Dlova on her hair art

Nikiwe Dlova brings together head and heart.

Tell us how you became a hair artist?

I studied Clothing Management at the University of Johannesburg. It was while I was studying that my love of fashion made me explore another element of my identity - my hair. I started my brand ownURcrown in 2018 as a way to explore art and identity through hairstyling. 

What form do your artworks take?

I create headpieces, fashion and contemporary hair art tapestry pieces/artworks. These showcase how hair extensions can be used as a textile form, through weaving and sewing braided hair extensions by hand to create a visual story.

How would you describe yourself - in terms of your creative identity and aesthetic style? 

My creative identity is unique, African, colourful, unexpected but relatable. I’m interested in how people express themselves through their hair, not limited to merely how they style it but also how they interact with hair in their environment and together with their clothing. Combining history, design and culture helps me tell the story of how versatile hair is.

What do you aim to say/achieve with and through your work? 

To show people how beautiful our African culture is, to show how versatile our hair is and how limitless our creative expression is, especially when it comes to our identity. I also want to challenge people's perspectives when it comes to hair. I feel that people tend to limit their creativity when it comes to hair. So I continue to explore more creative avenues with hair but in an unconventional way. Through people’s support and recognition, I’m able to create beautiful hair art, which has brought me where I am today.

Where do you hope this platform will take you? 

Hopefully to reach more people globally.

What are you currently working on? 

Something big but unfortunately I can't share at the moment but it has to do with hair art [watch this space!].