She has had a bumpy ride since working in the beauty industry but she is not giving up anytime soon.
Hairstylist, Olga Lejaha (44) started working in a beauty salon from 1993 as an 18-year-old teenager. She worked at Tangled Salon which was based at Victoria Hotel in Maseru, where she says the job was exciting as she was able to improve the looks of her customers who came to straighten their hair or cut a Mohawk, amongst others.
After three years of working at the beauty salon, Lejaha went to Durban to study Public Relations at Natal Technikon and also Hair and Cosmetology at another college in Durban. When she returned from studying in 1999, she opened her own beauty salon at Sea-point in Maseru.
She says her natural talent puts bread on her table and she has been able to raise her children from the money she earns from being a Hairstylist.
‘I did not have a plan to turn hairdressing into a career while I worked at Tangled hair salon. I had the talent of working with my hands while growing up braiding my friends’ hair and at that time I could not find a job but I ended up loving this work. I’m very passionate about it,’ said Lejaha.
She has built a loyal customer base comprising of people who still come to her despite the high competition among hair salons in her area. She has had hard times though, when customers were not coming forth but she never gave up. She says she has also made it deliberate that her salon does not bear any name like other salons so that it can be distinct from others.
Things are no longer as good though for Lejaha, who says the number of her customers has dwindled making it difficult for her to pay rent and water bills as she is making less money than before.
She is however still inspired to work harder and doesn’t want to go out of business, particularly since some people still come to the salon when there is a big event that they are to attend or sometimes just when they want to look pretty.
She also keeps herself up-to-date by learning new trendy haircuts and styles.