Hair Today, Braid Tomorrow!

By Jenny Gray

What looks fantastic, has endless combinations and mutations, and means you never have to have a bad hair day (on your holiday)?

Hair braiding!

It’s been around for centuries and nobody does the ancient art of weaving your locks into funky creations better than the locals of Port Vila. Ni Vanuatu people (male and female) are masters in the art of braiding and have been keeping their wild locks at bay using the technique for years. The styles and shapes they’ve come up with, not to mention the number of different artifacts (shells, beads, cloth, feathers) woven into the braids are endless.

That’s all fine and well but where do you go to get the best spindle locks in town? We here at the Vanuatu A-Z grasped this hairy dilemma by the short and curly and went on a bit of a head hunt to get to the bottom of this heady issue.

If you’re after your every day ‘natural braiding’, for those that have no braiding savvy that’s your standard three strand plat, just about every hair salon in Vila will do it. You can have your ‘natural braiding’ with any accessories you’d like, or can come up with, hanging from your hair. But the most common are coloured beads. Try silver foil for a flashy finish or bring your own beads for that style of your very own. Prices start at around 1,000vt to 3500vt.

If it’s a truly local experience you’re after head to the market place where, on any given day you’ll find Ni Vanuatu stall holders offering hair braiding. And if you can’t find someone or a stall is not obvious, just ask one of the women selling necklaces and she will certainly be able to find a braider or two for you. ‘Natural braiding’ is also popular on cruise boat days and you can find market ladies setting up down at the docks. Prices may vary but only very slightly and bartering is not advised.

For the braiding aficionado who wants the best in ‘natural braiding’ or a bit more than just the ‘natural braid’ there’s only one place in town to go. Head off to ‘Head Hunters Salon’ in the arcade two doors down from Au Pèche Mignon cafe. At ‘Head Hunters Salon’ Linda, your creative braider, will transform your shock of hair into a creative piece of art that will bring out that little Bo Derek hiding in all of us. From water curls to locks, dreads and hook-ons, Linda can do it all. And if you don’t know what you want, Linda has an impressive arsenal of pictures for you to choose from.

Expect to pay a little more for the creative but as they say, you get what you pay for, and Linda’s creations are worth every vatu. Prices are approximate because each head of hair and each design will be different. Single strands start at 100vt, a complete braid from 3000vt and for really creative braids on short hair, prices start at approximately 16,500vt and, for longer tresses, expect to pay 22,000vt upwards.

To contact Linda at ‘Head Hunters Salon’ call (678) 22768.

To try your own braiding, here’s a link.

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