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Charlotte Mensah
courtesy of Instagram/@charlottemensah

The first black female hairdresser is inducted into the BHA Hall of Fame

TextAnya Angert

Charlotte Mensah takes her rightful place amongst the British Hairdressing Awards glittering alumni

Multi award-winning hairdresser Charlotte Mensah is the first black woman to be inducted into the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame since it was established 34 years ago.

“To be the first black woman to win this award is such a wonderful feeling - and also very humbling,” Mensah told Vogue after collecting her BHA silver lady. “I hope that I can act as an inspiration to the younger generation who might want to get into hairdressing - to show that anything is possible if you stay focused, work hard and follow your gut. Being able to fly the flag for afro and natural hair textures in the UK is such a huge privilege - it’s greatly rewarding to be recognised and celebrated by my peers."

Mensah has been long-established as the go-to authority for natural Afro and mixed and curly textured hair and is the founder and artistic director of the immensely popular Hair Lounge salon on London’s Portobello Road, which sees an ever-flowing tide of devoted (and renowned) clientele such as Jada Smith, Erykah Badu and Eve. Taking to Instagram after the awards, Mensah wrote “Officially the first black female hairdresser to be inducted into British Hairdressing Awards HALL OF FAME. It’s been an incredible journey so far...Thankful to God my family and all the support I’ve received.”

Mensah’s accolades have been abundant; she’s been crowned Afro Hairdresser of the Year at the British Hairdressing Awards three times, and her outstanding range of sustainable and organic Manketti Oil products have been stamped with numerous endowments too. Last month, Mensah was among those invited to meet with the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall at St James’s Place ahead of their official visit to The Gambia, Ghana and Nigeria. Other attendees included Edward Enninful, Vanessa Kingori and Tinie Tempah.

A Ghanaian native and a strong advocate for education, Mensah set up the Charlotte Mensah Academy which holds workshops and offers young, less fortunate individuals in Ghana the opportunity to learn her skill. Mensah also has a charity, L.O.V.E. (Ladies of Visionary Empowerment), aimed at furthering education opportunities and empowerment for young women in Africa.

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