It’s official. Hair gems are the glow up we never knew we needed.
Pioneered locally by Keash, the London-based hair braiding company run by Taiba Akhuetie, the trend feels like a natural evolution from 2018’s most covetable accessory: diamanté hair clips, spelling everything from “angel” and “girls” to “anxiety” and “sex” (eternal thanks to Ashley Williams).
From cult brand logos to the words “boss” and “not sorry” emblazoned for all to read, Taiba’s technicolour designs can be customised to fit any taste or occasion – in other words, what are you waiting for?
We caught up with Taiba to find out more…
What inspired you to start using hair gems?
I’m based in a nail salon and I often see the nail techs incorporating gems into their designs. One day I thought to myself: surely I can do this with hair? I had bought loads of loose gems for wig decorating workshops and decided to start testing out applying gems to hair. The first one I tried was an LV design, and once it dried, I was shocked to find it stayed in place and could actually be worn on a night out.
Do you have a favourite design you’ve done with them so far?
I think so far my favourite design is one I did for International Women’s Day. Although all of them I do are pretty much freestyles, that design in particular came out way better than I expected.
What’s the most random design someone’s asked you for?
To be honest, I don’t see that many things as random because I’m extremely random myself. I’m still waiting for someone to request something completely over the top and crazy because I thrive off that.
Have you seen an increase in the trend recently? Why do you think people love it?
If I’m being completely honest, I think Keash has been at the forefront of setting this particular trend. I have not seen anyone using gems in the way I am to create different designs. I remember when Ashley Williams started doing those diamanté hair clips and people went wild for it; now you see them everywhere. People just love to be extra and I think I’ve introduced a new way for them to experiment with their hair without having to commit to something permanent.
Keash has always been really boundary-pushing and experimental. What would you say the brand stands for?
Keash is a very DIY, unconventional hair brand. We like to get our hands dirty and use materials and products in ways they are not meant to be used. Keash is all about cultural appreciation, we are here to share our heritage. No matter what race, gender, or background you come from, we’ve created a space for you to step into and feel comfortable.