Goma Haircuts by Jerome Delay
On the N2 highway leading north out of Goma in the Democratic Republic of Congo, colourful hair salon storefronts hide interiors full of customers. The customers are mostly women who are ready to spend their entire day getting the perfect hairstyle, whether it’s butterfly or tribal braids, or curly hair twists. Yet while most of the work is performed by women, it seems that the salons are owned by men, some as young as 20 years old.
At a time of tension and economic uncertainty, the bold names and brightly coloured storefronts bring a sense of normalcy to residents who have contended with conflict and natural disasters for decades. The Salon Mixte, the Clinique de Beauté, the Just Love salon and the Salon King are all open for business and here to stay. Despite fighting between M23 rebels and FARDC government forces north of Goma, life goes on for residents of the lakeside town.