We all know that finding a really good hair colourist, manicurist or massage therapist can take years. It’s not just something you can look up online in one quick search. You want to know that you’re going to someone who will take care of you. We rely on word-of-mouth to find the people who will consistently make us look and feel our best, so we ask our friends, we ask on social media and we ask the people we love to follow.
I often get asked for recommendations for everything from hair stylists to chiropractors and I’m always so happy to share the details of the people I’ve grown to know, love and rely on so much over the years. So I’m finally putting together my little black book of the best service providers in Cape Town. Feel free to put your trust in them, as I know they won’t disappoint you!
I’ve been going to scar for my hair since I first moved to Cape Town in 2010 – actually I started having them do my hair even before I moved here! Over the years they have taken me from blonde to dark to pink and back again. We’ve chopped, we’ve added hair extensions, we’ve done damage control and we’ve done maintenance. I love the salon’s aesthetic, their commitment to new techniques and trends and their ultra-cool stylists. I’ve been seeing Carlos for my colour for about 5 years and I trust him implicitly. My hair is so important to me, so having a relationship with someone I know will get my colour just right, won’t take too much of my length off, and is proud of his work is vital.
Scar Hair | Website| 22 Kloof St, Gardens |+27 21 422 5900
If you’ve ever suffered from acne or recurring breakouts, you’ll know how soul-crushing skin issues can feel. I went through a very difficult period with my skin a couple of years ago and I really learned the true value of skin maintenance. I have two main concerns when it comes to skin; medical care and age prevention.
Medical Skin Treatments
For medical treatments like peels and acne treatment, I see Sally at Cape Aesthetics. She has an incredible amount of knowledge and is not afraid of a good extraction. She really helped me get things under control when I was suffering with horrible adult acne. She uses Lamelle products, which are local and really affordable. I’ve been repurchasing their Clarity Active Cleanse (which is excellent for problem skin), Corrective Hydrating HA Plus Serum and Dermaheal Cellular Repair Cream over and over.
Cape Aesthetics | Website | 4 Wilderness Ln, Claremont | +27 21 683 3048
Anti-Ageing Skin Treatments
For anti-ageing and general skin wellness, I am obsessed with QMS Medicosmetics treatments. It’s actually my all-time favourite anti-ageing range – I particularly love their Exfoliant Fluid (a good burn) and Hydro Foam Mask (love applying this before a long flight). I normally see Anel at the FutureThis Studio, but her time is incredibly limited, so I’d visit any of her recommended salons and therapists on this list.
Meraki Aesthetics | Website | Unit 11 Battery Park, V & A | +27 71 564 4808
There’s nothing like a good manicure to make you feel like you’ve really got your life together. And there’s nothing like a bad manicure to bring you back to reality. I personally love a good gel mani, since I can’t trust myself to maintain a polish job for even a day. For me, the perfect mani will last around 3 weeks without lifting at the tips. And for this, I have a couple of ride-or-die suppliers.
Kath and Roxy from Sacred Care have a way of making you feel at home from the minute you meet them. They have always bent over backward to accommodate me last-minute and they somehow remember all the boring details of my life with perfect recall.
Sacred Care | Website | 53 Upper Mill Street Vredehoek | +27 73 042 1205
When they are too busy to see me, I love visiting Meraki. It’s a stunning space with lots of room, so it’s the ideal place for friends to visit together. They are also committed to finding the best new techniques and products and aren’t afraid to try something you’ve seen on Instagram or Pinterest.
Meraki Aesthetics | Website | Unit 11 Battery Park, V & A | +27 71 564 4808
Waxing and Laser
Home jobs are a no-go, so having someone who makes you feel comfortable while being naked from the waist down is important. For waxing I saw Kath at Sacred Care for many years. Then when I decided to have laser done, I went to Deluxe at Garden’s Centre. They automatically booked me with the same therapist every time, but I can recommend anyone there, tbh – they are all lovely.
Deluxe Laser | Website | Gardens Centre | +27 21 461 1454
Massage & Spa Treatments
Depending on my schedule and budget, I’ll either opt for a quick in-and-out massage to just help me relax or I’ll go all out full spa day, where I’ll spend time making the most of the facilities.
For just a really good massage, I love Ruan Thai on Long Street. It’s run by Thai ladies who really know what they’re doing. It’s nothing too fancy or luxurious, but the massages are great, the prices are super reasonable and they’re open until 7pm.
Ruan Thai Spa | Website | 36 Long St | +27 21 424 7444
If I really want to spoil myself and I have time for a spa visit, I’ll head out to either Babylonstoren, Lanzerac or Delaire Graff. At Babylonstoren, I’ll normally book the Hammam treatment (truly life-changing) or if it’s in the winter I’ll book whichever monthly special they are running at the time, then I’ll make use of their incredible pool and sauna facilities.
Babylonstoren | Website | Klapmuts Simondium Road | +27 21 863 3852
At Delaire Graff Spa I can highly recommend the Black Pearl Body Illumination Therapy, which is one of the most luxurious and wonderful treatments I’ve ever experienced. It’s a a 90 minute treatment that includes a full body dead sea salt and algae scrub, 24k gold body butter massage, head massage using nourishing oils and the Cleopatra Gold face mask. Extremely decadent but truly unforgettable.
Delaire Graff Spa | Website | Helshoogte Rd, Stellenbosch | +27 21 885 8160
I’m not shy to tell anyone who will listen that I absolutely love Botox. It’s a fantastic invention that works together with my skincare and I personally feel like there’s only one thing better than curing unwanted signs of ageing and that’s preventing them. I’ve written about Botox before, and I love it even more now than I did when I was younger. It gives my face a slightly more open, awake and glowing look and it ever so slightly lifts my eyebrows. It prevents me from frowning, which actually does make me feel less annoyed during the day and it really just brings me a sense of pleasure when I’m doing my makeup.
If it’s something you would like for yourself, there is absolutely no shame in that. And I cannot recommend Dr Cara Duminy at Cape Aesthetics highly enough. She is extremely knowledgable and travels all over the world to conferences in order to stay up-to-date with the latest breakthroughs in medical aesthetics. She’s more than happy to talk you through the honest pros and cons of treatments and she works within your budget.
Dr Cara Duminy | Website | 4 Wilderness Ln, Claremont | +27 21 683 3048
There’s no better feeling than the sweet relief of a great chiropractic adjustment. My childhood friend Hannah Berry has her own practice where she has been treating me for the past couple of years. Using a combination of needles and adjustments, she has really helped me with back, neck and shoulder pain. Chiropractic treatments freak some people out, but the relief I have felt from all kinds of pain is something I wish for everyone!
Berry Chiropractic | Website | 29 Chiappini St, De Waterkant | +27 21 418 2474
Some people become doctors because they want to help other people and some people become doctors because they are healers. Dr Barry Paulse is one of those with healing hands. At his modest practice in Woodstock, where patients sit in a row of white plastic chairs, he treats people from every socio-economic background with a kindness that makes you feel better the moment you walk into his office. He remembers the last time you were sick and asks about your holiday, he says kindly “Sorry you’re feeling like this” and he does it all for R270. He doesn’t charge for follow up appointments or phone scripts and he leaves me feeling so cared for whenever I see him.
Dr Barry Paulse | Cnr Aberdeen &, Victoria Rd, Woodstock | +27 21 448 0334
For years I saw Dr Paula Penkin, who I think is such an absolute powerhouse, but she is very busy with women having babies so it was hard to get an appointment. I recently changed to Dr Daniela Krick at Cape Town Mediclinic and found her to be kind, thorough and very funny. She had lots of time for me, which made me feel safe and alleviated my anxiety about the whole event.
Dr Daniela Krick | Cape Town MediClinic | +27 21 423 5310
I am considering getting my teeth straightened out this year, inspired by Keenan, who is having braces done by Dr JJ Serfontein. I’ve been with him to two of his appointments and I just really like the whole practice. Dr JJ is charismatic and kind and was really great with explaining adult orthodontics – why it’s important, how it works and how long it will take. He’s got quite a cult following and it’s easy to see why – he is extremely on top of the latest technology and his smile gallery is a testament to his great work.
Dr JJ Serfontein | Website | Rozenhof Court, 20 Kloof St | +27 21 422 2443