footballer David Beckham in canerows.
The Noel family in canerows done by their mother, stylist
RIGHT: A close up of one of the canerow styles.
Photos: Lester Forde
Men wearing canerows is nothing new. But the styles have
come a long way from the days when Gene Anthony Ray wore
his rumpled jumbo canerows all back to play dancing machine
Leroy on the television series Fame.
Todays canerow styles are more intricate.
The partings that separate the plaits are no longer straight.
They are zigzagged, circled or in steps, or feature canerows
overlapping each other like the weave of a basket.
Hairstylist Germaine Williams, of Gees New Hair Concept
in Woodbrook, thinks the appeal of canerows among todays
young men may have to do with taming their unruly afros.
gives them a certain amount of control. Instead of doing
boring things with hair this is a way of giving them another
Petit Bourg hairstylist Leslie Ann saw it differently.
The mother of boys, all of whom wear their hair in canerows,
Leslie Ann, who also specialises in weaving techniques said
that for her boys its all about style.
have nothing to do with growing their hair or nothing.
just see those rappers wearing canerows and they want that
the girls like it.
Ludacris, Xhibit, Stevie Wonder, R Kelly, DAngelo,
Michael Ealy and reigning Road March monarch Shurwayne Winchester
are among the male canerow-wearing celebrities.
Hair chameleon and Real Madrid hottie David Beckham also
wore canerows for a short period. His were purely for style.
For Philadelphia 76ers basketball player Allen Iverson the
switch to canerows was about convenience.
guess I was just tired of getting haircuts on the road,
things like that, when I can just get a girl to braid it
and it will stay done for a while. I guess thats it,
Iverson told reporters, during the Schick Rookie Challenge
Iverson has been known to sample many different
Winchester, who also wore his hair low for years, accidentally
discovered canerows while tweaking his on-stage image.
wanted to find that image that suited me. The low haircut
I had was neat but it was limiting.
With canerows, he said, he was able to experiment with different
seem unlimited to me.
Winchesters braidist Corinne (she might not
want me giving you guys her last name) canerows his
hair two to three times every fortnight.
Winchester admits that this may seem often but insists its
you are performing on stage you sweat in the scalp and the
hair starts to look untidy. For me, doing my hair this often
is a matter of grooming and personal hygiene.
When he is on tour, Winchester gets his hair done at salons
in the country or state where he is performing.
wish I could take Corinne with me, though, he said
with a laugh.Because it is hard to get someone to
do my hair like her.
cost and care of canerows
Men, be warned: this is not your barbershop cut. Canerows
are time-consuming. Women can tell stories about having
to sit from three to six hours while a braidist pulls and
tugs at their roots.
For a man it can take from two hours to four hours to complete.
Soca star Shurwayne Winchester usually spends from one hour
to close to two hours whenever he goes to his braidist Corinne.
But, as he explained, the visit involved more than plaiting
his hairgrooming is also involved.
also washes my hair, trims the ends and applies oil to the
scalp before she starts the canerows.
Germaine Williams of Gees New Concept was in praise
of men taking care of their canerows.
rules are the same for the men as they are for the women,
should be washed every week and hair re-done every two weeks.
A moisturiser will help control dryness. I would suggest
applying that to the scalp every other day.
The cost of canerows varies from hairdresser to hairdresser
and depends on the style and the length of the hair.
can start charging from $30 for a normal canerow style,
Leslie Ann said.
prices range from $30 upwards. It all depends on the style.
frown on canerows
In the workplace, canerows are not as widely accepted for
the man as the short-cropped do.
In banks, for instance, men wearing canerows are frowned
At Republic Bank there is a corporate dress code policy
that is generated from the Human Resource Department.
It states: Hairstyles for both male and females must
be simple at all times. Excessive fashion trends/fads in
hairstyles are not allowed.
At First Citizens Bank a representative from the corporate
communications department said guidelines were also set
for its employees.
are some guidelines that our male employees have to follow
when it comes to grooming.
The banks policy is that staff behave like professionals
and look like them.
The Employers Consultative Association believes hairstyles
may be less important than an employees sense of professional
codes tend to be very general in nature because we, as employers,
have to be conscious of the changing times we live in, for
men and for women said Linda Besson, ECA executive
director in a telephone interview.
we have to have guidelines as to what is or is not acceptable.
You can be neat and tidy, and look as professional as you
can, regardless of what choice of hairstyle you choose.
most important thing is peoples performance on the
workplace, customer service, regardless of their hairstyle.