Jessy Linton & Taiba Akhuetie 24 & 25 London
Categories: Fashion, Hair Stylist

Posted: 31st January 2015

Before Riri's iD cover, other iconic braids dominated our youth; Snoop was rapping about getting his braids did, Coolio's bunchies were all that mattered, Gwen Stefani was owning sci-fi plaits and Lara Croft's fish tail and tank-top combo was all we knew. But hold up, before you start attempting Riri's fountain-plaits in the privacy of your own bathroom (you will look like Keith Fint), consult our homegirls, Keash Braids, the freshest and final twist in all your hair braiding requirements.

Meet Jessy Linton and Taiba Akhuetie AKA our ride-or-dies, bed-partners and main-life-consultants. We've set up many a-rogue late-night braiding salon in our smokey basement kitchen (yeah we know how to have fun) and have hounded them both at any available opportunity (trains/bars/gyms) to get their fine tooth combs and rubber bands out, since announcing their plan to launch Keash back in May last year. Ok, sure, right now you're thinking, well this is going to be a heavily biased account of Keash Braids' talent and success, and to some extent, you'd be right- but…but, one look at their website-come-menu and you'll soon realise this isn't a case of smug mum and dad syndrome. These girls can braid.

Their site, or what we're now referring to as the Harry Potter portrait-wall (with absolutely no suggestion that anyone resembles a wizard) showcases the girls serious hair-skills via some hot-shit GIFs; Girls peer out of the frames, twisting their plaits, adjusting their braided buns and swishing their knitted tresses. Keash poster-girls feature BabyFace OG Rihannon Barry,full time best friend Raphaelle Moore and a whole bunch of other babes all styled (hair, make up - the lot) by Jessy and Taiba themselves. Baby hair is primed, gelled and luxuriously lacquered. It's absolutely hypnotic viewing and you will find yourself super-imposing their intricate designs onto your own head. The girls will come round to your house and braid you and all your main-hangs, you lucky devils, and you can add 'glitter' or 'colour' for a few extra quid. On a larger scale Jessy and Taiba will braid at your party, on the set of your music video or you can catch them at their first pop-up salon (more details to follow).

While braiding has always been a passion for both Jessy and Taiba they did the whole uni and 9-5 thing first. Jessy studied Fashion Design at Brighton University and her final collection, Girl Got Big Leggy, was an ode to deliciously oversized denim (think XXL jeans and big denim bucket hats) and luckily for you (and us) she's back in the studio, bent over a sewing machine, as you read this. Meanwhile Tibs was busy at London Met learning how to edit and produce film and now works freelance as a stylist (we've seen her get her whole body into one trouser leg- chic alert).

In all seriousness, having happily acted as the girls plait guinea-pigs for, like, six years now, we couldn't be happier and prouder of just how quiche, Keash is (insert proud best mate remark here).

TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND WHAT YOU DO:Taiba: I am the Co-founder of Keash Braids, a funky braiding endeavour which aims to create a comfortable environment for girls or even boys to get their hair did. Braiding is something I grew up with and I see it as an art. I don’t class myself as a hairdresser. For me braiding is more like play time. Jessy: I am a womenswear and denim designer, Digital Creative Consultant and co-founder of Keash Braids – a pop-up braiding salon launching very soon! Oh, and I earn some pocket money behind a bar in Dalston.HOW WOULD YOUR FRIENDS DESCRIBE YOU IN A SENTENCE?Taiba: A sassy, clumsy, blunt, chilled, dorky, stylish gal. Apparently funny but I think that’s just said to make me feel better.Jessy: In their own words: fun-loving, clumsy and stubborn. Quietly loud and often explicit.WHEN ARE YOU HAPPIEST?Taiba: Sleeping or when I tell a really good joke and everyone laughs (which is rare). Lets face it, everyone wants to be a joker.Jessy: When I’m busy, or when I’ve got a drink in my hand and dancing with my mates.FAVOURITE PLACE TO EAT/SHOP/HANG OUT?Taiba: I do love a bit of Ping Pong but if I am going to be truly honest, I will always have a special place in my heart for McDonalds. I really don’t enjoy trying clothes on so my go to is ASOS. At some point I would like to upgrade to Net-a-Porter. Summertime park chilling is the one. WHAT’S YOUR BEST ADVICE?Taiba: Don’t get too deep and complain about silly things. Always put things into perspective. Don’t hate appreciate but don’t pretend to be nice, it’s a waste of time.Jessy: Trust your gut. I have to recite that to myself on a daily basisWHAT WORDS OR PHRASES DO YOU MOST OVERUSE?Taiba: Sick. It’s a great word.Jessy: To my mum’s despair I swear incessantly.BEST PARTY YOU'VE EVER BEEN TO?Taiba: Tough one! A house party with my friends. We where hanging out in the kitchen and all of a sudden everyone started making music. Dudes were playing pots, spoons and banging on surfaces. It sounded sick.Jessy: My friend and I once tagged along with some people we’d met 30 minutes prior to a house party, uninvited and expecting the worst. It was the best house party I’ve ever been to. Other than that..somewhere dark, sweaty and crowded that plays garage or hip-hop, sign me up.SONG TO BE PLAYING AS YOU ENTER THE CLUB?Taiba: Craig David “Rewind” Jessy: Pour It Up - RihannaWHAT THREE THINGS WOULD BE ON YOUR RIDER?Taiba: A proper fluffy cushion, diet coke and Yorkie Peanut (instant addiction). Jessy: Coffee, popcorn and a jar of peanut butter.BIGGEST LIE YOU WERE TOLD/THAT YOU TOLD AS A KID?Taiba: It’s not that big but when I was about 8 I told my friends at school I was born in Nigeria to make me seem cooler. Jessy: I told people that I went to Brownie’s, really I went to ‘boys only’ Cub Scouts.WHAT'S NEXT?Taiba: Keash Braids popping up all over London soon. Jessy: Keash Braids will be hosting their first pop-up salon and appearing at other great events coming up! I will be launching a denim range for spring/summer 15 - it’ll be one for the ladies. AND FINALLY...WHO IS YOUR NEXT BABYFACE GIRL SUGGESTION?Who: Jessy: Reagan Clare
Why: She is my no.1 down-to-earth chick and her fashion illustration and collages are the stuff of whimsy dreams.
Who: Taiba: Anna Volosenko
Why: She a straight talking, fabulous fashion stylist.
Contact Jessy Linton & Taiba Akhuetie