Head man for Red Tails
Kwane Greenidge has come a long way since cutting hair when he was 16 years old, working on the heads of neighbourhood kids. The 40-year-old Barbadian has ended up working on the heads of the lead actors in the movie Red Tails.
“I had reached the top in my field in barbering and decided to try my hand at hairdressing,” said Kwane who is also known as 5ive.
Kwane, who seems to have a natural affinity for hair styling, admits he received no formal training for barbering or hairdressing and is totally “self-taught”.
But that didn’t stop him from winning numerous awards in Britain, where he is based, and also working in Singapore, China and other parts of the world. His prowess with hair has allowed him to work on black and European hair, and given him the opportunity to travel and teach others his craft. Most recently he worked on the heads of Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr and Ne-yo, who starred in the George Lucas movie Red Tails.
“I used to work on a television programme in the UK called Desmond’s about life in a barbershop,” he said. “I did all the barbering on the show, working alongside a young lady who did the make-up. When she moved on from the show she didn’t forget me.”
It was the make-up artist’s recommendation that gave Kwane the opportunity to work on the movie. When he got on the set, he quickly won over the actors.
“Red Tails was filmed in Prague in the Czech Republic and initially I would fly there for a couple of days, do the guys hair and fly back to the UK,” Dwane said. “But all of them rallied for me to be there on the set. So I was flown in and stayed in Prague for three months.”
Though Kwane has a celebrity client list that includes Sean Diddy Combs, Kelly Rowland, Michelle Williams, Teddy Riley, Jodeci, Usher, 112, Ne-yo, Kelis, Nelly Futardo, Red Man, Chris Brown, Lionel Richie, Craig David, he is especially proud of his work on Red Tails.
“It makes me feel very emotional,” he says of his work on the movie. “I came to New York to the premiere of the film and every day it inspires me to know that something as simple as barbering has gotten me where I am.”