Prim-U founder, Thuli Hlongwane
  • Programmer Thuli Hlongwane has created a new app that can bring make-up artists, hairstylists, nail technicians and masseuses to your door, at a time that suits you. 
  • The venture was borne of frustration with the lack of flexibility in the beauty industry.

Capetonian Thuli Hlongwane loves a good pamper session. Unfortunately, her hectic schedule as a programmer often made it difficult to get to a salon or spa before their closing time.

She was so frustrated that she nearly opened her own spa, but after talking to employees in the beauty industry, who had their own frustrations with the lack of flexibility in the sector, it sparked an idea for a different venture.

After twenty years as an IT programmer for companies like Woolworths and Pearson South Africa, she walked away from the comforts of the corporate world at the end of 2017 to establish a new app.

Called Prim-U, it offers an Uber-like service for those who want a manicure, massage or make-up session. 


The app connects make-up artists, hairstylists, nail technicians and masseuses with people needing those services at a time that suits their schedules. The beauticians come to your house or office. 

After development started in March, the app was launched in June in Android and iOS. There are currently 44 service providers in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town registered on the app. Prices for the services are dependent on the area, and also take into account the traveling costs of the beauticians.

Hlongwane says nail treatments and massages have been the most popular services so far. Apart from making the lives of busy professionals easier, she also believes that she is helping beauticians. 

"I hope to connect as many more providers as possible and continue to provide them with the flexibility to work where they want, without being restricted by salons."

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