IT is almost impossible not to notice the increase in the number of women who continue to opt for natural hair but the question still remains: to relax or not to relax?
Self-taught trichologist, Hape Marite, recently let the Weekender into her new hair studio to share the story of her journey and passion for natural hair. So passionate is Hape that she has even come up with her own hair products.
She told the Weekender that the idea of opening a natural hair studio was birthed soon after her realisation that none of the local hair salons specialised with natural hair.
Still in its trial phase, the hair studio is a partnership with Hape’s mother, ‘Makatleho Marite, who has been supporting the business from its initiation phases.
The two now manage the studio located at Lower Thamae in Maseru.
Hape said although she has always loved good hair, she never imagined herself working on other people’s hair.
“I loved the idea of having good hair and would even wake up in the dead of the night to comb my hair whenever I had it relaxed.
She said she has been though different hair phases but transitioning to natural hair was a personal journey for her.
“My hair is type 4BC and it has fine strands and very low density, so it’s known to be fluffy hair and relaxing it made it fluffier. As a result, I started reacting to relaxers. My skin was flacking and hair falling off and I stared researching if I really needed to relax my hair.”
She then realised during the research that relaxers are linked to many diseases among them fibroids and skin cancers among others.
“Our hair is perceived unmanageable but I am trying to counter that. Our hair is manageable as long as it’s grown with the right techniques.”
She said many people detest natural black hair but the studio would change the perceptions by proving that it is manageable and can be softened as long as it is given adequate time and care to allow it to grow.
“Most people do not take the time to study their hair and that is where we come in. People should come and consult so that we analyse their hair and advise them on the solutions.”
In 2015, Hape started making her own hair products in her mother’s kitchen having started growing natural hair in 2012.
She then started reading and researching more about natural hair and discovered several solutions.
“It first started as a personal solution to my hair problems and then I started sharing these solutions with people who admired my hair and kept asking what I was using,” Hape said.