Being a young black woman is not easy, we are constantly bombarded with images in magazines, on T.V in social media of how we are supposed to look, that is skinny with long ,straight, waist length hair, but in reality that is not who we are, we are genetically more voluptuous and we have curly, kinky hair. From a young age our mothers fed us with the mentality that our hair is wild and it needs to be tamed with chemicals and heat so that it can be ‘presentable’. I grew up thinking my curly kinky was far from pretty and the only time I felt pretty was after I burned my scalp with relaxer and burned my hair with a hot comb.
After doing a pixie cut in 2011 for my graduation I had had enough with straight hair my hair was thinning and unhealthy. In early 2012 I finally took the decision to chop it all off, yes all off I was bald. I spent almost all of 2012 without hair (I did not look shabby at all) towards the end of 2013 I started growing it out. I would say my hair journey started in 2013 this is when I fell in love with my hair in its virgin state, untamed and wild. I started to read and experiment with various hair care methods and products mostly DIY and items that I stole from my mum’s groceries. She would complain about how all her food ends up on my head (LoL) but it was all worth it.
My journey has not been smooth sailing because of the numerous trial and error hair care regimens that I went through, just to find what suits my mane. I finally found a regimen and products that work for my hair, regular washing keeping it in protective styling, elimination of the use of shampoo and the use of organic chemical free products, I had thin hair scattered hair when I was relaxed but now my hair looks rich and compact. Being on a healthy hair journey in Lesotho is quite complex because there is not much available in the market in terms of chemical free cosmetics, most products are said to be organic but when you read the ingredients label you get a different picture.
In 2015 I started a WhatsApp community called ‘The Natural Hair Family” where we share tips and tricks on how to care for our natural hair (Natural Hair is hair that grows out of your scalp, be it relaxed, texturized or untampered with) we share the challenges we face as Basotho women in terms of access to the right products, hairstyling and the biggest challenge we face is the handling of our hair at salons. Most ladies in the community, myself included had to learn how to do their own hair.
With the growth of the Natural Hair Family I came to realize a gap in the market, to make the products that I have been using accessible, the mixes that I have been making in my mother’s kitchen available that was the birth of BLACK HAIR organics.