Woman Behind The Brand: Fiona of Nana Afua Shea Butter

The Woman Behind The Brand feature is back  🙂  This feature is all about celebrating women entrepreneurs that are making a mark in the South African hair care and beauty industry. Today I feature Fiona of Nana Afua Shea Butter. 


Origins & current location?

I am from Zimbabwe. I have been living in SA for 13 years now.

What are you currently up to?

My profession is in property development where I am involved with leasing shops off-plan to prospective tenants looking for space in shopping centres. This is what I have been doing for the past 8 years. This has really taught me to be a people’s person!

Why did you decide to go natural? Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.

I have been natural for all my life, except for a brief period in my life when I was 11. I begged my mother to take me along with her to the hair salon because I wanted my hair relaxed. So I  got my hair relaxed and I was over the moon! A few weeks later when I needed a “retouch”, she wouldn’t give me the money. So I put my hair in twists and re-entered my natural hair journey.

What is your hair care regimen?

Every 2 weeks I wash my hair with black African soap solution which I source from Ghana. I seldom add anything to it as it already contains shea butter. My final rinse is an apple cider and water mix; and using a shea butter & coconut mix, I coat my hair strands in this. A few times a week I massage my scalp with a DIY mix of jojoba oil, mixed with essential oils such as lavender, cedarwood and thyme (all known to stimulate the scalp for hair growth).

What hairstyle(s) do you like to rock?

In summer, I love to rock my own hair but because the length isn’t so easy for me to play around with, I add in bits and pieces of afro hair extensions. Whichever way I pin it, that’s the look I rock! I’m also a fan of crotchet braids.

Tell us briefly about the story behind the Nana Afua Shea Butter hair care brand. What inspired the idea and where did it all start?

My husband is from Ghana, so on my first visit there in December 2013 I went to the market to explore all these skin products people rave about. I purchased some shea butter and African black soap, came back with them to SA and never really used them. In May 2014, I developed skin reactions on my face and feet, to the point I couldn’t wear most shoes. My husband suggested I wash with the black soap and moisturise with the shea butter as he grew up using these products and knew their healing properties. Let’s just say that was my healing miracle! My husband encouraged us to begin researching shea butter and its other uses and we realised it’s popular for hair use. So we decided to start importing our own shea butter from Ghana for resale.

Do you have another 9-5 job besides Nana Afua Shea Butter? Do you have a family? How do you manage to juggle everything and still keep the balance?

Yes I have a demanding 9-5 job. I mostly dedicate weekends to strategising with my husband on marketing ideas, etc. He runs the business 95% of the time as he is self-employed, which is a great help!

Are there any other projects you are currently working on? 

We are currently branching out into supplying the natural hair care market in Zimbabwe, so we are doing some research on potential stockists etc. We are also passionate about leading a lifestyle coupled with treating ailments using natural products, instead of pharmaceutical products. This is something in our horizon and to-do list!

What tips/advice can you give to someone who wants to start their own business?

Having a 9-5 job that is demanding can sap the life out of you, especially if you are running a business on the side. So it’s very important to have a product or service that is of interest to you, and gives you that drive, as well as that excitement to do it.

If that fire doesn’t exist inside you for the business, then there is nothing left to motivate you to persevere in your business when time is little, finances are low and opportunities are scarce.

If you could advice your 20 year old self about ‘life’ what would you say to her?

I would tell her to enjoy the good things of life, and also invest and save. I would also encourage her to be secure and confident in herself, as she discovers herself.

Where can the FroChic readers get a hold of the Nana Afua Shea Butter hair care products?

Interested parties can contact us on 084 2812419. we are also available on the following social media platforms:
Facebook – nanaafua21
Instagram – @nanaafua_sheabutter

FroChic Natural: Xolisa

Origins and current location?

My origins trace back to Keiskammahoek. MaZotsho, MaNdokhala by clan. I was born and raised in East London, where I am currently.

What are you currently up to?

I am studying Psychology at UNISA, modelling at Just Models and radio co-hosting on Mdantsane Fm.

Why did you decide to go natural? Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.

I’ve always had “too much hair” for hairdressers ever since I could remember. My hair was chemically-handled (relaxed) and my mother not knowing what to do with my hair on most mornings, it was easier I guess, to have it relaxed.
In 2001 my mother took me for a hair cut since my hair was again “too much” to handle. As soon as it grew it was back to chemically-handling my hair.
I used artificial hair and extensions from 2007 where I was convinced my hair is better off hidden than exposed to the “too much hair” comments.
In 2010 after undoing a certain hairstyle that was in fashion then, the front section of my hair was shorter than the rest of my hair. Epic fail!
In 2014 the FRESH START took off when I decided to cut it all off. I was scared, couldn’t imagine myself with just my own hair.  However, here I am 3 years later, and it’s done YES 🙂

What are some of the challenges and advantages you’ve experienced​ with having natural hair​?

My hair bent EVERY afro comb and broke EVERY “steel” afro comb. Sorry mom!
Oh & 90% of salon visits meant scalp on fire from the growth pulling and debates on “who is right about MY hair” hahaha, interesting times.

Now I understand my own hair and with research I have peace of mind.
I can do my own hair using all my natural products found in my kitchen.
I’ve saved a lot of money which is a great investment bonus. I can change hairstyles overnight too.

What is your hair care regimen?

Scalp:  Coconut oil (available at Clicks) STRICTLY on my scalp.

Hair:  Are you ready to hear this? Okay here goes, I wash with Sunlight liquid soap (part of my shopping list :D) once a month.

Treatment: I use Leave-In Liquid Hair Mayonnaise with Extra Virgin Oil (available at Clicks) overnight and wash it off after 2 days.

Before bed(EVERY night): I do the informal look of “Bantu locks”, (they are never neat trust me!).
When I know I’m going to have a hectic week I go to the salon to have a “crown plait” done, just for control, you know :-).

What results do you expect from a hair product when you purchase it?

It shouldn’t play with my feelings that’s for sure, if the product says it will detangle I expect it to do just that.

Is it a struggle finding products that work for your natural hair or are you happy with the ones you’re currently using?

I would love to find one for my dandruff. Can something fall from the sky, please??

Are you planning on growing locs in the future?

Is it still procrastinating if I’ve been thinking about it for 2 years now?

Do you have a favourite hair salon?

Yes! “God is Great Salon” in Cradock. The hairdresser Shelly gives the best scalp massages with all my treatments. I can travel 3 hours just for her.

What type of hairstyles do you like to rock?

I use water and wet my hair to shrink it, then it comes out curly and marshmallow-soft the next day. I look so cute even I want to hug me. Haha.

Any hair care tips you’d like to share with the FroChic readers?

Sunlight Liquid Soap really works, try it. Drink your 8 glasses of water per day and eat all your fruits and veggies; nutrition plays a huge role.

What’s your (fashion) style generally?

“Comfort is everything” that’s my motto when it comes to fashion. Seeing that I love shoes they ought to be comfortable and I have to see myself wearing them again in 3 years or so.

Where can the FroChic readers get hold of you?

Blog- ais4appleblog.wordpress.com

Instagram- @xu_bushula

email- xee.bush@gmail.com

Mdantsane Fm- Mondays & Wednesdays 10:00-12:00
talking about “Health & Women Issues”
(live stream link available on the Mdantsane Fm Facebook page)

MINISO: Japanese Fashion & Retail Giant Launches in South Africa

MINISO, the darling of the Japanese fashion and beauty retail industry launched in South Africa with an official opening at its Menlyn Park Shopping Centre store in Pretoria on Saturday 5 August. I had the honour to attend the store opening and I had lots of fun shopping up a storm! 🙂

As guests we were entertained by live performances from local dancers and Pearl Thusi was our lovely host. She is sooo down-to-earth! She took pictures with everyone, and my friend and I also managed to get a selfie with her 😉

MINISO has over 2000 stores located in more than 50 countries around the world. The flagship store is the second MINISO outlet to open in the country with 50 further stores for South Africa currently in the pipeline.

Inspired by a philosophy of fast fashion coupled with simplicity, MINISO updates its product offering every seven days with smarter, simpler and cozier products to encourage the personalised intelligent purchase trend. The affordable range focuses on making high quality products that are accessible. The MINISO brand, a member of the Saiman Holdings Group, was co-founded in 2013 by Japanese designer, Miyake Junya and Chinese entrepreneur, Ye Guofu in Tokyo, Japan.
MINISO’s international success is aligned with its core brand proposition of selling intelligent consumer products. There are several categories that showcase enormous variety and hold over 3 000 different types of products: Consumer Goods, Health & Beauty, Jewelry & Accessories, Creative Homeware, Digital Products, Stationary & Gifts and Seasonal Products to name a few.

After mingling and taking pictures, we got a chance to do some shopping using the vouchers we received. I just loved everything in the store! They have all sort of products from accessories to homeware, toys, bags, stationery and perfumes. I managed to get quite a few nice things for my kids, my husband and myself. I definitely would love to go back to buy more stuff! What also stood out for me is the affordable prices on everything. Yay!

MINISO stores are opening first in Gauteng and are available at Maponya Mall in Soweto and Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria. The next stores set to open are in Forest Hill in Kyalami and Norwood Mall in Johannesburg. The Durban and Cape-Town store launches will take place in September 2017.

To find out more about MINISO, visit: www.miniso.jp

Look out for a haul vlog of all my purchases from the store which I will put up on my YouTube channel soon!

Noir Hair Studio Review + GIVEAWAY (closed)

About a month (or two) ago the beautiful Isabel of MzansiFro graciously invited me to get my hair done at her new hair salon – Noir Hair Studio. The wayyyy I was so excited! I had seen a few pics of the salon and I loved how it looked! I also liked the fact that she is all about healthy hair and she knows her stuff – best believe! So I jumped to the chance to have my hair done and also to spend some time with her as I hadn’t seen her in a while.

I booked my appointment with her a few weeks prior and then went on a cold Saturday afternoon but rest assured I was kept warm by a hot cup of Rooibos tea, which was offered to me when I arrived 🙂  I really, really love the setup of her salon, as well as their outside courtyard area. I think the courtyard area will be a great place to chill in summer, when it’s a lot warmer. The salon is quite modern-looking and inviting. The stylists were so warm and made me feel right at home. So you can imagine there was lots of laughter! With Isabel around, there is never a dull moment 🙂

I was keen to also put some colour in my hair but I was not yet ready to go full blonde and the stylist, David, mentioned that it can be quite harsh on the hair because they have to bleach my hair first. However, I wanted to go a tad bit lighter so I was presented with a colour chart (now this I really liked! I had never seen a hair colour chart before). I was able to see the different shades of the various colours and this helped because sometimes you are never really sure what colour you want, so I was quite pleased to have different options to choose from.

Once I was happy with the colour I chose, David got to work and starting mixing colours until he got the right colour for me. He then applied it through each and every single loc. When I dye my hair at home, there is always that patch or a few locs that are not completely coloured so I was glad to leave my locs to the hands of a professional. After all the strands of my hair were coated he proceeded to wash out the dye. Once everything was washed out, the colour was a bit too light for me but I did not need to worry, David put another colour on my locs to darken them just a bit more. He worked on the colour until we came to a colour I was 100% happy with. What stood out for me was how patient he was. There was nothing rushed about the entire process.

After I was happy with the colour, Lebogang (the other hairstylist) then twisted and styled my locs. I had sent Isabel a pic of the style I wanted to try out and I am happy Lebogang was able to do it. The style was also not too tight at all so I left a very happy customer!

GIVEAWAY

Noir Hair Studio is giving one of my readers a FREE treatment OR styling at their salon. Yay!

All you need to do is the following:

  1. Follow @noirhairsa and @frochicblog on Instagram or “Noir Hair Studio” and “FroChic” on Facebook.
  2. Leave a comment below (on the blog) on why you would love to visit Noir Hair Studio and what you love about your hair.
  3. You must either be Gauteng based or be able to visit the salon which is based in Bryanston, Johannesburg.
  4. Post your comment before Wednesday, 19July. 
  5. Only one entry per person.
  6. Winner will be announced on Friday, 21 July.

SALON DETAILS

309 Bryanston Drive, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Call: 011 053 8880

FroChic Natural: Lerato

Origins & current location?

Vaal, Arconpark

What are you currently up to (work, hustle, studies etc)?

Administrator

Why did you decide to go natural?

I woke from my sleep. I remembered who I am; a black woman. I’m loving everything I am born with. By the way, my locs are crochet locs (existing locs that have been crotched to one’ s hair).

Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.

I started going natural 3 to 4 years ago. I was tired of buying something I already had. So I went natural;  I used to cut my hair short and I loved it.

What are some of the challenges and advantages you’ve experienced with having locs?

I love my hair now; no regrets. I love that it’s my own hair. I honestly don’t have any challenges, I love everything I do on my hair. I believe that what is natural can’t be a challenge. If it’s not a challenge to have my natural eyes, then it cannot be a challenge to have my hair on my head.

What is your hair care regimen?

To be honest I have always believed in this concoction: Water (sealant), glycerin (detangle), and olive oil (soften). For washing my hair I use Dark n Lovely Naturale Moisture Replenishing Shampoo. Once a week I base my scalp with a product called Jeba (from Ghana); I got it from my hair salon in Waldrift. I wash my hair once a week, and base my scalp after washing, then I use my concoction only twice a week. This concoction is guaranteed to get rid of dry scalp, dandruff and itching.

What results do you expect from a hair product when you purchase it?

I expect it to work! lol

Is it a struggle finding products that work for your hair type or are you happy with the ones you’re currently using?

I am happy with the products I use.

Are you planning on ​cutting your locs in the future​?

Not at all; I hope I won’t change my mind 😂😂

Do you have a favourite hair salon?

My bathroom. Lol.

Any hair care tips you’d like to share with the FroChic readers?

The big problem that black ladies have with their hair is that they think their hair is a problem.

Very important: don’t think your hair is a problem.

Secondly: moisture, moisture, moisture!

What’s your (fashion) style generally?

I’m more of a semi-formal type.

Where can the readers get hold of you?

Instagram: @lavito234

Twitter: @leeluck2