We are excited to be profiling the founder of JO’M hair products, Johannah Moriti! JO’M hair products are a proudly SA brand and what’s so great about her products is that they are meant for natural black hair…ahh finally a Mzansi hair product that caters for our natural black hair ..and reasonably priced too!)
Tell us a little about yourself?
I am 31; grew up in Embalenhle Township (Secunda) with my other 4 siblings. My childhood was a bit challenging as we had to live on my mother’s single teacher’s salary after my dad lost his job due to health reasons. But we were a praying family and that’s pretty much how I live my life to this day.
I studied analytical Chemistry at Cape Technikon, and then worked as a laboratory analyst at a big Pharmaceutical company. That is where I earned my experience.
How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for 5years now.
Why did you decide to go natural?
When l was a young girl, I was made to believe that natural hair was not beautiful. I remember the primary school I went to relaxers weren’t allowed. We had to keep our hair natural and short and the only time we could relax it was during school holidays. I remember always looking forward for school holidays so that l can be able to relax my hair. Basically, I felt pretty during school holidays with straight hair than when I was back at school. Back then, wearing your hair natural was perceived as ugly, uneducated or dirty.
I decided to go natural because relaxed hair was no longer a beauty issue anymore. I was not happy with the state of my hair. It was unhealthy, breaking, very thin and had stopped growing despite the treatments & touch ups I went for at the hair salon. My scalp was dry and had a lot of dandruff. I therefore resorted to wigs and weaves in an attempt to give it a bit of volume.
What hair style do you like to rock?
What inspired you to create a hair product line?
As I said, I was not happy with my relaxed hair and always dreamt of having my own beauty line but didn’t know exactly where to start. I didn’t want to come up with a product that was already on the market, I wanted to come up with something different that really works for ethnic natural hair.
Then something in me urged me to go natural but the thought of it sort of scared me. I wondered what I would look like since the last time l wore it natural I was 12years old. I still perceived natural hair as unflattering. I finally gave in and felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I then recruited my friend to go on this natural hair journey together with me. I then started researching on natural hair, studying the structure of black hair and realized that our hair is extremely beautiful and versatile. That is how Jo M hair softener was born (sold as JO’M Hair Softener Afro Pack).
Then the rest of the JO’M range was birthed, which expanded to Skin products and color cosmetics (make up). The best thing about our products is that they are very safe to be used on children since they are natural and contains no chemicals.
Developing a cosmetic or hair products was not easy, hence I believe apart
from my deep passion for hair and beauty, my studies & work experience came in handy.
What makes your brand/product different from all the many products available out there for black hair?
All JO’M products work; they speak for themselves. They are all-natural contain no harmful chemicals. They contain natural oils such as Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil etc; natural butters such as Shea Butter, Essential Oils and Plant Extracts.
JO’M products are the only products in the market developed by a black South African Women for our black hair.
What styling or hair care tips can you share with our readers?
Maintaining your afro:
- Firstly, you need to understand the structure of black natural hair. Black natural hair is coils and not curly. Therefore you need to handle it with care and love it. Most people don’t. They think it’s the worst thing that ever existed on earth and that’s not true. If you understand your hair structure, you will be able to maintain it well.
- Because of its tight coils, combing it can be a nightmare. When u comb it u need to be patient and use the right comb eg. Afro comb to separate the coils, then u can use a comb with smaller teeth and when you encounter knots, stop and separate them with your figures. With JO’M products that can be a walk in the park.
- Plaits and braids are also good, provided they don’t pull your hair when plating or braiding. Make sure of that. Your braids must be kept not more than 2months.
What advice can you give to those readers who are transitioning and thinking of doing the Big Chop?
Transitioning to natural may be the best decision you can ever make, however you don’t have to cut your relaxed hair immediately; what you need is a JO’M Hair Softener Afro Pack. What this product does is blend your natural growth underneath with the top relaxed hair and that will enable you to be able to style your hair and comb it without difficulties, the products will aid the new growth by keeping it soft. Then later on (2-3 months) when you’re happy with the length of your natural hair, then you can cut your top relaxed hair tips.
Where can we find your products?
At clicks stores, nation-wide. They also will be available at Jumbo and Charlie Parker soon. Our skin Care and Make up are available at our JO’M beauty Center in Cape Town.
Keeping your hair natural can be the most beautiful thing u can ever do for yourself. The hair is stronger and healthier when it’s natural.
If you want to read more on the JO’M hair & skin care range you can visit their website www.jomcosmetics.co.za/haircare.php.