Two hair experts help women embrace natural hair beauty
The subject of hair and how the beauty industry has over the years elevated Eurocentric hairdos at the expense of the African, natural hair is all too familiar to the marketer and self-taught filmmaker; Tlotlo Rasisia.
In fact, so passionate is Rasisia about the need to promote natural, black African hair as beautiful and acceptable that she made a documentary about it, titled Moriri.
The doccie explores different layers of the whys and how’s of the subject of black hair.
Equally fascinated by the subject of hair is Rasisia’s colleague and friend, Dr Moreng.
Inspired by years of self-discovery and research on natural hair, dentist, and entrepreneur Dr. Moreng recently launched her own hair product line called AfricNatural to help others on their natural hair journeys.
“The Doc and I laugh at our shared experiences surviving the hair problem in the diaspora. Initially, I found hair care intimidating as I had no clue what I was doing,” said Rasisia as she recalled a time in Japan as a student.
“It was all trial and error. I would keep braided hair for up to 4 months just so I could avoid dealing with my hair care routine and then when I finally undid it, I would wear hats, scarves, and wigs a lot,” she said.
For Rasisia the subject of hair became intriguing at the age of 16.
“I watched the American top model, Tyra Banks talk show and got fascinated by the topic of hair. I began to question certain things, like why women straightened their hair with chemicals and reflected hard for the first time on why every month I had to have my own hair ‘relaxed.’ It was the norm then, something that I did without even thinking for so long. Natural hair roots growing out was the enemy, it was perceived to be a sign of unkempt hair and at the first sign of it, you had to straighten that hair to fit in. That is just how it was,” she remarked.
Through the filming of Moriri, Rasisia discovered some deep-seated beliefs some people hold about natural hair.
“I was stunned to hear one lady say she could not imagine a first lady, a female CEO, or any high profile woman wearing their hair naturally. She likened it to having a Honda fit when still working your way up in life to reach the status of a luxury vehicle,” Rasisia revealed.
She had also dealt with massive pressure to ‘relax’ her daughter’s hair to make her look “pretty.”
Sharing her own long and laborious hair journey, Dr. Moreng told of how she had initially loved wearing her hair natural before living in Russia.
“I was given the impression that there was no way my hair would thrive in the cold temperatures, so I straightened it. Needless to say, soon after settling I regretted the decision as I met some counterparts who kept natural hair and decided to revert to my preferred natural hairstyle,” she explained.
Both Rasisia and Dr. Moreng credit watching countless videos on YouTube with perfecting their DIY hair experiments and absorbing information on attaining hair growth, length, and texture for perfect natural hair look.
Both speak in unison regarding what they consider the basics that everyone growing their hair naturally ought to know.
Their mantra concerning African hair is, “Moisture moisture moisture”
Natural hair thrives when thoroughly moisturized every day.
“Not even good genes can guarantee great hair. What works is the diligence that one invests in taking care of their hair by washing it and moisturizing regularly,” Dr. Moreng advises.
The self-taught hair experts say the road to beautiful hair is not easy but fulfilling because when one looks good, they feel good and when one feels good, they put their best foot forward with confidence.
“When I got confident doing my own hair and others would pay me compliments, I became the hair plugin Uni,” said Dr. Moremong who made extra cash running a mini salon at school.
Evidently excited about the launch of AfricNatural hair products, Dr. Moreng hopes to acquire a fair share of the market in the long run while Rasisia contemplates Moriri 2, alongside more projects in the near future.