Natural hair is beautiful. However, taking care of it can be a challenge, especially if you have 4c type hair. This type of hair requires high maintenance.
In the past decade, we’ve seen a rise in natural hair products. Most people have been launching brands, creating products specifically for natural hair. However, there hasn’t been much for 4c type hair, as opposed to curly hair.
Vivian Shiburi, a qualified analytical chemist and cosmetics scientist with over 20 years of experience in the hair and beauty industry, launched her brand Sheer Elegance in 2015.
The idea to produce her own products came about when she decided to cut off her chemically treated hair in favour of the more trendy dreadlock hairstyle.
Upon researching the market, she spotted the many challenges associated with maintaining locked natural hair. She found that even when using the popular products at the time, her scalp would still be dry and unappealing. Her solution was to develop her own hair products that could successfully address the issues she had.
“Within a few years in the local dreadlock hair care market, the company gained a stellar reputation for innovative, results-oriented products. This is due to our unrivalled passion for natural, African hair care products, which is the primary driver for the company’s intense investment in product research and development. An approach that would later prove to be more beneficial than initially thought,” says Shiburi.
After some time, she cut her dreadlocks and grew Afro. Little did she know that Afro hair had its own challenges like high maintenance, breakage, lack of moisture and so forth.
This once again prompted her to develop another hair range, Afro Naturals for 4c type.
“4c is the dominant hair type among Africans. Additionally, it is the most complex and challenging to maintain. The 4c hair community is highly underserved by the market as the majority of products are not specifically made for this particular hair type. These factors present several opportunities in serving the market and fulfilling its most urgent needs,” says Shiburi.
She adds that her brand is focused on representing all walks of the “black” experience in South Africa.
“Our deep investment into product research and development is spearheaded by our chief product developer, who is an experienced consumer and hairstylist who has contributed greatly to the creation of innovative and first of its kind products. Furthermore, we have great influence and partnerships within the salon industry, which ensures we uncover trends early to stay ahead of the curve and effectively cater to our market.”
One of the most popular products from the Afro Naturals range is the 6-in-1 conditioner.
“As natural hair experts, our job is to delve deeply into the challenges facing the consumer and specifically target and address those challenges head-on. The best example I can give is our innovation of the 6 in 1 Leave-in conditioner. This product simplifies maintenance by making the process quick, easy and highly effective,” explains Shiburi.
Here are top six haircare tips from Shiburi
- Make sure the method or products you use help to retain moisture. You can easily tell if your method works by your hair maintaining everyday softness without drying out. Once you are able to retain moisture, visible hair growth is easily attainable. Even though growth happens naturally, when your hair is dry, the growth is hardly noticeable due to breakage.
- Maintain a healthy washing routine of either twice a month or once a week. Make sure to use a co-wash or a mask as a deep cleanser and a deep treatment regularly and occasionally use shampoo, especially in circumstances where you have applied glue or dye to your hair.
- Use satin pillows and/or a satin doek to prevent loss of moisture due to various materials drawing out moisture from your hair and causing friction which leaves hair tangled.
- Avoid blow drying your hair as it damages your hair by causing split ends, which prevents healthy hair growth, destroys your curl patterns and thins out your hair.
- Avoid tight braids as they damage hair follicles and can cause alopecia. Additionally, maintain your braids by using a hydrating spray as opposed to applying butters as the cause build-up. Last, be sure to use cream or oils that help maintain your hairline.
- Finger detangling is always preferable to detangling using a comb. Occasional use of a silicon brush is encouraged to help remove shed hair.
Sheer Elegance is available online via sheerelegance.co.za.