Ms Hape Marite is the owner and Founder of Black Hair (Pty) Ltd, a company whose mandate is to promote good, healthy hair and skin while also ensuring that a black woman wears her hair with confidence. Black Hair products are specifically formulated with organics to be gentle and less abrasive to the skin. Ms Marite emphasises that Black Hair is a movement aimed at making women aware of the cancer causing chemicals contained by hair relaxers.
The story of Black Hair was initially inspired by the health effects of relaxers. According to research, some of the toxic ingredients in relaxers include sodium hydroxide, guanidine carbonate, thioglycolic acid and lithium hydroxide which all cause scalp bruises and burns. Relaxers are mostly known of their high pH which also adds to their caustic characteristic. These chemicals also deplete the natural sebum secreted by the skin thereby leading to dryness and flaking of the skin, potentially leading to many problems such as fungal infections.
Black Hair Was officially launched in December 2015 and the motivation was the bad experiences the founder had had with chemical hair products. She says she used to chemically treat her hair as well, but soon it started thinning and breaking and her skin flaking. In 2012 she decided to take on her natural hair journey out of exhaustion of getting her skin blistered by abrasive chemicals. This led her to research natural ingredients that are good for African hair. It is not until she made a Facebook post looking for a hair twin (someone with similar hair texture) that she discovered just how hungry women were for a hair product that actually addresses their needs. This response stirred her passion to go on doing more research with the hope of one day being able to come up with a prototype of a product matching the market need. These years of research paved a way to the birth of Black Hair range.