A unique hair studio

A unique hair studio

ROMA-IT is a hair care studio that also manufactures and distributes its own natural hair products with a brand name – Black Hair.
When you visit this Natural Hair Studio run by a National University of Lesotho (NUL) graduate, Hape Marite-Mphale, attendants do not rush into working your hair like they would in an average salon.

“Rather, we carry out several scientific tests because how we treat your hair depends on the type of the hair you have,” Marite-Mphale said.
Gone are the days of the one-size-fits-all approach to the beauty industry.
This studio is the first branch.

The plan is to introduce new branches across Lesotho and, more importantly, in South Africa — where the fields are white for harvest.
This is how it started.
An idea crossed Marite-Mphale’s mind some time ago.

After experimenting with chemical-free ingredients on her hair for years, she wondered what if she produced and sold a natural hair product.
A born doer, she immediately introduced a brand new natural hair product that would hit the airwaves as Black Hair.
There is nothing quite like it in Lesotho.

In time, another idea popped up – a Natural Hair Studio.
“Our idea was to professionalise hair salons, focusing mainly on natural hair,” Marite-Mphale said.
So she is taking courses in trichology — a scientific study of hair and scalp — to better understand what hair really is and she is already applying what she is learning in her studio.

“I am expecting to become a certified hair specialist (trichologist) very soon,” she added.
Once the hair industry is professionalised, people will no longer undermine hair workers, “deriding them as salon girls (banana ba lisaluni).”
So what treatment do you get when you visit this unique hair studio?
First you do not just pop in like you would elsewhere.
You book, for a reason.

“Whereas other salons focus on head count — that is, how much money they can make per head — we are different. We focus on the process,” she said.
“When you leave our studio, you know you have been handled with care because we put all our energies into getting to the bottom of your specific hair needs.”

In fact, you are treated like a Queen (“by the way, we also spoil our clients with refreshments while they do their hair,” she said).
The full attention you get takes time — hence the need for booking.
Think about it.
In which salon do you not get your hair plunged into treatment upon entering, with no questions whatsoever being asked about the nature of your specific hair?

In which hair salon do you get your hair examined for the following before being treated?
Hair density — simply put, hair density is the number of individual strands (single hairs) per square centimetre on your scalp.
If you have lower hair density, how your hair is treated and which products you use will differ from when you have a higher hair density.
Strand size — this is about how thick or thin your hair is.

“We have a guiding tool that enables us to understand this hair quality and advise you accordingly,” Marite-Mphale said.
Porosity — “now this is the most important hair quality that we never fail to test,” she said.

Porosity measures the ability of hair to allow hair products to enter and leave your hair.
“When your hair porosity is too low, it makes it difficult for hair products to enter and influence it. When the porosity is too high, materials enter and leave your hair too easily. Medium porosity is somewhere in between. Knowing hair porosity leads to best choices for hair treatment,” she said.
Good doctors ask good questions.

So your hair “doctor” in the studio will then ask you a number of questions that will help them determine the true nature of your hair and what things might have affected it over the years.
For instance, “we are interested in your hair diet.”
Funny as it may sound, there is such a thing as hair diet.
If you eat healthy, your hair will not be left behind.
If you eat junk, that will show up on your hair.
You reap what you sow.

So for your hair, eating foods with plenty of B vitamins and good nutrients such as omega 3 and biotin will be very good.
Hair irrigation is another factor.
You may not be aware but hair is like a plant, it “drinks” water both from outside and from inside.

So you have to drink enough water and apply enough water on your hair to make it healthy.
It is no use taking in the right vitamins if there is no water to transport them through your hair.

Marite-Mphale said ever since she introduced the natural hair studio, even the sales of her famous Black Hair products have increased.
“While we serve even people who use chemicals on their hair in our studio, we only apply natural hair products, Black Hair products, on our clients.”

Own Correspondent

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