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Bounce Hair Essentials restoring pride in African women's hair

Do you love your Afro nice and  natural? Carob Magazine, sits down with the founders of Bounce hair to check out what their brand has in store for natural hair lovers. 

Carob Magazine: Tell us more about the background of your business.  What made you start a beauty business that specifically caters for African women?

Bounce Hair: Bounce Essential Hair is a customer-centric company that originally specialized in 100% natural textured extensions to suit African women’s natural hair. Our hair extensions empower women who are looking to embrace experiment and have fun with natural curl textures. We believe our product offering appeals to a demographic with a growing consumer spend who are looking to invest in good quality, durable hair extensions. The aim is to position ourselves as the market leaders in Afro textured hair extensions, encompassing a collection of wefts, wigs and clip-ins to suit natural curl patterns (tight to elongated curls).


Beyond the deeply personal connection that women have with their hair, the identities and confidence of our customer’s children became more and more a conversation piece.  It was a personal experience in which Khulile’s daughter at age 3 (with the most beautiful, thick Afro) started wanting blond and flowing hair. This highlighted the issue that representation matters.  We identified the very real lack of black dolls with kinky Afro hair, sold in toy shops for parents of black and mixed heritage kids to buy.  We decided to challenge the norm and came up with a quality beautiful dolls collection called “The Sibahle Collection”. So, we now have hair and dolls as our offering.


 

Carob Magazine:Bounce hair essentials has grown since inception, you are also based in the UK, what is the difference between the African and UK market?

Bounce Hair: The main differences between the UK and South African market are options, quality and accessibility. There is an increasing trend of start-up afro textured hair extension companies in the UK. The increase in competition has meant that we needed a niche product that would set us apart from the market. The biggest selling Bounce product in the UK (Europe and America) is the deep conditioning cap, it has proved to be the must have functional tool for any hair enthusiast whether the customer has relaxed, afro hair or dreadlocks. Growth in the UK has been driven by product reviews. On the South African market, there is also an increasing trend of start-up afro textured hair extension companies, however our focus has been on delivering the best quality product and delivering it better, and consistently thinking about how we can provide our customers the best value add in terms or customers service, loyalty discounts, cash backs for referrals and getting the bounce products in store. Growth in the South African market has been driven by customer referrals.

You can achieve exciting looks with Bounce Hair including the famous Nomzamo look below. Image : Instagram. 


Carob Magazine: Why Afro hair out of all hair types, what is the significance of this?

Bounce Hair: The Natural Hair movement has brought with it a lot of possibilities, opportunities and creativity. For years the standard of beauty for the black women was defined/determined by everyone else other than us. There was an unspoken pressure to use relaxers, hair strengtheners and European type of hair extensions. We feel more and more black women are getting comfortable with not only their hair, but comfortable in their own skin period. We are more curious and more open to exploring the use of natural looking hair extensions as opposed to European type hair. The afro clip-ins, weaves, wigs we sell are an essential tool  in our personal hair journeys (i.e. Caroline’s big chop and Khulile’s loss of hair during her pregnancy). Our personal experiences were instrumental in the decision to stock Afro type of hair and provide women with tools to make their personal hair journeys that much easier.


Carob Magazine: What other beauty and natural care products does Bounce hair have available for black hair care?

Bounce Hair: The Bounce Essential Hair Offering includes: Five distinct three textures: B.E Afro, B.E Kinky Curly, and B.E Blow Out, available as wefts, wigs or clip-ins.  Our wigs are custom made to suit customer requirements. Our most exciting addition to the Bounce range is our Sibahle Collection of Black Afro Haired Dolls, the first being Nobuhle, afro haired and vanilla scented 50cm black doll. She comes fully kitted with African theme princess dress, hair bow, hand bag, removable shoes and jacket.

 In addition, our accessories range includes:

·        Deep conditioning caps: the conditioning cap eliminates the need to go to salons for the weekly treatments.  The cap makes it possible for our customers to do their hot oil/ deep conditioning treatments in the comfort of your home.  It is a compact little cap that is silent and does not overheat.  

·        Satin lined Durags: Our line of satin lined beanies and satin durags promote healthy hair by protecting the customer’s hair lines and boosting hair moisture retention.  We also have hair extension hanger bags which help our customers to keep their hair in good condition.

Carob Magazie: Bounce hair is owned by two African women; give us a background of you is your partner's profile. Who you are and how you merged to bring about this amazing product.

Khulile Vilakazi-Ofosu, born and bred in South Africa, KwaZulu Natal. She works for a global IT company in their Forensic Investigations department and has over 20 years of Finance and Auditing experience spanning over a number of diverse multinational companies.  She is a mentor for a number of South African youths, mainly from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. She loves to travel and is a married mother of 1. She also has a keen interest in Formula 1 and Tennis enthusiast!

Caroline Hlahla, From Zimbabwe but grew up in Kenya. Currently works as a tax consultant for a multinational Italian oil and gas company. Comes from a small family who are scattered around the world, mother is based in Tanzania and one brother who is based in Belgium. Parents instilled a hunger for education and pursuing passions in life. She is passionate about hair and everything hair related.  She loves to travel and to experience other cultures and lives with her partner Sandro in the UK. 

We always say, this was a partnership ordained in heaven. It was a chance encounter which turned into a great partnership.  It’s not every day one connects with a customer and then the chance meeting produces this type of partnership, built on mutual trust, genuine love for each other and respect for each other’s creativity and contribution to the business. 

We decided to formalize things and register a company, Bounce Essentials Africa in March 2016


  Carob Magazine: What is your dream for Africa?

 

Bounce Hair : Our dream for Africa is for Africa to start investing in its children, especially in education. It is only through our educated children that we as a continent will rise up and claim our rightful place in this world"

We dare to dream big! Our hair extensions line is currently sold in Zimbabwe and Kenya. We would love to expand all through Africa. We are so excited about the Sibahle Doll Collection we have recently signed with an amazing toy store which will be stocking the dolls and we have partnered with 2 local young clothing designers based in South Africa.  One operates from her own garage and the other is a stay at home mother who sews from her own dining room table whilst her toddler plays on the floor.  The designers now have reliable income from the Sibahle order.  Our dream is to manufacture the dolls in South Africa want to use the dolls to create more jobs in South Africa to empower many more women. We are now looking for seed funding to scale up the brand

 Carob Magazine: Last but not least, please share with our readers any words of motivation that you live by.

 “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” It can be easy to get discouraged or dishearten looking at where others are going, be aware of the completion but stay focused on you.

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Please stop by again. Thank you for your interest!