Any black woman with natural hair can tell you that she dreads the day she runs out of her essential haircare products. The most perfect Afro will disintegrate into a moppy, matted mess if not regularly anointed with just the right mixture of shea butter, olive oil, coconut oil, and unicorn tears. This is why the natural hair industry has blossomed into a multi-million dollar machine since the resurgence of #TeamNatural over the past 5 years.
Many women who reverted to natural hair feel like they are embracing their “African roots”. The irony is that there are many African countries where a big Afro is greeted with the same look of judgment you’d get in a New York or London office. And good luck finding a hair dresser who will acquiesce to your request to detangle from the ends, not the roots.
Though short afros are fairly common for school-aged Rwandan girls, they are much more of a rarety among older women who seem to prefer straight hair, braids, and wigs. For those of us with natural hair in Rwanda, it’s difficult to access high quality natural hair products. Enter: Rose & Co. Naturals.
Rose & Co. is a natural hair and skincare line, founded by Roseline Twagiramariya – a Rwandan born, US-bred naturalista. Rose had her first pop up sale in at the Discover Rwanda Hostel in Kacyiru, Kigali this past Sunday. Young women – and a few men – eager for the perfect hair care products braved the rain to see what she had to offer. I’m impressed that Rose only took a few months to source the ingredients, teach herself how to make the products, and bring them to market.
I always have to return to Rwanda with a stockpile of shea butter, deep conditioners, and moisturizers, because I have not been able to find organic products here. Not to mention that I have been mixing my own hair spritzer in my kitchen. I’m not interested in being that self-sufficient , so I’m really excited to have some locally made products to buy. I’ll be testing them out, and crossing my fingers that my hair loves them.
Rose has the following items on sale:
100% Unrefined Coconut Oil – Use as a body lotion, and also as a hair conditioner, makeup remover, and facial wash. It’s anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal so it has a lot of uses. It’s also available with peppermint, for a cooling effect; and citrus, for a delicious scent. It’s ok to be in love with this coco 😉
Deep Conditioner – It has argan oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil. It can repair your hair so it is good for dry and damaged hair. Rose uses it overnight and it leaves her hair very soft and manageable.
Tea Tree Shampoo – This is good for people who have dandruff. Rose says, “Strong, healthy hair, starts with a healthy scalp.”
Hair Balm – This is for everyday conditioning. It has lavender essential oil, so it smells great. It’s made of mango butter, shea butter, and coconut oil.
Twisting Cream – This is made of mango butter, shea butter, grapeseed oil and honey. Honey is a natural humectant so it attracts moisture to your hair. Mango butter adds body, and helps hold and define your natural curl pattern.
Mint Shea Cocoa Butter – This can be used both on your hair and body. I am obsessed with body butters, so this was the first product I bought. So far, so good!
Tea Tree Facial Cleanser – This is made of castile soap, which itself is made from natural ingredients, and tea tree oil. This is good for controlling acne.
Lip Balms – Rose & Co. lip balms come in both vegan, and beeswax varieties, so those with bee allergies need not worry.
You can also look out for Rose & Co. soaps, perfumes, and household cleaners in the future.
If you’re in Kigali, you can contact Rose at:
+250 789 786 537.
Rose will deliver her products to clients. A few physical locations in Rwanda want to start carrying the products so be on the lookout for them in a store near you. Her current products are all sample sizes and were all 4000 RWF/ $6 USD or less. Her regular products will be a little larger, and thus a bit more expensive, but will hopefully have the same great quality.
Check out my interview with Rose to learn more about the woman behind the brand: http://www.donnatruly.com/rose-co-natural-products-in-rwanda/