By: Tebogo Mokwena
There are not many South African products on the market that are focused on providing hair care for people of all races, and Glolooks aims to do just that. Refilwe Xaba, who owns Glolooks, told Vutivi News that she eventually started manufacturing her products to suit everyone because she wanted to solve the common problems of all hair types. She said what also made her products stand out was that they were from African indigenous oils, plant extracts, and butter for cosmetic use.
They did not contain any harsh chemicals, sulphates, paraben, or petroleum, and were animal cruelty-free. Xaba said that she started her business with Afro-textured hair in mind. However, she has since moved on to manufacture products for all types of hair. She said her products were compliant with industry standards and she had ensured that the ingredients were great for moisturising as products took a long time to travel from the hair shaft to the roots. Also, they were not greasy, they were absorbable, and made curls looser to absorb the product and easier to manage hair.
Xaba said that her product range included protective oil treatment, deep cleansing shampoo, detangling and moisturising spray, holding and curling cream, holding and styling gel, shampoo, cream conditioner and sealant butter. These products were available for women and children and were mainly focused on maintenance and people who were in an active-growth phase with their hair. Xaba started the business in 2018. She currently employs 14 people and has a salon in Bloemfontein, as well as an online shop to distribute her products.
Her business did not start off as a formal business but as her making products for her own hair. When people started showing interest, she decided to make a few products to sell. The demand for her products grew so she decided to formalise her business and register it. Xaba advised small businesses to consider applying for grant funding to grow their enterprises. She received funding from the Engen Pitch and Polish competition, South African Breweries and the Tony Elumelu Foundation.
She also received non-financial assistance from the Small Enterprise Development Agency. “Grant funders are looking for an idea that is not rocket science. They support an idea based on its clarity, how easy it is to distribute the product, how easy it is to get to your client and how easy it is for you and the client to transact,” Xaba said. They are also looking for the company’s growth potential, even if there is no growth.”