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KZN’s research scientist formulates a remarkable treatment for Alopecia

After being diagnosed with primary Cicatricial Alopecia (a rare disorder that destroys the hair follicles and replaces it with scar tissue which causes permanent hair loss) Zamantimande Kunene’s world was almost in tatters.

For the 39-year-old entrepreneur and research scientist who is originally from Newcastle, in KwaZulu Natal, coming to terms with the the fact that her hair would never grow back meant that she would have to either go bald or rely on wigs for the rest of her life, and as a natural hair enthusiast, wigs were not an option.

Using her research skills to analyse, prove or disprove the outcome of her condition, Kunene started doing research on how she can grow her hair back naturally. Working from her kitchen, she began making various shea butters to apply on her scalp by mixing a number of different ingredients. Although proving to be a more difficult task than she had anticipated, she explains that things took a better direction when she gave some of the products to her friends and family to use. After favourable results, the brand ‘Afrotame‘ was born.

With the primary mission of creating plant-derived natural products, Afrotame’s competitive advantage is the selection of first pressed oils from premium quality organic ingredients. Hempseed (cannabis) oil being the main ingredient, the hair products are also infused with mango butter; an ingredient that assists with hair growth, moisture, scalp care and hair volume. For this reason, the products are suitable for all hair types (including high and low porosity hair) and are also safe to use on children – as they do not contain sulphates, parabens, silicones and mineral oils, which can be very harsh on the scalp and on natural hair.

“It’s the purity, quality and proven effectiveness of natural ingredients that nourishes and protects the hair and scalp,” Kunene says.

She further explains that having hempseed oil as the main ingredient ensures hair growth because the natural oils of this plant contain fatty acids which are essential in stimulating growth.

“Hair is made of keratin, up to 90% of which is protein, and hempseed oil contains proteins that are like these [keratin] proteins. When you put hempseed on hair, it helps it to grow faster, thicker and longer. Another great thing about this oil is that it is light and is easily absorbed by the scalp because the trick is to make sure that you don’t clog your pores with product build-up,” she adds.

Gushing about her wonder hair business, Kunene says that she monetised her products because she wanted women who had the same condition as she did, or any other hair struggles, to benefit from her solution, especially because she understands that a woman’s hair is her very own Crown. In addition, the visible results on her own head inevitably prompted those who had seen her struggle with Alopecia to enquire about the products she had used to grow her hair back.

Afrotame has a range of products which include: shampoos, conditioners, hair hydrating and repairing masks, sprays and strengthening oils. To get your hands on these products, visit their website: and place an order. You can also visit their social media pages.

Facebook: Afrotame, Instagram: Afrotame and Twitter: afrotame1

~ Thabile Shange

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