Hair loss led Tatchell to create her own product line

After suffering from hair loss due to products that were not suitable for her scalp, Sade Tatchell tried to look for solutions to take care of her hair.

Tatchell, 36, is the MD of Ruthie’s Hair.

She was diagnosed with central centrifugal cicatricial alopecia, also known as scarring alopecia.

This is a condition where the scalp is inflamed, causing the hair follicles to die, leading to permanent hair loss.

The Johannesburg entrepreneur decided to establish Ruthie’s Hair as an alternative to help grow  her hair back, while also understanding that she was not the only person experiencing the problem.

“Ruthie’s Hair was initially started in 2017 with one product, my very famous growth oil, which I formulated to help me with my alopecia. After two years of selling this oil, my customers started asking when was  I going to create an after-care range.

“They were using my oil and had to follow up with other brands, so when I lost my job in March 2019, I decided to pursue this, and this was also as a result of losing my hair from using other products,” says Tatchell.

She says her idea was to create an affordable quality product for every hair type.

“The products were created to moisturise, strengthen and encourage healthy hair growth, using the ingredients of the growth oil as the base for every product created, ensuring the benefits of each oil is captured in each step of the wash day.“I use natural oils like castor oil, vegetable glycerine, sweet almond oil and organic shea butter and avocado butter when manufacturing the products,” she says.

Tatchell, whose business operates from Robertville Industrial Park in Roodepoort, offers products such as shampoos, hair conditioners, curl revitalising sprays and styling gels through courier services nationwide and online services.

The business employs six people and is working towards employing more as the business gets back to normal after the Covid-19 pandemic ravaged businesses and the livelihoods of millions of people in the country and the world.She says the natural hair
market was not an easy one to get into.

“I felt that I needed to make my mark despite hardships in accessing a financial boost to push my business. I financed my business from my own pocket through my savings.

“I recall a conversation with my brother when I started the business. I called him to let him know I was going to use our grocery money to buy ingredients and packaging to expand the business, and all he said was that I could go ahead and give a try.”

She says that like any business, she had her  fair share of challenges, but she has always been hand-on in the business and it helped her  to pull through.

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