New range includes scalp spray, hair food, serum and moulding gel.
Siyabonga Cembi has become synonymous with the dreadlocks community in the Eastern Cape and now has helped to develop a range of products specially for this style of hair.
“I saw Vida … is Life didn’t have hair products catering for dreadlocks, and I went back and forth with the production guys until the end result was what I desired.”
Cembi helped develop products which include scalp spray, hair food, moulding gel and hair serum over months of testing on his own hair.
“The chemist would come to me with a sample and I would then look at the sample and tell the chemist that the sample needed more work or wasn’t strong enough and also what kind of colour the gel should be,” Cembi said.
The dreadlocks range can be found in a number of stores around the Bay and in other towns as well.
“We saw the momentum it gained at some of the salons we had distributed to and then approached some of the stores I bought the products from.
“The business started out while I was in Jo’burg pursuing a career in acting and being an extra on Isidingo, Generations and Backstage.
“I would come home and receive messages from people who had come looking for me to do their hair and I decided to quit the dream and nurture my hair-dressing skills.”
Cembi rented a work station at a salon in Soweto and managed to make R13 000 in the first month he opened. “The business grew because people started telling others and eventually, I was doing hair for celebrities like Thwasa from Jam Alley, and Nemza from hip-hop group Skwatta Kamp,” he said.
With his status as the go-to-guy for dreadlocks, Cembi thought about what his next step would be regarding business growth.
“Last year I started playing around with the idea of creating my own hair-care products for dreadlocks. I used to look at the ingredients from some of the products I was already using in my salons.
“I’d mix ingredients and use it on my own hair but because I didn’t have the resources, I approached the owner of Vida hair care products John Knight.
“A collaboration between myself and Vida soon began,” Cembi said.
The Mount Frere-born Cembi said after months of work he was happy to say the product is on the shelves of some retail stores.
“Just On Cosmetics, Universal Dealers and Afri-Save in Uitenhage are just some of the retailers that sell the hair care range. A number of beauty shops in the Eastern Cape as well as my own salons are using the products on our customers.”
Cembi attributes his success to his open-door policy and his willingness to develop people who want to hone their craft and style dreadlocks.
“My wish one day is to open a hair academy, where people would be able to become self-dependent and contribute towards the alleviation of poverty in this city.”
– Nomazima Nkosi