Feso is a widely occurring and naturally growing wild plant that has been used by women in Zimbabwe to wash their hair since time immemorial. Feso is a creepy crawling plant and if one grinds it with stones it becomes slimy and foams. It is great for skin and hair; when used on hair Feso loosens curls much like today’s s-curl, a chemically achieved procedure which is achieved through applying chemicals. When used, Feso‘s results (loosened curls, which are easier to manage) last for a week a testament to the good conditioning effect it has on hair.
As a result of chemical processing of hair, most African women have experienced hair loss which seems irreversible; as a cosmetologist and owner of a thriving chain of hair and beauty salons, I decided to find a homegrown solution to the problem. Feso is the result of going back to our African indigenous knowledge systems to provide a solution to a problem. Using my 21 years of experience in the hair industry and after many months of research and development and during which I used essential oils I finally had a product. As a hair regenerating and growth product Feso has so far had amazing results which have been shocking even to me on how it is restoring hair.
My business model for the production of Feso is premised on using rural women to harvest the plant, my hope is to grow the catchment area as the demand is growing by recruiting women in other parts of the country to harvest the plant on behalf of my company. This way, rural women improve their livelihoods by harvesting a naturally growing plant. I see Feso as a sustainable product as it is a naturally occurring plant that has otherwise no attached value. Growing my business, while also empowering rural women is particularly uplifting for me as I grew up in rural Zimbabwe and I know the hardships that rural women face in their day to day lives. Today Feso has exploded onto the Zimbabwean and regional markets and of course the international market competing in the hair industry alongside other well-known brands. Recently we have been to South Africa at Nepad conference and showcased Feso , which is now listed as one of Africa’s emerging products.