Runako Connect Blog

Manetain organics - a look into the natural hair care brand

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

For many natural hair enthusiasts in Zim and a lot of women looking for a better way to take care of their hair, Manetain organics products seem like a godsend. Social media abounds with stories of how the discovery of these products have changed many a hair journey. For the uninitiated, this is a chance to find out what Manetain is all about, and how it came to be a growing force in the african hair industry.

Some are born great, others achieve greatness and some have greatness upon them”- William Shakespeare

Sage words from the legendary writer but he may have failed to account for the intricacy of the human experience. We all have a beautiful contribution to the world dormant within us and sometimes it requires a little thrusting to push us to work for the greatness we are meant to achieve. Talking to Lienne Shonhiwa, the founder of Manetain Organics really brings forth the progression of this phenomenon as she takes us on the journey of how a natural hair care brand specifically tailored to meet the needs of African women of colour was born. Join us as we reveal the force behind the brand.

How did Manetain organics come to be?

The challenge

Where do I even begin, I am a mother, wife, friend, sister, daughter and all these things to so many people. There were so many moving pieces to how Manetain Organics basically came about and it seemed like all of these things happened individually but they sort of simultaneously or sequentially contributed to get me to the point where I am now. I was a blogger and had my own Facebook page with quite a good following where I used to share my own tips and tutorials about how I took care of my hair. I did a lot of DIYs and used to show people how to make their own concoctions but this was all done on the side because it was a passion even though I had a proper corporate 9-5 job that I was comfortable and happy with. I never dreamed of becoming an entrepreneur or business person. Right about the time that I was four months pregnant, I got to work one day and was told “thanks, but no thanks”, and just like that I was fired. That became a very dark and difficult time during my pregnancy. It was a traumatising experience and I was very depressed but eventually after I gave birth to my son I got back to being me I guess.

The rise!

I had always been a worker, someone hands on and I like to keep my mind sharp, so I thought “hey, these concoctions and mixtures I make, why don’t I just put them on the market?” During that time, I had gone through post-partum shedding and had lost so much hair but I had come up with a product that worked really well recovering it and I thought maybe I could share it with my followers and put it up on the market. In a nutshell that is kind of how Manetain Organics came to life. It was mostly the passion that I had for my hair and the lack of availability of good quality products for natural hair. Its so frustrating when your hair is breaking and you cannot get into a supermarket and find products to remedy it or if you do occasionally bump into one or two products that people talk about on Youtube, it is so so expensive and not exactly affordable for the average Zimbabwean.

Tell us a bit about the products and how they are formulated for our hair type.

We have 4 types of Butters because we decided on different formulas targeting different needs, instead of doing a one size fits all butter that carries all the generic ingredients hoping that everyone’s hair will like it. If a person comes into our shop looking for a product we can recommend one based on their needs and hair porosity.

Our recently launched avocado butter range comprising of cowash, leave-in conditioner, deep conditioner, curling cream and hair balm has been doing really well and it is targeted towards low porosity hair or what people like to call ‘hard mashona’ type of hair.

We formulated it because that is what most of our clients were looking for, products to moisturise, soften and make the hair more manageable. . We also considered the fact that the climate in Southern Africa is very dry and this is also the type of hair that the majority of people in our region have which is something that other international companies may not take into consideration when doing their formulation. We are intentional with our ranges about what we are trying to do and meeting the needs of our customers.