Entrepreneur develops hair care line out of her own need

One could say that hair-care company Komaza Care is the ultimate case of turning lemons into lemonade.

komaza care

Rene Lesane

Rene Lesane was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. One of the side effects of the disease is malnourishment, which caused her hair to be dry and brittle and her scalp to be itchy. She discovered that the products she was using only exacerbated the problem, and she began researching ingredients that would be beneficial to her hair and skin.

Like others before her, the founder of Komaza was frustrated by the lack of natural, high-quality products for kinkier hair. The "ethnic" products that were available contained large amounts of mineral oil and petroleum, which can clog the hair follicle and create buildup.

"I was spending hundreds of dollars on hair products, but none of them worked on my hair," says Lesane.

Lesane began experimenting with her own formulations containing ingredients designed to moisturize the scalp and nourish and strengthen hair. She found that shea butter was very moisturizing, but it was too oily and didn't absorb well into her hair. So she created a Shea Butter Lotion.

"I did not have any intention of selling anything," laughs the 37-year-old Sacramento entrepreneur, who was working as a data analyst for a large corporation at the time.

Friends who were also transitioning to natural hair asked her what she was using to keep her hair looking good, and "the next thing I knew, people were knocking on my door with money in their hands."

komaza care

Three years ago, she launched Komaza with her Aloe Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner, the Shea Butter Lotion, the Coconut Milk and a deep conditioner. The collection has grown to 19 products, many based on customer requests and her own needs. The company's products include the Coconut and Califia collections as well as Shea butter Hair Lotion, Hair Nourishment Oil, Jojoba Hemp Balm, Herbal Tea Rinse, Almond Milk Cleansing Conditioner, Honeycomb Hair Treatment and Olive Moisture Mask.

Komaza products are designed to provide protection and for kinkier, coarser hair types. The products are made with natural ingredients, and do not contain harsh chemicals, mineral oil or petroleum, which can cause split ends, clogged hair follicles and slow hair growth. Whenever possible, Lesane buys certified organic and fair trade ingredients.

Komaza means "to encourage growth" in Swahili. Lesane says that is what the product line is all about: encouraging the growth of healthy hair.

Lesane makes all the products in a professional kitchen, and sells them online and in her Sacramento store.

Although Komaza has grown into a thriving business, Lesane says she also has altruistic motives.

"I wanted to help women grow their hair naturally and to encourage them to be good to themselves," she says. "I am having the time of my life. I find that most women love talking about their hair, and I love talking about my hair. I love hearing how my products have helped somebody."


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