Hanin Nqo on growing a successful beauty product business

She describes herself as a multi-passionate entrepreneur. She is an academic, a chemist, a creative, a graphic designer, a speaker as well as a business woman. She has managed to combine all these skills to create her hair and skincare manufacturing business FroSister.
The main inspiration behind it all is her daughter’s natural hair as well as her passion for natural hair. “When I couldn’t find natural and healthy hair products for her, I decided to create my own. With an advantage of a food chemistry background and my passion to solve this problem, I started project FroSister.

“I didn’t want just any hair product, I wanted the finest. So I went out and handpicked natural ingredients which work for the different Afro / natural curl textures and after months of research created our first product vanilla ice cream curl designed to manage Afro hair”.   

FroSister has been running for nearly 2 years now. 


Hanani observes that today the hair industry is very sophisticated requiring a lot of technology and innovation in the manufacturing side of things. It’s also competitive however they have found a niche which suits their product and wants better quality natural products for their hair

She is driven by the need to be a success and to be an inspiration, not just for herself but for all the girls out there who never had a role model who looked like them. She says she always wanted to go into manufacturing but never had that role model she could relate to. 

This self-driven characteristic saw her winning the ZAA Community Female Entrepreneur Award. “It was such an honour. I find it a blessing to be able to have my hobby as my job and getting an income out of it as a blessing but getting recognition for it in the form of awards, I find that humbling”.   

She noted highlighted such as starting a business, turning her hobby into a business, winning countless awards in the last year alone, as well being able to start planning to export into Africa.

Besides the ZAA award her other accolades include scooping the Zimbabwe International Woman Award Winner 2015, Zimbabwe International Woman Award Winner  2016, RBS Global Focused Woman Winner 2016 and Entrepreneurial Pitching Award winner, 2015 and 2016.  

She believes that the hair profession is well respected in South Africa. “It is very well respected since every woman loves to look their best and hair is a big part of it. Good, healthy hair is even a big thing”.

So far one of the biggest challenges facing the hair business includes education on natural hair and how to take care of it. Her company is currently in the process of creating an app which will be able to address these issues. They also have a FroSister Salon program which is an academy designed to educate their hair dressers.

Hanani notes that good results are the most critical element that people look for to determine a good hair business or hair product. “We all want products that work. With regards to the business it’s important that there is growth and brand recognition”. 

If she was to go back to Zimbabwe now she would like to introduce a higher quality of qualifications. “Some or most of products used require training and there are a lot of hairdressers out there working with dangerous chemicals without the appropriate qualifications putting people at risk.”

Plans to grow the business include taking the company to even greater heights. “We have our natural hair products and the plan is to reach even more countries. We have recently started our African export plan. We have our men’s shaving kit Black Gold hitting the market this September.”

What would she like to see happen to the African hair / beauty industry? “I would like us to take ownership of this industry. Black hair contributes the most to the hair industry in general but we own the smallest portion of this industry.

“I see us taking more ownership of the industry, younger and new players coming into this game.  I see more people like myself bringing in new skills gained from abroad as well as changing the game into a billion dollar industry”.

Hanani is a Kalanga from Bulawayo who left for the UK in 2000 after school. She was born in Bulawayo and has lived there and the United Kingdom. She attended Greenfield Primary School, Usher High School and Townsend High School in Bulawayo.

FroSister is based in Johannesburg and Durban. The brand is growing and will expand to the whole of Africa. Look out for their new men’s shaving kit specifically designed to avoid razor bumps for a smooth shaving experience.  When it comes to quality hair and skincare go for products marketed through Fro Sister Natural Hair and Beauty. For more information visit the website www.frosister.com.  


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