Mbali Rose Hair: Making a hair business work

11th June 2017

Hlobsile Manana of Mbali Rose Hair.

Your hair forms a critical part of your identity. It’s the first thing people notice when you enter the room. It’s your crown. A public symbol of your personal choices. When you start to consider how seriously women take hair care, it’s not surprising that the industry is valued at approximately six billion rand. To date, products such as chemical relaxers have been the highest contributors to the constant growth of the hair business. However, there is a critical change taking place.

As women, we’re shifting. There’s a huge movement towards identifying more with our African background and African culture.

Few people understand this better than Hlobsile Manana, founder, owner, manager, marketer, cleaner and stylist (as she puts it) of Mbali Rose Hair.

With the changing trends, natural-looking hair is driving a new movement where women are proud to identify with and own their African heritage. But, Hlobsile says, there simply weren’t enough high-quality Afro-centric products in the market that catered to people who love having big, bold hair. So she made a plan. She found an overseas producer and worked with them to manufacture the specific wig styles she wanted.

Launching Mbali Rose Hair

Hlobsile launched Mbali Rose Hair in December 2016 and now sells a diverse range of natural, ethnic, textured hair products in her Midrand-based salon as well as her online store. With her focus on quality products and personal customer service, it’s no surprise that Mbali Rose is taking off in a big way.

Yoco is proud to be playing a part in her entrepreneurial journey.

Sixty-five percent of Hlobsile’s sales are processed on her Yoco card machine, with the remaining sales being cash. Offering her customers’ card payments is not only more convenient for them but means they do not have to carry around large amounts of money and feel unsafe.

Furthermore, Yoco helps Hlobsile accurately see what products are selling so she knows which items to market more and stock up on. For example, the ‘Dirty Fro’ you see Hlobsile wearing in the below video, as well as the ‘Bouncy Fro’ her customer wears, are the two most popular Afro-style wigs.

Hlobsile Manana of Mbali Rose Hair.
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It seems that when you have big hair and big dreams few things can stand in your way. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store for Hlobsile and Mbali Rose Hair.


Alice is a content junkie meets red wine (wannabe) connoisseur. Alice completed her B.Bus Sci degree with all the bells and whistles and has since focused on the digital marketing space.