While working as a teacher in France in 2012 , Laetitia Vambili says she’d get awkward and uncomfortable stares from people because of her straight hair. At the time she was a regular weave wearer and the stares, she says, came from a judgmental place, with people perceiving her as unnatural and uncomfortable in her own skin.
After returning to South Africa, she says she had an epiphany. “I asked myself, why don’t we love and embrace our own natural hair? And so I decided to go natural,” she says.
After going natural, Laetitia says she struggled to find products in the market that catered for her hair type. She then started researching about black hair, what our hair needs, what works, what doesn’t, beneficial ingredients, and which ingredients need to be avoided.
The more she researched, the more her interest in hair grew. Vambili then decided to started a Facebook page called Love Ur Locks where she shared about her hair natural hair journey and the products she used and their results.
After extensively researching hair, she got to a point where she fully understood black hair. At the beginning of 2016, she decided to register her business, Love Ur Locks, a salon that specialises in natural hair and dreadlocks.
Laetitia co-owns the business with her husband, Dany Vambili.
To undo locs, you have to come in for a consultation first during which Laetitia will analyse your locs. The analysis is important because it will help determine the technique the stylist used to lock, the product/s they used, how long you’ve had the locs for, and so on.
Once the consolation is done, Laetitia will book you for a day when you will come for the actual unlocking process, which costs R1 500. She uses a Love Ur Locks detangler to unlock the hair.
The main ingredient in the detangler is natural oils as they have great benefits for hair. It was initially formulated solely for detangling natural hair, but when one of her customers asked her to undo her locs, she had to change the formulation.
“I researched what locks dreadlocks, then made the formulation stronger so that it’s able to untangle the locs, she says. “To get your locs undone, I simply spray the detangler in the locs… I then use a detangling comb and a pin to work through each loc to carefully untangle it,” she says.
She says on average, the process of undoing locs takes about four hours. The longest she’s taken was 12 hours due to the technique the hairstylist used, which proved to be a challenge.
After the dreadlocks have been untangled, she then does an after treatment to give the hair moisture and a protein boost. The hair is 100% healthy afterwards and just needs a a good hair regimen to maintain it.
The Love Ur Locks range includes the basic six: a conditioner, leave-in conditioner, a heat protectant, detangler, shampoo, castor oil and a free comb. All six products retail for R200 and are safe to use on children.
Love Ur Locks is based in Mooikloof Ridge estate in Pretoria, but Laetitia also does house calls.