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For hair that curls, award winning hair stylist Charlotte Mensah tells us about her oil of choice.

Recently inducted to the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame, Charlotte Mensah is the first Black woman to be awarded. It’s one highlight in a bright career, spanning over thirty years, revolving around natural hair care. The hallmark moment celebrates the Portobello Road salon owner who sets an example for the importance of slow and steady growth in an era of speed.

Being London’s go-to stylist for nourishing treatments by celebrity clients and locals alike, we heard from Charlotte on another fruit of her labour, a range of Manketti oil products (including a moisturizing hair mist and limited edition candles) that she self-funded the launch of, ‘It took six years on the formula branding, artwork, packaging and product development to create the collection. Manketti Oil delivers softness, weightlessness and shine to Afro, mixed heritage and all curly hair types, it also helps to maintain healthy hair by conditioning damage caused by styling the hair.’

If you’d not before heard of Manketti, you’re far from the only one, ‘Manketti oil is an extremely rare ingredient which hadn’t had much exposure’ says Charlotte. Manketti nuts grow on Mongongo trees found in Northern Namibia. If you’re looking for an alternative to coconut oil, Manketti is high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (unlike the former) which form a barrier to help moisture retention, as well as being high in vitamin E, magnesium, calcium, zinc and copper.

Charlotte tells me, ‘The market demand for Mongongo is not yet big enough to threaten the species. The difficulty of extracting the kernel is one reason why exploitation of Mongongo has been limited. Mongongo trees are easy to propagate, they can withstand several years of drought, and grow very quickly, with very little management required.’

You can find Charlotte Mensah here and follow here. Hair Lounge 347 Portobello Road, London, W10 5SA.

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