Renee Potgieter, hair health activist, colour alchemist and owner of Naturally Renee, is on a mission to change the way beauty is perceived. As a society, we have developed a dependency on toxic products and processes which damage and disrupt the natural balance of our hair.
Renee is determined to stop this madness by reminding us of one remarkably simple truth: we are already beautiful!
In her work, Renee strives to teach us that if we accept and celebrate our natural hair we can cut, colour and style it, without sacrificing our hair health.
Renee’s journey began in 1993 when she trained for three years under the renowned Carien Fensham in Johannesburg. After working and backpacking for two years everywhere from Turkey’s beaches to hostels in London and salons in Europe, she returned home to settle down in Cape Town.
In 2000, after noticing that the industry was fundamentally flawed in how it approached hair for real women, she became an independent stylist. Since then she has trained and collaborated with many talented individuals, some of whom have opened sustainable salons of their own, and she continues to spread the message of a no-nonsense natural approach.
Education is key to her operation, which is why she equips her clients with the fundamental knowledge that they need to break their dependency on chemicals. Her tenacity, integrity and intuition are sharper than her scissors, inspiring admiration, and gratitude from clients.
The biggest challenge she faces daily is the cognitive dissonance between what her clients believe about chemical processes and the truth about how damaging toxins are to their hair and health. Although clients know that their hair has been damaged by chemicals, many have become overly attached to their unsustainable hair regimes. Renee knows that by using her unique combination of skill and knowledge she can prove the natural way is always the better way.
When she is not challenging societal norms and spreading the message of self-love Renee enjoys learning how to surf with her magnificent 8 year old daughter, spending time and sharing great food and gorgeous wine with close friends, and growing herself through constant online education and can copious amounts of books.