FroChic Natural: Natural Dilemma

Origins & current location?

My home is in Dimbaza, Eastern Cape; although I grew up in a township called Zwelitsha just outside King William’s Town. I am currently in Pretoria.

What are you currently up to?

I have a non-paying job as a “home executive”, a paying job at a research organisation, a Master’s candidate for Inclusive Innovation studies and a natural hair blogger.

Why did you decide to go natural? Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.

I’ve had a couple of stints where I would cut my hair really short (chiskop, twice) and let it grow naturally and then at some point I would think “Hay, No! I’m done. I’m getting a relaxer TOMORROW!!!”. I was never against chemical treatments of any sort; however the last time I bleached my hair was a disaster. Whilst I was toying around with starting from scratch again, a friend introduced me to a world I didn’t know existed, the YouTube vloggers and bloggers. Needless to say, my cellphone bill went up like crazy. Anyway, I was quite inspired by the movement and still am. I transitioned for about 6 months before I went for the big chop in October 2012.

What are some of the challenges and advantages you’ve experienced with having natural hair?

The biggest challenge was adapting to the “new way” of things, changing my attitude towards MY hair. For instance, I always believed you have to comb your hair to look neat with a proper comb. Now I finger-comb but make sure I detangle properly on wash days. It was also about accepting that my hair is not like the next person’s, therefore I will not get a perfect wash & go and it’s OK.

I love how versatile our fros are. One day I look like I’ve got a TWA because of shrinkage, the next day I have a big high puff or bun. I blow dry sometimes and flat ironed once.

What is your hair care regimen?

I deep conditioning every 2 weeks; cowash once a week if I’m feeling frisky; moisturise daily; prep my hair before going to bed (4 braided sections); and sleep with a satin scarf on. I’m a lazy naturalista but I try my best to stick to this.

My favourite products are Tresemme Naturals Conditioner (too bad it’s discontinued! I’m still searching for a replacement), Earthy range (http://earthy.co.za/ , Nubian Nature’s Carrot Hydrating Custard for styling (http://www.nubiannature.co.za/ , EcoStyler for that bomb twistout and braidout , Native Child’s deep conditioner and castor oil (http://www.nativechild.co/ ), and Afrobotanics range (http://www.afro-botanics.com/ )

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 What results do you expect from a hair product when you purchase it?

I’m a product junkie so I try new products often, and sometimes I buy them and they sit in my shelf for months before I do anything with them. My hair is not too fussy with products but I usually give it 3 tries before deciding if it’s for me or not, tweaking how I use it here and there. For a conditioner I definitely go for the slip because I want something that will make my detangling process easier and faster.

Is it a struggle finding products that work for your natural hair or are you happy with the ones you’re currently using?

I have my staples and I’m always keen to try out new products. I must say I’m happy to see the growing market in South Africa and will support them as much as I can. It sucks though when you hear great reviews about a product over and over again and it’s not easily accessible.

Are you planning on growing locs in the future?

No but if I ever did I would most probably go for thick ones.

Do you have a favourite hair salon?

I’ve only been to 2 since being natural (Lajawi in Brooklyn and Thabs Hair Art in Menlyn) and I had good experiences at both places. I still prefer to do my normal maintenance at home and go to a salon when I want something specific.

 What type of hairstyles do you like to rock?

My go-to is a high bun or puff. I do anything I can with my limited skills but I do love my braid out.


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Any hair care tips you’d like to share with the FroChic readers?

  • Products won’t solve all your problems.
  • Use a good conditioner.
  • Be consistent.
  • Don’t use heat often and flat iron on low heat.
  • Be patient. It’s trial and error.
  • MOISTURISE.MOISTURISE.MOISTURISE.

What’s your (fashion) style generally?

Ha! Comfortable (translation: plain and boring)

Where can the FroChic readers get hold of you?

You can find my blog on www.naturaldilemma.wordpress.com

Instagram: @naturaldilemma

Twitter: @naturaldilemma

Facebook: Natural Dilemma

My Current Beauty Favourites

On Instagram I have been posting a few of my favourite beauty finds so I decided to do a full post and share a few more  beauty products that I am currently loving!

I am always on the look out for great beauty products to try out so I hope this will help someone else should you be on the look out for something new.

Here are a few of my current faves :

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I absolutely love this foundation! I’ve had mine for about 6 months now. It may look like a small bottle but a little goes a long way. I just need to apply a few dabs of it and that is enough to give me a flawless coverage. I like that it feels very light on the skin, doesn’t dry it out and lasts for the whole day; a perfect go-to foundation for work. The price is steep in comparison to other foundations but it lasts for a long time. I’ve also seen a few other people raving about this foundation, so I can definitely vouch for it. The shade I use is Rich Ginger and I bought it from Edgars.

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Another new (but quickly becoming a firm) favourite of mine is the MAC Studio Moisture Tint. I didn’t know about it until my sister gave it to me since she accidentally purchased a shade which was too light for her. Luckily, it is a perfect shade for me (thank you sis! 🙂 ).  If you are looking for light coverage, then you will love this! It actually reminds me of a BB Cream. It also feels very light on the skin and gives just enough coverage without masking away any natural spots you may have on your face. So it literally works the same way as a tinted moisturiser. I also like that it has sunscreen which helps to protect your skin from the rays of the sun throughout the day. I usually use this when I want light coverage which is mostly on Fridays or over weekends if I am out and about running errands.

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I bought this one about 2 months ago, along with a day cream and their face wash. My skin was feeling unusually dry and I needed something that will put some much need moisture in my face. When I visited The Body Shop I informed the sales assistant of my concerns and he recommended this range. They also had a special running then whereby you buy could 3 products and only pay for 2! The day cream also works well to keep my skin moistured during the day but I love how thick and decadent the night cream is. I am also new at using night creams but since I’m in my mid-30s now I reckon I need to start looking after my skin a bit better.

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I purchased this recently but not at the same time as the above products. I was looking for a setting spray at Clicks and I couldn’t find one. When I asked the sales assistant at she recommended the face mist and mentioned that it does the same job as a setting spray. I use the face mist to set my makeup after I have applied it to give me that dewy, almost natural look…and it helps to ‘set’ your makeup so it doesn’t rub off easily. Try it, it works. 😉

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I think nude lipsticks look great for the winter season and I have been loving this combo from Essence. Using a nude lipstick on its own can give you that ‘dry and hungry’ look so the lipliner helps to bring some definition to the lips. These two colours work very well to achieve a nice pinkish/brownish nude look. You can find Essence products at Dischem.

What are your current beauty favourites?

Hair Salon Review | Urban Zulu Natural Beauty Salon

So last week Saturday I had an exciting opportunity to have my hair styled at Urban Zulu Natural Beauty Salon! I was beyond excited to finally have the chance to check out their salon, which is one of the only few natural hair salons I know of. What is also great is that they stock locally-made natural hair products like AfroBotanics and AfroAmour!

It was easy to find the hair salon but I was not able to find parking on the street so I just parked my car at Carlton Centre, which is right opposite the hair salon. The parking ticket at Carlton Centre is only R10 which is not too bad. As soon as I crossed the street it was easy to spot the hair salon. The Urban Zulu name is written in big black and white letters – you can’t miss it.

When I walked in I was greeted by Dumisani, who was going to do my hair. He then asked me to sit down by one of the chairs, where he will be doing my hair and then put my bag safely away before we went to the washing station.

He used shampoo and conditioner to give my locs a nice and good clean. I forgot to ask him what brand he used. He made sure to massage my scalp properly and rinse off any product left in my hair.

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After he was done, he wrapped my hair in a super absorbent black towel. As soon as he took off the towel he tied my hair into two ponytails and then proceeded to use the Jabu Stone beeswax to twist my hair. What I really liked is that he didn’t even use a hairdryer to dry my hair…the towel managed to suck out any extra water and my locs were left damp. I was really glad about this because most salons (due to time pressure) use a hairdryer on my locs and I am not so fond of that.

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The twisting process was very quick! And while twisting my hair he gave me great advice on how to take care of my locs better and I really learnt a lot from him. The main thing was that simplicity is key! We don’t need to put all these extra products on our locs since they end up causing product build-up in the long run. You can’t go wrong with just water and good natural oils.

Freshly twisted locs
Freshly twisted locs

Once he was done twisting almost all my locs, he then left the front row of my locs untwisted and did not use any product; and boy was I glad about that! I hate it when a hairstylist piles on a lot of beeswax on the front edges to get that slick look! All he used was plain water and just plaited the front locs back to get a slick and neat look. With no grease at all!

He then proceeded to work his magic and created an updo with a twist!

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The final product!
The final product!
A close up of the front petal arrangement
A close up of the front petal arrangement

I absolutely loooove my hairstyle!!

All in all, it was a great and pain-free experience! 🙂 I will definitely go back! Especially seeing that I want to colour my locs blonde this year and I trust that they will do it well.

An added bonus is the clothing store which is located right next door to the beauty salon —Urban Zulu Clothing! (the hair salon and the clothing store are literally separated by a glass sliding door but each one has it’s own entrances at the front). Of course I had to go check out a few things. I wasn’t planning to buy anything but I couldn’t take my eyes off this cute peplum top I spotted, so I had to purchase it!

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Thank you again to Urban Zulu Natural Beauty Salon for my beautiful  hairstyle and the fab service. Also a big shout out to Nokwanda for taking all pictures of me at the salon!

Salon details

Address:Shop 137 Lebanon House,
Corner Fox and Kruis Street,
Johannesburg 2001

Tel: 061 416 7073

Facebook: Urbanzulu Natural Beauty

Beauty on TApp | Where All Your Beauty Needs Are Just A Click Away!

My inbox is always full with questions from readers asking if I know of a hair salon in their area…and a lot of times I am not always clued-up on all the hair salons available in the area they stay in. Thank goodness for apps like Beauty on TApp! Finding your nearest hair salon (and other beauty services) has never been so easy.

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What is Beauty on TApp?

Beauty on TApp was launched in 2015. This app gives users the ability to find beauty services and products in an area of their choice. The app has categories such as make-up artists, nails, hair, lash extensions and eyebrow threading. On the product side the app has categories such as hair extensions, hair products, skin products and nail products and accessories.

Beauty on TApp has taken advantage of a gap in the market. Small beauty businesses have had to rely on Facebook and Instagram to market their businesses, however, their marketing is limited to their followers. Women have had to rely on asking friends where they did their hair or where they do their nails? This problem is made worse when women have to visit a city they are unfamiliar with and need a quick nail or hair fix. Beauty on TApp caters for both beauty service providers and users needs by providing them with an easy to use tool.

The app is also integrated with Uber to ensure that you get to your beauty treatment with no hassles.

How did the idea come about?

They say every good idea comes from someone’s struggle. However, an idea is just a thought until plans are put in place to bring that idea to life. Mathebe Molise’s (co-founder and CEO) idea for Beauty on TApp came to her when there was a struggle to find a make up artist for her friend’s wedding, which would take place in Cape Town. Being unfamiliar, with beauty service providers in Cape Town, Mathebe thought how convenient it would be to have a tool that one could use where they select a beauty service required and a list of potential technicians would pop up. Add to that a list of rated beauty service providers with a proven track record that guarantees good service. This is how Beauty on TApp was born!

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Where does one get hold of the app?

Beauty on TApp is available on Android, Apple and Windows app stores.

Their website (www.beautyontapp.co.za) also has icon links where you can download the app.

Instagram: @beautyontapp

[This post was sponsored by Beauty on TApp]

Product Review | African Black Castor Oil

A few weeks ago Nicola Moon of Naturally Me Organic sent me a bottle of African Black Castor Oil to try out.

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Since I have locs I always gravitate towards using natural oils in my hair. I find natural oils to be a lot lighter on my locs, don’t cause build up, and are easily absorbed into my hair. My go-to natural oil has always been coconut oil so I was excited to receive the African Black Castor Oil to try out since I  have heard only great things about castor oil! Castor oil promotes hair growth, restores damaged and dry hair. It’s also suitable for all hair types.

What also got me excited about this product is that it’s pure 100% African black castor oil – nothing else added! 🙂

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The seeds are from Ethiopia and the process involved in making the oil is quite something. A lot of careful work goes into it…They start off by cleaning the seeds by hand, removing dirt and rocks. After it has been cleaned, the seeds are roasted, once cool, the seeds are pounded, using traditional African hand Pounders. After the seeds have been crushed they are put in water to boil for at least a couple of hours. The oil from the seeds rises once the pot is cool. Oil is then skimmed from the pot, then they boil the skimmed oil, strain it , and that’s how African Black Castor Oil is made. 🙂

My thoughts on the product

I have been using my 150ml bottle of Black Castor Oil for about 2 weeks now and I really like it. I like the fact that it is not too greasy or thick and it applies easily on your scalp.

It also has a nozzle which makes for easier application directly on your scalp. I just apply a few drops of the oil on my scalp and then massage it all over my scalp & edges and then use whatever I have left on my hands to apply down the length of my locs.

The oil literally smells like coffee beans, but a more toned-down scent. So if you are someone who enjoys the smell of coffee beans, you will enjoy this scent.

Since I have only been using it for 2 weeks, I am still monitoring my edges for any hair growth but my locs feel moisturised throughout the day after using it. I do, however, apply it on semi-damp locs (after I have spritzed them with water). The reason for this, is because an oil is a sealant that seals in any moisture you have already applied to your hair and this helps to keep the moisture locked in.

Where can you get hold of African black castor oil

You can call or whatsapp 0817048690 to place an order, or email: Africanblackcastoroil@gmail.com.

It’s R200.00 per 150ml of African Black Castor Oil;  this includes free delivery within South Africa.

You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram as “African Black Castor Oil”.