Origins and current location?
Hi there!!! Im Fanta/Farah, I am North/West African. I grew up in Jozi and Pretoria but im currently residing in Schoemansville
What are you currently up to?
I work fulltime and study part-time. I am in the Beauty and Cosmetic Chemistry field and love every second of my career. I am a cosmetic formulation analyst.
My hustle? The sky is the limit! My first career path was Somatology aka everything holistic and health related. I have a beauty spa managed by my awesome team of empowered beauticians. I have been doing hair consultation since 2007. I normally do a 1 year intense hair journey with many awesome clients. The best part is having ladies who have not been able to retain good amount of length in a very long time, and to see them very happy after 1 year of hard work with them. Makes me proud!
My other hustle: I sell unrefined Shea Butter and black soap (Ghanaian grade).
How long have you been natural? Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.
Hair grows every day and I give credit to every millimetre that grows so I calculate my growth from my last relaxer. I have been natural for 20months, 21 September 2011 was my last relaxer.
My 20 months of being natural has been a breeze because I purposely chose to keep it simple. I have 2 main issues at hand:
1. I relaxed my hair for 17 years so taking it really slow and baby steps is much safer for me.
2. I have some serious hairline issues, so I would rather go slowly on something new.
No hectic styling = Less length-retention disappointments and less damage to my hairline.
No hectic technique = less manipulation.
No product collection (aka Product junkie) = extra money to spend on reading, learning and growing mentally and less confusion to my hair texture.
I did a lot of research during these 20 months with people who shared their story online, and with ladies with similar hair to mine and I tried to see where I could just “accept” that, this is what my hair “likes” or “dislikes”.
I had made a lot of decisions along the lines of ”Tangled hair” VS “knots” VS “frizzy hair” VS “shrinkage” and finding my balance and just accepting my hair as is.
Why did you decide to go natural?
I was on a relaxed hair journey for about 3 years. I had about 60cm of relaxed hair, healthy and nothing wrong with it. It became time consuming for the maintenance. I wanted to relax it every 4 months, but my hair couldn’t handle 4 months without a relaxer. It was getting tedious and exhausting so I quickly did a 360 degree transition from long relaxed hair to a TWA (teeny weeny afro) of 5-7cm long . And of course, I had to grow confidence of 100cm long to brush off all the negative comments and crazy stares especially from close friends and family.
What do you love about your hair since you’ve gone natural?
Versatility. The options are so endless it is amazing!
And what do you dislike about your natural hair?
Shrinkage. My shrinkage brings a lot of knotting, tangling, and frizziness. So it becomes difficult to comb/brush it.
What are some of the challenges and advantages you’ve experienced?
Having mentioned that I have weak hairline, I found that my hair line issues are even more prominent since I have gone natural. So because of this, I do not style my hair as much as I should. Again, another cliché, “her hair ain’t your hair”, many naturals can get away with so many styles but I really think each individual need to evaluate what their hair can and cannot do and where do they plan to be with their hair journey within “a certain amount of time”. For example, how much length/health or shine do you want to get in “2 years” time? Obviously this means a couple of sacrifices to achieve the goal.
I have to admit that my hair can handle silicone and silicone-free products so if I am stuck in an area with very few choices, my hair will survive. I love afros and curly fros and my hair does wonders with those two.
1. I detangle my hair using an oil (any thick oil like REGULAR castor oil, olive oil or grapeseed ). I place my hair in 4 sections.
2. I deep condition with a protein or moisture or oil treatment (it really depends on availability).
3. I co-wash my hair.
4. I leave regular conditioner in my hair once I am done with the co-wash, and from there I let my hair air- dry.
5. Once it is dry, I style my hair however I please (braids, twists, fro, up-dos, anything cute).
6. Night routine: Twist or braid my hair at night using water and some conditioner or hair moisturizer.
7. In the morning: I unravel my twists or braids.
What hair products do you use and where do you buy them?
I will admit I have tried plenty of products that I love very much but these are the brands I have on repeat: L’Oreal Elvive, or Gliss, John Frieda curl conditioner. I try new things all the time so I don’t have staple products for now.
I formulate a lot natural based products myself so I end up being my own guinea pig.
What results do you expect from a hair product when you purchase it?
Shine, soft and manageable hair, and enough slip to detangle easily.
Do you struggle finding products that work for your hair or are you happy with the ones you’re currently using?
I don’t struggle to find products because I refuse to limit myself on just “Clicks, Shoprite and PicknPay” and I refuse to let advertising sweep me away from reality ( from what could be good for my hair). I like Tresseme, Aussie and many more. Dischem, pharmacies and plenty of South African websites for vegetarians and vegans sell plenty of great natural products for hair. Hair pomades by Pantene or VO5 works for me because they don’t contain mineral oil, so I style my updos with them.
I am happy with every purchase I always love to try new things when I have finished the current purchase.
Are you planning on locking it in the future?
It has never crossed my mind as yet.
Which type of natural hairstyle(s) do you like to rock?
Simple updo’s, buns, curly-afros.
Do you have a favourite natural hair salon where you treat your hair?
No. I think the last time I went to a salon was maybe 2006 /7, I can’t remember. I have been very successful at taking care of my delicate and fragile hair. So I might not need to go to a salon anytime soon.
Any hair care tips you’d like to share with our readers?
Ladies do not limit yourself when it comes to product purchase, your hair may fall inlove with something out of the ordinary.
Google for Vegan and vegetarian sites they have plenty of plant-based products for styling and conditioning. Rather go for ingredients that your hair likes as opposed to what “everybody says is right”.
For example if your hair loves silicone, use it and clarify your hair once in a while. If you see a product that says “bonatics or batanicals” “colour care” you probably would love the ingredients so give it a try. Lastly, avoid breakage: keep your hair stretched at night (twists or braids, buns) you will never have no stress combing or styling in the morning.
Where can I readers get hold of you?