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/ )
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.
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.
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
Facebook: Natural Dilemma