Origins & current location?
My family originates from a small, dusty town called Alice in the Eastern Cape where my mom and dad grew up although most of our relatives reside in Port Elizabeth. We are currently staying at Khayelitsha in a township outside Cape Town in a section called Makhaza.
What are you currently up to?
I’m currently doing my second year at Cape Peninsula University of Technology studying National Diploma in Management, since I’m still hustling for a part-time job. I spend my weekends in poetry sessions performing or attending Hip Hop shows where I mostly meet motivational soul sisters. I love art, I’m a proud book worm who loves literature like serious business, and a peer educator at Tech when I don’t have assignments. I dedicate my time distributing condoms at the campus, educating our fellow students on how to lead a positive lifestyle.
Why did you decide to go natural? Briefly take us through your natural hair journey.
I decided to go natural because I realised after so many years of being tortured by cream relaxers five minutes with the cream on my scalp felt like five years of agony while my mom would be shouting at me to wait a little longer, that was wasting her money. When I refused she would call me a coward so I could give in. I had enough because every winter left me hairless. Finally I admitted that my scalp was too sensitive; even after the pain and burns my hair was still silky here and there.
In 2010 during the month of June I decided to start from scratch shaved my hair short. I groomed it by washing with Sunlight bar soap and moisturised with Vaseline although it was bumpy and uneven sometimes it saved me lot of time when preparing for school. In 2011 the comb became stiff, ruthless and showed no mercy so I went for treatment at the salon to be stylish since our high school didn’t allow braids or weaves so an Afro was and still is the million dollar hair style for Chris Hani Arts & Culture High School. During the holidays I cornrowed the afro with edgy looks and patterns and kept on treating it once a month with Rosemary oil moisturiser and Vaseline . In 2012 my first year at tertiary I got the title of being the late comer of the month so by the end of February that’s when I concluded on my birthday. I chose dreadlocks to be my tiara because they’re convenient and I’ve always said that after high school I was going to be a sister (what they call ladies with locks in the township).
What do you love/ dislike about your locks?
I love the volume, the soft texture they have and the fact that they make me look younger (without make up of course). What I don’t like about my locks is that they can get so untidy. I think it’s the growth that drives my mom crazy because it grows so quickly then I end up looking bushy as if I’m high on weed or something.
What are some of the challenges and advantages you’ve experienced?
A challenge I’ve been struggling most of my life with is dandruff; hair styles like cornrows would only last a week. I couldn’t help scratching my scalp and sometimes I had cuts and scars on the scalp, you would swear I was a Weet Bix supplier cause the dandruff would pour on my shoulders in brown thick dry flakes. Thank God for the locks I was introduced to anti-dandruff products that nourished my hair rapidly. I’ve managed to grow a natural pony tail of my own after years of being teased by siblings and cousins; the locks really really rescued me!
What is your hair care regimen?
I wash my hair every second week with Jabu Stone shampoo and conditioner. I then base with the bees wax or with Maroza professional hair fertilizer.
What product are you using for your locks?
I use and trust Jabu Stone’s anti-dandruff spray, bees wax, Lite hair nourisher and Maroza hair fertilizer which was recommended for baldness and dandruff.
Are you planning on cutting off you locks and growing an afro in the future?
It’s been a year now with locks and I’m not planning to retreat or surrender anytime soon. I’m enjoying each day with them and I have developed a bond with them. Theyare my babies and I’m giving them all the massages they need when they look dry and brittle, they’re a part of me now.
Which type of natural hairstyle(s) do you like to rock?
I like opening a side division and twisting them into a diagonal cornrow it always makes look neat and classy.
Do you have a favourite hair salon?
My favourite hair salon is Malume’s place on Lindela road in Makhaza, Khayelitsha. They don’t plant wool on your hair compared to other salons I’ve been to. They work with your hair’s potential to lock , pay attention to every detail of your locks and provide answers to all of my questions.
Any hair care tips you’d like to share with our readers?
All I can say for now is moisture, moisture and moisture ladies. Make it a priority, it’s working for me!
Where can our readers get hold of you?
Facebook: Babalwa Kepe.