I met Zanele on dear ‘ol twitter. I’ve been following her for a little over a year and realized a few months back that she was featured in another hair blog that was talking about going natural. It seems like a lot of women are jumping on the ‘going natural’ band wagon, but for Zanele it’s deeper than that. This is JUST a hair blog, but as I continue to dispense the knowledge I have to other women, they talk about insecurities and shame that’s associated with their natural hair. I love that more and more of us are embracing our natural hair … now all we need to master is how to nurture it.
Here’s Zanele’s tips, thoughts and advice.
INTRODUCING ZANELE AND HAIR BEAUTIFUL AFRO
Do you know your hair type?
I assume my hair type is 4b/4c
How long has it taken you to transition to natural hair?
It took me about 6 months to transition. I have been completely natural now for 16 months.
What were the toughest moments during your transition?
I had a weave in for the entire time before I cut off the relaxed ends so I wouldn’t say it was difficult to transition, but I was definitely nervous about the reaction I would get because it has been so long since I had seen my natural (unrelaxed) hair and I was a ‘weaveaholic’.
Did you ever think of doing the big chop?
I cut my hair into a short style a few months before I started entertaining the idea of going natural so that was kind of my “big chop”
What are your hair goals?
My hair goal is to have thick hair! A big part of why I went natural was because my relaxers were thinning my hair, I love how thick it is but I want it even thicker. I’m starting to feel I don’t have the genes for it lol but we will see. Another one of my goals is to protect my hairline, I want it healthy and in the right place.
How long is your hair right now?
My hair is different lengths and I’ve never blown it out or anything to see it’s full length so I actually don’t know. It is definitely growing though, I can tell from pictures, but I’m more concerned with health/thickness than length.
What’s the best part about rocking your natural hair?
The best part of rocking my natural hair is that I’ve learned a lot about taking care of my own hair, I rarely go to a salon anymore. I call myself a hair fauxfessional! Also I love how versatile it is and I feel how healthy it has become. I never used to understand people who were fussy about their hair but I’ve definitely become one. I know my hair well.
With that in mind, would you ever go back to relaxing your hair?
I don’t plan on going back to relaxing my hair. I love the volume and I love to see my natural texture change, I’m just very curious to see what my hair will look like as it grows.
Will you ever stop wearing weaves?
I don’t think I’ll ever stop wearing weaves. I love weave. I love that in a few minutes I can totally change my look. They are fun and versatile and a good weave is a great investment in my opinion.
ZANELE’S HAIR CARE REGIME
How do you detangle your hair, is it best under the shower / when wet / when dry?
I detangle my hair while it is damp, I never detangle it dry. I use conditioner or any product that will give it good slip and then I hold the roots to reduce pulling and start detangling from the ends down to the roots. I also detangle during my co-wash with a wide tooth shower comb which helps to spread the product throughout my hair.
What is your current hair care regime? (monthly/weekly/daily)
My current regime is weekly. It changes depending on if I have a weave in or how lazy/busy I am. I use castor oil nightly on my hairline and the back of my head which is a problem area. I co-wash once a week or twice a week.
On shampoo days, I
1 prepoo with olive oil for about an hour,
2 shampoo and then
3 deep condition
4 I detangle, moisturize, seal and braid or just wear it up.
Phro: This is essentially the ‘Back 2 Health’ challenge.
What products can’t you live without?
I am definitely a product junkie, my favourite right now are Cantu leave in, Moroccan Argan oil, Nexxus products, Herbal Essence’s Tussle Me Softly, Organix products, Coconut oil, Kinky Curly Knot Today.
How do you make sure your hair is healthy when under a weave?
Since going natural I’ve become very attached to my hair. I start to miss it quickly. I’m not ready for any long term hairstyles. I am an avid fan of clip in weaves and they are how I keep my hair healthy. Weaves are to blame for a lot of women’s hair woes because it is so easy to ignore your own hair under there not to mention the hairline damage. So I’m definitely not ready for the sew-in plunge.
Phro: Check out my ‘Weave Challenge’ to help nurture your hair while it’s under that weave
What are your parting words for ladies that want to go natural?
For ladies who want to go natural, I say go for it!! It is a different aesthetic but you will probably be surprised by how much you love it. A lot of people have misconceptions about their hair, meanwhile they haven’t seen their natural hair since they were like 6 years old. Or some say it’s too much work, having healthy hair is work regardless of it’s natural or relaxed or weave, you still need to moisturize, condition, protect your hairline etc. I’d say do it of you are thinking about it! There is a lot of info out there on hair care, and you can always go back to relaxer or whatever else, if you don’t like it :)