LUMKA JWARA

Beauty and lifestyle blogger from Johannesburg (mix of 4B and 4C curls)

Natural for four years Lumka went for the big chop in December 2014.

“I wanted to return to myself in all aspects of my life. I had started making changes,andthe last piece of the life I wanted to leave behind was my hair which was relaxed at the time.”

She says at first it was an overwhelming experience. “I had no idea about hair types and porosity. My biggest struggle was breakage because I wasn’t as gentle with my hair as I should be.” Lumka spent time finding a routine that suits her and her low-porosity hair.

“I had to stop overthinking the whole process of taking care of my hair and not see it as a burden,” she says. “My feelings about my hair change all the time and that’s okay. Some days I want to cut it off again and other days I love it.”

 LUMKA’S TIP

Use online resources (Pinterest, YouTube, blogs) to find low manipulation styling techniques and how to style hair without heat.

BUHLE NGABA

Actress and writer from Cape Town (type 4A curls)

Natural for 12 years Buhle spontaneously decided to cut off her relaxed hair when she was 15.

“I didn’t even tell my mother! I cut off all my relaxed hair and it was from that point that I stopped relaxing my hair.”

For her, her hair was about the relationship she had with her mother and as she grew up, her view of the world started to change. “It was growth – emotional growth. Very specifically as a little black girl, I started to see the potential in me being beautiful. I found my hair to be a direct source of reflecting beauty as myself and just being okay with the way it is.”

It was also about convenience. “I have a lot of things to consider all the time, for instance, my career requires me to play different characters and I found that wearing my hair natural is the easiest.”

BUHLE’S TIP

Get a good hair mask and a great hot oil treatment or conditioner. Have a hot oil treatment once a week using a shower cap or even cling-wrap will do.

NICKY LATEGAN

Sales adviser from Cape Town (mix of 3A and 3B curls)

Natural for five years Nicky began leaving her hair curly after it started breaking off.

“It was damaged from too much heat usage and peroxiding every other month to change to a new colour. I decided to give my hair a breather from the relentless abuse and I guess it stuck with me. Over the years I’ve learnt quite a bit.”

She used to compare her hair to that of others on social media which resulted in a lot of tears and frustration. Eventually she decided to cut her hair and she felt a lot lighter. “My hair is so much healthier and I’m so proud of the growth thus far,” she says.

Her biggest lesson was learning that every one’s journey is different. “What might work for someone else, won’t necessarily work for you. Patience and consistency are key and coconut oil can solve everything.”

NICKY’S TIP

Embrace and enjoy your journey and although it can be tough and frustrating, keep pushing because it’s all so worth it in the end.