Annzra

Has your hair always been this long?

My hair has been long for my most of my life. It was the one thing people always complimented me on - so long hair became part of my identity and synonymous with beauty for me.

READ MORE: “I tried slugging – a night-time beauty ritual – for my dry skin. Here’s what happened…” 

But at the end of 2015, I cut my hair into a short bob - it was the first time I had ever cut my hair short and I was terrified. But it turned out to be a great experience. My shampoo lasted longer, I felt lighter and I realised I didn't need long hair to be considered beautiful. Two and a half years later it's long again - so I got to experience hair at various lengths and appreciate them all. But I have to admit I love having my long locks back!

Before

After

How often do you wash your hair – and what does this process entail for you?

Before the drought in Cape Town, I used to wash it twice a week, now I only wash it once a week. I don't usually brush my hair. So the first thing I do before washing my hair is to brush it out. Then I shampoo, rinse and repeat. I put conditioner on, and then run a bamboo comb through it. This is to ensure all the hair gets conditioned properly and also makes it easier to collect loose hair, so it does not go down and clog the drain (it is so gross cleaning hair from the drain, and the longer the strands, the grosser it is!). 
 
After I rinse out the conditioner, I add a little bit of Argan oil to most of my hair (never the roots, because my hair gets greasy fast) and then let it air dry. I hardly every blow dry or straighten my hair. One, because it takes forever and two because I want as little heat damage as possible. 

How often do you trim your hair?
 
Every three or four months, depending on how heavy it gets. When I start to get headaches from the weight I go for a trim. 
 
Have you ever coloured it?
 
I have only coloured the ends, never the roots, so I technically have virgin hair. Before I cut it in 2015, I tried to dye the ends grey to have a black-grey ombre. But my Indian genes rejected the grey dye, so I had blonde ends, which I then dyed forest green so I could look like a mermaid. It was awesome!
 
What are some of the strangest things people have asked you about your hair?

     
  • The most common thing I get asked it if I can give my hair to someone for a weave. It used to be strange for me when this started, but now there is a waiting list of people who have dibs on my hair, if I ever decided to cut it again.

What do you love and hate about your tresses?
 
I love how it makes me feel. Now that Prince Harry married Meghan Markle, the closet I will ever come to being a princess is by having my mermaid/Disney princess long hair. There is also a lot I can do with it, in terms of styling.
 
I hate how heavy it gets. It feels like a literal weight on my head and can be painful.

Tshegofatso

Have you always had long hair?

I had my locs for almost ten years but trimmed them now and then.

How often did you wash your hair – and what did this process entail for you?

I tried to wash them twice a month. The process was incredibly long and they’d get very heavy so when I was lazy I wouldn’t be as thorough. I would always condition them a couple of hours before, then shampoo with a sulphate-free shampoo. Then I’d base my scalp with my mixed oils (a mixture of water, leave-in conditioner, coconut, almond, peppermint and Jamaican Castor oils). Then I would twist my hair myself, because I honestly had trust issues so for years I didn’t allow anyone to do my hair.

She likes to laugh in gardens. ??: @gin.and.toni

A post shared by Count Fapula (@mbongomuffin) on

Why did you decide to ditch your locs?

I had them for so long that I just wanted to do something different. It was a process, though, because I first cut the side and experimented with colour by using yarn, which was probably the time I enjoyed them most. I had always wanted to use colour but locs are difficult to bleach and colour because they get damaged very easily. 

What are some of the strangest things people asked you about your hair?

  • The most common questions include whether or not they were heavy, if they were really mine
  • More often than not I’d get questioned about my hygiene

What did you love and hate about your locs?

I loved just being able to wake up and go without doing anything to them. I could just leave them down and it looked great. Especially when they had yarn.

I hated that people always took them as an invitation to just touch them as they pleased. People would just pull my hair as I walked by so they could feel the texture. When I had yarn I just hated always being asked if I’d do other people’s hair. I only did my own hair because I know exactly what I wanted, not because I enjoyed it.

So imagine having to do other people’s hair? I don’t have the patience. 

Rayne

Why do you wear your hair long?

When I was much younger, around 11, my hair was cut really really short, shorter than my shoulders. And I hated it so much that now - 13 years later - I am still too afraid to have "short" hair. 

How often do you wash your hair?

I only wash my hair about once a week. This is partly due to the Cape Town water shortage, partly due to laziness (the process takes about an hour in total) and the fact that my hair looks and feels sooooo much better when it is a few days post-wash.

Have you ever coloured it?

Never. Apart from some fun non-permanent hair chalk.

What are some of the strangest things people have asked you about your hair? 

  • People ask if my hair is extensions and when I tell them no, they literally ask if they can pull on my hair to see if I am telling the truth (I am not exaggerating when I say this has happened more than 20 times, more times than I can even remember, and I always give them the go ahead to pull haha).
  • I have also had little girls stop me in the shops asking if I am a princess (no jokes) and I always feel so horrible disappointing them by saying no! And once or twice I have had people offer me money to buy my hair but I vowed that when I do cut it one day it will be for cancer patients. 

Gera

Has your hair always been this long?

Yes, for the majority of my *adult* life my hair has been this long - this is, however, the longest that it has ever been. Once when I was 11 or so I made the very, very tragic choice to cut my hair into a bob and then, further, to cut my own fringe. My hair is very thick and at that time it was curly and frizzy, so you can just imagine what that looked like - I have been atoning every since. 


How often to you trim your hair?

I only get my hair cut once a year. I go in and just tell the lady (who's name I always forget bc I see her so infrequently) to chop off however much she thinks needs to go and then silently mourn the loss of 5-10cm of my hair.

READ MORE: Need a new look for a new season? Here's great winter hair inspo from our fave celebs 

Have you ever coloured your hair?

I have never coloured my hair, and never will. Besides being aghast at how much colouring one's hair costs, I feel that I have been #blessed with a nice hair colour and I don't want to mess that up! Even though I am beginning to spy a few grey hairs here and there, I will embrace what comes...

What strange comments have people made about your hair?

  • My sister does sometimes tease me (when my hair accidentally parts in the middle) that it looks like I've joined the Mason Family. So that's nice of her...

Le'Chelle

Has your hair always been this long?

My hair has pretty much always been long, but I get a long bob cut once year and because my hair grows way too fast, so it's back to the original length in probably less than a year. As most women do, I tend to have my hair cut after fundamental changes in life - new job, getting married, etc.

Any special treatments you use to maintain your hair?

I'm currently trying out the Davines Circle Chronicles hair masks and loving them! I like hair masks that are convenient and easy to use in the shower. The Dove Pure Care Dry Oil hair mask is also a really good affordable option. Other than that, I use the Hask Revitalizing Shine Hair Treatment on the tips of my hair when it's dry. This just helps my hair to always look shiny & healthy.

Have you ever tried a colour?

All through high school I dyed my hair really dark brown and then when I left school and everyone was in the ombre phase I tried to go blonde which is probably the worst look I've ever had!  

What do you love and hate about your tresses?

I love my natural hair colour and the fact that it looks like I've gotten highlights in summer when I spend a lot of time outdoors. This might be annoying for some of you but I hate that my hair grows so fast and because it's curly it's extremely unpredictable and can get really frizzy.

Rebecca

Has your hair always been this long?

Yes, I have had long, thick hair since I was a child (thank you Mom for the Greek genes). So long and thick it was a major effort to get it washed and untangled. I cut it into a long bob in 2015.

How often do you wash your hair?

I wash it as little as possible because of the time constraint, and because it's more manageable (styleable) when it isn't newly washed. I also find the more I wash it, the more it needs to be washed (the cycle of oily, over washed hair is real). I usually brush it before getting into the shower, shampoo twice, brush through conditioner (not near my scalp), rinse thoroughly, towel dry, add Moroccan oil, and blow dry the roots.  

 

What are some of the strangest things people have asked you about your hair?

  • Whether it is real is the number one question.
  • If they can touch it.
  • How much hair loss I experience (I do a lot of sweeping to be honest).
  • If I have ever considered selling my hair for wigs (the answer is no, I would donate if I ever cut it).

What do you love and hate about your tresses?

Having such long hair does become a sort of safety blanket and when I cut it into a long bob in 2015 I felt a loss of identity. It wasn't until I cut my hair that I realised wearing it down and showing its length almost always resulted in a compliment, or at least a conversation starter when meeting new people. I have since regrown my hair.

On the negative side, I have experienced headaches (from the weight of the hair when tied up) and I was almost prescribed reading glasses for headaches, when it was actually the weight of my hair.

Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.