Anna’s story

16 Apr

Hair on 2 April 2012

Please find below Anna’s* story in her own words.  She asked to share her hair story anonymously and serve as an inspiration to others.  I hope her story inspires you to carry on with your hair care and realise that it can be done.

I wanted to share my story and to encourage African women to start taking better care of their hair.  Even if your aim is not to have long hair, let’s all strive to have healthy hair.

I’ve always been interested in hair care, even when I used to do all sorts of things to my hair.  I hated having so much hair all over my back and on the floor after combing it in the morning.  However, my hair seemed to grow despite everything I did to it.  I would experience periods of “long” hair, then it would break off or I would cut it all off and begin again.  It was a cycle.  I used to cut off my hair in an effort to have healthier hair, but this never worked for long because I still continued with my unhealthy hair habits.  Before I started my hair journey, I wasn’t interested in having long hair, I just wanted healthy hair.

In the beginning of 2010 when I started university, my hair was around shoulder length.  I started weaving and braiding it more often than I did when I was in school, and because these were protective styles, my hair grew longer.  Even though I used less heat, I was still using way too much heat.  My hair was still unhealthy.  Apart from that I had colour in my hair, which meant I was supposed to go the extra mile with taking care of it, which I didn’t do.

In 2011, I started reading up on hair care on the internet.  I watched YouTube videos as well and was inspired to take better care of my hair.  I wanted to grow long hair too.  My current hair goal is mid-back length (mbl).  I finally started my hair journey in October of 2011.  I didn’t do a big chop (bc) but rather a trim.  I started rehabilitating my damaged ends which were the part of my hair which had colour.  I decided that I will take care of my own hair instead of going to the hairstylist and asking her to grow my hair for me.  Besides, I have a theory that hairstylists care more about how your hair should look, rather than how healthy it is.  I joined Hairlista and The Science of Black Hair.  I also read up on posts on many other forums and even blogs.

Before I try anything on my hair, I always read up on it first, from many different sources.  When I try something, I don’t try too many new products at once, because if a product is to give me problems, I won’t know which product it is.

My current regimen:

  • Cowash 1x a week ( 3x a month) (Pre-poo before)
  • Clarify 1x a month (egg and extra virgin olive oil  protein treatment before and hot oil after)
  • Deep Condition  1x a week, after my washes
  • Scalp massage whenever I have time and while doing my hot oils and pre-poos
  • Use heat 1x a month to straighten my hair so I can lightly trim my ends
  • Trim after every relaxer, unless it’s not necessary
  • Dry hair via air drying, roller-setting, saran-wrap method (to straighten)
  • Use wide-toothed combs and go to sleep with a scarf on
  • Moisturise and seal every day, but I avoid over-moisturising hair

My current oils:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Castor Oil
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Jojoba oil
  • Amla oil

Recently I decided to give braids and weaves a break.  I’m going to try and deal with my own hair “as is”.  This is because I don’t like weaving and my braids start looking old very quickly and they aren’t always kind to my hairline.  I’m a little bit anxious because now I’ll have to deal with my new growth since I won’t be using braids and weaves during my stretches.  I’ve also realised that I am not very good at de-tangling my hair and babying my new growth, so those are my current hair goals.  I’m also looking to start using honey in my deep conditioners, especially when my new growth gets hectic, since it is a humectant.

I’m still learning and I am hardly an expert at this, but I hope my story (so far) will encourage ladies to get started and keep going.  Happy hair journey everyone.

*not her real name

Hair on 17 January 2012


4 Responses to “Anna’s story”

  1. Amber 22 May, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    That girl in the photo has really long hair!

  2. Heldiii 19 June, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Hi Tendayi 🙂
    Can You tell ME where I can find ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL OIL. AND PEPPERMINT ESSENTIAL OIL In south Africa???
    I know Im always asking WHERE :/ ,but its because I only moved to S.A now and I dnt really know places and shops.
    Thankx 🙂

    • Tendayi 19 June, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      You can find Rosemary and Peppermint oils in Dischem. They usually come in tiny bottles with droppers. You may need to ask the people who work there to point out the oils for you. You should also find them in Clicks though I find Clicks usually has a smaller variety of oils.

      These oils are also found in health shops. Most malls in SA have at least one health shop.

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