Posts in Natural Hair

How to blow dry afro hair like a pro

Don’t you just love the feeling of having your hair treated by a professional?

Once a year, the mane takes a break and my sleeker-haired alter-ego gets to shine.

This usually lasts for about three days, depending on what the weather’s like, how quickly droplets of water catch my strands in the shower, or how sensitive my eyes are to the look of reduced volume.

Water plays a huge role in how long I’m able to sport this style. But whether you’re opting to straighten your hair for length retention or wanting to switch up your style, I’d recommend getting professional advice and doing research to find the best products to use before and after using heat on your hair.

ladine blowout, afro hair

I’ve never felt more beautiful since embracing my own hair texture, and I feel confident in trying different hairstyles with on-point products by my side. The damage that could arise from using too much heat or the wrong products, could lead to an unwanted big-chop.

Dramatic but true, sis.

There’s no way to salvage hair cuticles that have already been stripped of their natural qualities.

Learn from the best

Pro hair stylist, King Nkosi, from the African Hair Kingdom in Parklands, took the task of giving me my best straight blow dry yet. He managed to help me retain length with a sleek style while maintaining the natural volume of my hair.

I walked into the African Hair Kingdom to find a diverse group of women sitting side-by-side in salon chairs. Some were having their hair braided, while others were getting treatments.  One woman shut her eyes as a hairstylist massaged the product into her hair at the wash basin – the massage motion looked so soothing that I couldn’t wait until it was my turn.

It was lovely stepping into a place that not only specialises in afro hair but gets creative with braid patterns and has pro-African hair styling products on hand.

Choose the right products

Always cleanse your hair and scalp before blow drying. There’s nothing worse than drying your hair and getting a whiff of something burning in the air. King used the following Ladine haircare products on my hair for the blowout:

Cleanser: Ladine Deep Conditioning Shampoo

Protectant: Ladine Conditioning Blow-Dry Lotion

Choose the right brushes 

Did you know that you can increase the blow-drying time by using a specific brush? King used a round metal brush to increase drying time and separated my hair into small sections to carefully attend to all hair strands. He also used a paddle brush to further detangle my hair after applying the conditioning blow dry lotion.

Stick to a medium drying temperature

There’s no need to dry your hair on high heat if you’re using the right technique. While high heat improves straightening, it’s also the level that contributes to damage. Since hairstylists are trained in this regard, they know exactly how far to hold the dryer from your hair when using high heat.

It’s also essential that you use a heat protectant to minimise the risk of heat damage. The Ladine Condition Blow-dry Lotion is both a hydrating leave-in conditioner and an anti-frizz treatment. You can find Ladine products online at takealot.com or in-store at New Look Cosmetics, as well as the African Hair Kingdom in Cape Town.

Planning to straighten your hair soon? I’d love to see your results. Tag me in your posts on Instagram @RobynRuthThomas, or mail me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

10 Natural Hair Shampoos under R100 in South Africa

Just when you thought, you were winning by sticking to your natural hair journey, the rapid increase in the price of products begins to disappoint.

The beauty industry is jam-packed with a range of products promising great results for hair health and growth but the more organic properties a product seems to contain, the higher the price is. This applies to natural hair shampoos are well.

I recently received a DM on Instagram, from a guy desperately search for a new product range that would help maintain the health of this hair, but also his budget. I decided to put together a series of products that are affordable while giving great results.

The following list of natural hair shampoos can be found in all major retail stores across South Africa, especially Clicks stores. Each product has been approved by beauty reviewers with different hair types. Watch the video below:

10 Natural Hair Shampoos under R100

Caivil Marula Oil Shampoo – R 34

Reviewed by Sean Goes Natural

Organics Shampoo – R44

Reviewed by Beauty Bulletin

Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Shampoo – R 45

Reviewed by 4chairsa

Jabu stone Moisturising Shampoo –  R 61

Reviewed by candyglamcast (transitioning)

Tresemme Botanique Shampoo – R64

Reviewed by Make and Beauty Forever

Palmers Coconut Oil Care Shampoo – R69

Reviewed by Pretty Please Charlie

Afrobotanics Shampoo – R75

Reviewed By Lungi

Africa Organics Marula Shampoo – R85

Reviewed by Smudged Beauty

My Natural Hair Shampoo – R91

Reviewed by Ladi Elle

Cantu cleansing cream – R92

Reviewed by Curl on a Mission

 

Do you know of affordable natural hair shampoos to add to this list, or would like to share your experience of one of the shampoos above? Drop me a comment at the end of this post or mail me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

Disclaimer: The following product prices are nationwide averages sourced in June 2018. Prices may vary according to the province you’re in and may be more affordable when buying online. 

Current Favourite Natural Hair Care Products – 2018

When I started my natural hair journey, I turned into a product junkie.

Back then, it was difficult to find products to suit my hair type so I’d tried a different brand every second week and ended up having a cupboard full of half-used hair products.

Newer and better hair products are hitting shelves every day and while it may have been difficult for us find a decent shampoo and conditioner in the past, we’re now so spoilt for choice that we’re actually even more confused about which product actually works.

What does it cost?

What’s in it?

What’s the size of the bottle though?

These are just a few things that spring to mind when choosing a hair product. Am I right?

Ladies, (and gents – hello, hi, if you’re reading), you’ll save a lot of time and money if you consider two things when you’re buying new hair products:

Is it right for my hair type?

Has someone with a similar hair type ever used it?

Read reviews. Don’t walk into that aisle without knowing what you’re looking for. Because. Even when you know, you may find yourself strolling back and forth in the aisle, doing research, until a security guard comes to ask if you’re okay.

Awks.

The best way to know which products work for your hair is to test them yourself.

But try to read reviews about products in advance, and if you don’t know what to look for, google your hair concern:

Products for dry natural hair

products for hair growth

deep conditioner for type 4 hair

best shampoo for natural hair

These are just examples. You know what you’re looking for. It helps to follow a natural hair blogger/vlogger with a similar hair type as yours, especially if he/she is sharing posts like this one.

If you’re a type 4 natural, check out this video of my current favourite hair products below:

Did you enjoy this post? I’d really love to know. Leave me a comment in the section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

DIY: Avocado, Olive Oil and Banana Hair Mask

Would you say that it’s difficult to find a hair mask that really works?

I’ve tried a bunch of different brands but when it comes down to a hair mask that will 100% treat your scalp and hair shafts, this avocado, olive oil, and banana hair mask wins.

Watch my easy masking routine to ensure to maintain the health of my hair and retain length:

 

To make this hair mask, you’ll need:

1 Ripe avocado

1 Large banana

1 Tbsp of olive oil

Method:

Mash or blend the ingredients together and apply.

I’m not joking. It’s that easy.

Why is this a great hair mask?

There are many great benefits of avocado  – one is that it’s rich in good fats that moisturise your hair. It’s  also well absorbed by the hair shafts and scalp.

Bananas are packed with potassium – great for improving the natural elasticity of your hair and preventing breakage.

Olive oil – one of my favourites – not only acts as a hydrator but as a shield to lock in any moisture that the hair already has.

When is the best time to mask?

Whenever you feel that your hair is dull or dry and needs a boost. I recommend masking twice a month for type 3 – 4 hair, and once a month for type 1 – 2 hair.

More about hair types, here.

Should my hair be wet or dry?

When applying a mask that contains oils, it’s best to apply it to dry hair. Since water repels oil, it will prevent the product from seeping into your hair follicles effectively.

If you’re applying a water-based mask, it will be effective on damp hair.

How long should I keep the hair mask on for?

As long as it takes. I’m kidding.

Your only side effect of leaving this organic hair mask on for too long would be carrying a fruity scent for lack of a proper rinse.

If I’m pressed for time, 30 minutes will do but I like applying the mask in the evening and rinsing it, the next morning – gives me the best results.

Make sure that your hair is completely covered if you decide to go my route so that you don’t get the mask all over your pillows.

But does it really work?

I love knowing what I’m putting on and into my body. It’s important to learn the ingredients list of your favourite products so that you know what works for you and which ingredients you should avoid.

Products that seem like great quality treatments are often packed with poisonous components that do our bodies more harm than good.

I’ve become a serious DIYer and a regular reader of ingredients list just to stay on top of what I’m feeding my body.

Your body is your temple. Yes. Yawn. You’ve heard that cliche phrase a hundred times before. But just imagine that your body is your car and in order for you to drive, you have to refuel once a week. There’s no way that you’re throwing alcohol and bubble bath into your tank, is there? You’ve paid a lot for that car and you need it to work.

Well, you only have one body for your entire life. You can’t trade it in. 

I really love this hair mask. Try it and comment below if you have a mask recipe that you’d like to share with the tribe 🙂

REVIEW: Dark and Lovely Au Naturale Braid Refresher

There’s a new addition to Dark and Lovely’s Au Naturale Range.

Formulated with Jojoba Oil and Peppermint oil, this new wash-free braid refresher promises to condition your hair and scalp while eliminating unpleasant smells.

twist braids, braided hair, be whole, robyn ruth thomas
What my twist braids look like

dark and lovely au naturale braid refersher, be whole, robyn ruth thomasDoes the Braid Refresher deliver on its promise?

It sure does.

I sprayed the product throughout my hair, making sure that not a spot on my scalp was missing out.

I noticed that the spray has an oily residue that started to drip down my neck, which is likely due to the jojoba and peppermint oil included.

Be careful not to spray a lot of this product, even if you feel that your scalp is quite dry as this can cause a build-up of oil on your scalp.

My braids smelled great and looked hydrated but by the end of the day, my scalp was itchy and felt as though I needed a wash because I had probably applied too much product.

This product is perfect to spritz on your locs if you’re heading out and want to feel fresh.

It’s free of mineral oil, parabens, and petrolatum and of course includes fragrance – the ingredients of the fragrance isn’t specified.

Remember that the spray hydrates and adds a fresh scent to your hair but it doesn’t clean your scalp so be sure to still cleanse your scalp while using this product.

Jojoba and peppermint oils are both comedogenic, which means that it can be easily absorbed by your hair follicles but if you haven’t washed your hair in a while, bear in mind that the oils may not be able to reach your hair if you have already applied other products or if your hair is dirty.

How long do you normally keep your braids?

Let me know in the comment section below.

I like to keep my hair braided for about 4 to 6 weeks depending on how neat they look and/or whether I think it’s time for my afro to make an appearance.

One thing I really love about having braids – if they’re done properly, is that I can just get up and go, there’s not a lot of fuss to apply products, or waiting for my hair to dry.

But one thing that I have noticed about wearing braids over the years is that it can get really itchy if the braids are tight, and can begin to give off a not-so-great odour if you haven’t washed your hair in a really long time.

I still wash my hair because I’m so used to wetting my hair when I hop into the shower. I shampoo my hair using the Stylin’ Dredz Spray Shampoo (available at Clicks) and only focus on cleansing my scalp since the rinse will wash the shampoo down my braids.

Why it’s a bad idea to wash your hair without a spray applicator when you have braids:

1. Your hair strands become fragile when wet and are more prone to breakage.

If you’re wearing heavy braids and wet your hair, chances are that you’re going to be left with lots of broken-off strands of hair once you remove the braids, especially with rigorous movements.

2. You strip your hair of moisture without replenishing.

It’s pretty hard to moisturise your braided hair if you’re not using a spray applicator so try to make sure that whenever your hair is losing moisture, that you replenish it by spraying your favourite hydration product.

VIDEO REVIEW: Twisted Sista Shampoo and Leave-In

If you’re thinking of trying the Twisted Sista Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioner, you have my vote.

There are so many amazing natural hair care brands making their way to South Africa and I’m happy that we have options!

Now, the struggle is not so much finding a product for kinky and curly hair types but rather, choosing which one.

To help you narrow down your selection, I’ve decided to create a series of reviews, using natural hair care products that are available in South Africa.

Let me know if there’s a product you’d love me to review by commenting below. 

What do you focus on when trying new products?

For me, the most important features when choosing new products are the ingredients, fragrance, texture, and packaging – in that order.

Watch my review of the Twisted Sista Shampoo and Leave-In Conditioner below:

Twisted Sista Clarifying Shampoo –   R179 (357 ml)

Features:

Specially formulated for curly hair types, the Twisted Sista Clarifying Shampoo claims to remove all product build-up while hydrating hair prone to dryness.

It’s paraben, mineral oil, sulfate and phthalate free.

 

twisted sista, be whole, robyn ruth thomas, wash and go, shampoo
Clicks.co.za

Experience:

Dividing my hair into two sections, I used an almond-sized amount of shampoo on each side.

I shampooed twice as always, first to lift any build-up and secondly to ensure that all dirt is removed.

My hair didn’t feel dry after shampooing at all. I was actually able to finger detangle my hair with the product in my hair. That was pretty surprising and great for those of us who don’t enjoy combing and/or brushing our hair.

The shampoo lathers well and also had a lovely citrus scent that reminded me of Drink O Pop.

Ingredients:

Water, Sodium Lauryl Methyl Isethionate, Sodium Lauroamphoacetate, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Glycerin, Polyquaternium-7, Sodium C14-16 Olefin Sulfonate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Citric Acid, PEG-175 Diisostearate, Fragrance, Disodium EDTA, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Twisted Sista Intensive Leave-In Conditioner –   R199.95 (354 ml)

Features:

twisted sista leave-in conditioner, be whole, review, wash and go, robyn ruth thomas
Clicks.co.za

Features:

Unlike most leave-in conditioners, the Twisted Sista Intensive Leave-in Conditioner has a lightweight, mask-like texture to deep condition curly hair while preventing frizz. It’s also meant to act as a detangler.

Experience:

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the leave-in conditioner not only left my hair feeling hydrated but it helped to define my curls throughout the day.

Tip: be careful not to use too much product as this will leave a white (ashy-like) residue on your hair.

Ingredients:

Water, Glycerin, Amodimethicone, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) Oil, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Polysorbate-60, Stearalkonium Chloride, Methyl Gluceth-10, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Diazolidinyl Urea, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate.

Have you tried Twisted Sista before? I’d love to know about your experience. Let me know in the comment section below: 

SA’s biggest Natural Hair Fest #CTNHF17

What a turnout!

The queue to enter the Cape Town Natural Hair Festival lined from the door, right into the parking lot.

More than a thousand people attended, making it the biggest natural hair fest hosted in South Africa.

Mothers and daughters, couples, friends, brands and media jam-packed the venue in Parden Eiland as the gusty wind blew us inside.

The atmosphere was incredible.

“What a time to be alive,” I said to a vendor who was selling natural hair colouring books for kids by the Light House Kids Books. Someone’s daughter is going to grow up loving her afro, I thought. And just as I turned around, a little girl was proudly standing with her hands on her hips and head tilted to the side, posing for a photo.

The event had everything you’d expect a festival to be and more. From local and international hair care vendors selling discounted products to clothing with inspirational quotes, jewellery,  live entertainment,  styling demonstrations, food, and drinks – the festival catered for a full day of fun for families in Cape Town.

Here are some pics of the 2017 Cape Town Natural Hair Fest:

If you’d like to see more pics, search the hashtag #CTNHF17 on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

View full size images above by pausing the slideshow and right-clicking to open the image in a new tab.

Please credit me (Robyn Ruth Thomas) for any pics reposted 🙂

Guy VS Girl natural hair tag with Malik Einero

Highly Requested!

Thank you so much to all of you who requested to see this video via my Instagram poll.

When I’d first met, model, Malik Einero, I’d had so many questions about how he maintains his hair and vice versa. I thought that it would be cool for us to share a bit of that conversation and most of you agreed.

Click on the play button below to watch the video:


We answered some of our most frequently asked questions and this video was originally inspired by the Youtuber, Shanel Inspired.

These questions include the worst and best products we’ve used, our go-to hairstyles, hair goals, routines, and some throwback pics of our earliest hair-journey memories.

It’s so refreshing to see a guy who’s embracing a natural hair journey too, as well as to see the differences and similarities that guys face with their hair.

Let me know if you enjoyed this video by posting a comment below and if you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them directly at robyn@bewhole.co.za

Rob x

Featured On CTInsider

Review: Buuya Hair and Body Butter

Woah, this product smells amazing.

It actually began melting between my fingers before spreading it all over my arms this evening. We’ve had a good couple of hot days in Cape Town this October, so the heat from my fingertips easily liquified the ingredients.

Have you used Buuya before? Let me know in the comment section below. 

I’m a sucker for beautifully fragranced products. This reminds me of those expensive scented candles that people keep in their bathrooms but never use. It’s likely the rich vanilla essential oil and shea butter that you’ll get a whiff of first.

Shea butter is my go-to for full-body hydration from hair to face and body, so I was eager to try Buuya’s blend of African and tropical butters.

Texture and packaging:

buuya beauty be whole

The butter comes in a 125 ml resealable hard plastic container. The packaging is quite earthy and neutral-looking which would suit the bathroom setting at a luxury nature reserve.

The ingredients are said to be whipped into its rich, buttery texture, which explains why it melted so easily onto my skin as I applied it.

Experience as a styling cream: 

First of all: don’t use a lot. I’d read the direction on the container before using the product and was expecting a much creamier texture to style my hair. I’ve tried twisting my hair using unrefined shea butter before and my hair literally frizzed within an hour of untying the twists. I really had no expectations for this butter.

My hair was freshly washed – damp – and had absolutely no other products on it before applying the butter. And with only one product applied after twisting, my hair dried quite quickly and was 90% dry when I woke up the next morning.

Tip: Your twists should be completely dry before untying them otherwise your hair will frizz. Click here to watch my twist out video tutorial. 

Pro:

Once I untied my hair, I did have a bit of frizz but I was really impressed with how shiny and defined my twists looked, especially since achieving a defined style with a butter is extremely difficult with my hair type (3c/ 4a). The twist out lasted me three days with the help of my sleep cap.

Con:

I used about a R5 coin size amount on each half of my hair, which is a lot for a butter but a little for a styling product (on my hair).

At the touch of my hair, I could still feel an oily residue on my hands by day 3. This was of course because I’d used too much product, but also because one of the ingredients, likely the coconut oil, wasn’t being absorbed by my hair follicles. I’d recommend using an almond size amount on each half of your hair if you have type 3 or 4 hair, and much less for type 2 hair.

Experience as a body product:

buuya beauty bewhole

I definitely wouldn’t need to wear any perfume when using this butter on my skin. `Since it blends some of my favourite natural ingredients to use on my body, I liberally applied it from my hands to my feet. It’s rich but doesn’t feel heavy on my skin and a little goes a long way.

I’d recommend using this as a body butter in the evening, after a shower, since the use of oils as a daytime moisturiser can increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

What’s in it:

Unrefined shea butter, coconut oil, sunflower seed oil, olive fruit oil, Mongongo seed oil, Mafura seed butter, vanilla essential oil blend, and pure vitamin E oil.

Price Range: 

With the caliber of ingredients in this butter, I’d say that it’s a massive bargain for R125. A tub of each ingredient on its own would cost much more.

Buuya offers a variety of other hair and body products, which you can find on their website via this link.

buuya beauty, be whole, natural hair

Save on natural haircare products at Clicks

Hey hun!

Clicks is running a massive promotion on beauty products until 11 October 2017. If you buy three beauty products in the same range, you get the cheapest one free.

Yaaaas?

All the haircare brands that were at #ClicksCurls is on sale.

(Fetch me a basket).

You can even buy the products online and just collect them in-store when you have a minute.

(Girl, are you serious?)

Let’s just say that it’s been a beautiful morning. The doorbell rang with a heavy press drop and it brightened my day.

Here’s what I received:

clicks beauty fair be whole

A box filled with haircare products that I’ve never reviewed. And all of them smell really good. Plus: SALE. A four-letter word that lights up my eyes.

There, in the box, among the haircare products, I find a Clicks Beauty Mag, listing all the products that are on sale at the moment. Brands like Tresemme Botanique, Shea Moisture, Auntie Jackie’s, Dark and Lovely, Cantu, Twisted Sista, Design Essentials, My Natural Hair, Hask – and so many more are available for less that you’d normally pay –  at the beauty fair.

I love a good sale. And I was even more impressed that I could skip the queue to buy my favourites online and collect them when I have time – without missing the discount.

There’s more:

It’s not just haircare products that are on sale.

(Wow, she cares about other things too.)

Skincare, make-up, body products – even the Sorbet facial cleansing brush that I’ve been raving about since I bought it last year, is on sale right now.

If you’re a Clubcard member, you get 10% extra off colour cosmetics like those Revlon ColourStay lipsticks that’s perfectly matte but doesn’t feel dry at all.

Here’s the online catalog: 3 for 2

You can also stand a chance to win a Spring beauty box worth R 5000. Simply head to Instagram and search the hashtag: #Clicksbeautyfair for more details on how to enter.

Sponsored