Posts in Natural Hair

Recreate these photoshoot hairstyles for Afro hair + GIVEAWAY

Yes, honey! That’s me.

I had the amazing honour of working with Ladine Professional for their African hair trends collection, and I can’t tell you how proud I am to have been a part of this shoot.

The theme was to emphasize the beauty, diversity and artistry contained in our beloved Africa, and how as Africans, we embody those qualities too.

Needless to say, it was a huge compliment to be one of only four South African women chosen for the shoot. I couldn’t be happier with how Ladine chose to embrace Africaness and how lush my hair turned out.

The best part is that Ladine is giving three of you a chance to share my experience. You could win a full set of haircare products, used to create the afro hairstyles that I rocked for the African Trends photoshoot! I know – I’ve been these products all season and they’re pretty great.

Related: 3 multi-action haircare products that every natural should know about

Head straight to my Instagram post to enter the Giveaway

How to recreate my photoshoot hairstyles:

Click on the images below to read the steps and find more hairstyle ideas, created for the African trends collection.

Do you even flexirod? Try this #CurlyHairDon’tCare look to get soft bouncy curls.

afro photoshoot hairstyles
Ladine.co.za

No haircut needed! There are ways to sport a TWA without even having one. I absolutely loved this chic #curlswept frohawk and will definitely be recreating it sometime soon.

ladine.co.za

Would you like to see a video tutorial of these looks? Let me know in the comment section below:)

3 multi-action haircare products that every natural should know about

Summer is here and that’s when the sun hits your afro just right for the ‘gram.

You’re on a mission to find an easy routine that you can free up time to enjoy our African summer. A routine that helps your camera pick up on how lush and hydrated your strands are.

But maybe you’re not one for photos.

Maybe for the past couple of years, you’ve chosen to protective style during the holidays because your usual 5-product wash-day ritual becomes impossible to uphold when you’re away from home.

That last example pretty much summed me up before Ladine had sent me their natural therapy range.

In their massive package, they’d also sent styling products, shampoos, oils, conditioners, treatments, serums, and even products that help to maintain braids and weaves. But these three products below are on my hot list. You may fall in love with them because of their multi-functional convenience and their core ingredients’ list.

Have a read-through the features and experience and let me know in the comment section below, if you’ve tried these before or any of the other products in the Ladine range.

Natural Therapy 4-IN-1 Shampoo – R128.00 (250ml)

Ladine’s 4-in-1 shampoo
Features:

A slim, hard white bottle with a secure, flip lid. The shampoo has a floral scent and includes ingredients likes argan leaf extract and jojoba seed oil.

Experience:

I noticed that my hair was more manageable, less dull, and much softer than it usually is after using my regular shampoo.

I always shampoo twice and use small amounts to avoid drying out my hair. In this case, I used a R5 coin (sized) amount to lather my hair. The natural therapy shampoo lathers quite easily so you may not have to use as much as I did.

Since my hair is more dry than oily, my routine includes co-washing, which means that I shampoo my hair every second week, and use a clarifying conditioner to cleanse my hair, every alternative week.

The shampoo is specifically used to cleanse, hydrate, detangle, and condition natural and chemically treated hair, which is quite handy for afro-haired peeps on the go.

Buy online

Natural Therapy Soft-Soft Spray R155.00 (125ml)

Ladine’s soft-soft spray
Features:

The Natural Therapy soft-soft spray comes in a slim white bottle with pump action. It has a sweet, fruity fragrance and is applied as a light, mist-like spray.

Experience:

This one deserves a theme song.

Dua Lipa’s One Kiss!

“Something in you…ooh…ooh…brings out heaven in me! This feeling won’t let me sleep…”

Ayyy!

Am I overdoing it?

Sorry.

The soft-soft spray is by far my fav-our-ite in the range.

Why? It smells amazing. Its key ingredient is marula oil, which helps soften, condition, detangle, and hydrate your hair.

Wait.

How often do you brush your hair? Let’s say that your go-to style is a wash and go or a twist-out and your hair is about shoulder to bra-strap length. You’d brush your hair about three to four times a week?

I rarely use a brush. In fact, I only brush my hair on the wash-days where I don’t have hours to spend.

Finger detangling is my thing. I swear by it. I credit finger detangling to the strength of my strands and my ability to retain length. But it can take a while.

When I started using the soft-soft spray to detangle an old twist-out, it took me 15 minutes. I nearly cried. I, of course shared the news with everyone on Instagram but I kid you not, this hand-sized spray is a little dynamite.

Buy online

Natural Therapy Moisturing Anti Shrinkage Cream – R188.00 (200g)

Ladine’s moisturising anti-shrinkage cream
Features:

A hard, white 200g tub with a flat screw lid. The moisturising anti-shrinkage cream contains marula oil, jojoba seed oil and glycerin as its core ingredients.

Experience:

A little goes a long way with this one. Its fragrance is not amazing but having applied this product to achieve a twist-out, I was very impressed with the sheen and hold of my twists.

For great styling results, apply to damp hair and make sure that your hair is completely dry to achieve your desired look. This can be used in conjunction with the Ladine brazil nut oil, which will work well to lock in the moisture and leave your hair looking ultra-hydrated.

Buy online.

Disclaimer: All products were provided by Ladine Professional. Views are my own.

Any questions about these products or other reviews? Let me know in the comment section below or email me directly to robyn@bewhole.co.za

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

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