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Be Whole

If you’re reading this, it’s already been somewhat of a journey.

I commend you for not reverting to the more manageable route and sticking to your process because this path you are on now is so worth it.

You may have found other ways to retain length and maintain the health of your hair up to now –  let me know what you’ve been up to in the comment section below so that I can add it to our list of tribe tips.


Here are some quick tips for choosing the right natural hair products.

Find out what your hair type is

No, I’m not suggesting that you conform to yet another label that may affect your role in society.

The following list of hair types is important to know because they help you discover which products, and more importantly, which ingredients your hair loves.

Textured hair trailblazer, Andre Walker, who happens to be Oprah’s hairstylist, came up with the hair type system to help us solve our hair care woes, hun.

Here they are:

  1. Straight
  2. Wavy (2a, 2b, 2c)
  3.  Curly (3a, 3b, 3c)
  4. Kinky (4a, 4b, 4c)
natural hair type natural hair products be whole

Chart by hair.knowfacts.org

If you didn’t spot the semblance of your hair type from the above image or want to be extra sure of what your hair type is, you can also take this quick quiz by NaturallyCurly.com: texture quiz

I also completed the quiz and the result was spot on.

Also, you can have more than one hair type. I definitely have type 4a hair but I have some type 3c curls lingering near my crown.

Stop following product hype

Now that you know your hair type, you know that type 1 and two textures are generally the fine textures that require light styling products such as mousses and gels, while type 3 hair responds better to more concentrated products such as curl creams, and type 4 hair thrives when applying rich products such as shea butter.

Looking at your current collection, which products will you throw out or giveaway, and how many can you actually keep?

Forget about buying what your favourite online personalities are using, unless you have a similar hair type.

Know that expensive doesn’t always mean quality

Sometimes we fall into the trap to thinking that an affordable product will not work as well as the premium brands. That is 100% incorrect. I have used premium brands that have left my hair looking dull and dry, and super affordable products that have worked so beautifully.

Again, it comes down to whether the composition of the product is suitable for you.

Don’t become a product junkie, but explore the haircare aisle fully. New products are launched every day and I promise that if there’s not something on the shelf that’s perfect, you will find a DIY recipe on YouTube. 

When I began my natural hair journey, I spent my first year just testing products. I bought every sulphate-free shampoo on the market, and experimented with several conditioners, hair butters, and gels. By the end of 2014, I’d accumulated a cupboard full of half-used products that didn’t work for my hair. Thankfully, you don’t have to suffer that same fate.

Use products according to your styling method

You get out what you put in. If you wash your hair more than twice a week, you’ll need to replenish your hair with a moisturizer as frequently.  If you’re using a gel that isn’t made from organic products, ensure that you pay special attention to hydrating your hair. Low-manipulation hairstyles like twist-outs and braid-outs are great ways to wear your hair untied but still retain moisture.

Read the labels on your products

Research the names of any ingredients that are too difficult to pronounce. You may change your mind about buying the product once you’ve found ot.

Choose gentle, clarifying shampoos, and pop into the food aisle for some DIY moisturizers that may surprise you (flaxseeds are my go-to for homemade gel).

Still have some questions about your hair type? Drop me a comment below or DM me on Instagram @robynruththomas. I’d love to hear from you.

Feature photo/ Clay Simelane

Robyn is the plant mom behind all these juicy posts, written from a sofa in her Cape Town apartment. Through her passion for beauty and wellness, she helps women feel confident in their skin and has created a resource for holistic beauty in South Africa.


  • 14 January 2017


    Would love to join the hair growth challenge. Transitioning and missing my length like crazy.

  • 6 February 2017

    A very informative post. I swear I have the worst hair in the world!

    I’m using Aunt Jackie’s range at the moment, but I can’t say it’s helped a lot. I’m very anaemic and my hair suffered as a result. I have bald spots in the front that is now just growing back. So it’s super brittle and and and….. I found the aunt Jackie’s gel so been using that, but I think it’s still drying my hair out a bit. I have awful hair that if I don’t gel it down, it will stand up and be all sorts of crazy…. And my hair was down my back, but recently cut it hoping it will help get it healthy again. I’ll try your gel out and some of your picks to see if it helps.

  • 11 March 2017

    Zinzile Molewa

    Hello, I’m very interested in your hair growth challenge! I’ve been natural for two years now, with 3c/4a. Let me know how I can join 🙂

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