It has been a while since we had a Natural Spotlight featuring an ordinary person who is neither a model, nor a celebrity. We are so excited to introduce our readers to Sibongile and her awesome hair.
|ZedHair Natural Spotlight – Sibongile|
Where in Africa are you from?
My name is Sibongile and I am from Mufulira, a town located on the Copperbelt Province in Zambia.
Where are you currently based?
I am living in the state of Kansas in the USA…for now 🙂
When did you decide to go natural?
When I started to research better ways to manage my then severely damaged relaxed hair, I wasn’t interested in going natural. Probably due to the fact that my previous two attempts to go natural had resulted in …well…a knotted mess.
I remember searching YouTube for videos for relaxed hair tips and noticed a lot of natural hair videos pop up. I was actually irritated by them and opted not to click on any of them.
Then I saw a thread on a forum I belong to which mentioned Natural YouTubers like RusticBeauty, crownofHisglory, kimmaytube and I decided to see what the hooplah was about. Even after watching their videos, I still wasn’t convinced to go natural.
On January 20th 2010, while applying my relaxer for a long awaited touch up, my two year old daughter asked…”Mommy…can you please put that in my hair too? “. That was the moment I changed my mind.
My “aha” moment was brought about by my little girl wanting me to relax her gorgeous kinks. That day I decided that would be the last time I would relax my hair.
What has been your experience having natural hair so far?
In the beginning, it was tough. My only source of information was the internet and the numerous forums I joined for guidance and support. I tried a wide variety of products, techniques and hairstyles to ease the transition.
Dealing with the relaxed hair and natural hair (new growth) had become too much of a hassle. Certain products would worked very well with my relaxed ends while the same product would have the opposite effect on my natural hair. I was getting frustrated… See…my original plan was to transition for at least two years ala FusionOfCultures (a popular vlogger based in London, UK). Erm…yeah after 10 months, I grabbed shears and snipped away leaving 4-5 inches of kinky hair.
I shocked a few people, my self included. I am actually glad I did it that early because it helped me figure out my natural hair’s wants and needs while my hair was shorter and less time consuming.
Two years down the line, I love being natural and my regret is not going natural sooner.
What is your hair regimen?
I wash and deep condition my hair every 7-10 days. I am trying to use as many natural products for my hair as possible. This my current regimen…
Products I use:
- Aloe Vera Juice (AVJ)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
- Coconut Oil
- Castor Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Kinky Curly Come Clean Shampoo (KCCC)
- Kinky Curly Knot Today Leave-in Conditioner (KCKT)
- Greek Yogurt
- Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
- Distilled Water
- Vitamin E Capsules
I start off by finger parting my hair into six sections and clipping them out of the away. I then spritz the first section with a 1:1 mix of AVJ:Water, apply EVOO and finger de-tangle gently from tip to root. I repeat this on the remaining sections.
I dilute some KCCC shampoo in some water and use an applicator bottle to apply to my scalp and to one section at a time. After each section’s scalp and hair length is cleaned, I rinse the shampoo out and move on to the next section.
I mix some greek yogurt, coconut oil, honey, vitamin E capsules and apple cider vinegar. This is a recipe used by Naptural85 (another popular vlogger) and is a great homemade deep conditioner. I apply the mix to all the six sections, starting an inch from the scalp, along the length and concentrate it on my ends. I put on a plastic cap (or grocery bag) and let it sit for 30 minutes. Afterwards, I rinse my hair thoroughly with tepid water.
ACV Rinse and moisturising/sealing…
This is my favorite part of my wash day because of how close I am to being done as well as how great this ACV rinse makes my hair feel. I dilute 8 teaspoons of ACV in 1 gallon (3800ml) of distilled water in a bucket or large bowl and dunk my head into the mix. Since pH balance can be thrown off easily, exact measurements are important. In between running my hair in a downward motion in the ACV/Water mix, I gently clean my scalp using the pads of my fingers. After 5 to 10 minutes, I clip the sections back up to prepare for my leave-in conditioner application. As the final step, I apply the the kimmaytube leave in (AVJ, KCKT, jojoba oil and castor oil) and two strand twist my hair into mid-sized twists.
How did you achieve the hairstyle in these pictures?
|Twist Out Afro Puff|
To achieve this twist out afro puff,
-I used two stretchy bands to pull back the hair GENTLY
-applied the leave-in mix to my edges and put on a SATIN or SILK scarf to flatten the hairline.
|Blown Out Afro|
I rarely use heat but in May 2012 I did a blow out,
-After washing and deep conditioning, I applied CHI silk (a silicone based leave-in conditioner that also doubles as a heat protectant) and I blow dried it using the more gentle tension method.
|Beanie with Jumbo Twists|
This a simple “bad hair day” style.
-I had ifikutis in the back under a satin bonnet with beanie worn over.
-I made a side part for the front and jumbo flat twisted the sections in opposite directions.
|Flat Twist Out Attempt|
My very first flat twist out.
-On the 5 day old blown out hair, I applied the leave-in and used Naptural85’s method to flat twist before bedtime.
-I unravelled them the next morning and this was the result.
-I did 15 -20 fikutis on stretched hair after moisturising it. The next morning, I unraveled them and applied a little EVOO for shine.
-Another bad hair day style in which I used a large plaid scarf. I section off the front while i left the middle and back in fikutis.
-Tied the turban to cover the back, side swept the front section and pinned it to the side.
|Back Twist Updo|
-I used a stretchy headband to gather all the twists to the crown.
-I pinned the band into place.
-I then rolled, tucked and pinned small sections of the twists towards the middle of the head
Any advice to those considering going natural?
First of all, be ready to embrace and love the hair that sprouts from your head. Don’t expect to have to have someone else’s hair type or else you maybe be disappointed.
Secondly, learn the basics of what your hair needs because once you cater to these, your hair will flourish.
Any future plans/dreams for your hair?
I am really excited to see how long my hair can grow. Going natural has become more of a lifestyle change for me because of all the discipline and patience required to have consistent results. Doing so has helped me be more mindful of other aspects of my life such as the food I eat, my exercise regimen etc.
It also inspired me to start a Facebook group called Zedian Naturals (firstname.lastname@example.org) which provides support to current naturals and others who are considering going natural.
I also have a YouTube channel ZedianChicChannel where I hope to upload more videos soon.
Sibongile, thank you so much for sharing your natural hair story with ZedHair and all our readers.
If you would like to be featured in the Natural Spotlight, please drop an email to email@example.com.