Today’s Natural Spotlight is on Boniwe. Her story is particularly inspirational because like many women in Zambia she suffered thinning of the hair around her hairline as a result of harmful practices. She has shown that a consistent regimen and healthy hair practices are enough to aid recovery. Read on:
Where in Africa are you from?
Where are you currently based?
The Tourist Capital of my homeland; Livingstone.
When did you decide to go natural?
I had a pretty decent perm and then had hair damage, no matter how hard I tried it just got worse so with my husbands help and support, I B’Ced 13th July 2013
What has been your experience having natural hair so far?
It’s been interesting. I have learnt A LOT. I love it.I have also encountered some challenges; sourcing of products is hard here until you get to know the products and ingredients . There have been some setbacks; I re-grew my hairline beginning of last year then decided to do box braids midyear and it resulted in the loss my hairline due to incorrect installation; so I was back to square 1. Overall, I have enjoyed being natural. For the first time in January, a lady stopped me in the supermarket to ask me what I do to my hair ( I was like, wow!) am that GIRL!(the one people ask about their hair) I had also been looking longingly at some naturals whom I would cross paths with. The one I recall vividly is going to a Hillary Mwewa concert. Her hair is to die for and all her singers had some twist-out or something similar. I was drooling all over those natural heads.
What is your hair regimen?
My regimen is still in its infancy, am not where I want to be with it. The things I make sure to do are wash weekly (fortnightly if in a protective style), moisturize using the LOC method, so I spray with water + vegetable glycerine, then apply an oil ( I use avocado oil or grapeseed oil infused with moringa) then seal with my Shea butter mix(raw Shea butter +avocado oil+ tea tree oil+Olive oil). Often times after spraying with water I apply my leave in Conditioner.
How did you achieve the hairstyle in these pictures?
Before and after: The hair was OK as a perm but I had been natural secretly for a while before the perm so when my hair started falling, it was an obvious choice to BC.
First afro puff: I was walking on cloud nine the day I achieved this. My hair had been washed and I strethed it using vikuti. I used an old pair of knee highs and accessorised with a flower. The edges were patted down with water and then a scarf.
Flat Twist Out : This was a successful attempt at flat twisting. Hair was washed then I applied leave in and sealed with shea butter. I then flat twisted and kept them in for 2 days. This was the result after unraveling.
Mini twists: Love to live in Mini twists because I guard my hairline so jealously. They enable me to be gentle with my hair. The are also quite versatile when I want a protective style for a couple of weeks.
Side Fro: Here I had discovered the bra strap. Twisted my hair for the night then unraveled and sleeked edges with water and IC gel. I like this style because the puff is the same all the time and the difference is just where you place it. in this instance its on the side.
Any future plans/dreams for your hair?
I dream of a streamlined and certain regimen. I want softer hair and so I know I need to DC more frequently. Recovery of my hairline is still a big part of my Healthy Hair Journey (HHJ). I have managed with the regrowth but I am still working on a fuller hairline.
Any advice to those considering going natural?
Read as much as you can so you can prepare yourself. Start with “The Science of Black Hair.” Do not take the plunge based on what someone else has done, it will only make your journey harder. Accept the limitations of our hair. I am still trying to get over this because sometimes I want a sleek puff when I know my 4Ciest hair cant achieve that! LOL.