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20 October 2014

Make It Monday: Add Slip To Your Shampoo





Want to add slip (detangling) to your cleansing? Add oil to your shampoo! Coconut oil is wonderful forhair, evening primrose oil is soothing and healing to the scalp, canola oil is light and has little scent. You can also use melted shea butter or cocoa butter—any vegetable fat found in most natural hair products will do.

Add 1/8 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon to a very shallow palmful of shampoo for fine hair, or 1-2 teaspoons for thick or very curly hair. Your shampoo will probably foam more than usual, but your hair will be left feeling silky.


Source


Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

13 October 2014

Make It Monday: Hops (Beer Flavouring) For Your Hair!



Hops, a vine whose flowers are used to flavor beer, has cleansing and bodifying properties for hair. Make a hair rinse with 2-3 teaspoons dried herbs (or 3 tablespoons fresh flowers) to 1 cup of boiling water, let it steep for 15 minutes, strain out the herbs and use it as a hair wash or rinse when it has cooled.

If you can only find powdered hops, tie the powder up in a square of old t-shirt or put the herbs in a coffee filter and pour the water over them, let the filter and herbs soak in the water, tied with a rubber band or string. Leave this rinse in your hair.


Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

06 October 2014

Make It Monday: Use Papaya on Your Hair




Papaya is rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes that help nourish hair, remove unwanted residues, and add shine and softness. Here’s how to get healthy hair with a raw papaya hair treatment.

  1. Puree half a papaya with some olive oil (amount of oil depends on how dry your hair is) and a teaspoon of honey.
  2. Apply to damp hair and leave on as long as you like.
  3. Rinse, then shampoo out excess oil if necessary.


Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

29 September 2014

Make It Monday: Oil Protection for Heat Damaged Hair (or Prevention)

Homemade Options:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Sweet Almond Oil
These 3 oils are known to be sealants and hair protectors.  They don’t just sit on top of the hair, but are soaked into it.  They also contain good nutrients and vitamins like E, A, and B12.
  • Castor Oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Rosemary
  • Aloe Vera
The above plants and oils are also amazing for hair.  Castor oil has been used for centuries as a carrier for deep conditioning and styling (rumored as one of the choice oils of the Egyptians).  Rosemary was used by many of our ancestors to help thinning hair, and in fact it does rejuvenate hair follicles.  While, Aloe Vera, like Avocado oil and coconut, work to create shine and protects without any greasy build up.
You can easily use one or all of the above oils to add shine, stop frizz, and help keep your hair healthy.  It’s especially a good habit to be in if you ever use a blow dryer or irons.  Don’t be afraid of it being greasy. There are a lot of different hair types.  Use a tiny bit on the ends at first until you figure out how much you need.

Method:

  • Wet Hair: Put a little on your finger tips and rub into the ends of your hair before drying.  Start with very little until you know what your hair needs.
  • Dry Hair: Above method.
  • Deep Conditioning: Massage into scalp and leave for as long as possible.  Wash out with Homemade Shampoo.  If you ever have oily build-up, put some baking soda in your hand while in the shower and massage through hair.  It will feel weird, but that’s ok.  It rinses out great and leaves your hair with no build-up.

#1 Simple Hair Oil

  • Choose your favorite: coconut, avocado, or sweet almond oil.
  • Apply as stated above.

#2 Deep Conditioning Hair Oil

Combine the following and apply as stated above.
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) castor oil
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp aloe vera juice
  • 1 Tbsp sweet almond or olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil
  • 10 drops rosemary essential oil

Source


Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

22 September 2014

Make It Monday: Peppermint Pre-poo















Peppermint Pre-poo



Ingredients

  • 1 - 2 - Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 5 - 10 - Drops of Peppermint Oil

Directions

Using a spoonful of coconut oil or olive oil, mix in 5 or so drops of peppermint oil. Get your hands wet with the mixture and massage into your scalp. Make sure to rub the mixture through to the end of your strands. 

I absolutely love this pre-poo! it opens up my hair follicles and cools my scalp down. Not to mention that my hair and scalp feel super moisturized. I recommend using this right before a shampoo for extra protection!


Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

19 September 2014

Landed On The Beauty Desk: Gentle Treatment Thermal Leave-in Protection Spray


The post man comes bearing gifts, and this week was no different. I received a bottle of Gentle Treatment Thermal Leave-In Protection Spray from Style Studio. Gentle Treatment is a brand that I am very familiar with from my time overseas, but for those of you who are not so familiar. Read up below and let me know what you think.

______________________________________________

What is it?
Gentle Treatment's Thermal leave-In conditioner claims to help your hair recover from extreme exposure to heat from curling irons and other thermal tools.

What does it do?
Thermal Leave-In claims to rely on the restoration properties of Aloe Vera to condition, repair and protect damaged hair and strengthen weak, fragile strands.
How to use it?
On towel dried hair spray entire area, massage gently then comb through and style as desired.
Where did Gentle Treatment come from?
Since 1954 when George Ellis Johnson, Sr. founded the company in Chicago, Johnson Products Company, Inc., has been a dominant brand in the African American community. In 1971, the company became the first minority firm to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange

The Future of Gentle Treatment
Today, Johnson Products offers more than 30 hair care products, including the Ultra Sheen® and Gentle Treatment® brands. On March 31, 2009, the company was successfully acquired from Proctor & Gamble with the combined investments of RC Fontis, St. Cloud Capital and Plus Factor, LLC, an African American management team. The New Johnson Products management team is based in Dallas, Texas and headed by Chief Executive Officer, Eric Brown and Executive Vice President of Sales & Marketing, Renee Cottrell Brown.
Where you can buy Gentle Treatment
Find Gentle Treatment at select Clicks Pharmacies and at a Style Studio near you!

______________________________________________

I'm not sure when I'll be straightening my hair, but when I decide to, I'll make sure that this thermal protector is near by so that I can give you a thorough review.

Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

18 September 2014

Check out my feature as "Agony Aunt" in the Spring/Summer Edition of Drum Hair Magazine

Be sure to run out and buy your copy of Drum Hair Spring/Summer Edition, and read my Agony Aunt piece. I'm answering a few hair related questions for the loyal Drum Hair readers. So flip to page 86 and let me know what you think in the comment section below.



Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair Buy Drum Hair!!!


17 September 2014

Social Media Week {Johannesburg} - How The Internet is Democratising Black Hair Care in South Africa



Join myself and a few other amazing women that are movers and shakers in the media and hair industry for riveting hair conversation.

Discussion topic: How the internet is democratizing black hair care in South Africa

Venue: Good Hair Today Salon, 35 Commissioner Street (Corner Fox)

Date: Friday 26th September

Starting time: 15h00

Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair Join Us On The 26th of September!!!

15 September 2014

Curl Definition Obsessed? You May Want To Try The "Cherry Lola Treatment"


Sounds yummy, right? WRONG! It doesn't contain cherries and it isn't filled with juices and berries. It is however very easy to make, and promises results that all curly haired woman long for. Frizz free and defined kinks, curls and coils. Yaaaassssssss, Honey!

This treatment was created by Cherry Lola of CherryLola.com

The Ingredients and What They Do

Greek Yogurt - Moisturizes, detangles, and adds shine to your hair. Greek yogurt also works as a light protein treatment, strengthening the hair strands.

Braggs Amino Acids - Helps to strengthen the hair as it is apart of the building blocks of your hair.

Baking Soda - Helps to make the hair porous so that it better receives the treatment. It essentially helps the cuticle to lift.

This is the part where you get your life! Yes, your whole entire life, because if you don't know what ingredients do what with your hair, you will be a victim of the very same propoganda that had you using Dark and Lovely religiously for the better part of your childhood and young adult hood.

"Get your lessons, that's what my moms kept stressing." - Dead Prez

Recipe


  • 16 oz of plain yogurt
  • 2 tbsp of Bragg’s Amino Acids
  • 2 tbsp of Baking Soda


Directions


*Apparently this mixture foams because of the baking soda, which makes complete sense if you paid any attention in chemistry. It also stinks and that may be due to the amino acids and baking soda mix.*
  1. Mix all the ingredients together. 
  2. Slather mixture on hair from roots to tips
  3. Leave on for 20 to 40 minutes at least.
  4. Rinse out mixture and continue as usual.
*You may want to co-wash to get rid of the scent. Quite frankly, if it smells worse than and ACV rinse, I would recommend co-washing as well.

If you have tried the Cherry Lola Treatment, leave a comment below and tell us about your experience. I'll be trying this out as soon as I can figure out where to get the Bragg's Amino Acids.

Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

08 September 2014

Landed On The Beauty Desk: Aussie Miracle Moist & 3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor

It's good times at Good Hair Diaries! I have been meaning to try out a few of the Aussie hair products since I wrote THIS POST at the beginning of the year. Well, I finally got 3 products from the Aussie collection that I'm too excited to use.

MIRACLE MOIST
SHAMPOO

Liquid relief for thirsty hair

Top up dry hairs' moisture levels and help bring back your shine with Aussie Miracle Moist Shampoo. This little beauty is to hair what a glass of iced lemonade is to you on a hot summer's day – sheer relief!

Macadamias, much more than a tasty snack!

They taste delicious AND our formula with extract of macadamia nut oil helps make your hair look gorgeous. 








 
Miracle Moist Shampoo























MIRACLE MOIST
CONDITIONER


For everyday moisture guaranteed

If your hair is dry and damaged, this is like an oasis in the desert. Parched hair drinks up the moisture, leaving it smooth and soft. Miracle Moist may not change your life, but it's a good start! 












Miracle Moist Conditioner























3 MINUTE MIRACLE  RECONSTRUCTOR 

DEEP CONDITIONER


Is your hair pleading for some TLC?

Help is at hand – and in a hurry! In a matter of minutes this little wonder will help reconstruct damaged hair, smoothing and soothing and leaving it manageable, shiny and as ready to
party as you are!

Meet an Aussie marvel

Australian Balm Mint. Never heard of it? No worries, just say ‘pleased to meet you’ and your hair will be eternally grateful. It’s part of our magical, miraculous formula that helps mend split ends and repair roughened cuticles. 
3 Minute Miracle Reconstructor























Stay tuned for a full review of all the products listed above. I have a really good feeling about this stuff!

If you've used these products before, leave me a comment below about your experience.


Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

01 September 2014

Landed On The Beauty Desk: LUSH South Africa Mama Caca Brun Henna


There is currently a physical LUSH South Africa store at the Waterfront in Cape Town. Most of you know that I recently moved to Johannesburg, and systematically been deprived of my wonderful LUSH products. Well, when a friend told me that her husband was at the LUSH shop, and if I wanted I could place my order for some stuff, I immediately asked for some henna. You can read about my previous experience using henna (not from LUSH SA) over HERE.

Most cosmetic grade hennas that you buy online require you to add oils and some sort of citric acid in order to activate the colour in the dye. The rest of the hennas that you find in the Indian shops here in South Africa aren't even legit for your hair. You could end up experiencing some SERIOUS BREAKAGE if you use the other stuff. DON'T DO IT! In my humble opinion, LUSH henna is the easiest to use. You literally just have to add boiling water and mix into a thick paste. Don't just take my word for it, read some really helpful information I found on the LUSH website.


We think our current henna is the best we’ve ever produced. We now mix the powders with cocoa butter and press them into a brick. What we love about our current hennas is the fact that they are a completely new way of using an age-old ingredient. By making the henna into solid blocks, we don’t need preservatives in there. But it also makes them easier and more effective to use.

Here’s how Henna works. The outer covering of a hair consists of cuticles - these look a bit like the scales on a fish when viewed under a microscope – which normally lie flat and protect the central shaft of the hair containing the cells that give hair its colour. Chemical dyes work by forcing the cuticles open and pouring colour underneath them, permanently dyeing the hair. However, once the cuticles have been lifted in this way they will never quite go back the same or lie as flat, making your hair feel rough and out of condition.

Instead of forcing the cuticles open with chemicals, henna coats them in a protective layer of glossy natural colour. Think of it as a varnish covering each hair and thickening it, giving it shine and making it more manageable. It’ll add weight to flyaway hair, calm and soften frizzy hair and smooth hair that tends to be affected by static or tangles. Henna really is the ultimate conditioning treatment!

However, successful colour results depend on a few key rules.

PH levels: The more acidic the mixture, the more red the results will be.
Water: Henna needs water to allow the colour to come out onto your hair. Mix to a wet paste that will stick onto the hair without flaking off or falling away.
Heat: Break the block into a bowl, cover chunks with boiling water and leave for a while to soften. Then mix to a paste, the consistency of double cream, adding more hot water if needed. Keep the bowl over another bowl of hot water (or bain marie) whilst you apply the henna. The hotter it goes on the hair the better it can work.
Exposure to air: Wrap your hair up tightly for redder results. Loosen it up and expose to air for a darker effect.
Water and steam: The more water involved, or steaming the head will produce darker results.
Plenty of henna: The more henna that makes contact with each hair, the better the transfer of colour. So get lots of mix on there and make sure it covers all of your hair.
Repeated applications: Henna colour can build up. Deeper, darker and richer results can be achieved with more applications. Some of our blocks include indigo for darker tones. Indigo can take up to 24 hours to fully develop – so expect the results to darken throughout the next day.
Application: Apply to the nape and base of the neck first and work up towards the front of the head. Take a pinch of hair at a time, work as much henna into it as you can as you twist it into strands. Do the roots of the hair first and work plenty of henna into the ends last.
Finally: Always do a strand test. Everyone’s hair is different so you can’t be sure how yours will react to henna.
 

Which Caca is for me?Caca Rouge is the full-on red henna, turning blondes and greys into fiery redheads. Those with naturally dark brown hair will see a more subtle result; a warm natural red tone with a glossy sheen which will catch in the sun.Caca Marron will give blondes shiny hair the colour of autumn conkers. Brunettes will get a pleasing reddish tinge, though less pronounced than those using Caca Rouge.Caca Brun will make blonde hair several shades darker, giving a rich coffee-coloured glaze. For brunettes, this is the Caca to use if you want the conditioning benefits of henna without drastically changing your natural colour.Caca Noir is mixed with indigo to give a black gloss with a very slight reddish tinge. All hair will go several shades darker after using Caca Noir.
'Always do a strand test. Everyone’s hair is different so you can’t be sure how yours will react to henna.'

I haven't decided on when I will actually use my henna, but I know it needs to be a day when I have enough time to take my time. I also need to pick up some gloves to use so that I don't stain my hands and nails. I chose the Mama Caca Brun henna because I am more interested in the conditioning benefits instead of the colour factor.

Quantitative Ingredients
We buy our ingredients from suppliers who do not test on animals
Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao)Indigo Herb (Fera tinctoria)Red Henna (Lawsonia inermis)Ground Coffee (Coffea arabica)Nettle Powder (Urtica dioica),Irish Moss Powder (Chondrus crispus)Clove Bud Oil (Eugenia caryopyllus)Citral (Citral)Eugenol (Eugenol)Geraniol (Geraniol)Citronellol (Citronellol)*Limonene (*Limonene)*Linalool (*Linalool)Perfume (Perfume)
     Natural ingredients      Safe synthetics
Occurs naturally in essential oils

The subtle coffee-coloured one. Caca Brun is made with indigo and red hennas, plus ground coffee for a deep brown shade. It makes your hair smell like a fresh espresso for a few days. Clove bud oil adds to its spicy scent and we use powdered nettle and seaweed for extra shine and softness. Caca Brun gives your hair a magnificent shine. We recommend it for people with a mousy, undecided hair colour. It’s time to make your mind up and come out really shiny brown!

I coloured my hair last year and I still have some colour at my tips, so I'm actually hoping that the henna helps to darken my light ends a bit. Will I document my henna from beginning to end? That is my intention!

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you think about henna.


Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

26 August 2014

Healthy Hair Gurus Present: An Afternoon With TGIN (Thank God It's Natural!)

I'm super excited to finally tell you guys that the 
Healthy Hair Gurus 
are presenting their very first 
Natural Hair Event!



We have partnered up with 
Chris-Tia Donaldson
US blogger, author and founder of Thank God It's Natural! 

Join me and my fellow #HairGurus at  
The Maslow Hotel 
Seminar Terrace
Saturday September 6, 2014
2:30pm to 5:30pm

We will introduce the TGIN Moist Collection, 
chat about hair health in the coming summer season and you could stand a chance to win prizes!

Tickets are just R50 but seats are limited! 
Be sure to send an email to HealthyHairIndaba@gmail.com to book your tickets NOW!


Have a Good Hair Day and ... ATTEND THE EVENT! lol

25 August 2014

What My Hair Is Doing Today - Moisture Struggles!!!!

It's been a few months since I've moved to Johannesburg, and it's been quite the change in  many ways. Although I am happy to have made the very important and difficult change, I'm not sure that my hair is echoing the same sentiments. Let me explain...

January 2014 to June 2014 Hair Progress
If you look at the above picture grid, you can clearly see that my hair is growing at a steady pace. I purposely haven't done any official length checks this year because I want to focus on moisture retention, minimal breakage and luster. What the pictures aren't showing is how dry my hair gets in Johannesburg by the end of the day. I NEVER had this problem in Cape Town! As a matter of fact, I could go a whole day and a half without having to re-moisturize my hair. Now I find myself walking around with my spray bottle in my purse just in case I need to run to the ladies room and re-moisturize. As  result I am going to revamp my entire regimen by going back to some old tried and true methods, and also trying a few new methods I've come across in my daily hair research. I'll write a separate post regarding my official new hair regimen.

August 2014 (Knot Out)


The photo to the left shows my most recent knot-out on dry hair. The definition is great but my hair is lacking luster and supreme moisture. As a result, I've decided that I'm going to clarify my hair using a good old Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. If you're not familiar with what this is and how to use it, click this link right HERE.


Another old method but tried and true is the baggy method. I would apply a product of my choice on my dry hair, place a plastic conditioning cap over my head and cover with a satin bonnet before bed. By the time I woke up in the morning, I had superbly moisturized hair. I would either go ahead and style or rinse my hair before styling. If you want the full details on how I do the baggy method, just click this link HERE.



Another addition to my regimen will be bi-weekly overnight deep conditioning with lots of rich oils. I just don't have the time I used to to devote an entire day to deep conditioning and all that jazz. It doesn't mean that I can just forgo it all together. Overnight is the best and the right time for me.



I'm also thinking of doing a  2 month protective style of either braids or a weave. I've always been able to retain maximum moisture in these styles due to my hair being protected from the elements. I also tend to use a rather rich braid spray during this time that my wash n' go's can't really handle. As much as I'm loving my hair, I think it's time to put it away for a while.



I also plan to change up a few of the products I've been using and go back to some basics as well. As I said earlier, all the details of my new regimen will be listed in an entirely separate post because I know you guys will have lots of questions.



All in all I think it's fair to say that our hair is ever changing depending on the situations we put it in. I didn't bet on my hair struggling as much as it is in Johannesburg, but I've got a plan of action to knock the dryness out of the park. Follow me as I conquer my hairs moisture retention issues.

As always, I love hearing from you. Leave me a comment below in the comment section and tell me how you combat the dryness.

Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair !!!

21 August 2014

All About Curls: How to Maintain a Curly Hair Style for More than Just One Day


How to maintain a curly hair style for more than just one day

By: Eleanor Williams of Eleanor J'adore

For some curly girls achieving 2nd day hair can seem like a rather elusive, pie-in-the-sky idea. With dryness and loss of curl definition coming into play, the mere thought of trying to maintain that lovely naturally curly hairstyle  for days on end can seem rather futile.
However the reason to consider maintaining a style for more than just one day means that you can save resources on the days after you’ve created  the style in the following ways:

  1. Spending less time styling and manipulating your hair, which means you can get out the door sooner, and
  2. Using less product and ultimately money by not having to style your hair from scratch everyday.


There are various ways that you can preserve your hairstyle for days, but here I’ve broken down the method I use most of the time on my long hair into a 4 step process. 

Start with well moisturised hair

If it’s not moisturised the hair will dry out really quickly by the end of the second day, making the possibility of 3rd and even 4th day hair just a pipe dream. For me this starts with my wash routine. I make sure that I incorporate a deep conditioning session after I’ver cleansed my hair, and after the deep conditioner has been rinsed out I apply a leave-in conditioner and seal in the moisture with coconut oil. 

Ensure your hair is dry before you remove your rollers or unravel your twists/braids

If you’ve decided to set your hair in rollers or in a twist/braid-out, make sure your has dried properly before you unravel it. If not, your hair will turn to frizz and those defined curls you were trying to create will be in vain. Obviously ignore this step if you’ve opted for a wash and go.

Prep your hair properly at night

To make sure your curls will last for days, it’s important that you don’t crush your curls while sleeping on them. So the way do it is by piling all my hair on top of my head and making a ponytail as high as I can. This is also known as the ‘pineapple’. Then I take my silk scarf and tie it around my head to protect my hairline all around. I also sleep on a silk-lined pillowcase so that the curls sticking out of the ponytail always lie on silk and not cotton, which will rob my strands of moisture. 


How to take your hair down the next morning

Simply remove the scarf and take your hair out of the hair tie. At this moment the hair will probably be sticking up towards the ceiling - don’t worry, that’s normal. All you have to do now is gently pull your hair down, shake your head from side to side, fluff and pull your hair to where you want it to lay. 

Usually if I’m on 2nd day hair I only smooth over a bit of coconut oil for shine and to calm some of the frizzies, but once it gets to the 3rd or 4th day, I might scrunch in a bit of leave-in conditioner on my ends before I apply coconut oil, to boost the moisture level. Of course you can spritz with water, the simplest and cheapest way to moisturise, but then you risk your hair shrinking up. It’s really up to you. 

As the days go on your hair will stretch out due to the ‘pineappling’ method, giving you more length. It will also become bigger and a little frizzier as that’s just something our natural hair does, however I do think most naturals love big hair, and personally I don’t mind a bit of frizz as it looks more natural. One of the main things to keep in mind though is to keep your hair moisturised. Dry curls won’t ever result in 2nd day hair, never mind a 3rd or 4th day. 



Happy hair styling and remember to love your curls!

_____________________________________________________________

Good Hair Diaries says...

Would you like to keep up with Eleanor Williams? Check her out on social media and on her very own blog, eleanorjadore.wordpress.com.

Instagram: @eleanorjadore
Facebook:@eleanorjadore
Twitter: @eleanorjadore
Pinterest:@eleanorjadore

Have a Good Hair Day and remember to Love Your Hair!!!

20 August 2014

Interview: Meet Ntombenhle Khathwane, Founder and Creator of AfroBotanics



Happy Womens Month!

As you guys may already know, I had a chance to review AfroBotanics hair range, which is a proudly South African product line created by Ntombenhle Khathwane. She's a woman with a very clear vision to change the way to look at and care for afro textured hair. 

If you haven't read my review on the range please click HERE.
I'm also giving away a 5 piece hamper from the range, so if you're interested in trying the products, kindly click HERE to enter.


_____________________________________________________________

Kavuli Nyali-Binase - Who is Ntombenhle?

Ntombenhle Khathwane - I guess I define myself first according to the roles I play that matter most to me. I am first a mother to my 15-month old son and 19 year old daughter, I am a wife, an entrepreneur that is so very proudly African and a proud feminist. I love laughing and have an easy-going manner about me. I am a typical compassionate woman that cries easily but stands strong to defend my convictions. I have learnt to be patient and to be persistent, and importantly to always be a cheerleader to others in their efforts, especially women.

KNB - How did you come up with the idea for AfroBotanics?

NK - AfroBotanics was more a response to my frustrations that resulted from not understanding my hair, and then realizing that there aren't enough products in the South African market that are formulated to assist me grow strong, good hair. I am not the DIY type so buying ready formulated products is easier, and so I decided to make an offering for women like me who want good hair and good products but don't have the inclination to mix products weekly.

KNB - How did you go about developing your products?

NK - I was horrified when I researched and realized that my hair would react best to a certain mix of products that wasn't available on the market. I was horrified at the self-inflicted damage my hair had undergone due to my ignorance. After reading mostly American blogs, I spent time in the USA learning about best ingredients and formulations for black hair. When I returned (to South Africa) I found a contract manufacturer and resigned from my government job and invested my pension into building the AfroBotanics business.

KNB - Who has been your greatest role model?

NK - Unfortunately most of my role models are based outside the continent, Lisa Price of Carol's Daughter is my favorite role model.

KNB - What has been your greatest obstacle since starting AfroBotanics?

NK - Shoo! Starting a consumer product business is hard, it requires a lot of money and determination. I studied politics and knew nothing about business, so I had to teach myself the various skills such as writing a business plan, marketing plan, sales plan etc. Then I got into entrepreneurship programs to strengthen my skills. Other challenges relate to lack of business network. I was in government, moving into business meant I had no network or mentors. This makes everything harder, longer and more expensive.

KNB - How would you define "Good Hair"?

NK - The universal musts to have good hair, are to have a healthy scalp that is clean and moisturized; and hair that is moisturized properly. No matter the style or state hair is in - relaxed, natural, short, dreadlocked, colour-treated - if hair is properly moisturized it looks good and will damage less easily. My hair is an accessory so I have always been prone to doing all sorts of things to it. But now I know how to inflict the least amount of damage to my hair knowing that because it is not a "living" organism, once damaged it is hard to "repair."

KNB - Where can consumers find AfroBotanics?

NK - AfroBotanics has just been listed in Sweet Penny Stores and Head To Toe Stores, and we are working on getting listed in other stores soon. And off course via the website www.afro-botanics.com. I have also realized that most salon stylists need an extra income revenue stream, especially those that are in rent-a-chair situations. These stylists are mini-entrepreneurs and offering them AfroBotanics as a product to sell to augment their styling income is a good model. We have started implementing this and a few salon stylists are selling AfroBotanics products.

KNB - Do you have a favorite product in the range? If so, what are they and why?

NK - My favourite product is the Super Hair Growth Creme. I like that it is a cocktail of great natural oils, it moisturises my scalp, protects my hair and gives my hair shine but isn't heavy and thick. I have a dry scalp and applying the creme daily keeps it from getting itchy or flaky. I also love the added Procapil which promotes hair growth.

KNB - I understand that you have a daughter. What do you think starting AfroBotanics has taught her?

NK - Nothing is more important to me than raising my daughter to be confident, knowing she can do and be whatever she wants. She is my special baby, I had her at 16 and I have always had some guilt about that. I felt that for most of her life I have been growing so I wasn't the best parent. However, I have learnt that children first seek role models at home, from their parents especially, and I don't want her to look outside her home for inspiration or affirmation. As a black woman, with all the odds stacked against her, she need not be defined or limited by them.

KNB - What message do you hope to convey through AfroBotanics?

NK - AfroBotanics is more than a business to me. I have always been political in my outlook, and how can I not be as a black woman growing up in South Africa? I strongly believe that Africans need to start producing that which they consume, it is the only way to grow our economies so they provide decent jobs and better living standards for all. And so with AfroBotanics I want to build a premium African brand that starts positioning African products and services as quality and result-driven products so as to encourage more entrepreneurs to do the same and to keep money circulating within the continent. Importantly I want AfroBotanics to be a brand that celebrates African women. I love and am so proud of what my African sisters are doing, we are so beautiful and so strong and I want this business to contribute to that legacy.

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Good Hair Diaries says...

If I can take one thing away from interview Ntombenhle Khathwane, it would be to be the change you want to see. It's no secret that most large hair care brands don't care about afro textured hair. You can see this clearly in the low quality and sometimes carcinogenic ingredients they feed our hair. We could all sit around and complain about it, or we could stop buying these "anti-black" hair care brands and put our money where our mouth is. Mrs. Khathwane is doing it and that's an initiative that I'm willing to support.


To find out more about AfroBotanics, please visit the website http://www.afrobotanics.com 





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