1. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Ilse; I am originally from Paarl in the Western Cape, but have been residing in Pretoria for a few years now.
2. Describe your hair a little (eg. hair porosity, hair type, hair texture, hair density, personality, etc).
I have very fine hair, but a lot of hair if that makes sense. I never really bothered with the porosity and all that jazz. All I know is that my hair dries veeeery quickly after it has been wet and needs a lot of moisture, so I guess it’s high porosity. I have type 3c curls and they just love each other – meaning they cling to each other. My hair shrinks a lot and has alooooot of volume. I realized that I have some 3b and 4a strands as well. So yes, I have made peace with the fact that my hair has her own personality and I love it.
3. How long have you been natural?
I returned back to natural in August 2017, so it’s almost been two years. Maaan…what a journey it has been.
4. Why did you decide to go natural?
Career wise I was going through a good and mandatory change – and that is why I decided to not just figuratively let my hair down, but literally as well. It was and still is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
5. What was the hardest thing about returning natural?
Deciding what advice to follow – wow! There is a lot of information out there and initially it overwhelmed me. Also, learning to understand my hair and to actually have a good relationship with my curls.
6. What does your hair regimen comprise of?
Now that I have fully transitioned. I love a wash and go – it’s my go to. I will do an oil treatment at least every second week, shampoo (do an ACV rinse every second week), deep condition weekly and sometimes I will mix a little honey in for extra moisture and heat it up. I will then apply a leave-in conditioner, a curl cream/butter and seal the moisture in with oil. I try to do a protein treatment once a month and will co-wash my hair regularly because I exercise. On a daily basis, I will spritz my hair with water mixed with a leave-in. At night I will do the same and massage my scalp with Jamaican castor oil, I will then tie it in a puff and wrap it with a silk doek and sleep on a satin pillowcase. It’s alooot I know, but totally worth it🙂
7. What do you love most about your hair?
I love how versatile my hair is. I can style it anyway I want. I love the volume and the bouncyness of my hair.
8. What do you dislike most about your hair?
The shrinkage!!!!!! Sometimes I just wish my curls would be looser, but it’s all good, I am learning to embrace it.
9. Which 3 products do you swear by?
Aunt Jackies’ shampoo, Aunt Jackie’s leave in(quench) and argan oil😍
10. What are your top 3 hair tips?
Look after your scalp – healthy scalp, health hair. Get a good stylist who knows how to work with your hair. Spend quality time with your hair, your hair will thank you for it.
11. Any encouragement for rookie naturals?
Yes, oh my gosh, I have so many! Very important – find a hair influencer with your hair type and shadow her, otherwise all the info can overwhelm you. Play (safely) with your hair, in that way you will get to know your hair and will figure out what works for your hair and what your hair likes. Remember why you went back to natural, because days of self-doubt will come. If you remember your why, it will help you not to give up.
12. Where can people find you online (Instagram/YouTube/Facebook, etc.)?
I am veeery active on IG, my handle is @ilsebooysen.