1. What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Sinikiwe Mlagisi, I am Zimbabwean born and raised in Mafikeng, North West. Currently living in Johannesburg.
2. What would you consider your hair type and hair porosity to be?
I consider myself to be a 4C natural with high porosity hair.
3. How long have you been natural?
I have been natural for two years and two months to be exact.
4. Why did you decide to go natural?
I was sitting at the salon one day after relaxing my hair and I remember looking at my reflection in the mirror thinking after all the expense and time spent at the salon my hair still looked the same, I felt like whatever length I would achieve would eventually break off like it always did. I decided right then and there that I was done with the relaxers. I was frustrated because I believed I could have healthy thick hair which would actually stay on my head. It was then that I began my transition to natural and started researching natural hair care.
5. What was the hardest thing about returning natural?
I had absolutely no idea how to style my hair, after my big chop my hair was short and I thought I looked like I was in high school. But after playing with my hair I learnt how to style it and care for it. The first year was the hardest, believe me, but I could not see myself undoing my efforts and going back to a relaxer, that just wasn’t going to happen. I had to embrace my hair and trust in the process.
6. What does your hair regimen comprise of?
I usually plan my style for the week so I won’t be manipulating my hair every morning, be it an updo, puff or curly afro. I start by washing my hair weekly or every second week when I am pushed for time. I am not a big fan of shampoos so I will cleanse my hair and scalp with a type of clay or African black soap and follow it up with a deep moisturising conditioner. I moisturise and seal my hair every second or third day depending on how it feels. I give my hairline extra TLC by massaging it with an oil like castor oil almost daily. When I start to feel lazy with my regimen, rather than cause damage to my hair I twist my hair and protective style with wigs. But I still continue to keep up with my hair care and moisturising routine.
7. What do you love most about your hair?
I love the versatility of my hair, the ability it has to stretch, shrink up and the various styles we can come up with. It still amazes me how I can have length today and major shrinkage the next and have someone try to convince you that you did indeed cut your hair.
8. What do you dislike most about your hair?
I don’t actually dislike anything about my hair at this point. What I never used to like was my shrinkage, it used to frustrate me but now I love it, I like the way my hair feels juicy and cotton candy-like when it’s in its most natural state.
9. Which 3 products do you swear by?
These would definitely be Raw African Black Soap, Coconut oil, SheaCoco butter.
10. What are your top 3 natural hair tips?
1. As the saying goes, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s easy to get caught up with all the bandwagons popping up now and then, but if your routine and products are doing your hair good I see no need to change things. It’s good to try new things of course, I am still trying methods and products I’m curious about, but if it doesn’t surpass what I’m currently doing I drop it.
2. Listen to your hair, your hair will tell you what it needs. Do not focus too much on what other naturals are doing, there are so many do’s and don’ts to natural hair care, not all of them will apply to you.
3. Keep it simple, I am a former product junkie, I had so many products and I was busy doing everything to my hair. I guess this is something most new naturals will go through. But all we need to grow our hair healthy and strong is a clean healthy scalp and to maintain the moisture balance of our hair. When you are using ten different products on your hair and styling daily it can be difficult to see what is actually working for your hair and what isn’t. Sometimes it can lead to more harm than good.
11. Any encouragement for rookie naturals?
Your natural kinks and curls are worthy of your time. Take time to learn what your hair needs, start with the basics… you do not need a huge arsenal of products for your hair. It can be overwhelming in the beginning but you will know very soon that our natural hair loves moisture, natural oils and hair butter or hair cream, to lock in that moisture. Create a basic regimen and take pictures to see how your hair is coming along, those pictures will give you encouragement when you see how your hair is growing. Look to naturals with similar curl patterns for styling ideas when you don’t know what to do. I could go on and on with this one but one of the most important things is not to listen to any negative comments about your natural hair journey; the same people with negative comments will be asking you for hair advice once they see how your hair is flourishing.
12. Where can people find you online (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, etc.)?
My Instagram handle is @naturallysini
My YouTube NaturallySini
My blog page www.naturallysini.wordpress.com