1. What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Tapiwa Gachala and I am from Botswana.
2. What would you consider your hair type and hair porosity to be?
My hair is definitely Type 4. All along I thought I was a 4C but I’ve noticed a change in my curl pattern over the years so I think at present it’s predominantly 4B (I could be wrong lol), then I have a looser curl (4A) at the top front bit of my head and I have low porosity hair.
3. How long have you been natural?
My natural hair just turned 3 years end of October 🙂
4. Why did you decide to go natural?
I was tired of chemicals to be honest, my scalp is super sensitive so the minute it came into contact with all relaxers I tried I would instantly feel the burn! I was just fed up and so I went for the big chop and I haven’t looked back ever since. (Best decision ever!)
5. What was the hardest thing about returning natural?
I think it was un-doing all the bad habits I had developed with my processed hair. I went from blow drying and straightening my hair every other day to applying any form of heat maybe 5 times a year max. But I think the hardest thing was finding a regimen and the products to match. 3 years down the line and I am still experimenting! Natural hair is really a science on its own, and you have to educate yourself to know at least the basics if you want to enjoy your hair and also grow and maintain healthy hair.
6. What does your hair regimen comprise of?
I’d categorize myself as a “lazy” naturalista :’) I say this because I have adopted a minimalist approach to taking care of my hair. I only do what I need to do and now and then I’ll spice up my life with a new method I picked up online and really this has worked for me thus far.
I reserve Sundays for my wash day. Basically depending on how my hair feels I’ll start off with shampoo or co-wash, then I’ll apply conditioner and detangle my hair with a wide tooth comb. Next up I deep condition (I try different mixtures/concoctions all the time) and relax for however long I’m required to then wash it off. Then I wrap it up with the LOC method. During the week I’ll just co-wash again to boost my hair and follow it up with a moisturizer. Then I’ll have a spritz mix (normally I just mix water and Aloe Vera juice) which I’ll spray on my hair through-out the week when I feel it’s looking dull.
Before I get a protective hairstyle I’ll go for a more intense deep conditioner and then throughout the duration of the style I’ll just spray the mix or use hair milk (I name the brand I use below).
Like I said once in a while I’ll try out new methods I’ve seen online, currently I’m building up to try out the MHM Method (will share my results once I get to it!)
7. What do you love most about your hair?
It would definitely have to be the versatility, I can do soo much with it! It’s magical really…
8. What do you dislike most about your hair?
It can be an unpredictable diva! The day when you have an outing or a huge event to attend is the day your twist out is going to come out looking like a mess. But on the plus side I’ve created some pretty cool “come-back hairstyles” from these disasters.
9. Which 3 products do you swear by?
As a precursor can I just say I am a product junkie so I am always on the hunt for new cool products, but currently Aunt Jackie’s products are dominating my stash :’) with that said I (currently) swear by,
1. Aunt Jackie’s “quench” Moisture Intensive Leave-In Conditioner;
2. Aunt Jackie’s “half & half” hydrating silkening hair milk (my hair loves this so much!);
3. The Coconut CoWash by AS I AM.
10. What are your top 3 natural hair tips?
1) Unless it says ‘leave –in’ don’t leave it in thinking it will have twice the effect if you do not wash it off!
2) Listen to your hair first; sometimes the most praised product won’t do well with your hair at all. For me it is coconut oil, my face even breaks out when I use it too much!
3) As with life, comparing yourself and trying to compete with other naturalistas will only deprive you of your beautiful journey with your crown; your hair requires time, love and a good regimen.. that’s all 🙂
11. Any encouragement for rookie naturals?
I know most of us aim for length, but that requires patience so don’t give up on your hair, it will grow if you keep it healthy. Also when you are starting off its easy to get over-whelmed because there is just SO much information out there and so much to take in. Just pace yourself and you’ll be fine.
12. Where can people find you online (Instagram/Twitter/Facebook, etc.)?
You can follow me on @tapiwa_gachala on Instagram 🙂