Are you a curly girl? That is to say, do you have curly hair? Do you know what products to use or are you like me and take an age to choose a styling cream? Can you open a South African magazine and find advice on how to deal with it? The answer to that would be a resounding No!
Women’s magazines regularly run features on hair, how to style, cut it, colour and so forth. I love these articles but have long despaired of ever finding advice for my particular hair type. Straight hair? Yep. Wavy Hair? Oh yes. Proper curls? No.
The latest Marie Claire is a case in point. The cover boasts a “20 Page Love your Hair special”. Fantastic, I thought and paged to it in anticipation. Mathahle the Beauty Editor promises me an article on “10 Women with a different approach to their hair”.
At #1 is Phaphama Nqabeni with braids, #2 the gorgeous Bee Diamondhead with her fantastically coloured braids, #3Tiletso Molobi with a lovely natural look, #4 Laura Windvogel with Solange Knowles style spirals, #5 Sibulele Sikuni with again, enviable braids. At #6 is Lazola Gom with a casually relaxed style, #7 Natasha Mayifele with a cute short cut, #8 the impossibly beautiful Anelisa Mangcu with a gorgeous weave, #9 the very edgy Rharha Nombhard with a mostly shaved head, natural fringe and side extensions (love the look!) and in the 10th spot is my favourite, Erin Clark with a gorgeous mop of glorious corkscrews….but Mathahle, you can’t promise me ten different girls! They all (almost) have the same hairstyle! None of the them look like me! Further along the “20 page special” is a feature on how to ‘get to know your hair’ with a beautiful blonde, relaxed extensions, thin damaged hair and curly hair….What? WHERE? Instead of a photo of a girl with actual, real curls the photo is of a straight haired lovely with tonged curls? TONGED? Those, Mathahle, are not curls!
A few more pages on is “What I love about my hair” where they ‘took to the streets of Joburg’. A Chinese girl (surprisingly!), a girl with an afro, a wispy redhead, a thick bob, braids, braids and erm, more braids.
Now don’t get me wrong. I love braids and I appreciate the creativity and sheer hard work that goes into them but, again, where are the curly girls? Joburg (and South Africa in general) is full of heads of Jewish curls, Celtic curls, Italian, Greek, frizzy, wild and thanks to the media for the lack of information, unmanageable curls.
I have long sympathised with my black sisters for their dehydrated hair and have been using ‘their’ products for years. Through trial and error I have discovered that Sof ‘n Free, Dark & Lovely, Black Chick and Black silk products transform my tangled curls into lush ringlets. I recently bought the “Shimmer Motions” magazine just for the free sample of conditioner that came with it. Great magazine for the ethic lovely and I envy them for having an entire magazine dedicated to their hair but what about the curly girl?
I have bought books written by overseas authors Lorainne Massey and Ouidad on how to handle my curls. (Thank you Lorainne Massey for the information that changed my life!) The secret to beautiful curls? Zero shampoo. Yup. Curly girls, throw away the shampoo bottle. Water and conditioner will supply all the cleaning you need. Thanks to this method my hair has never looked better. No thanks to local publications. Yes, there are websites. www.curlygirl.com and www.naturallycurly.com are two that I frequent for info but why must I trawl the net when local Fashion and Beauty magazines should do it for me?
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