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Cape Town Natural Hair Fest pro shares her top hair hacks

13 December 2018 - 12:00 By Aneesa Adams
The ladies behind the Cape Town Natural Hair Festival. From left: Amanda Cooke, Kasuba Sturrman, Eleanor Barkes, Chantal de Kock and Simone Thomas.
The ladies behind the Cape Town Natural Hair Festival. From left: Amanda Cooke, Kasuba Sturrman, Eleanor Barkes, Chantal de Kock and Simone Thomas.
Image: Supplied

Who better to ask for advice about natural hair than Simone Thomas, one of the organisers of the Cape Town Natural Hair Festival?

The biggest event of its kind in the country, this fun market-style festival is taking place on Sunday December 16 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

From Aunt Jackie’s to Cantu, all sorts of natural hair products will be on sale, including some you won’t find in the shops. The best part, says Thomas, is there will be experts on hand to help you with hair issues.

We asked Thomas to tell us more about this celebration of natural beauty and to share some of her top haircare tips:

What do you hope to achieve with the Cape Town Natural Hair Festival?

 We hope to express that natural hair is beautiful and that it does not require any change or alterations to be accepted in the society we live in. We want to show the next generation beauty is not only defined by straight hair but that beauty is being happy in your own skin and accepting your hair as it grows naturally.

What are some of your best natural hair hacks?

  • Wear a satin doek or satin bonnet to bed at night or invest in a satin pillowcase. As curly girls, our hair is more prone to dryness. A cotton pillowcase tends to draw the moisture out your hair, while a satin one will help lock in moisture and reduce static.
  • Spritz your hair, close to the roots, with a spray bottle filled with water every morning while you’re getting dressed, then again in the afternoon while you’re at work, if you see your hair is lacking moisture. Natural ethnic hair loses moisture very quickly; adding moisture to your hair by spritzing it throughout the day will help nourish it without messing up your “do”.
  • In summer, let your hair air dry or dry it using an old T-shirt instead of a towel. This will help to remove static from curly hair and absorb water without creating frizz. You could also use a hairdryer with a diffuser. Turn it on at a medium heat and focus on the scalp - this helps refine curls and reduce frizz.

What haircare products can’t you live without?

  •  A leave-in conditioner and deep conditioner. Again, natural hair is prone to dryness and these conditioners, which deeply nourish the roots, help to keep it moisturised.
  • Castor oil. This is a natural growth serum which can be massaged into your scalp at night to promote hair growth.

A common curly girl problem is not having much volume at the roots. How do we fix that?

  • Use the proper products, especially oils, and concentrate on your scalp more than anything. Castor, almond and avocado oil are all very good when it comes to creating and promoting volume. 
  • Ensure you detangle your hair with a fine-tooth comb on a weekly basis. Our hair tends to shrink causing tiny knots - kind of knots inside knots - making the hair at the roots flat. By detangling your afro you’re opening up the knots and creating volume.

 Please give us five tips for maintaining natural hair: 

  1. Wash your hair using a clarifying shampoo and lukewarm water. Every person is different but I find washing my hair once a week is best because it allows the natural oils to develop.
  2. Apply a leave-in conditioner daily.
  3. Deep condition your hair weekly.
  4. Detangle your hair weekly using a fine-tooth comb.
  5. Trim your hair every six to eight weeks.

• Tickets for the Cape Town Natural Hair Festival are available at Computicket. For more info, visit ctnaturally.co.za