Five local celebs who prove that natural hair is always worth flaunting
Representation matters and that’s why A-listers who rock their natural crowns deserve to be celebrated
Given the recent buzz in the media regarding one of the country’s top retailers and one offensive hair ad, natural hair pride is bigger than ever.
That’s not to say we weren’t proud to flaunt our curls and coils before, but it’s long been a struggle to have Afro-textured hair be seen in society as beautiful, valid, normal and, at times, just to be seen at all.
Representation matters and that’s why celebrities who rock their natural crowns in amazing styles deserve to be celebrated for showing the world that natural hair can be as gorgeous as any other type or textured locks.
Here we highlight five of these natural hair champions and share their hair care secrets:
We don’t know about you, but whatever hair advice Pearl Thusi is dishing out, we’re all ears. Not only the owner of a beautiful natural crown, but a natural hair product line with AfroBotanics too, she proves that pouring love, time and care into your hair makes all the difference.
When asked what her best-kept hair-care secret was, the Queen Sono star told Bona magazine that she relied on conditioners. Definitely a staple in any hair care arsenal, conditioners protect your hair’s moisture levels, prevent frizz, make detangling easier and really help that curl pattern pop.
“I believe a good conditioner should be your best friend. It can be used to wash, moisturise, protect and nourish hair,” said Thusi.
Tunzi shattered outdated beauty stereotypes by proving that you can not only win the Miss SA crown while rocking your natural crown, but the Miss Universe one too — her structured signature haircut is almost as famous as she is.
For Tunzi, stunning hair starts with the right state of mind — it's all about loving the skin you're in and the curls that you've got.
As she told Sowetan SMag, “The idea that we are beautiful launches everything. We have to believe it first deeply inside of us and only then can we truly show it to the world.
“My advice is to practise it — it takes practice. It’s something that you work on, it's definitely not something I was born with ... You wake up and convince yourself every day — you tell yourself that you are beautiful and that you are worthy of being called beautiful by other people.
“It is daily affirmations — it is work that you have to put in, so wake up and choose yourself every day.”
Mbatha has to be the queen of protective styling and really knows how to take her natural hair to the next level with beautiful accessories, braiding and some serious laid edges.
Though you can see the actress rocking braids one day and a wig the next, we love the fact that she never neglects her natural hair underneath and owes her healthy locks to regular washes.
In an interview with True Love, Mbatha said it was important to wash your hair once a week — even when wearing protective styles.
“It's a myth that washing your hair less often leads to more growth,” she said.
“Regular washing stimulates the scalp, while going long intervals without washing causes build-up, which clogs pores and prevents growth. So wash weekly.”
This singer is not only the queen of the short pixie-like cut, but of hair colour too. We love the way she switches things up with rainbow shades ranging from soft lilac to bright green.
Regardless of being a hair colour chameleon, Madida's secret is not to bombard her locks with too much product. As she told True Love, “I keep my hair as natural as possible — the less fragrance in a product, the better.”
Always happy to show off her natural locks, hair pride and songstress Lira go hand in hand. Did we mention that she has her own Barbie made in her likeness and that it too sports a short, natural hairstyle?
The Voice SA judge told Bona magazine that though it was easy to maintain her hair when it was short, she still had to take care of it. She spoke of the importance of not only conditioning, but also deep conditioning regularly.
“I use a deep conditioner every two weeks just to ensure it stays soft and strong,” she said.
• Additional reporting Zola Zingithwa. This article is adapted from one originally published in 2018.