I met Tumelo personally some three weeks or so back and she is such a lovable, adorable and friendly person. Did I say very helpful too? And once we started chatting about hair and products, it took a lot of convincing to stop. *wink* lol. I sent her some questions to look at before the interview meeting (I was also handing her some Natural Moisture products) so that she could prepare for the answers and she actually managed to answer them and send them back to me the night before the meet up. And wasn’t I so glad because with the little time we had, both of us having family business to take care of on this particular Saturday, we spent it talking about our hair and just appreciating it and each other.Yes meet Tumelo, a Natural Sister!
Please tell us a line or two about yourself.
I am a wife and mother of two boys, 5 years and just 14 months. I work full time and love spending time with my family.
How long have you been natural and what triggered the decision to grow natural hair?
I’ve been natural for about 3 years this winter, but you can’t you looking at my hair you won’t think it’s been 3 years, because of the damage I experienced when I wasn’t educated about my hair. My decision to go natural was triggered by the fact that my hair had been damaged over and over by supposedly salons that new how to relax it and every time I experienced damage I would cut it all off and grow it afresh because I didn’t like unhealthy hair, but I would still use the relaxer because I thought that my hair could never be manageable without it. Now the last time I relaxed, my scalp burnt, and it took time to heal. Every time I would even plait I would get sores and scabs and my scalp had become extra sensitive. I was tired of the way my hair and scalp were that it was stressing me out. By then I had decided that you know what, God made me with this hair, let’s see why! My husband one day was giving my eldest son a hair-cut and I decided he cut mine all off too. I was reluctant but I did it anyway.
Describe your hair type if you do not mind.
My hair type is what’s called 4C. It’s very coily and kinky, it has no pattern, and if I decided to do dreadlocks I wouldn’t struggle, it would lock instantly.
What is your secret for such healthy hair? What do you do? Take us through your weekly regimen please!
Believe it or not I’m still learning my hair but I can say this winter I’ve reached a milestone in terms of that. The first 2 years I was plaiting only, because I didn’t how to take care of it. Then I discovered some lady on the internet and You tube. Talk about trial and error, that’s what I went through for a while. Through all that I learnt a lot about my hair, and I’m still learning.The secret to my hair is water, moisture and ACV. I can’t say I have a regimen so far, I’m working on it though. What I did recently was to Co-wash on Friday. I finger-detangled most of winter, but it takes time, cleanse my scalp with ACV and detangle with conditioner and put my hair in big twists, then get into the shower to rinse it off, and re-twist my hair back. I do this section-by-section. I then finish off by doing a final rinse with ACV, this make my hair very manageable and smooth. I then seal the moisture with my oil mixture then put Shea butter on top of that and re-twist again.Morning and nights I spritz my hair with water then put Shea butter, coconut oil, my oil mix or my leave-in conditioner that I mixed myself(Kimmay Tube’s recipe).
Tell us what you like most about natural hair?
I like the way it feels, and the way it looks. It’s soft, healthy and all natural.
Any challenges in maintaining natural hair? Let us in on them.
Time, time time, time, time! It takes forever to wash, detangle and style this hair. I love it, my husband loves it but the time it takes to get it right is ridiculously long. And sometimes because I don’t use a comb my styles at the back of my head will look a bit messy :D!
What is your fluorite hair style and why?
Does your profession have compatibility issues with your hairstyles?
No, not all, at the moment anyway! The dress-style at my work place is not very fussy about looking all snazzy, thank God. So I can get away with a lot of bad hair days or hair that didn’t come out looking the way it was supposed to!
What is the strangest thing ever said to you about your hair?
Strangely enough I can’t remember, if there is any. People have always loved my hair texture, specifically for dreadlocks *smh*!
What are your “must have products”?
Water, ACV, Shea butter and EVOO
What do you think about the perception that black girls can’t grow their long unless it’s in dread locks and what can be done to change this perception
It’s a sad perception and it takes a very ignorant person to say that. For the fact that hair is constantly growing at the roots shows that our hair can grow long, then the problem has to be with the way we take care of it. If we can be educated with how to care of the hair that is already grown, the old hair, which are the ends and middle of our hair, then our hair can grow long.
What do you think about applying relaxers to little girls’ hair, even from pre-school going age?
It’s unfortunate because it shows that mothers don’t know what to do with their little girls’ hair. They don’t even know what to do with their own natural hair. Then another cycle is begun.
Can anyone wear their hair natural or it’s a reserve for just a few?
Anyone can wear their hair natural. You are born with it, why try to change it to look like Caucasian hair?
Tips for natural newbies
Growing natural hair must be taken as a journey, not a race. They’ll be times you don’t know what happened to your hair, looking and feeling like probably a dead animal *lol* , but it’s part and parcel of how you get to know what your hair loves and hates. Listen to your hair and enjoy every moment of this journey, your hair will grow, be patient and love it.
Any other comments
God made us different with different hair types and textures. Let’s be thankful for the way we look and love what God has given to us. Just like we have learnt to embrace our skin color and how it protects us from the sun, let’s love the way our hair is and see how versatile it is to any other in the world and not to try to change it. God bless you!
These are the sentiments of Tumelo Mazengera from Centurion in Gauteng, South Africa. Thank you so much Tumelo for your time and letting us get a peep into your hair journey. Many blessings to you too!