I am hair obsessed!
It all started on one fateful day when I ripped all the hair out of the middle of my head. I was in a rush and I had softened my hair overnight with coconut oil (a commercial version packed with petrolatum) and then combed all the knots out with relative ease. This was a revelation to me because all my life I had struggled with getting rid of hair knots VERY PAINFULLY after having left my braids in for 2-3 months without ever washing or moisturizing it. Pain is the norm in these cases BUT this time they slid out almost painlessly. I don’t remember why I used the coconut oil this time maybe my sub-conscious had adsorbed this valuable piece of information from somewhere and I remembered it after having my braids in too long OR (more likely) the coconut oil was cheaper than my usual ouch-less detangler and it was rough month.
Anyway, my hair was detangled (roughly) and softened (barely) from the tiny bit of coconut oil in the petrolatum laden commercial stuff, and I washed it and let it air dry while getting the kids ready for their lives. I thought my hair was ready for combing at this point – I did not know better yet – and I went at it viciously with a very fine tooth comb. I could hear the rips and see little pieces of hair flying off my head (which I now know is called breakage) but thought this is normal and continued bravely (read: stupidly) on. When the pain from ripping hair out of my tender scalp became too much I switched to an afro comb, which in hindsight only served to rip hair out of a greater area all at once. This continued until I had a fist sized ball of hair and a marginally neater afro. When I got to work I thought there must be better way and thus my love affair with watching natural hair vlogs began.
I was consumed for 3 months and every spare second I had was spent reading articles from curlynikki.com and blackgirllonghair.com (etc etc etc) and watching vlogs (MiniMarley, Chime, ProptectivePrincess, NaturallyHigh…) and trying to find products in Clicks, Dischem, hair product shops. This last one was not so successful and finding products was hella hard. It was frustrating! I had all this information but nowhere to find products unless I ordered online. This is a challenge I noticed that me and my friends in Joburg had. Maybe we aren’t looking hard enough (but also why should we have to look so hard???)
So a bit of research here and there and I found the natural stuff – almond, flaxseed and grapeseed oils, argan, jojoba and extra virgin cold pressed organic coconut oil (NOT the commercial stuff), shea butter, east african black castor oil… You name it, I bought it! And paid money I shouldn’t have used for it (hubby was not impressed). Now I have a stockpile and have to learn to use it… This is an ongoing process I must say. But it’s fun and I love it and am seeing HUGE improvements in my hair. The middle is still much shorter than the rest and my heart hurts every time I think about that day and I wish I had known then what I know now. But people around me are noticing and asking me about my hair and where I get my products. And instead of telling them how I go to 8 different stores on Saturday mornings and spend ours combing the isles and testing things on my head and waiting weeks to see what works. I say let me source what is working for me so far for you – and thus Hey There Beautiful was born.