It’s that time again to dig into another natural girl’s product stash and routine. I love Thuli’s style, originality and of course her hair is just so damn luscious! I picked her brain about texture discrimination, the natural hair movement and asked her to reveal her tips to hair growth.
Hey Thuli, please introduce yourself to my readers.
Hey Aisha! Thank you so much for having me 🙂
My name is Thuli Machobane, a mom with multiple passions. I’m a media analyst, coffee entrepreneur and lifestyle blogger with natural hair as the main focus. My guilty pleasure is watching every season of Love and Hip Hop (it took a lot to be honest about this haha) and my favourite song at the moment is World Peace by Dizzy Wright.
Why are you natural?
I big chopped in my senior year of high school (roughly 13 years ago), and I still to this day have no idea what came over me. I remember both relief and anxiety – “what now?” and “how am I going to style this hair?” Over the years, I have chosen to stay natural simply because it’s who I am. I love my hair, the way it looks, the way it feels to the touch, the versatility, the magic that is shrinkage, all of it.
What would you tell your younger self about your hair?
Stop blow drying. Deep condition and drop that comb homie! It started rough; YouTube tutorials weren’t a thing back then so I was literally winging it. The wealth of knowledge available today is amazing and wish I had access to it.
What’s your current routine and ride or die products?
I have my wash day every 1.5-2 weeks. I start off by sectioning my hair and then spritzing it with a mix of water and aloe vera juice – that really softens my hair. I add some conditioner for slip, then I finger detangle as much as I can, followed by brushing with a Denman paddle brush to get those shed hairs out completely. I wash with Apple Cider Vinegar, which for me is way better than shampoo, and alternate to the Cantu co-wash every other week.
I then deep condition and use the LOCO method of moisturising (liquid – feeder oil – conditioner – sealing oil). This to me is key. My favourite feeder oils for moisture are coconut oil, grape seed oil, olive oil, and then castor oil to seal. The conditioner in LOCO is the Giovanni Direct Leave-in Conditioner. I then style as desired. My styles generally last awhile so on a daily basis I use a bit of coconut oil and fluff hair to revive the style. And that’s that.
Do you believe naturals are represented enough?
Not yet but I’m seeing some growth. I think it’s going to take a very long time and we ought to stay committed. I often get caught up in my bubble where I feel like people understand how to take care of natural hair, then I get a question on social media or when out and about that seems so simple. This is often a wake-up call that the sharing and dissemination of information and inspiration must continue.
What’s your opinion on the texture discrimination debate?
Let me be honest here. Growing up, the only natural hair I knew was in the “Type 4” category. The looser natural hair curl types were pretty much in same category as straight hair, in terms of what young black girls desired and admired. Not until when I moved to communities where Black people had looser curls but straightened (relaxed or constantly flat ironed) those curls did I begin to understand that the natural hair community does not only include Type 4 hair, and that there is a bigger and deeper story to this movement. Now with this background, I can see why looser curls are dominating the community and why brands will use that to sell – because many like the younger me see them as better. Moving forward though, I believe all we can do is take care of our hair, wear it out proudly and hope that others can see it as equally beautiful – because it is.
Do you ever miss straight hair?
Nah, I don’t think so. Even when I occasionally blow-dry my hair, I always prefer to add texture and volume! So yum!
You have long hair, what three tips would you give someone who’s growing theirs?
- Be consistent with your hair regimen
- Most of the time, hair grows but is not retained. To retain hair growth you must avoid breakage i.e. detangle with care and manipulate the hair less in between wash days.
- Hydration both in and out. Prioritise your hair’s moisture and drink lots of water.
Do you believe that the surge in wearing natural hair is a movement or a trend?
I believe it’s a movement. More often than not, those who are going natural are taking a big leap – when you don’t know natural hair, it’s not an easy feat to take care of it but it’s the why that gets you through. It’s a very brave move in a world that is still looking down on natural hair. For those wearing it as a trend, I’d like to believe sooner rather than later they see how awesome it really is to be themselves.
You’ve got 3 minutes to leave your house, how do you style your hair?
Fineapple! Never disappoints.
What did you think of Thuli’s feature? Let me know below in the comments below and look out for the next #FroFriday feature!