Whether you’ve started your natural hair journey or are still in the contemplation phase, get great curly-girl inspo and tips from natural hair influencers, Nia Pettit and Lauren Lewis.
Nia Petit is passionate about natural curls (Diana Ross is her icon). So she created ‘Happy ‘Fro Day’ events, an initiative enabling women to come together and celebrate their curls. Along with her BFF Lauren Lewis, the two travel the world on their ‘Go with the Fro’ tour, to inspire women to love their locks and themselves. “Our message is not only about hair,” explains Nia, “there’s a bigger message of self-acceptance and self-love. Many women with naturally curly hair spend so much time and money trying to make their hair do something it’s not supposed to. We’ve been conditioned to believe that beauty means having long straight hair, which is not true. We want women to know that they are beautiful as they are.”
Don’t obsess too much about frizz
“A lot of women with curly hair struggle with frizz and want that perfect curl but it’s just not realistic,” says Nia. “You can manage frizz to a certain extent, but it never completely goes away.”
Figure out your hair’s personality
“We are product junkies! But the effectiveness of a product differs from person to person. You should get to know what products and ingredients your hair likes and which ones it doesn’t. Just because something works really well for me, doesn’t mean it will do the same thing for someone else,” Lauren explains. “Personally I love Design Essentials Coconut and Monoi Nourishing Shampoo (R214.95) and Moroccanoil Hydrating Conditioner (R350).”
Detangle with your fingers
“You can feel out the knots better this way and carefully remove them without too much breakage and damage,” adds Nia.
Embrace the co-wash
“Shampoo is used to cleanse the scalp, which is important. Just in the same way you wouldn’t apply makeup without washing your previous day’s makeup off, I shampoo once a week. When I wash my hair with conditioner, I’m just cleaning it, without stripping it completely of oils and product; it’s like an in-between step that allows me to restyle my hair,” Lauren says.
Make the most of your bad hair days
“Recently I’ve learnt to stop depending on my hair to feel confident,” says Nia. “When the weather is not good, and my hair isn’t doing what I would like it to, I just put on a turban wrap and experiment with tying it in a different way.”
Grow a collection of styling ideas
“Having a ‘Fro offers you so many hairstyle options. When I had relaxed hair it always looked the same and had that smoothed out look. Now with my natural curls, I can use gel to smooth the top and maybe leave the bottom curly – the options are endless. I keep pictures on my phone of different styles I want to try,” says Nia.