Crown­ing queens

Hair to­day, gone to­mor­row. We talk all things hair with six trail­blaz­ers who are do­ing amaz­ing things in the me­dia in­dus­try


Nandi ‘Ma­maKaShaka’ Dlepu: En­tre­pre­neur Tell us about your hair jour­ney.

As a child, my hair was al­ways well taken care of be­cause my mother’s bestie owned a sa­lon, so we made ev­ery ap­point­ment like clock­work. I never re­ally learnt how to take care of my hair. As an adult I’m learn­ing about nat­u­ral hair — es­tab­lish­ing a rou­tine; to love and ap­pre­ci­ate my hair for its ver­sa­til­ity — the abil­ity to braid, weave or wig at whim. Big hair has be­come my sta­ple.

What chal­lenges have you faced with your hair?

Like most black women, my hair­line. I didn’t know how to take care of my hair while braided or weaved: how of­ten to wash, base my scalp, mois­turise and how long a break to take in be­tween hair­styles. I’m more vig­i­lant about who han­dles my hair and what prod­ucts they put in it, pre­fer­ring to some­times bring my own to the sa­lon.

What do you love about your crown?

I en­joy the ver­sa­til­ity of black hair be­cause it en­ables self-ex­pres­sion.

De­scribe your hair in three words?

Soft, strong and beaut­ful.

What does #WearYou mean to you?

It means know­ing, re­spect­ing and cel­e­brat­ing ev­ery­thing that makes you uniquely you.

Karabo Le­godi: Model Tell us more about your hair jour­ney.

I had re­laxed hair when I started high school in 2012 be­cause I was very in­se­cure about my looks. I thought straight hair was bet­ter than nat­u­ral hair. In grade 11, I de­cided to cut my hair and grow my fro, not know­ing that the de­ci­sion would change my life for good.

What do you love about your crown?

I love how I can cre­ate dif­fer­ent hair­styles. I can rock it su­per short, su­per long or re­ally puffy.

Which three hair prod­ucts do you swear by?

Mizani Mir­a­cle Milk, Mizani Light Mois­tur­iz­ing Hair­dress & Mizani Cream Ceans­ing Con­di­tioner.

How have wigs changed your life?

My wigs can change my en­tire look. I can go from Karabo, the nor­mal girl to Karabo, the fierce girl.

Do you think your hair de­fines who you are and why?

No I don’t think so. Every­body’s dif­fer­ent and peo­ple are al­lowed to ex­per­i­ment with hair­styles.

De­scribe your hair in three words?

Thick, full and healthy

What are your hair goals?

My hair goal is to have a su­per thick and full afro!

Lu­funo Sathekge: Stylist What kind of re­la­tion­ship do you have with your hair?

It’s an all-love re­la­tion­ship. We have an un­der­stand­ing. Take care of me and I’ll take care of you. Four­teen years in and we’re still com­mit­ted to each other!

What have you learnt about your hair?

My hair can grow long and healthy with­out any chem­i­cal treat­ment. It’s not lim­it­ing in terms of style.

Which hair prod­ucts are you cur­rently crazy about about?

I’ve re­cently started us­ing Stylin Dredz prod­ucts, and I’m en­joy­ing the Anti-Itch Spray which nour­ishes and treats my scalp and leaves my hair glossy.

How has the song Don’t Touch My Hair by Solange im­pacted you?

It drove home the mes­sage that it’s not okay to touch peo­ple’s hair. So much ef­fort goes into achiev­ing a style, one touch can undo all the work.

If you had to write a short let­ter to your hair what would it say?

Thank you for be­ing a great and loyal friend; for be­ing kind to me even when I’m un­kind to you. For tak­ing care of me and af­ford­ing me the free­dom to just be. Thank you for be­ing su­per-chilled and co-op­er­a­tive. You are beau­ti­ful! You are strong! Stay shin­ing!

I love you – Al­ways!

Lu­funo Love

Langa Mn­goma: Med­i­cal Doc­tor What do you love about your crown?

I love that it tells a story of me em­brac­ing my true self and how beau­ti­ful it is to be black.

Do you think your hair de­fines who you are and why?

It doesn’t but it’s a strong part of my iden­tity. I went nat­u­ral at a time when it wasn’t cool to do so. I was in high school and every­one kept ask­ing why go­ing nat­u­ral meant so much to me. I had just learnt about colo­nial­ism and the in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex it created in black com­mu­ni­ties. I made chang­ing that nar­ra­tive my new mis­sion.

What’s your take on the #IAmNotMyHair?

It re­minded women to never be de­fined by their hair but to have fun with it in­stead — a very im­por­tant mes­sage.

If you had to write a short let­ter to your hair what would you say?

Dear Hair,

It took me long to love you, but tak­ing that step has been one of the best de­ci­sions I’ve ever made.

Love, Langa

Sun­shine Shibambo: En­tre­pre­neur Tell us more about your re­la­tion­ship with your hair.

From a young age, I un­der­stood that hair com­pleted one’s over­all look. If your hair was a mess, you were per­ceived a mess. So for 13 years of my life my mother de­cided on my hair­styles based on what she could af­ford. I wore my hair very short un­til grade seven, then I ex­plored the re­laxer world and wore my hair like my in­ter­na­tional mu­sic, fash­ion and cre­ative muses. My hair opin­ions changed when Bongo Maf­fin came out in 1998. I shaved my head to grow an afro and dreads. This was an epic fail be­cause I get bored with the same hair­style. My hair is now nat­u­ral —I trim it and spoil it with at-home treat­ments once a month.

What do you love about your crown?

My dad is Tsonga — we’re known to have “good hair” be­cause it’s strong and thick and I was lucky enough to in­herit good hair. My pa­ter­nal grand­par­ents still had full heads of grey hair when they passed on.

What’s the one thing that you love about your hair?

Black hair can be turned into any­thing we want it to be.

Naledi Mo­gadime: Model De­scribe the type of re­la­tion­ship you have with your hair.

It’s fan­tas­tic! I’m at a stage where I know what works and what doesn’t on my hair.

What hair chal­lenges have you faced?

Be­ing a model, I’ve faced quite a few chal­lenges be­cause I’m con­stantly chang­ing hair­styles and I have dif­fer­ent peo­ple work­ing on my hair all the time .

Do you think rock­ing straight or re­laxed hair makes you any less of an African if you rock?

No way! I love my hair whether re­laxed or straight. I’ve rocked both looks and I feel em­pow­ered and beau­ti­ful.

How have wigs changed your life?

I usu­ally wear wigs when I want to give my nat­u­ral hair a break, which is im­por­tant.

How do you feel about your hair now?

Now, more than ever, I want to learn more about my hair and try out dif­fer­ent hair­styles. It’s an ex­cit­ing jour­ney.

What are you learn­ing about your hair?

I’m learn­ing that my hair can do way more than I think it can, and I’m hav­ing more fun with my hair­styles.

Sta-Sof-Fro Ex­tra Dry Spray R26,95

Stylin’ Dredz Anti-Itch Spray R59,99

R230 Mizani Mir­a­cle Milk

MPL Hair Oil R26,99

Mizani Scalp Care R185

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