Natural Hair in Cape Town – A rapidly growing movement

eleanor j'adore - natural hair in cape town - a rapidly growing movement

I’ve just returned from a very inspiring trip to Cape Town, my hometown,  where I not only holidayed for 10 days, but where I also co-hosted the type of event I have thus far only dreamed of being involved in. I am a natural you see. What does that mean? Well, it means I wear my hair the way it grows from my scalp – curly. Sometimes it decides to act kinky and other times it decides to act coily. However it wants to be a certain day, that’s just how I wear it.

There are others akin me. Up until a few years ago I honestly didn’t think there were. But just like me, there have been a number of women and men who have been growing weary of the constant societal pressures of manipulating their hair to look a certain way, or to fit in somewhere. In other words, the pressure to straighten, relax, perm, blow dry, flat iron or any other method of unnaturally achieving straight hair have become highly questionable to them too.

eleanor j'adore - natural hair in cape town - a rapidly growing movement

Little did I know that they were getting just as fed up as I had been for a long time, especially in Cape Town. So when the time came for me to join forces with Kasuba and Chantal from Rockin Naturals and with Mandy from The Mandy Expedition two years ago to form an online group to empower individuals with information that was going to help them along on  a path to self acceptance through healthier hair practices, I jumped at the opportunity.

Our Facebook group is called Cape Town Naturally, which inevitably led to our first ever meet-up over drinks, suitably dubbed Curls & Cocktails. Mandy’s post over here and Rockin Naturals’ post over here will give you all the event details and photos.  Of course we’d been aware of the growing interest in natural hair care in Cape Town, but I suppose the huge turnout did, in fact, take us by surprise. And what a testament that turnout was to the growing movement as women are hungry for information and resources. Of course I was conscious of this, which is in part why I started this blog. But perhaps none of us realised what impact this group would have in terms of empowering natural hair expression.

eleanor j'adore - natural hair in cape town - a rapidly growing movement

eleanor j'adore - natural hair in cape town - a rapidly growing movement

Honestly, sometimes I’m just amazed at how far our group has come. I mean, we’ve just hit over 400 members! Would it even have been possible a few short years ago? I just hope that the reach of the group continues to grow as the support and knowledge sharing remain absolutely amazing.

eleanor j'adore - natural hair in cape town - a rapidly growing movement

eleanor j'adore - natural hair in cape town - a rapidly growing movement

I did this shoot with Roger Williams right before the event as I was totally feeling my look and wanted to celebrate my birthday, which happened to be on the same day, with some awesome pictures. Even though I’ve been wearing my hair this way for a number of years, I honestly don’t know if I would have had the confidence to do a shoot like this back when I first started my healthy hair journey. So for me this shoot is further evidence of how far I’ve come personally.

But back to Cape Town Naturally: My dream is that the group carries on growing and that it inspires more and more women to return to their natural state, until wearing their hair naturally is the natural choice.

As always, love your curls

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Is natural hair hard work?

eleanorjadore - is natural hair hard work?

A couple of weeks ago I met a lovely woman with relaxed hair who told me that as much as she enjoys watching and learning from women with natural hair, she’ll probably never go natural. Why? Because natural hair is “too much hard work,” she said.

So it got me thinking. Is it really?

I mean it definitely can be, with so many steps that can be involved: Prepooing, co-washing, clarifying, tea rinsing, deep conditioning, oil rinsing, moisturising with the LCO / LOC method, finger detangling, protective styling, retwisting / rebraiding at night, sleeping on silk pillowcases etc. The list of steps can seem never-ending and in fact quite daunting, especially if you are newly natural. And if you’re contemplating going natural it can probably put someone off completely just listening to all these terms.

But for me the stand-out message is: The more effort and care you put into your hair, the better off your hair will be. I’m not saying you should incorporate all these steps, but listening to your hair and giving it exactly what it needs, will stand you in good stead. It stands to reason if your hair is dry and prone to breakage, regular deep conditioning sessions and responsible protective styling will trap moisture and help you to retain length.

So it’s all relative – what may be hard work to one may be a walk in the park for someone else.

Although I agree that natural hair can be hard work, it doesn’t have to be. A very simple regime can consist out of the following steps: wash, deep condition and style by applying a leave-in conditioner and sealing with an oil or butter, followed by regular moisturising until the next wash day. Easy right? What’s so hard about that? But it seems that the term “natural” equates “unmanageable”  for some. It really doesn’t have to be that way. In a nutshell, all it takes is learning as much about your hair as possible. Find out what it likes and dislikes. For example,  detangling sessions do not have to take over your entire Saturday. If your hair tangles easily, wear it in a way that enables an easier wash day, such as in twists or in a bun.

When I was relaxed, I personally didn’t take as much care of my hair as I do now. I didn’t even know the term “deep conditioning” existed and didn’t bat an eyelid every time I would pull a comb through my hair and  heaps of it would come out. Now I’m meticulous in looking at how much hair I lose every single time I detangle and I make sure to distinguish between breakage and shed hair. So I think why it often seems like hard work to some is because of the new awareness that comes with caring for natural hair. You’re aware that you have to be extra gentle; you’re aware that if you don’t moisturise often, your hair will probably snap off due to dryness, and you’re aware that if you don’t trim those split ends, it can cause more irreparable damage.

Once you know how to handle your hair it’s really not hard work. Simply learn as much about your strands so that it becomes manageable.

What do you think Girls? Please weigh in by commenting below.

Love your curls,

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Natural Hair Q & A

eleanorjadore - Natural Hair Q & A

I’m so excited to announce that I’ve recorded my first ever question and answer video. In it I answer some of your natural hair questions and concerns. I’ve decided to record this type of video every now and again, so if I didn’t get to answer your question this time, I’ll include it in the next video. Make sure you keep an eye out on my social media when I announce the recording of the next video so that you can submit your questions on time.

So please go check it out, especially if you submitted a question. You never know, an answer to someone else’s question may also help you. And while you’re at it, please share it with someone who might find it useful. Thanks so much for watching and do remember to like, leave me a comment and subscribe. Much appreciated.

Love your curls,

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The Noir Box – A beauty subscription box for women of colour

Eleanor J'adore: The Noir Box - A beauty subscription box for women of colour

If you’re a woman of colour the Noir Box is very likely to get you as excited as I am about this stunning new product. Imagine receiving new beauty products on a monthly basis that have been carefully curated to compliment our skin colour and our hair. Well, that’s exactly what it is – a new subscription box that has been specifically designed for black women in that the products contained therein are selected to complement our skin tone as well as our natural hair.

When I saw what was on offer in the latest box, I simply had to get involved as I’m currently reworking my hair and skin care routine because of my recent move to Johannesburg, where my hair and skin are both suffering as a result of the dry air. So without further delay, this is what I received.

  • Elasta QP Olive Oil & Mango Butter Leave-In H2 Conditioner (full size)
  • Revlon Colorburst Lacquer Balm in the colour Ingenue (full size)
  • Yves Rocher Hydra Végétal Hydrating Micellar Water for Face and Eyes (sample size)
  • Yves Rocher Hydra Végétal 24H Intense Hydrating Gel Cream (sample size)
  • Yves Rocher Hydra Végétal Rich Hydrating Cream (sample size)

The box is curated by the team over at Mzansifro and at a cost of R280 including delivery, they promise to bring us 5 products, some from long established brands and some from new ones, but essentially introducing us to products that we may not have otherwise considered trying out. Some are full sized and others are samples.

I do love that you’re able to cancel your subscription at any time, if for some reason you decide you don’t want to be introduced to new products anymore. What I love even more, is that you’re able to resubscribe at any time. 

Eleanor J'adore: The Noir Box - A beauty subscription box for women of colour

Eleanor J'adore: The Noir Box - A beauty subscription box for women of colour

I’ve honestly not been this excited about a new South African product in a very long time!

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Hair Growth Challenge Update

Eleanor J'adore - Hair Growth Challenge Update

I know I’m about a week late with this, but I just wanted to give a shout out to the first round of winners of the Mandy’s Hair Growth Challenge. Thoko Radebe, Claudine Mandisa Messieur and Prudence Ogunlade, by now I’m sure you all know that you’ll be the lucky recipients of some fabulous Rockin Naturals products. This, all for just regularly commenting and interacting on social media with Mandy from The Mandy Expedition.

If you want to know more about what the challenge entails, follow this link as well as this one.

Silly girl that I am, I didn’t measure my hair at the beginning of the challenge, so I’ll do so now.

Front: 39 cm

Crown: 47 cm

Left Side: 42 cm

Right Side: 41 cm

Back: 38 cm

With my recent intercontinental move I’ve been slacking with applying the mixture regularly, but I managed to get myself back on track this week. And since I have no idea at what rate my hair usually grows, I’ve decided to use this growth phase as a base for future measurements.

Are any of you, lovely readers of this blog, participating in this challenge? If you are let me know. I’d love to know what results you’ve seen so far.

Love your curls,

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Why twist-out when you can wash and go?

Eleanor J'adore - Why Twist-Out when you can Wash and Go?

After I posted this picture on my Facebook page yesterday, I was asked by one of my followers why is it that when I’m able to achieve a “good wash and go”, do I still do twist-outs on my hair. My immediate response was that constantly doing wash and gos causes more knotting and that I love the different look that a twist-out gives me.

After contemplating the question a bit further, I started wondering whether a notion does exist that says that if you can achieve a good wash & go, there’s not much point in doing twist-outs. And I suppose depending on your specific curl pattern the twist-out would typically be a more stretched out style as opposed to your own tighter curls and kinks.

Firstly, I’m thinking, what is a good wash & go? Does it mean your curls pop more? What about if you don’t have a naturally defined curl pattern? I happen to think that you can still achieve a good wash and go without having popping curls, but rather your natural hair looking its personal best whether it curls or not.

Eleanor J'adore - Why Twist-Out when you can Wash and Go?

More and more I’m seeing kinky-haired women without necessarily having an identifiable curl pattern do wash & gos. Simply look at BlackBeautyKween who has started rocking wash & gos like its nobody’s business. Or NaturalMe4C who does beautiful wash and gos on her kinky hair.

It’s all about mastering your own hair. And in my case, it took me a while to figure out how to my master my wash and go, which I published over here. It’s definitely a matter of playing around with different products to see which ones give you the best results, as well as experimenting with the technique  you use in applying said products.

Even though I love wearing wash and gos it’s just not practical for me to wear my hair this way everyday. Like I said before, the hair is more prone to tangling,  which does lead to more single strand knots. My reason for wearing twist-out styles also comes back to it simply looking beautiful. I love how a different curl pattern can change up my entire look. And isn’t that part of why we love wearing our hair natural, for the versatility of it?

I’d love to hear your opinion on this, so let me know in the comments section below.

Love your hair,

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Hair Update and a Growth Challenge

Eleanor J'adore - Hair Update and a Growth Challenge

Hi All

A couple of posts back I informed you that I am pregnant and that I would be back with a hair update fairly soon. Well, instead of an actual update my very next post was  a video tutorial on how I achieve my big curly hair.  If I’m being honest, that video sums up my hair as of late. Ever since morning sickness kicked in I found it harder to stick to my once a week pre-poo, washing, deep conditioning, and twisting routine. What made life easier in the end was stick to wash and gos as it was the quickest to do and required the least amount of effort. At night I would either pineapple my hair or if I was really lazy I would just make a low pony tail and sleep on a silk lined pillow.

Now that I have the bounce back in my step, I’m slowly returning to my original hair regime (with some product changes), which brings me to some exciting news: As of July, I’ll be participating in a Hair Growth Challenge. This challenge is spearheaded by my friend and blogger Mandy Cooke from The Mandy Expedition and couldn’t come at a better time for me. It’s the perfect push I need to get my routine back on track, since my goal is still to grow my hair to waist length.

Mandy first posted her recipe for this growth mixture sometime in late 2014 and it literally took the South African online hair community by storm. Girls were all over her blog and various Facebook pages raving about the success they’ve been experiencing with the potion. I tried it for a short while but became quite lazy rather soon after I started with it and so my foray into accelerated hair growth didn’t last very long. This time though, I’m determined to remain fully committed for the duration of the challenge.

Since I know there’ll be questions about the recipe, here it is:

Eleanor J'adore - Hair Update and a Growth Challenge

So I want to invite all of you, my lovely followers to join me in this challenge. If any of you are interested, it will give you a few days to get yourself sorted with the ingredients. Go to Mandy’s blog for more information and guidelines, and feel free to interact with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to track your progress.

Love your curls!

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