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



That moment you finally meet your online curlfriends

Curlfriends: Samantha-Jane, Eleanor, Mandy

Naturally all of us who spend time on social media have people we communicate with regularly but every now and then you connect with someone online and instantly hit it off. Amanda Cooke, aka The Mandy Expedition, has been one such person. Over the course of the last year we have been in regular email contact, we’ve been following each other on Instagram, featured each other on our respective natural hair blogs, and have since also become Facebook friends. So when we finally met up in person during late December 2014 we both knew it was long overdue.

We had arranged to meet at Tasha’s, a cute café at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, for brunch along with one more of my online friends, Samantha-Jane Samaai. When I walked in and told the waiter  that I was meeting two girls he immediately asked me if it’s the 2 other ladies with big curly hair. While he pointed me in the right direction I couldn’t help chuckling to myself as I once again realised the attention that curly hair attracts, in fact demands.

Excitedly I approached the table, saw the girls and we were off! In short we exchanged hair products, talked nails, men, food, festive season diets, blogging and natural hair care of course, all over a bottle of bubbly as laughter ensued.

Mandy and I have featured each other over here and here. Have a look if you’re interested.