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Dianne Austin
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Dianne Austin

Dianne is the co-founder of Natural Haircare News and Coils To Locs.com. She's been blogging about natural hair ever since she made the decision to break free of the creamy crack in 2012.
Dianne Austin
Follow NHCN!

Natural Hair Commentary from Around the World: A Glimpse Into Views on Natural Hair From South Africa

At Natural Haircare News, we love exploring the discourse related to natural hair across the globe. It is not just interesting but it is a reminder that the natural hair journey is not isolated to any one region.  Black women everywhere are embracing their natural hair and are joining forces with other black women to not only learn how to care for our natural kinks and coils, but to talk about the societal impact of wearing one’s hair natural in an environment where natural hair is not always accepted as professional or even attractive.

We found an interesting article out of South Africa regarding an event that allows black women to get together to share information on natural hair and to discuss the politics of choosing to wear one’s hair in its natural state.

If you have a story to share no matter where you are in the world, send us your guest post and enlighten others about your natural hair journey.

South Africa: The Feminist Stokvel’s Hair Soirée and SA’s Natural Hair Evolution

By Pontsho Pilane

On Thursday night a group of grown women will get together at a swanky Melrose coffee shop to do each other’s hair.

To many, it may not make sense to have a special event dedicated to teaching women how to take care of their hair. After all, didn’t their mother’s teach them?

But we’re talking about natural hair, and many of the products that our mothers have sworn by are damaging to our scalps. The key ingredients in crème relaxers, so common in supermarkets, chemists and bathroom cabinets, are either sodium hydroxide or caustic soda lye – damaging chemicals found in paint thinners and liquid drain cleaners. It’s unsurprising then that many black girls and women have at some point suffered chemical burns to their scalps as a result of using hair relaxers.

“The chemicals used in relaxers enter the body through the scalp, most often when there are burns and cuts on the skin,” says Kavuli Nyali-Binase, hair guru and editor of the Good Hair Diaries.

Today, we know better. We recognise the stigma against natural hair and we know that there are better, more gentle and more natural ways to care for our hair.

“There are lots of different products for natural hair now – better than a few years ago,” says Wisaal Anderson, a hair consultant and popular blogger.

But knowing that there are alternatives out there is not necessarily the same as knowing how to use them. That’s where the Hair Soirée come in.

Nyali-Binase and Anderson, are both members of the Feminist Stokvel, a group of eight women who joined forces in September 2014 with the aim of addressing the challenges black women in South Africa face every day – entrenched racism, sexism, and yes even how to care for your hair.

Hair is what originally brought the Feminist Stokvel together and so it is that the group’s first public event revolves around hair, its care and its politics.

The Hair Soirée, which is intended to be a monthly event, was fully booked days ago, and tickets for the next event have already been snapped up.

The meetings will provide a space for women to discuss natural hair care, starting with the basic washing and drying and preventing hair damage, and also race politics in the country.

Milisuthando Bongela, a blogger and creative consultant who is currently working on a documentary about hair, and also members of the Feminist Stokvel, said the event would provide a space for black women to exchange ideas about issues that affect them.

“While the focus won’t be on the politics, we are about nurturing a space where black women can feel safe to speak freely,” says Bongela.

Learn more about the Feminist Stokvel and the Hair Soirée here.

Comment on this articleChanging attitudes about natural hair” is what we do at Natural Haircare News. Through informative articles, podcasts and videos, we go beyond just sharing the latest advice and tips on kinky, curly, wavy haircare – We shake things up and focus on the realities of wearing our hair natural. Not sure of which products are right for your hair type? Visit our solution oriented natural hair products store.

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