The Jems Of A Natural Goes Live

18 April found me in front of a wonderful group of women and young girls all interested and hungry for information on all things hair. I talk to women about hair everywhere I go especially if they ask about my own hair and I try to get at least one key thing across in the few seconds that I have. At the same time I sometimes can become overwhelmed ..there is just so much to know about our hair, so many angles like understanding the scientific side so you understand the product and application side...just so much and I can even get stuck with where to start. Also, if one isn't ready to embrace their own curls and does not have the belief that yes their hair can be soft and manageable and no their curl won't be my curl but their own beautiful individual curl, it can be like talking to the walls.
But...this was my first time to actually gather my thoughts and structure my thoughts and also my first time giving a talk all by my wee self.
A group of about 30 women gathered as they do once a month for their church women's meeting (it started with about 15 and soon it was full house, okay, not full house per se by no empty seats (:).
Earlier this year I had assisted a work colleague's mom with beginning her steps on her natural hair journey just via email and soon after she asked if I could give a talk at her church. I gladly agreed and after confirming dates I began planning for the event. The planning was mainly personal planning like what areas of hair I was going to delve into- I asked and she gave me the questions to what she wanted me to cover. Apart from that I just had to be there and she did the rest. Having attended numerous healthy hair meet-ups I wanted to use what works but also be as unique and as 'me' as possible. I did however adapt (which for me just tied in with the theme - more or less, New Naturals) the concept of goody bags, this was a free event at which I was a guest speaker but I still wanted to make sure the ladies went away with something even if they didn't get anything from the conversation....I will elaborate a little later below.
As much as I wanted to keep things simple I wanted to have something visual and decided on doing a presentation covering points on the discussion just so that the attendees could see what I was talking about. I also printed this presentation just in case we had no electricity for the day as Eskom would have it. On the day Eskom did not disappoint but unfortunately the church projector would not work. No stress on my side at all, I was surprisingly cool calm and collected.
I had put my points and thoughts together on the following:
- Basic hair care regimen/routine - when someone has taken the plunge and chopped off their relaxed hair, what next?
- How to choose the right shampoos, conditioners and moisturisers?
- What to do when hair becomes dry and brittle?
So as not to further lengthen this post I will do separate posts on each of these above mentioned topics.
Did the talk go the way I planned...yes and no lol. No in that I didn't go through my presentation item by item because we decided to allow questions during the talk rather than after so we diverted and yes because although we diverted we kept to the theme of things and did touch on the topics in the presentation in any case and it made the afternoon more interesting for everyone as I answered all the questions which were personal to the person asking and yet beneficial to all...more engagement was had, more laughs and laughter and what was even more special, the Caucasian ladies (whom I had not expected lol) asked the most questions and also confirmed and endorsed and validated what I was saying. For example, the use of sulphate free shampoo...before I could even open my mouth to explain further the benefits of sulfates free shampoo and what sulfates are,  one Caucasian lady was like 'ladies, that stuff strips your hair of all natural oils, they use it to clean car engines so can you imagine what it is doing to your hair'...need I say more <BIG GRIN>. As we continued our lovely afternoon I touched on penetrating oils and sealing oils, why coconut oil should be in everyone's home (even though my hair does not like it on its own, I still use it as a pre-poo and in my DIY butter and to cleanse my face and many other things), not being afraid to go to the isle for white people hair care in the stores and yes white people can actually now find some useful items in the isle for black people hair care in the stores and more and one Caucasian lady was like 'this is all so interesting and I now understand why they use a clarifying shampoo when I go to the salon before they colour my hair'. I was so thankful to God that everything just flowed and I was surrounded by ladies with their personal questions after the event just wanting to know more.
 I have said it before and I will say it again, hair is hair, the shampoo does not know it is going on a white persons hair for example, we need to know and choose the products that are right for our own hair be it curly or straight, and go a step further by getting know our own individual hair so we choose specifically for it.
I was also asked to bring some products to show the ladies.....umm, you all know I am a product enthusiast as I like to call it (with numerous pending reviews sigh) and well....I took with me SOME of the locally accessible products we now have in South Africa. 2 years ago we were a desert in terms of healthy hair products for our curly hair and now we can fill a table and there's more to come...JOY! These were displayed in no specific preference and no specific order.
At the end of it all I gave out small but jam packed goody bags and some of the contents were a big  thanks to the following of whom I am truly grateful for. I asked 3 people whom I just thought to ask and boy did they get on board and freely give and in so doing become a part of the special day by touching the lives of the women who attended and got to try their products:
Lucy of Ruutos based in Randburg gave each lady a R400 voucher towards a treatment in her salon as well as a sample size bottle of Jamaican Black Castor Oil (I got loads of cheers from the ladies when I told them about the castor oil (o:). Ruutos continues to evolve and grow and give us their very best and you can get in touch with them to place any order, visit their salon or become a business associate by visiting their website: True world changers. Lucy went out of her way in adding the castor oil to the giveaways and professionally had the vouchers in envelopes, giving of herself in love for our hair.
Jolly Mokorosi of Asili Beauty gave us samples of her hair butter - the difference between hers and the many other local ones we have is that it has beeswax. What is great is that the beeswax is mixed with the other good stuff that we know about such shea butter and coconut oil. You can get in touch with her and place any orders on or via her facebook page HERE. Jolly went out of her way and even added her product fliers and some props for the table, giving of herself in love for our hair.

Aphro Amour
Karabo of Afro Amour gave us samples of her hair butter - lovingly made with shea butter and other goodness. You can get in touch with Karabo to place an orders or if  you have questions HERE (they will soon be adding other items to their range and they have some pretty snazzy satin night caps which I would wear in the day) She went out of her way on the day of handing me the samples and had them on ice in a small cooler bag with an ice pack just to prevent the product from melting which is normal, giving of herself in love for our hair.
I was just drawn to these women. I do not know these women personally although I now deem them family, they did not have to but they did, they gave freely of their time, their products, their love and their hearts. They do not know me and yet they answered my call for help with something I was also doing for the first time. They helped make the event all the more special and I appreciate them for being who they are and know they will continue to get to where they want to be and how they want to be as brands and personally, women of this beautiful country. No matter what happens in this country, its things like this and women like this who ground me and keep me in the positive light and in the love that only God can instil.
From me, each lady received a spray bottle - in my view this is a key item to have for any natural or any person with hair. It has many uses and just makes thing a whole lot easier. I also included a shower cap, in my view another key item and if not at hand a plastic shopper bag will achieve the same thing. Useful for deep conditions or creating the green house effect of keeping one's hair moisturised whilst asleep.
I added a small info page on Natural Solutions to Stimulate Hair Growth. (I received a stack of these from NaturaMagazine for being part of their team of writers for one of their past online editions - see HERE for my contribution)
 The women who attended also received print outs of a list I drew up of where to get this that and the other in South Africa such as satin scarfs/headwraps and shea butter - separate post to follow. They also received print outs of Phro Groups Hair Growth Challenge regimens which can be found HERE just so they could see what a regimen can entail. I also printed a stack of Wisaal's post on good, easily obtainable and affordable hair products that were presented at the first Feminist Stokvel as I found it extremely useful and wanted to share, see her post HERE.
Before I end this post, yes I thank God, I thank the ladies for having me, I thank the ladies mentioned above for giving and I would like to thank my sister who went with me (and drove me there as you know I am still a new driver and didn't want to arrive there with shot nerves) and she helped unpack the products I had on display as well as pack them up again and I am thankful for her support, She too like many women, is new on her natural hair journey and I was happy to have her at my side.(she managed to answer questions from some of the ladies who came to the table whilst I was busy talking to others - a quick learner lol)

Having this opportunity and giving this talk was also empowering for me, I don't know everything. Some things I know for sure and some things I am still learning and being able to answer the questions I was asked, reaching within and just finding the answer waiting for me to formulate into words and for it to all just make sense. I was humbled and I was glad to see my goal of empowering as I am empowered happening before me. So many women just don't know and so many women need this healthy hair education on our hair, for us and by us and with us. Let us all continue however way we get this knowledge out there, let us continue and strive for the betterment of our crowning glories, our hair.
Lets see where this will go and as always, listen to your hair.


  1. I was there. What a great day. Thank u Joan, now I know what to do with my hair. May God bless u more. Buli the preggy

  2. Thank you so much Buli (I'm sure you can't wait for baby to arrive now). I receive those blessings and remain ever grateful. Much love.

  3. Praise God! It looked like a really great gathering. I wish we could have more of these in Joburg. Keep doing the work that you're doing. May you it continue to flourish! <3


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