I’ve never been adventurous with my hair. As a young girl I used to relax my hair and braid it – all the time. But my hair was weak and thin so it never looked great. In high school I started growing out deadlocks, what most people wouldn’t know is that this was my second round of dreadlocks, the first being in grade two until my class teacher told me that they were inappropriate and that I would have to cut them. So I did.
In high school I tried out dreadlocks for a second time but by then I saw how pretty all my girlfriends looked with long weaves and braids and craved all their hairstyles and got bored of my own. Silly of me, I got a weave done several times over my dreads which obviously weakened my locks. I continued going between weaves and dreadlocks till about 1st year in varsity. Eventually I cut my dreadlocks, they were severally damaged from the pulling of plaiting of the weaves.
I started growing out a cute little afro puff in 2nd year and my hair flourished. I looked cute but being the typical gemini that I am, I got bored and craved change AGAIN. The round ball of natural hair on my head also didn’t suit the way that I was starting to dress. By this time I was due to graduate and was starting to grow into my personal style; very androgynous and edgy. It was time for my hair to follow suit so I researched different natural hairstyles and found the perfect one. A high top fade. I remember arriving and home and seeing the shock on my mom’s face, but she loved it. my mom ALWAYS pushed me to be a little adventurous with my hair so the cut was a pleasant and welcomed surprise.
Fast forward to 2016, after seeing every second hun in Joburg running around with a hight top fade, I figured it was time for a change, a drastic one. With the 10 Year Anniversary of the passing of Lebo Mathosa, a few friends of mine went back and forth about how we would put together a tribute for the legend. The idea of a shoot came up and I would represent platinum blonde Madibuseng. The shoot never happened but Twiggy was now bleach blonde. Wow.
I automatically fell in love with my new look though. This is probably the most dramatic change I’ve had done to my hair and I am starting to grow to love the change each day. The lovely compliments that I have been receiving have been matched up with an equal amount of enquiries of how I achieved the look. So here’s what took place:
I was fortune enough to have the great hands of Jawad of Lajawi Beauty Cafe bless my hair and bleach it with peroxide it to achieve the platinum blonde. Bleach is a chemical made up of ammonia and peroxide, both work together to lighten the natural hair colour. The ammonia lifts the cuticle of the hair and activates the bleaching properties in the peroxide so that any colour on the hair is lifted out of the cortex of the hair. Once you have reached the desired colour, your hairstylist may leave it as it is our add another colour into the hair to achieve the desired look. I wanted to be platinum blonde so we left my hair as is.
Look, for someone who never tampers with their hair, bleaching my hair was A LOT. It burns, you first feel a tingle similar to that feeling of getting your hair relaxed. The longer you have the peroxide on, the more it burns, especially once you go under the hair dryer to achieve the look. It takes about 2-3 sessions and it takes about 2-4 hours per session as you have to apply the peroxide, let it sit then wash it out and repeat.
The first time around that I tried this daring look, my hair went orange so I had to sit longer until we got to the right colour. I didn’t moisturise my hair often enough so it started falling off. This time around I’ve been moisturising daily, co-washing (washing the hair with conditioner) once a week and going to Lawaji once every two weeks for treatment. It’s been about 3 weeks now since going in for the colour so my natural hair colour (black) is starting to creep in, which I kinda dig. If you have really sensitive hair/scalp, I wouldn’t recommend this colour treatment as it strips out moisture and loosens your curl pattern. To achieve this look and colour, I would definitely recommend going to a professional who will use the right products and treatment.
If you have also used peroxide on your hair and have useful tips and tricks to share, comment on this post. I would love to read about everyone’s natural hair experiences.
For more hair enquiries on pricing and bookings at Lawaji Beauty Cafe:
7 Sunnyside road, Melrose
(+27) 11 054 0019
Clothing: Prime Obsession
Photography: Brilliant Kodie