Amanda Dilwayo is today’s natural beauty. Here’s her hair story.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Amanda. I’m South African but I live in Paris at the moment.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My friends call me a gypsy because I don’t have a real career, I live out of a suitcase and I wander around from country to country! The truth is I love to travel and I live for what makes me happy. My other interests are hair, photography, fashion and cocktails!
How long have you worn your hair natural and what made you decide to do it?
I had natural hair a couple of years ago but because I didn’t know how to properly maintain it, I relaxed it again. Then 2 years ago when I lived in South Korea I big chopped again. The reason was there were no hair salons for ethnic hair where I lived, where I could maintain my relaxer and get my weave done. The second reason was that being in such a homogeneous society, where people strive to look the same, made me want to embrace my individuality more.
When did you first realise that you love your natural hair texture and what exactly do you love about it? Describe your hair.
My hair texture is a bit of 4b and 4c. The crown and the back are 4b while the sides are 4c. Because my hair is thin, I always envy girls with thicker hair but the advantage for me is I don’t have to spend a lot of time manipulating my hair. I realised I loved my natural hair texture right away when I couldn’t get enough of my soft bouncy curls! I just couldn’t keep my hands out of my hair! I love the versatility of my hair. I can rock a cute twist out today, a shrunken afro tomorrow then straight hair the day after!
What is your hair regime? What do you do to keep it healthy?
My regimen is simple and always changing. I’m always trying new products and practices because I’m a product junkie. My current regimen is my winter regimen. Weekly, I detangle/pre-poo with an oil, wash with a clarifying shampoo and then deep condition with a homemade deep conditioner. Once a month I do a protein treatment. After washing I put my hair in chunky twists to dry or small twists/bantu knots if I want definition. I spritz my hair daily or as needed with a mixture of water and a leave-in conditioner and seal with some oil.
What have your experiences been as a natural, including reactions from friends, family and colleagues? Have you experienced any opposition from anyone in your life regarding how you wear your hair?
The reaction has been mostly positive. My friends like my hair and I always get stopped by curious strangers who ask, “How did you make it curly?” The only person who hasn’t warmed to my hair is my mom. When I’m just chilling at home I never do anything to my hair. I just wear it in a shrunken afro or I’ll keep my satin bonnet on all day to protect my hair from rubbing against stuff…I guess she doesn’t like that look. If she had her way, she’d slap some relaxer on my head!
What is your favourite go-to hair style for days when you don’t have a lot of time?
I’m not into styling my hair nor do I even know how it style it! I always just wear it out in an afro.
What is your hair goal?
My hair goal is simply to have healthy hair and grow back my edges!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learnt during your natural hair journey?
To be patient and gentle with my hair.
Where can we find you online?
My website is www.aforafro.com and on instagram I’m @missmandy_dee