Inspiration corner with Tshepiso

February 29, 2012

This year´s first hair inspiration is Tshepiso from South Africa, she is one of our treasured members and her progress is really amazing. Read her hair story and find out how she went from damaged shoulder length hair to bra strap length hair in only 10 months.
To view her profile Click here

1. Are you relaxed or Natural?

    I am texlaxed (I intentionally under process my new growth).

2. What is your hair type? Describe your curl pattern

    Combination of 4b and 4c.

3. What was your starting length and what is your current one?

    I started at shoulder length (SL) and I am now grazing bra strap length (BSL) ('',.

4. What inspired you to start a HHJ and when was it?

   I started my hair journey in April 2010.
(picture on the left shows her beginning length)

   I had just been home to see my parents and I was struck (not for the first time) at how thick my mother's hair is and looking back at pictures of my hair when I was younger I realised just how badly my hair was damaged. I started researching healthy hair and I had no idea what was waiting for me. I was inspired by Youtubers HHJ more especially those that transitioned from relaxed to natural, I got caught up in the thickness.  I initially wanted to transition to natural and decided to transition long term. After being at war with my hair for 9 months I decided to relax the new growth but accidently under processed it, and I liked it. Now I am transitioning to texlaxed.

5. How easy was getting into a regimen, knowing the right products etc? what´s your regimen?

    I didn't find it difficult getting into a regimen as I had already been deep conditioning regularly and washing my hair once a week prior to starting my HHJ. What I did find to be a challenge was finding the "right" products and knowing what the "right" products are. I initially did find it overwhelming try to figure out which ingredients are "good" and which ones are "bad", which led to a lot of confusion. (I must admit I am currently a member of "Hair Products Anonymous" *Blush*)

My approach has been to try keep things as simple as possible, cost effective (I'm on a student budget) and most of all i to listen to my hair.

I texlax once every 4-6 months with ORS Olive Oil Lye relaxer in normal.

I begin by detangling my hair.
I pre-poo using an oil for about one hour.
I shampoo (with my hair in 4 sections) with a moisturising shampoo and a protein shampoo.
I do a black tea rinse (I do not rinse out the tea with water).
I apply my deep conditioner and I leave it on covered with a plastic cap for a time period of anything from an hour to overnight. After which I rinse it out.

I condition with a regular conditioner and I mix in a drop or two of olive oil.
I air dry my hair.
I detangle again.
Apply my leave in's (leave in conditioner and moisturiser).
Then seal my hair with an oil of my choice.

Nightly: Moisturise and seal every second night or as needed. I oil my scalp using castor oil two to three times a week. I will then cover my head with a plastic cap, my silk scarf and a beanie (Green house method).

Protein "Treatments":Week before relaxer I will do a protein deep conditioning treatment or as needed.

Clarifying Shampoo: As needed.

Supplements: I take a hair and nail supplements.

I protective style religiously mainly because I'm super lazy and not very creative when it come to styling.
Ponytail ( protective style)

I rarely use heat tools in my hair (maybe once every 3 or so months) , and when I do I use a heat protectant.

6. Is this ‘regimen thing’ complicated?

    I don't believe it's as complicated as it may sound to be. It does require patience though. What seems to be common no matter what is among all women (natural or relaxed) is;
  1. a shampoo,
  2. a deep conditioner,
  3. regular conditioner,
  4. a moisturiser,
  5. an oil.
And in my opinion that is a great place to start the rest you learn on the way and adapted the kind of product according to what you hair needs.

7. How soon into your HHJ did you start seeing results?
    I started seeing length changes after about 3 months and over all changes in health and thickness of my hair after about 9 to 10 months.

length in oct. 2011

8. How long has it taken you to reach your current length?
    10 months ('',.
current length grazing Bra strap Length ( BSL)

9. Do you think what you achieved would be possible without learning the Proper techniques necessary to grow African hair long?

    Not at all. Though I had been deep conditioning regularly washing my hair once a week and using a heat protectant, I was over manipulating my hair, flat ironing it regularly, detangling inappropriately with small toothed combs, over processing my hair with relaxer, the list can go on. Though I had some length on my side I didn't have health.

10. Do you believe anyone who adapts the correct techniques can grow fabulous hair or is there such a thing as bad hair?

    I don't believe there is such a thing as bad hair or good hair. We all have the ability to grow healthy hair if we just treat it with TLC. A plant that is well looked after, pruned, watered, supported and under the right conditions will thrive whereas one that is left to grow without support, isn't watered regularly and is just left in hopes that it will thrive, will not. I believe the same applies to hair.

11. How many people have been inspired by the length you have gained and decided to start a HHJ?

    No one that I am aware of. Instead I've found myself to be inspired by other ladies.

12. What is the most heart-felt advice you would give to other African ladies
thinking about but not so sure about starting a HHJ?

    "You and I  and other ladies here are not that different, they can do it and so can you.
Don't let the 'jargon'/technical terms scare you off. Don't under rate the potential of your hair.
Curve out your own HHJ, find what works for you in your lifestyle."

13. What would you advice a Newbie NOT to do?

    Don't let your hair setbacks pull you down, don't give up.
    Keep track of your growth but don't obsess over it.

14. So are you hoping to grow your hair to ankle length? what are your short term and long term goals?
    Ankle length, lol. No that just isn't for me.
    I'm hoping to reach full BSL by July if not October this year and mid back length (MBL) by July 2013.
    More importantly healthy, thick, luscious hair is what I'm really after.
Happy hair journey.

We would like to thank Tshepiso very much for sharing her hair journey with us :-)

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  1. wow i love her hair. what products does she use on her hair?