How about wé start the weekend off with à some hairspiration- especially for those considering locs... Meet Amy- Rea! She has a beautiful spirit. You'll know what I mean when you read her story below.
I'm Amy-Rae Rispel. I'm a 28-year-old mom of one born and bred in the Mother City.
I’m a big supporter for the natural hair movement and a proud feminist.
Day to day I work behind the scenes as a producer for the breakfast show at CapeTalk but in my spare time, I'm the author of Amy, Authentically (https://authenticamy.wordpres
s.com/) and amateur cook.
How long are you natural?
5 years in October this year.
What or who inspired you to embrace your God given crown?
I'd say it was series of preordained events that amalgamated into a paradigm-shifting moment of realization. The birth of my daughter, a bad relaxer experience, becoming a feminist, reading up on the politics of black hair and finally asking myself: “Why do you wear your hair like this? Who are who? What's your purpose? What truth so you want to reflect to the world?”
Having no clear answer for these questions left me uncomfortable, frustrated and angry. And that’s when I knew a major hair change was coming. Soon after I did the big chop (number two) on October 12 2012.
Have you ever had a setback with your hair?
Yes, absolutely! I didn't intend to get locs. I always loved it and was open to trying it but this wasn't this initial plan.
After a very short-lived transition I went for the big chop and boy did my hair grow! Having a fro was a hairstyle that I didn’t keep for a long time. I think eight maybe nine months. The problem I had with the fro was that I struggled with the maintenance of my hair. It took forever to detangle, knotted so easily, shrunk to 70 % of its actual length and when it air-dried, it felt so arid.Back then, the puff that I loved just could never be great all the time. Each week it had to be: a good hair day, very bad one and some so-so ones in between.
I enjoyed doing twist-outs and Bantu knots but it honestly for me was just too much PT. It would take me all day just to do a two-strand twist. Time is a luxury a young working mom doesn’t have. It just wasn’t maintainable. And it was growing at a crazy fast rate and I couldn’t keep up. And that’s when I started considering locs.
What advice would you give to someone considering dread locs?
You need patience. Length in dreadlocks don’t always show (It can take years before you have locs cascading down your back) so don’t give up when it seems like everyone’s hair is flourishing but yours. Nothing worth fighting for ever came easy.
Accept that the journey is trial and error and you will make mistakes. Once you’ve decided that you definitely want locs, try faux locs first – if you still feel like this is for you – find out which method you want to start your locs (mine is the crotchet hook method) and stick to it.
Lastly educate yourself by reading as much as you can on dreads and the history behind it. Know the meaning.
Favourite part- Amy's hair regimen...
It’s so simple because I don’t think our hair should be over-manipulated or over styled. That’s why protective styling is often so good to our hair – because our kinks & curls just wants to “be".
I shampoo & condition about once and week. After several good rinses I seal my damp hair with oil – olive oil, coconut, jojoba or My Natural Hair’s strengthening oil. I then either air-dry or stand under our hood dryer at home and that’s it. I don’t use gel as it causes build up. Every second months I do an AVC rinse or deep condition treatment and every 4/5 months I go for a root refresh on my locs. I’ve dyed my dreads once and it didn’t take.
What are some of your favourite products that you can't live without?
Oil – especially coconut/olive oil. Its seals the moisture, gives my hair shine and makes it feel stronger. I’m not strict on the shampoo or conditioner as over time my hair appears to “get used to” the brand and then I have to change things up. Brands I can personally vouch for are: My Natural hair and Dr Palmers “Coconut oil” formula.
I love what she shared on one of her hair practices-
Speak life into your hair. Stroke your locks and say, oh what gorgeous hair I have, oh what a blessing and joy, oh how strong and healthy this hair is. Don't underestimate the power of positive affirmations (same can be said for negativity. Don't wallow in "this kroeskop" is impossible. Oh what a mission to tackle this bush. It's serves no purpose, don't go there!)
I also believe in deep conditioning your hair using the baggy method and combing hair in smaller parts. Cowashing really makes more manageable and in my experience ACV rinses are the best clarifiers.
And in réponse to how she likes wearing her hair...
It depends on my mood. It's a combo of loose, loc updo and side pony. I also like rocking two big-ass loc buns. Most importantly, I love hair accessories! I like to use necklaces as hair jewelry, flower clips in a quick crown and of course rock pretty scarves in a turban. I never thought I’d say this, but like to use my hair as a form of self-expression.
Do you have a side hustle/ projects that you'd like to share?
No side hustle yet but I've been super motivated by the drive of 'Beauty by Shan' founder Shannen Buys (https://www.facebook.com/beau
ty.byy.shann/) and business acumen of 'Curl Chemistry' creator Liezl Katzen (https://www.facebook.com/curl chemistry/). These two are slaying at such a young age!
Project wise, I do actually have an idea for a short video commentary on black hair. Myself and fellow natural Monique Mortlock believe that there are certain aspects of black hair politics that hasn't been fully delved into (yet) but that's a work in progress.... So we’ll see.
For now, I'm happy to finally have my blog.