Eleanor's Expedition

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


One of my first major South African "naturalista" curl crushes has got to be on blogger, Eleanor Williams aka Eleanor Jadore 
It's not only about her curl type or length (which is absolutely amazing), it's the fact that you can see her hair is healthy and well maintained. That is everything! 

Eleanor and I met online but in all honesty, it feels as if we know each other for a very long time, even though we haven't met face to face yet (#BossiekoppeUnite). She was the first one to ask me to do a feature on her blog, so this post was bound to happen!  

p.s - take note of Eleanor's hair care routine. It makes me want to rush home and
spend some  quality time with my locks. 





Tell us a little bit about yourself. Who is Eleanor Williams?

Well hello there! I'm a proudly South African curly girl from CapeTown who has been living in Tokyo for the last 2 years. Although I worked in Public Relations for about 10 years of my life, I now spend my week day mornings hanging out with a class of 2 year olds as a Nursery Teacher. By night I'm a natural hair and beauty blogger,
sharing my natural hair journey as well as tips and tricks on how to keep natural curls healthy.



Did you always wear your hair naturally curly? If not, when and why
did you decide to go naturally curly?

I've worn my hair naturally curly for most of my life with little bouts of relaxers in high school and in my twenties as I thought my curls were too out of control. Even though I still wore my hair curly in its relaxed state it wasn’t up until a few years ago that I decided that I didn’t want to try and tame my mane with harmful chemicals
anymore. So I just gradually let the relaxed hair grow out. I honestly couldn't remember for a long time, but after going through some old photos over the weekend I now know that that I had my last relaxer in 2010.


Everyone has a favourite "hair story", would you like to tell us yours?

Oh I have quite a few... I've been called all sorts of things for having curly hair from "MacyGray!" by a passing taxi driver, "Bossiekop!" (Afrikaans for Bushyhead), to "Meisie kyk hoe lyk jou hare!" (Afrikaans for "Girl, just look at your hair"), all meant in a derogatory way. But then I've also received the loveliest of compliments and comments like, "Gorgeous hair" and "Your hair is perfect, and I want my hair to look exactly like yours".
Luckily I've never had any pressure from my close relatives to look a certain way, and I love the fact that they've always supported my hair choices.


You're currently in Japan, what has the general public's opinion

been about your curls?


Most of the time people aren't phased too much about my hair, but every now and again I'll catch someone staring at me intently. On the odd occasion though people have asked to touch my hair, and because I understand that they are just curious, I'll tell them they can touch my hair if I can touch theirs. I do this just so that they can feel what a slightly uncomfortable position they are putting me in, as touching someone's hair is extremely personal.
What is your honest opinion about the natural hair movement?

I think it's great that it has so many women in tune in to their natural hair, to the notion that you can look fabulous with your God-given hair. I love the fact that it's encouraging women to embrace not only the health of their hair, but very often also their health in general as well, as a focus in one area of your life often leads to a
wider focus. Sometimes I think it's crazy that we have to put so much emphasis on hair, because as some people say, "It's just hair right?" But if it was just hair then the woman of colour hair industry wouldn't be as huge as it is, both relaxed and natural. The truth is that hopefully we can get to a point where it's not a movement anymore, where hair really is just hair. For now though, there is a lot of education that needs to be done, and it's my honest belief that it’s up to us curly girls who have already come to embrace our natural hair to share the love with those who are still struggling. As stated in one of my previous blog posts it’s up to us as mothers, sisters, aunts and friends to educate our children that it’s ok to be yourself and that you don’t have to look a certain way to fit in.



What is your hair routine, fave products and which methods do you use?

I wash my hair once per week - this is my process.
Pre-poo and Detangle - This a treatment that I apply to my hair beforeI wash it to make sure that it does not get stripped of its natural
oils during the wash process. I use my favourite oil for this: coconut
oil. About an hour before I wash I divide my hair into four sections
and apply the oil to each section. While I work it into the hair I
start detangling. After I’ve completed each section, I’ll twist it up
and out of the way until all four sections of hair have been saturated
in oil. I’ll leave this on for anything from 30 minutes to an hour
before I jump into the shower.
Wash - I alternate washing my hair between a natural shampoo and a
gentle cleansing conditioner. So one week I’ll wash with either
Giovanni Tea Tree Triple Treat Invigorating Shampoo or Aubrey Organics
Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Shampoo, and the next week I’ll wash
with a gentle cleansing conditioner. Currently I’m hooked on As I Am
Coconut Cowash Cleansing Conditioner. I gently wash the hair section
by section and twist up each section before I move on to the next. I
focus on my scalp and let the cleanser run off to my ends.
Deep Condition - I either apply a home-made DIY deep conditioner or a
natural commercial one, after which I cover my hair with a plastic
shower cap and leave the deep conditioner in for about 30 minutes to
an hour. Then I jump back in the shower and rinse it all out.
Moisturising, Sealing and Styling - Again working in sections, I’ll
start by applying aloe vera juice, followed by a moisturising leave-in
conditioner. I love leave-ins, so I have quite a stash going at the
moment, but right now I’m using Camille Rose Naturals Curl Love
Moisture Milk. Finally I seal in all the moisture with coconut oil, or
my home-made whipped shea butter cream during the winter.
Then I twist the hair up into 2-strand twists and let it air-dry over
night, wrapped up in a silk scarf, while I sleep on a silk-lined
pillowcase. I don’t use a hair dryer anymore and have been heat-free
for almost 2 years.
Weekly Maintenance - During the week I keep the twists in for 3-4
days, after which I need to restyle. I usually take out the twists and
wear my hair in a high bun, or another protective style such as 2
plaits on either side of my head, or 2 large chunky flat twists. I
mainly wear my hair out over the weekends, in which case I’ll sport a
braid-out or a twist-out.

I maintain my hair’s moisture levels by spritzing with water, a little
touch up of leave-in and sealing with coconut oil and/or my whipped
shea butter cream. Depending on the style I’m wearing and how my hair
feels, I might re-moisturise twice a day, daily or every few days.
Lastly, I make sure that I wrap up my tresses in a silk scarf every night.

You're getting married in December (YAY!), can you give us a hint
as to how you will be wearing your hair on your special day?

If I knew how I was going to wear it, I'd be a very happy woman. All I know for sure is that curls will prevail without a straight hair in sight!

Any last words you would like to add to future naturalistas?

Just do it! There's no time like the present and why wait? Do your necessary research: blogs, youtube, forums, Facebook groups... There is enough help and advice out there regarding every aspect of natural hair care that you can think of to help you on your way. I realise that the thought of exposing that part of your true self can be rather daunting, but on the flip-side, just think how liberating it will be to finally embrace that side of you really are!

***
Catch up with Eleanor on her blog 

Stay Gold,

Mandy

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4 comments

  1. Melissa13/7/15

    Please explain what a twist up is? How does one do it?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Melissa, I am answering your question in my next post. Hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Major hair crush...
    Just love this lady's hair!!

    ReplyDelete