Mane Chick, Amanda Ndlangisa, is celebrating one year since doing dreadlocks. We find out how the journey has been so far.

Why did you decide to do dreadlocks?

I had an Afro for five years, but I bored and didn’t want relaxed hair either as I was used to natural hair. So, I decided to grow my Afro again and two years later, got bored and thought, why not lock my hair? Also, I want to see just how long my natural hair can grow. It’s difficult to achieve that with an ‘fro.

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How easy was it to achieve the locs? Did you need to do anything to your hair prior to transitioning?

It hasn’t been easy. Fortunately, I have coarse hair so I didn’t have to do anything prior the transition. But, the guy who did my locs told me to be patient. It might take anything from six months to a year to have them look the way I want them to. It’s almost a year since I’ve had them, and they are slowly starting to look the way I imagined them to.

How do you maintain your locs? Do you have a regime that you follow?

I’ve never been a person who goes to the salon for hair; I’m a DIY girl. So every two weeks, I wash and treat them myself with Jabu Stone products. I use their hot oil treatment, which I leave in my hair for 20 minutes with a shower cap. I follow this with a wash and condition with the same brand. Jabu Stone is the one for me so far.

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What about styling – do you find you have limited or unlimited styling options?

Very limited! That’s the worst thing about dreadlocks. You’re limited to box braids, wigs and weaves only. Sometimes I’d like to do the thin twists, but I can’t.

There is a conception that maintaining dreads is expensive. Do you agree with this?

Not at all, the most I spend on my hair a month, including washing, treating and styling is less than R400.

One year later, what have you learnt now that you wish you knew then?

That locs need time and patience. I wish I had done them sooner, but I can’t wait to see what they will look like in 10 years.

Who are your dreadlocks crushes?

Letoya Makhene and Ledisi.

Would you recommend others Manes to try getting locs?

Of course, Afros are beautiful, but once you get tired of yours, instead of relaxing, try locking your hair. That way, you’ll get to beat the myth about black hair can only grow so long.

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