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Curly Nikki

Mandy from South Africa is Naturally Glam!

By January 27th, 202134 Comments

Mandy from South Africa is Naturally Glam!

by Antoinette of Around the Way Curls

When and why did you decide to go or stay natural?
In 2004 I was so fed up with my hair that was dry, brittle and felt like straw. I had just changed hairdressers and my new stylist strongly suggested stopping the relaxers. She did however suggest starting to perm my hair as the pH of the perm was more acidic and therefore less harsh! I fell for it and continued perming for a few months! Still had hair like straw though!!
Then I fell pregnant and changed hairdressers again (this time trying a stylist who was white) and she suggested stopping all chemical processes! And so my journey began!! So there I was, pregnant and transitioning at the same time!! Talk about brave, LOL

Did you big chop or transition? How did you manage your hair while going natural?
I transitioned. I would normally do a roller set and when dry, blow it out straight or flatiron straight!!! So, the damage continued even though my hair became allot healthier! I continued this for the next 2 years!!

Have you always been so confident and in love with your curls? What is your hair story?
Sadly, the short answer is no! Being born in South Africa as a person of colour with kinky curly hair made me feel inferior to Caucasian girls! Even in our segregated schools you were seen as inferior, less beautiful if you had hair that wasn’t either straight or loose bouncy glossy curls!! Anything tighter than a 2b was considered bad hair (“kroes” in my language) Therefore, I actually hated my hair and saw it as a curse.

I started embracing my curls when we moved to Cyprus (a little island in the Mediterranean sea). See, here the humidity reaches 90% easily in summer! Therefore, my hair would frizz and look like cotton candy even after flat ironing! So, I went online and stumbled upon a sight called “! What a Godsend!! And so my real natural journey started! A full 3years after stopping the chemicals! For the first time in my adult life I stood face to face with my natural curl pattern! In the beginning it was a ” love-hate-relationship”! But as I got the hang of it slowly my hatred made way for love and acceptance! Now I look in the mirror and say : ” damn girl! You sexy you!!” AND I LOVE IT!!

Mandy from South Africa is Naturally Glam!
How do you think going natural has affected your life? For the better or worse? And why?
For the better! Now I can walk in the rain without having to pray to Jesus to PLEASE not let my hair frizz! “hallaluyer”!( said in my best Madiya (Medea) voice). Being able to look in the mirror and love what I see was a totally liberating experience for me! Also I feel so exotic now, just the way God intended me to be!!!!

What is your hair regimen and nightly routine?
I’m still struggling in this department as I don’t have access to any good products on the island!! I basically co-wash with Tresseme moisture intense conditioner which I also use as a leave in. Seal with either coconut -or olive oil or a whipped Shea butter and oil mix. Then I diffuse to about 70% dry and leave it to air dry the rest of the way. I do a deep condition treatment with avo, plain yoghurt, honey (shout out to aroundthewaycurls!!!), when my hair feels in need of moisture.

At night I sometimes do a pineapple, but only if my husband feels like playing the part of Homer Simpson!! LOL! Otherwise, I just do a low pony and end up with really fuzzy hair in the morning!!!
Mandy from South Africa is Naturally Glam!

If you were stranded on and island and could only have 3 products what would they be and why? WE DIDN’T KNOW SHE ALREADY LIVED ON ONE!!! SMH! DUMB QUESTION! NO DISRESPECT TO OUR AROUND THE WAY ISLAND CURLS! IT’S A FIGURE OF SPEECH HERE!!!
I kinda am stranded on an island now, LOL ; ). I would probably take my coconut – and olive oil and my conditioner! Simply because I can’t live without my oils!

What is your go-to style?
I love my to the side bun with a deep side path!

What is the worst mistake you have made with your hair?
I once did a colour and a relaxer right on top of each other! And lost some hair around my edges! Thank God it grew back again!!

Mandy from South Africa is Naturally Glam!

Who is your hair idol?
I don’t really have one particular person! I take inspiration from people like you guys!!

You also have absolutely gorgeous skin. I know everyone reading this will be thinking that. What is your secret?
Thank you! Well, I never go to bed with makeup or without doing my nightly routine of cleansing , toning and moisturizing! I also apply EVOO to my skin. Maintenance is key! I also avoid direct sunlight!

Mandy from South Africa is Naturally Glam!
Any words of wisdom that you would like to share with the masses?
Self-acceptance is the key to real happiness! Love yourself and life will be so much easier! I also want to please encourage all mothers with little curly headed daughters to embrace them and their curls and hence empowering them from a young age so they don’t go through all the pain and struggles we had to endure!

Be sure to LIKE the new Around the Way Curls Facebook Page!


  • Fatima says:

    OMG! Some of the prettiest curls I've ever seen! Absolutely stunning!

  • lifesatisfied says:

    Beautiful lady, beautiful curls. :)

  • Mandy Geralys says:

    Thanks for all the love curlygirlfriends! It has been a LONG journey for me to finally excepting who I am and loving myself just the way God made me!

  • Samantha Nneamaka says:

    This is beautiful. It is really rare to see african women that are in America embracing their natural hair. Do your thang my african sistah ! lol

  • Anonymous says:

    I also love the international hair love stories :) It really opens my eyes. When I was a kid her hair was "the good hair". Strange world we live in.

  • Anonymous says:

    What kind of twisted world do we live in where THIS woman is considered ugly because she doesn't have bouncy curls. WTF?

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes her skin IS a lovely shade of photoshop. Just gawjus.

  • PhenomenallyMe says:

    I'm late but where did you find this gorgeous live doll baby!!!! Her hair is gorgeous, her skin is flawless! Seriously, where did you find her?! Under a rock? LOL

    Thanks for sharing this. You should do more international glamorous ladies. I am curious as to what goes on with curlies in other places and the things they deal with being natural!

  • Anonymous says:

    Her hair is beautiful and so is she. You're right I do want her skin. Its beautiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    White people love my curls. black people are so mentally enslaved,
    I don't think they would like me living in their neighborhood, but they love my curls.
    There seems to be some tension when I want to date their sons/daughter, but they love my curls.
    My ideas in the workplace aren't considered valid until random white person says so, but they love my curls.
    Sometimes it hurts my feelings when my white friends label black peple as ghetto, but hey, they love my curls.
    To be really real, I like totes love when a white person says,"you're not like the other black people". I share this because I want to encourage all of you to deminish yourselves, like I have, and get under this umbrella of white privilege, the benefits are great!
    I just seriously can't.

  • Anonymous says:

    Just like everyone else commented, she is just gorgeous! I have been transitioning from a relaxer for one year now and usually the people who complement me on my curls are Caucasian people. We have some growing to do as people of color… Thanks for sharing!

  • keisha says:

    She is absolutely GORGEOUS! If you aren't a model, you could definitely be one!! great interview!

  • Annie L. says:

    Whichever products you're using are working just great for you! And that low, side bun is fabulous! I miss the Mediterranean, the Aegean area was my home for many years and I LOVED CYPRUS!

  • Davina916 says:

    Great interview….she is beautiful.

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG!!!! She is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG she has that BEATIFUL facial bone structure inherent to African women! Work it Girl!

  • Anonymous says:

    Great interview…I will be in South Africa at the end of December for 2 weeks and I hope to only take 3 products to use :-).

  • Lisa says:

    She's so adorable. She slightly favors Thandie Newton. Anyway, lovely hair!

  • Anonymous says:

    So pretty!!! Love her personality!


  • braidsntwists says:

    My God she's gorgeous! She has such beautiful skin and I love her hair. Beyond all that, I just find it funny and somewhat sad that only a white beautician told her to stop chemicals altogether.

  • ATWC says:

    Aw thanks Nikki. She is going to be so excited.

  • Quaneasha says:

    She is beautiful! Hair is gorgeous! Skin is flawless!

    I am having my wedding/honeymoon in South Africa (near Port Elizabeth) this December and I would love to know about the weather there. I am scared of how to do my hair! Lol

  • Anonymous says:

    SHE IS BEAUTIFUL! Love the hair.

  • DiscoveringNatural says:

    Her words of wisdom really touched me. As a mother of girls, I always tell my girls and my little girls clients to embrace their lovely curls. Thank you for a wonderful interview. –

  • Wonder Woman says:

    Wow, she is gorgeous and I just adore the curls. I'm so glad she fell in love with her natural hair! Great interview!

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow. She's so pretty!

  • Devon says:

    I love this story:) She's beautiful and her curls are very pretty!

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    She is just cute as a button! It is ironic that she had to go to a white hairdresser to go natural; it seems like she finally came across someone who had her best interest at heart. That last picture is gorgeous…she looks like a model or beauty queen.

  • TheCurlyChris says:

    GORGEOUS!!!!!! I might have to cop that side bun…hottt!

  • wisecurls says:

    She is stunning!!! Wow! Lovely interview!

  • Kudos says:

    I was looking at her skin like…is that airbrush?! BEAUTIFUL!!! But I LOVE the sun, ugh!
    I also found it interesting that it took going too a white hair dresses for her to go nautural!
    Great interview!

  • Sequitta J. says:

    OMG SHE'S SO BEAUTIFUL! Looks like Thandie Newton.

  • MsCassyJ says:


  • Anonymous says:

    What an amazing interview. Love her candid answers, lmbo @ hallelluyer.

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