Interview with Nadia Salie

My Natural Hair hooked up with this young go-getter, a student at Stellenbosch University, for the lowdown on her hair routine. Salie sums it up in three words: efficient, effective and simple. She also shares her tips on porosity, breakage and hair health.


Q: What is your hair care routine like?

NS: I deep condition and detangle my hair once a week to make sure that it is nourished and supple. I co-wash, oil and moisturise every second day as it is important to give your hair ‘break days’. And I shampoo my hair three to four times a month as shampoo tends to dry out my hair. This regimen works for my hair, my pocket and my schedule.


Q: What does having a bad hair day mean to you?

NS: Everybody who has hair has a bad hair day at some point in time. For me, a bad hair day is when my wash and go do not live up to my vision of splendour or my puff just does not look puffy enough. My go-to solution is always a cute headband or a low bun. No bad hair day should cause you to have a bad day!


Q: What are some of the general pointers if one wants to go natural?

NS: When wanting to go natural, hair care should be number one on your list. My top five tips for healthy hair is: moisturise your hair regularly, use an oil that works well with your hair type or texture, always be sure to treat your hair to a deep condition or mask at least once a week, know when to trim your hair and avoid touching and playing with your hair.


Q: How does one prevent breakage?

NS: Breakage can often come unexpectedly, but there are precautions you can take to avoid it. Make sure that you are not wearing the same hairstyle too often. If you are pulling your hair up into a puff or pineapple every day, your edges will bear the brunt. Refrain from tight hair-do’s and be careful when doing certain protective styles like box braids. If the section of hair you’re braiding is small and you are using a lot of fiber, it can cause breakage. Do your best to switch it up and give your hair a breather in between styles.


Q: How would you describe porosity? How does one know what your hair’s porosity is?

NS: As intimidating as the term hair porosity is there is no need to shake in your boots!  It simply refers to your hair’s ability to absorb and retain or hold moisture. In order to know if you have hair with high porosity or low porosity, you can do what is called a floating test. Put a few hair strands into clean water and leave it be for two to three minutes. If your hair sinks you have high porosity hair and if it floats you have low porosity hair. Low porosity hair is seen as healthy and high porosity hair is considered to be more prone to frizz damage and tangles. It is possible to have hair that is of medium porosity and this type of hair usually refers to people who are in the middle.


Q: How do does one match hair products with one’s hair porosity?

NS: It is relatively easy to match your hair products with your hair porosity. If you have low porosity hair you should opt for lighter hair products and avoid the heavy butters. If you have medium porosity hair you should implement a protein treatment to your regimen that you do every two to four months. If you have high porosity hair be sure to make use of leave-in conditioners and rich oils.


Q: What should inform one’s choice of hair products?

NS: When purchasing products always read the list of ingredients. Avoid damaging chemicals such as sulfates and parabens, which strip your hair of its natural oils.


  • Nadia is a 23-year-old second year BA language and culture student at the University of Stellenbosch, where she has lived since the start of her studies. She has done modelling and once her studies allow her some flexibility she plans to take it up again.

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