I’m so excited to share this interview I did with Lynelle Kenned. She immediately caught my eye on the reality show My Top Billing Dream – I mean how could you not notice those curls! I thought it was probably a bit of a stretch, but I knew I had to get in touch with her to get the scoop on that gorgeous, gorgeous hair. Lucky for us Lynelle agreed to spill all the details of her journey with her hair to date…
Life before My Top Billing Dream
Lynelle with her hair straight – very cute!
Lynelle grew up in Paarl & before the show was studying (she’s still finishing up her thesis) & was a part-time music teacher. Having made it to the top four, amazingly, she says she nearly didn’t enter at all if it wasn’t for the encouragement (read nagging!) of her mom.
Lynelle at her matric dance
These days, Lynelle has landed herself a spot on local Afrikaans TV show Pasella & beams when she talks about how her life has changed & the opportunities afforded through this experience.
The big chop
Lynelle rocking her afro just after the big chop in 2008 – HOT!
Lynelle relaxed her hair for many years & says her hair held her back growing up. For example, while in school she sat on the sidelines while everyone else swam. While in second year at UCT & not having the convenience of her mom nearby to help with her hair anymore, Lynelle felt she couldn’t keep up the maintenance of her straight hair & opted to go natural instead. She transitioned for a few months, letting her natural hair grow out at the roots & says it was tough to manage the two different hair textures simultaneously. Noticing how healthy & strong the new hair was, four months later she did the big chop & cut off all of her relaxed tresses.
Look. At. All. That. Hair. Hair, hair & more kinky, curly, gorgeous, healthy hair!
Lynelle says most people embraced her new look although a few of the folks back home in Paarl were less welcoming, seeing her curly hair as “less put together”. While she’s disappointed about those who hold that view, what I love most about Lynelle is that she’s undeterred & carries herself with enormous confidence & that at the tender age of 24!
My all-time favourite pic – I love how defined her curls are, she makes it look so easy!
While her natural hair does still need work, Lynelle says she doesn’t for a minute buy into the argument that relaxed hair is easier to maintain. She recognized quickly her hair’s ongoing need for moisture & makes sure she gives it loads of TLC.
Ok, so how does she achieve this look? I know you’re wishing I’d just skip right to it so here goes. Lynelle’s routine is relatively low maintenance with amazing results if you ask me. Her weekly routine consists of:
- Wash & condition (Schwarzkopf)
- Divide the hair into sections & apply the deep conditioner/masque (ORS Olive Oil masque)
- The deep conditioner/masque is left in the hair
- Hair is dried upside down & scrunched with some mousse
- Blow dry hair loosely (no diffuser attachment) to get some air in & to give it that “big” look
Lynelle uses a scrunchie to tie her hair up when showering & amazingly sleeps with her hair down & uncovered. She hates people touching her hair, calling it “organized chaos”.
Some expert help
Like all naturals, Lynelle says she was petrified of cutting or even trimming her hair at first after the big chop, lusting for that enviable length most naturals yearn. While she doesn’t frequent the salon much, she did have her hair shaped & coloured (copper & honey highlights) in-salon for My Top Billing Dream, which I think has just added another dimension to her hair making it even more beautiful.
Motivation for other naturals
A Glamour Magazine shoot – how could anyone even this hair’s not well put together/polished? I love, love, love!
Lynelle concedes that accepting her natural hair is more than just about hair & means embracing who you are. She adds that you need to embrace your hair first & wear it confidently before you can expect the world to & once you do she’s found respect from others in doing so. Her hair, having become so much a part of her, she says has been rewarding to watch grow to its healthiest & longest length yet since making this change.
Lynelle’s hair journey really resonated with me in countless ways because of my own. Its comforting to know she’s battled along the way too & that her look is achievable with some work (& patience!). Colour is definitely something I will consider down the line, but for now, I’m focused on moisture & growth.
For more from Lynelle, check out her new blog or catch up with her on twitter.
Be kind to your hair!