Natural Hair in Australia

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What is it like to live in a country that doesn’t have an endless supply of black hair care products and numerous salons that cater to black hair?

The City of Adelaide
So I arrived in Adelaide, Australia last month and will be here for the foreseeable future. Adelaide is the capital city of South Australia and the fifth largest city in the country. It isn’t huge but still has all of benefits of a big city, yet maintains a level of calm about it. I did arrive during the festival period which was a lot of fun. There was an African festival across the road from my hotel which had some excellent live performances of traditional African music. One of the first things I observed when I arrived in Australia was how diverse the people are.
In Adelaide there is a wide choice of restaurants, from Asian restaurants in China Town, to Sudanese restaurants in the outskirts of the city. Quite clearly Adelaide has a growing African community which consists of those from countries in East and South Africa. Over the last two decades, Africans have come to Australia either as migrants through Australia‘s skilled and family reunion programs, and as refugees through Australia‘s humanitarian program. Other communities that live in Australia include those from the Polynesian islands such as Samoa, economic migrants and refugees from countries in Asia, and of course the indigenous aboriginal community. Australia is a nation of immigrants, other than the indigenous aboriginal community everyone there is likely to have connections to other parts of the world.

Rymill Park, Adelaide

Rymill Park, Adelaide

Somerton Beach, Glenelg

Somerton Beach, Glenelg

Adelaide Zoo

Adelaide Zoo

Natural hair community?
It is a wonderful country that I cannot wait to explore. I couldn’t wait to interview some of the African women about life in Australia and to find out whether or not they have heard about the natural hair community, that is prevalent on YouTube and on internet blogs or forums. Of course it has taken off in the U.S.A in a big way and continues to grow in the UK as well. One thing I also noticed is that black beauty products are not readily available like they are in the United States; it reminded me of the UK ten years ago. Growing up in London, I had to go to specialist afro hair and beauty shops to purchase beauty products that catered to my hair and skin tone. In the United States they sell these products in regular stores such a Wal-Mart or Target. The availability of products has improved greatly in the UK but in Australia this simply doesn’t exist. For instance they have Target in Australia but when I browsed through the makeup section I noticed that the darkest color available was caramel.  There certainly wasn’t any black hair care products either. I didn’t see any black hair care shops like Paks Cosmetics in the UK. Fortunately, in America you could go to a regular beauty supply like Sally’s and pick up products that cater to afro hair and those specifically for natural hair.

So I was curious to find out where I could go to get my hair done. Fortunately, since going natural and even before, I have learned to do my own hair and I no longer rely on going to the salon. My hair also thrives with basic products such as Shea butter, coconut oil and plain water. I have learned good hair care practices, so the health of my hair is not dependant on product brands. Therefore I wasn’t panicking because I had moved to a country where I couldn’t pick up any Shea Moisture products or any other popular brands that are freely available in the U.S. However, I still wanted to know where the African women in Adelaide go to buy hair products and if there were black hair salons.
Looking around I saw that many of them wore weaves and braid extensions. The first girl I interviewed said that she mainly relied on a family member to do her hair and she visited the salon occasionally. She told me about the areas where the African shops were and reassured me that there were black hair care shops and salons, you just have to know where to go. Surprisingly, she had never heard of the natural hair community on YouTube. She wore weaves a lot and her hair was relaxed, although she didn’t relax it very frequently. There was also a beautiful young lady from Kenya that I interviewed with immaculate braids, again she had never heard of the natural hair community. Only one person I spoke to was aware of it and she had considered going natural but said she loves her weaves. :D. I explained to her that she could still be natural and wear weaves.

I did see a couple of girls with natural hair though. Two had cute TWAs (teeny weenie afros) and another had two-strand twists. So there are women there that wear their hair natural and I’m sure there is some knowledge about natural hair but it is yet to grow in Australia. It doesn’t appear to have taken off here and I couldn’t find any Australian natural hair, YouTube vloggers.  I am use to seeing blogs and vlogs from women in the UK, Nigeria and the US.  If you know of any or have natural hair and live in Australia, please drop by on this blog and let us know about your experience so far.

Check out Miranda's story on BGLH

Click to check out Miranda’s story on BGLH

Update: here is a link to Miranda’s blog: http://www.StyleGallivanter.com

Good hair care practice
If you have recently gone natural, focus on good hair care practice as opposed to products brands. It is good hair care practice that will promote the health of your hair, not necessarily the products you use. You never know when you may no longer have access to your favorite products or may need to save your money at that particular time. Besides, I find that my twists outs come out beautiful by simply using water and Shea butter. In fact some of the products I’ve tried made my hair too frizzy and were not suitable for twist-outs.

Do you live in a country that doesn’t provide much choice for black hair care and beauty products? How have you adapted to this? Share your experiences below.

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24 responses »

  1. Yes it’s annoying but at least you can get natural shampoos and conditioners. You can also get Giovanni products in health food stores now. I’m hoping to start selling my own soon! 🙂 I’ll keep you posted.

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  2. That’s great! Glad you are finding the blog helpful. Yes, I haven’t even attempted to go to a hairdresser for years, even the ones that cater to afro hair. I think it is a little bit better in the bigger cities, to find products, but it’s just that Australia is so far and the shipping costs alone are horrendous.

    However, there is plenty of access to natural ingredients like oils, butters etc and there are many natural brands of shampoos and conditioners, so it’s not all bad lol. The most important thing is to learn about managing your hair, like you said. I hope to here from more women in Adelaide and other parts of Australia, with curly/kinky natural hair.

    Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated 🙂

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  3. Hi, I’m so glad I found your blog. I’m from South America and I have curly hair. I started to go natural two months ago and I follow vloggers from UK and US and I have learnt so much about hair care for curly. Everyday I’m discovering a new curl in my hair, is so amazing! I’m moisturising with coconut oil and I’m starting to try products I buy on ebay because here it is so hard to find products for our type of hair. The other day a woman with an Afro went to a hairdresser in westlakes and they said they couldn’t get her hair cut 😦 I felt so sad, I hope Australia gets more and more multicultural and we can find everything we need here. I would like to have a haircut but I’m scared just when I see in the salons they would shampoo my hair with regular products. I’ll keep reading your blog and I hope curly hair community grows in Adelaide 🙂

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  4. Hi Miranda, your blog looks amazing! I’ll check out your YouTube channel. Glad to see another Aussie natural hair blogger. Thanks for dropping by.

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  5. Hi Izabella
    Welcome to Adelaide, hope you are enjoying it so far. There are black hairdressers and shops on Prospect Road, and in Blair Athol. I also saw one on Henley Beach Road (towards South Road). I have never used any of them though, so I cant tell you if they are good or not. If you do go to any of them, make sure they are familiar with natural hair, especially if you want to get a hair cut.

    There’s this one: http://www.whitepages.com.au/business-listing/african-beauty-hair-stylist-1730990/blair-athol-sa

    Depending on your hair type, you may get away with going to a salon that specializes in European hair, as they should also be use to clients who have curly hair. There’s Axia in the city, on Rundle Street- http://www.axiahair.com.au. You can always give them a call and ask if they can do it. There is also the Little Hair Boutique on Goodwood Road, they say they specialize in curly hair:

    http://www.goodwoodalive.com.au/lou-marshall-the-little-hair-boutique-shop-591.html

    Again, I have never been to these salons though, they’re just some examples for you.

    Let us know how it goes.

    All the best 🙂

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  6. Hey!
    I am brazilian and arrive in Adelaide 2 moths ago. I have afro/curly hair and I’m looking for a good salon to cut it. Do you know where I can find black hair care shops here?

    Regards
    Izabella

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  7. Thanks for the support and reblog! Yes, I also noticed a lack of information on natural hair, here in Australia. Well done for starting the group, hopefully we will see more women here, get involved. 😀

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  8. Reblogged this on Natural Hair || Australia and commented:
    Whether we’re new to this country or not I think we can all relate…Natural Fantastic sums it up so well, concluding with an interview with Melbourne based natural beauty Miranda: Financial Risk Anylist, Fashion Stylist, Blogger & Model all in one!

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  9. Hey ladies!! Howzit?? Huge massive thanks to Narural Fantastic for creating this blog- I have been on the search for a while for natural hair support in Aus and am so so relieved and excited when I find blogs like this! Just this morning after joining the American based “Natural Hair” group I created one for us Aussies so we can share, upload and cross reference ideas, experiences, products, images etc!! Please please hop on board and share your knowledge- I don’t want this group to be mine but to belong to us all so we can support each other in this here country where support, salons and products for our gorgeous locks are too few and far between. Much love ladies!!

    Here’s the page- it’s lonely and needs some lovin’!
    Natural Hair || Australia
    https://m.facebook.com/groups/605051346214372?_rdr

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  10. Will definitely check that website. Yeah you are right aussie aint cheap when it comes to having natural hair lol..

    Am still struggling with my thin edges but I guess all I can do is keep working at it 🙂

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  11. I get mine from http://www.n-essentials.com.au. This is where I usually order my natural ingredients from, such as oils and butters. You should also try ebay.

    Both will charge the standard shipping cost for delivering within Australia. It is between $10-12. I still think that is expensive, but thats Australia for you lol. N-essentials are based in Melbourne, so if you live there, they allow you to collect the items yourself.

    They also sell shea butter on ebay, but I noticed that it’s cheaper to buy it (1kg) from their website. You can also shop around for other sellers on ebay.

    Hope that helps 🙂

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  12. Am still struggling to find a somewhere to buy shea butter with relatively cheap shipping cost any suggestion ?

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  13. I have been natural for a couple of years but only got serious about it this year after researching online -I order most of my products online cause I can’t seem to find most of them in the African shops around..I use simply organics to get my oils and I am yet to be disappointed with their services

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  14. I was told that there are salons on Prospect Road. I went but didn’t find any. However I didn’t go all the way to the end (it’s a very long road). Blair Athol which is right towards the end was another place I was told about. I am also going to try Henley Beach as well, apparently there are some black hair shops. I will let you know when I do some more research soon! 

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  15. I moved from the UK with my family to Adelaide- still not found a hair salon I can confidently walk into to get my hair done. My hair is relaxed but my daughters is natural. Did you find any then?? If so help!!!

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  16. Wow that’s a shame. I haven’t ordered from them myself but I noticed their website and they seemed to be the only one that imported US products to Australia. I guess it’s better to go directly to the websites of the companies that produce the products and see if they offer international shipping. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  17. Beware of Black Hair Care Australia. They are not a reputable company. I among many others have paid for products which we never received. Do not trust this company.

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