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The lowdown on 3 women’s lockdown hair routines

Share your lockdown beauty routine videos, images and tips with us

Nokubonga Thusi Beauty editor
Share your beauty, grooming, hair and personal care videos and images with us by using the hashtag #lockdownbeautyroutines
Share your beauty, grooming, hair and personal care videos and images with us by using the hashtag #lockdownbeautyroutines
Image: 123RF/Andrii Shevchuk


Have you done anything drastic since lockdown started – like cutting all your hair off?

Are you wigging it for your Zoom meetings?

Trying out any new styles or products you want to tell us about?

Need some advice or tips from our beauty experts? 

Share your beauty, grooming, hair and personal care videos and images with us by using the hashtag #lockdownbeautyroutines – don’t forget to tag us on Instagram @Sowetan_live.

You can also send your videos and images with a brief description or question, name and contact details to lockdownbeauty@arena.africa.

The way life is set up right now; salons are closed and our hair routines are taking a knock - forcing us to be a little agile and revise the way we treat our coils. Three women share their hair routines during lockdown.


Lungile Thabethe, head makeup artist, Scarlett Hill MRP 

Lungile knows how to pull off any hair look; whether she’s sporting a pink lace front bob, curly wig or rocking her signature sleek high bun, her natural hair is always cared for.

“I have always been one to teach myself how to do the hairstyles and treatments I love so that I am never stranded, which has served me very well during this time. If anything, my hair has been thriving with the extra amount of time on my hands. Hair treatments have been on the regular and my popular high and low bun hairstyles have been a lifesaver. 

The routine:  

Due to lockdown, my hair care routine has changed, largely in that I am no longer able to braid my hair as often as I would prefer, which aids in retaining moisture and length, so I have substituted this with weekly treatments in two-strand twists which I keep in a silk scarf over a couple of days.

I have also been doing more castor oil treatments which I would not have been able to do as often before lockdown — mostly due to the intense smell of the castor oil itself.

Pre-lockdown, I would say I spent roughly R2,000 on beauty monthly and during lockdown, the amount hasn’t changed. Since we’ve been on level 4 I have been purchasing a lot of skincare tools and many more products to try at home to substitute the lack of professional treatments in my routine. 

Now, the one hair product that I cannot live without is the Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hair Masque. During lockdown, my easy, go-to hairstyle has been a tight, sleek high bun, which is very easy to achieve and looks done up without too much effort. It also makes you look a little more put together on days when you’ve decided to go without any make-up.

Although, the one hair skill or technique I wish I had mastered to help with my maintenance would be the skill of doing box braids — woah!

Mathahle Stofile, former beauty editor & founder of The Matte Project

With her signature short fade haircut and flawless, glowing skin to match, Mathahle is a pro when it comes to natural hair care; not only for herself but also her five-year-old daughter.

“My hair is very, very low maintenance so I'm lucky that I don’t have to give it much thought in general; even less so now. My husband has been giving me a trim every two weeks or so. He’s trying to sharpen his barber skills so he’s putting in the hours on me.

The routine:

Before lockdown, I was shampooing my hair at home once or twice a week with thorough scalp massages. I use a sulphate-free shampoo and I really don’t like to use styling products. I don’t like the greasy feeling or the idea of product build-up in my hair. But once a week I’d massage my scalp with jojoba or olive oil.

Now, under lockdown, I’m rinsing the hair under the shower daily and I’ve hardly used shampoo or conditioner. I’m giving it a break and letting it be since I’m barely outside. I think I’ve used shampoo two or three times in the past five weeks.

There is zero styling for my hairstyle in general but especially under lockdown. Our hair type is so fragile, I’d really advise against over-styling if you can avoid it. The pulling and tugging isn’t great for the hair itself but also your hairline. While we’re at home, if you really want to show you hair love I'd say invest in a good hair mask for frequent deep conditioning. Scalp massages go a long way too (healthy scalp = healthy hair). Try to keep the hair well hydrated and wrapped in a silk/satin scarf to retain moisture. Give it a break from heat and other straightening methods.

I have been loving using jojoba oil for scalp massages. Jojoba has the closest make-up to our natural sebum so it doesn’t clog skin or create build-up. For my five-year-old daughter’s hair (which is way longer than mine) I like to use the Nilotiqa Detangling Cream — it’s amazing.

During lockdown, I really wish I could do my own “fade”.  I’m resisting playing with my daughter’s hair too much but it’s so tempting! She has that lush, thick hair and my hair skills are very much on point — but we all need to take it easy and just get back to basics. So with her I’m doing thick protective twists after detangling while her hair is still wet. She keeps those for a few days (four to five) before we shampoo again.

Reabetswe Fila Ranamane, model and singer/songwriter

A beauty in photographs and song, Rea has that kind of hair we all dream of — lush, thick and long. Not a stranger to styling her own hair and not going into salons often — she knows a thing or two.

I kinda stopped going to salons in my adult years and I’ve been learning my hair, first hand. I have nothing against salons. I’m just really into doing my hair myself. 

The routine: 

During lockdown, I’ve done a lot more conditioning than I used to, which is awesome. I use Aunt Jackie’s “Quench” Moisture Intensive Leave-in conditioner, which keeps my hair hydrated. Another thing I do differently now is to stay in dry twists or braids. I used to only do them if I wanted to achieve a curly look, but I’m more comfortable with the look itself now. They’re manageable and pretty cute.  

I’ve also stocked up on hairpieces in case I get bored and want to do thick twists or braids. Before quarantine, I spent roughly R1,000 on my hair. I buy for longevity and I’m pretty sparing with my products so I actually haven’t spent more than R100 on hair care since quarantine began. 

My go-to styling trick has definitely been dry twists and if my hair is loose, like in an Afro, I occasionally like to put it into a puff with just a little spritz of water, brush and add a little ORS edge control.

Right now, I cannot live without the Aunt Jackie’s “Quench”, Aunt Jackie’s “Half & Half” Hydrating Silkening Hair Milk and Aunt Jackie’s “Balance” Grapeseed and Avocado oil.

If I could choose to have mastered one hair styling technique to make my lockdown maintenance easier, it would definitely be cornrow braiding. My cornrows suck — they simply don’t have the range.

Looking for more tips and inspiration?

Visit our special section a toolkit for men and women on how to maintain their grooming, beauty and personal-care routines while at home. 

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