NHBots is a community of natural-haired women mainly in Botswana sharing tips, where to buy products locally and how to navigate our natural hair on a day to day basis. No matter what your story, you are welcome, and we will support you in this journey. Here are some reasons from our members about why they opted to stay natural.

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Anno

“I first went natural in 2001, when I saw a woman who was going bald and she said it was because of relaxers. I then had dreads which I kept till 2005 and I cut them for natural hair. In 2006 I grew dreads again and kept them till 2010. After I had a baby at the end of Dec 2011, I relaxed my hair beginning of 2012 when i went back to work and kept it for 10 months before going back to natural hair. I’d grow, cut, rinse and repeat.” -Anno
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Utlwi

“For me it was just to make a statement. My sister decided to go natural in 2007, saying she was inspired by the then zebras goalkeeper Kagiso Tshelametsi. She was met with a lot of criticism from the family for being ‘unkempt’ or ‘unprofessional’ I couldn’t understand why people despised the natural texture so much. One of my sisters has three girls and they were relaxed from as young as three despite their sensitive skin and thinning hair post relaxer. I decided to follow in my sister’s footsteps letting my hair grow naturally. Around 2012 I relaxed again and to my dismay, my once ‘tough’ scalp was badly burnt and the lady who was doing my hair was fired that very day. I then thought I’m better off sticking with my natural hair, people’s jobs will be safer that way, lol. By the way, relaxers have been linked to some uterine cancers, and they do get absorbed through our skin into the bloodstream, which ain’t good for health.” -Utlwi
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Vanessa

“For me it was a combination of finances (I was spending almost P1500 to P2000 a month) and seeing my hair thinning from all the processing was depressing as I had always had long thick and healthy hair.” -Vanessa
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Kgolo

“For me it was an accident. I cut my hair on impulse and this time around I had not retouched for about 7 months, which was common for me ( I only retouched 2-3x a year). But then i decided to cut and leave only the natural. Got so many compliments, and was like.. ok, only a few months then i am back to my styles and crack. 5+years later, I am still here.” – Kgolo
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Tsholofelo

“I have had natural hair for about 8 years now…though at points I do cut it and keep a brush cut. For me my scalp is very sensitive and I would burn every time I relaxed no matter how “gentle” the relaxer. Then over the years I gradually lost interest in having straight hair and fell in love with my natural hair.” -Tsholofelo
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Glynis

“I grew up with natural hair. I went for hair cuts with my brothers. My hair has always been a difficult texture. I wanted to do dreadlocks when I was a teenager but my father associated it with smoking weed smile emoticon. I only used relaxer because it was the in thing in the 90s and no one would touch my hair. It was never a slick look that other girls had and it always left me feeling unhappy. Then in 2009 I cut off my hair out sheer frustration at not being able to find a hairdresser. The one who was recommended to me would refuse to do what I asked her to do. So again with no choice and a heavy heart I put relaxer. But then I always kept it in braids. Then one morning I woke up and begged hubby to just chop it all off. That was in Jan 2012. I have never looked back since and I couldn’t be happier.” -Glynis
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Chedza

I had a major headache after going into a pool with too much chlorine (for about 3 weeks). Couldn’t comb my hair because it was so difficult to manage plus the headache. When I recovered I was not going to attempt combing that disaster. So I cut it all off. Didn’t relax the new growth because when my hair was shorter I couldn’t see my hairline issues.. it also helped that two of my friends had also decided to go natural.. 2 and a half years later, I vow that my children will never know relaxers unless they are old enough to decide that for themselves.” -Chedza
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Ke’thata

“Sensitive scalp , always fighting with the hairdresser not to keep the relaxer on my hair too long and not comb it cos it would fluff up like no one’s business. Thanks to Google and learning to know how to manage my hair after the last burn. I took the decision. So thanks to groups like these it helps me a lot!” -Ke’thata
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Opelo

“It was in 2010 when I’d just moved to China and there was not a single person I knew who could help me maintain my hair that I knew or heard of…I couldn’t get relaxers or braids there and if I ever came across anyone who could help it cost an arm and a leg! So when I visited my then bf’s mum in the UK that Dec, 3 days before returning to China I went into a Tony & Guy’s and asked them to heat straighten my hair instead of using relaxer cos I had seen so many black girls in the UK with beautiful healthy hair who had said they didn’t use creme relaxers on their heads. The lady who greeted me at the door and asked what I wanted touched the top of my hair with the tips of her fingers and I will never forget the look of disgust on her face when she told me “your hair is so weak and fragile, we can’t risk doing anything to it right now. Our technician is not in at the moment, so please come back tomorrow and we will take a sample of your hair and book an appointment for you next week when we have your results.”….we went into every single shop in that small town and eventually found Dark and Lovely in Booties so I bought 3 boxes and went back to China. 2 months and 1 box of relaxer later my hair was half the size it was when I went to the UK and it was in the worst ever state I’ve ever seen. So I cut it off that same month and joined my sister and other friends in the natural hair movement. I relapsed in 2013 and now I swear that I will never ever touch that toxic thing again!” – Opelo
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Tshepo

My hair is very light or should I say little, when relaxed. I have been a short hair chick until I met my now husband, he asked me to grow my hair. I was like no but I do brush cut, s.curl etc, those are my kinda styles Haaahaa . I ended up agreeing to grow the hair after persuasion from the guy. And during my hair growing days U could see my scalp when relaxed. I did Bob cut though it suited me, but it destroyed my hair. I needed something else. Yippee I went natural in 2013/14. And m loving it..” – Tshepo
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Dimpho

“After a week of doing my expression singles last year my itchy scalp got worse and I ended up with sores on the head and swollen face from neck upwards. I went to the hospital and was told I had 2 cut my hair because I was allergic to the braid and should stop using any artificial products. I was like, ‘Dr,  I’m black, we black ladies love braiding, how am I going to survive?’ I went home and chopped off my hair (brush cut), because I had apply some cream on the sores. That was last year November. I’ve had short hair since, applying just vaseline up until May. I think I stubbornly did another protective style (Soft dread), and the itchiness returned. I went and bought aloe vera but it helped for a day or 2 then I landed in hospital again, this time worse. So now I’m even scared of plaiting, but with  the help from the NHBots group I sure can just have healthy hair without plaiting…. *Planning on doing conrows soon,  fingers crossed*” –Dimpho

 

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Dumisile

“I grew up relaxing my hair. It was lengthy and healthy..but when i got to senior school we were told to do conrows only and if you had long hair, you always had to keep it in a bun..and bend it, thus straining it. My hair started seriously shedding and for a year and a half I tried to restore it until I eventually stayed months without relaxing until the relaxed part shed… 2010 i was natural.. I loved it…I didn’t have info on how to take care of it but i did my best and it grew… Then 2012 wen iI had to go study in Russia people from there adviced me to relax saying the weather was not favorable for natural hair. So sadly September 2012 i retouched it, then when i got there I found a lot of Africans growing healthy NH. i regretted, but it wasn’t too late. So I then transitioned till late 2013. I got to learn a lot about NH and got to love it more and learn that it can still be healthy in any part of the world, you just have to learn to listen to it. And I’ve been natural since.” -Dumisile

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Thati

“A change to a holistic clean living. I was no longer having processed food in my diet nor using products containing chemicals on my skin, so there was no reason to put chemicals filled relaxers in my hair. That was in 2008, and I started with dreadlocks.” – Thatie
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“For me I realized that I can’t have that Brazilian hair as my real hair so I learnt to embrace my African look. And seeing african models doing great in the modelling industry made me not to go for chemicals (relaxing my hair). Natural hair is so unique, above all beautiful.” -Winny
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  • Oratile Mokone

    I decided to go natural in 2013,i just needed a challenge. Long silk hair was not fun anymore,and i liked the volume my hair has when natural. Ratie