Hello gorgeous! What an amazing weekend I had. It was filled with loads of laughter, thought provoking conversation and a multitude of inspiring women – but more about that later. In keeping with my theme for this month, I thought I would highlight a few women doing amazing things with their lives ( which quite frankly is just about every female I know). Today we find out more about the woman behind LadiElle. This is her story in her own words.
I’m Charnelle van der Ross blogger and creator of LadiElle. Born as a natural on the 7th Feb 1993 and now a bride-to-be to my bestfriend. I cover fashion, beauty and lifestyle on my blog and it is my platform to express myself creatively. I work full time, model on the side but still put my time and effort into my blog as much as I can.
I have always had big natural hair but growing up it was never the “cool” or “okay” thing. My hair used to be straightened and relaxed at the hairdresser or even by my aunt, I didn’t know any better and always felt I looked more beautiful after my hair has been chemicalized. The earliest that I can remember is when I was about 7/8 years old and going to the hairdresser and sitting there for a few hours to get straight hair. I must admit I liked the way it looked though… but that could have been because everywhere I looked long and straight was the best way for hair to look.
In year 2010 I had a big chop (Rihanna style) but still never let my hair be in its natural form. Only at the end of my matric year had I decided to be more comfortable in my roots. In 2012 I went full force just wetting, conditioning and leaving the house. I returned to my natural form since then and my only regret is that I wish I returned sooner!
I love that my hair goes before me and literally grabs people’s attention when I walk in the room. It gives me a sense of confidence to be myself and not apologize for the amount of room my hair takes. Back then big hair wasn’t the “in” thing as it is now so I would have to endure weird looks and giggles behind my back and being called “Tina Turner”, “Kroes Kop”, “Diana Ross” , etc etc. It bothered me in the beginning but then I would get random people stopping me in malls asking if it’s my real hair to which I show them my roots or asking me how I get it so big to which I reply the air ( I air dry my hair) For every person who said bad things or remarks about my hair there were about 10-15 people complimenting me so I started blocking out the negativity. I have learned that you can’t make people accept you or the way your hair twists and curls but you can accept yourself and love your hair in its natural form, once you do that baby girl you can’t be stopped.
I used to use Dove on my hair once a week to treat it. I didn’t know any better then. The small white tub with the gold label, I would massage that into my hair and put a Checkers packet over it (struggle was real) and sit under the dryer for a few minutes. That would always make my hair feel really soft and bouncy. Now a days I do it with coconut oil or even any conditioner I am using at the moment. My family and some really close friends knew I had curly hair they just didn’t know it could get so big, they actually encouraged me to wear it big and bold. Very positive words from the people that matter. The best thing is that my Fiance’ is utterly obsessed with my hair and it’s one of the things that he adores about me 🙂 yay!
My go-to hairstyle is the Pineapple. It is so quick to do and if my hair is acting up and doing it’s own thing I ALWAYS make sure to leave the house with a tie around my wrist so I can easily pineapple my hair. I add some hoops (literally the only earrings I wear) and then it’s like I planned the look from the start. At night I do the same or sometimes put it in a bun, I have recently started doing ponytails and I love that for gym or even to sleep (I can just do my edges and sides and then I go about my way).
To people scared to return to their roots or not sure what to do, my best advice is to pull a Nike and just do it! In the beginning your curls or hair might not pop the way you want it to but you have to give your hair time. It is recovering from a big shock so you can’t rush the process. When I first started my hair didn’t curl as much, it kind of was big but limpy, Because I gave it time and keep looking after it, it’s now glowing and poppin! If you need help I am always here and so are the other Natural Bloggers, we are more than happy to share tips and advice because we have been there and been through it. Dont be afraid to ask questions, be confident and don’t apologize for the room your hair takes. You are crowned with curls and you should never apologize for that. It is you, it isn’t a add on.
I have shrinkage since forever so my goal is to have really long big curly hair, imagine how amazing my pineapple will look hahaha or a bun actually.
If you would like to connect you can find me on Facebook, Instagram and my blog page by clicking on the links below.