Lynelle Kenned’s hair secrets – spilled!

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

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!



About Wisaal

Reformed shopaholic. Unapologetic perfectionist. Trainee mama bear. Severe OCD. Cat person.
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8 Responses to Lynelle Kenned’s hair secrets – spilled!

  1. I’ve been wearing my hair long curly for years, generally loose long, since 18 i think. Not always well recieved, with curly hair more appropriate for the beach than board room. I was once asked if i was running late, surely that would be the only reason for not blow drying my hair! Lol! Nevertheless In a world of “straight” hair, my curls make me feel unique and save me at least 3 hours a week, (this is the minimum time I takes me to do my hair if I want it strawould for the week) anyway, I would like to find some different styles for my curly hair. But curly hair us not easy to style, without breaking and fizzing up the curls. Any ideas?

    • Kim says:

      I use Lots of natural oils on my hair. Like Jojoba, coconut, rosemary and carrot oil. The difference in moisture is huge. My curls are healthy and defined. Also: I’ve learned that the people who hate on our hair are just still in the old system of straight is right, curl is bad. I leave them be cause in the end your hair really does define your whole being and can set the tune for the day. Curls are feel good. I’m so glad women are embracing their natural hair.

  2. Tendayi says:

    Stunning, stunning, stunning!!

  3. veebruin says:

    Absolutely great post! Lynelle is definitely a ‘hairnspiration’ to many of us with natural, curly hair. I did a semi-bigchop a few weeks ago. Can’t wait to get my hair back to it’s good, natural style.

  4. Christine Kenned says:

    Hi, Lynelle’s mum here. The two of us could write a book about our fights during blow-dry sessions.It always felt as if she had twice the amount of hair on her skull than other girls. She could never sit still and were moaning that I the heat was too high. So, we both scored when she decided to go natural. Three more hours for me and no pain for her. Love her lots.

  5. Mrs Kenned, lovely yo hear from you! Your stories sound all too familiar, my personal worst was when my dad used to brush my hair – ouch! You guys have supported her amazingly over the years, it was heartwarming to see you talk about her on the show. You did a great job!

    Kim – I’m with you on the oils 100%. I recently got my hands on some shea butter right here in Jozi!

    Mari – you’ve blown the lid on an upcoming post – watch this space 🙂

    Vee – please keep me posted on your journey, I’d love to see…

    Thanks for the feedback ladies, few things get me as excited as hearing from you 🙂


  6. Lericia says:

    Wow…loved reading your posts. I have been living in the UK for just under a year and I have really been struggling…Ive stopped relaxing my hair and changed to the brazilian blowdry but the constant flat ironing has left a mixture of a straight and half curly bush…but after receiving possibly the worst hair cut of my life just two days seriously contemplating just chopping it all off and starting all over, all natural. I think curls are beautiful and sexy and reading this just motivates me so much more!! great to know im not alone lol.

    • Hi lady,

      Thanks for reading my blog and for your feedback, means alot!

      Yup, Lynelle’s got my dream hair – its insanely beautiful. Its such a personal choice though, I can only tell you about my experience & though I contemplated the idea for over a year, my only regret is not doing it sooner!

      Best of luck, let me know what you decide!


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