New to South Africa, NAK Aromas Haircare

Who doesn’t love a little pamper? Oh man. Any chance I get to kiss my little monsters goodbye and walk out the door guilt free on my way to some kind of spoil, I’ll take.

Yes, that’s a macaron you’re looking at…

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And so I was really excited to be invited to a launch by a new hair care brand called NAK. (Can I also add that the invite arrived with edible sweetness and was printed on Growing Paper? You’ve won me over already…). I was excited to have my hair washed and blow dried (more excited for the head massage as we always are, right?), but MOST excited that more hair care companies are thinking deeper about creating a product that is safer for us and the environment.

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So let me introduce you: NAK meet us South Africans, South Africans meet NAK. NAK is an all Australian haircare company passionate about creating innovative and versatile haircare products for the professional hairdressing industry, salons, stylists and people like me, you know, us run-of-the-mill type.

Inspired by their unique location and Australian lifestyle (think summer, beach, snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef island holiday vibes), and influenced by their sun-drenched environment, surrounding oceans and majestic landscapes (which is a lot like Cape Town) NAK is launching 3 new ranges in South Africa in 2016. So for all of you thinking ‘should I move to Aussie?’… don’t worry – they’ve brought the good stuff to us.

We explored the AROMAS range which has 4 sub-ranges within it – blonde, curl, smooth and colour depending on your hair type and what you’re trying to achieve/enhance. Can you believe it, I went with the curl – something I’ve been fighting my whole life: the curl! And it was wonderful. ‘Curl’ and ‘wonderful’ in the same sentence – yep. I’ll admit it, I said it.

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And before this sounds like a total la la la (blah blah blah) about them and why I love the product… Let’s look at what really matters (to me anyways):

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NAK Aromas is sulphate free – their advanced formulations feature the latest in surfactant technology: ISELUX®. This delivers a gentle cleanse, is kinder to the skin and less likely to induce skin irritations.

It contains no parabens – ‘parabens’ is that sneaky little word that one needs to keep an eye out for on ingredient lists. It’s no good.

They are environmentally conscious and use vegan-friendly formulations, and use a beautiful blend of essential oils including lavender, patchouli and geranium. The hair care is enriched with ancient Moroccan Argan Oil and Almond milk proteins.

“AROMAS LUXE BOTANICALS bestows harmony and well-being to all hair types. A thoughtfully considered, environmentally conscious, vegan-friendly haircare range, where nature and science combine perfectly to naturally protect hair and skin”.

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While admittedly they are not organic, this is a fantastic range if you want to make better choices in the hair care department, but find the extremely green, eco, organic shampoos and conditioners a little much. I know some people struggle with them (I’ve struggled with a few I’ve tried), but NAK is a beautiful combo of a haircare range making wonderful strides to BE more environmentally friendly, and remove some nonsense from their ingredient list, but still gives that glossy, healthy, smooth look and feel we all love.

The shampoos and conditioners cost R320 per bottle (for 275ml), and each range comes with its own extras. From oil sprays to blond end therapy, curl creme, curl serum, ends therapy, hydra therapy and smooth straightening creme – there are so many options to choose from.

NAK is now available in selected salons and on www.retailbox.co.za. For any further queries please contact nicole@nakhair.co.za. Find them on Facebook or Instagram for news and updates.

Image credits: www.maurimoncadaphotography.com and myself.

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That uncomfortable work-in-progress feeling…

All pics in this post are a personal reminder to myself of life LIVED, before things were perfect (if they ever get there – which I doubt they will)…

There is a lyric in an All Sons and Daughters song which says ‘I need you, oh how I need you’ and while not everyone may share what I believe in (the song refers to needing Jesus), wow, at times I’m made SO aware of my failings, my weaknesses and my insecurities. And it’s a bit of a relief to admit, right?

EVER-DAY, by virtue of the fact that I’m a mom and a wife, I’m made fully aware (often it’s blinding) of my weaknesses. That’s what marriage and parenting will offer you. No doubt.

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So here we are, in our new home. We’re 7ish weeks away from welcoming our third child, and first daughter into our family. I’m so fortunate. Lovely home, great neighbourhood, beautiful healthy family, supportive and hands on parents, incredibly generous and thoughtful in-laws, friends who I still can’t believe are friends with ME (they are THAT awesome), health, ability, skill, means… And I’m mortifyingly unsatisfied (give me grace, I’m also 33 weeks pregnant and HYPER emotional/sensitive).

I’d choose skimmed walls, downlighting and Liberia coloured walls over a years supply of pre-cooked meals, dummies, wipes and the cutest Cotton On Baby gear out there. I’d choose an interior designer to redo my entire house than have babysitting offered to me free and at any given time. And I’d definitely choose a 15 hour labour over a 2 hour one if it meant someone would magically rip up our hideously stained carpet and replace it with something… ANYTHING! My poor husband is up at sparrow to get to work and home again at a decent time, and is often welcomed home by a ratty, exhausted, (quite possibly) sloppily dressed, pregnant princess asking (hinting) at if ‘we’ (we know it’s not a ‘we’) should paint this room, or skim that room, or replace the door handles here or move the shelves there or or or, and if we (‘we’) can do it RIGHT NOW. And if we’re honest, I’m not up for paint fumes, carrying heavy stuff or climbing onto things so one could consider me almost entirely useless. I make soup. And a lot of it. But I’m also very pregnant and the urge to NEST (which is REAL) has hit an all time high.

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So selfishly, I want to put EVERYTHING on pause, have life be perfect, and then we can all unpause and continue. Let’s do that shall we?

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But that’s not REAL life. That’s not how this works (and I want to burst into big blubbery sobs just typing that truth). My revelation? Aren’t we ALWAYS a work-in-progress? Be it in our careers, our weight or appearance, our home renovations (or upgrade or needing new linen or curtains or size bed or to have that slightly ‘nicer’ postal code), our marriage and parenting skill (or lack of), OR our desperation to be married or a parent. Are we not constantly working on our image or reputation or the impression we like to portray on social media? Goodness, it doesn’t always need to be flashy – I’m constantly challenged that I’m not giving enough back to my community, or helping at some non-profit. And so while I said I wouldn’t hang our most precious Vancouver artwork ‘until we get into our new house’ – that has now been shifted to ‘when our walls are flat’, and then ‘Liberia coloured’. Okay, then I’ll hang it up. It’s like never burning that scented candle which has now, I’m fairly certain, no scent left. Shame.

So here’s my challenge to you as I very reluctantly and painfully turn this around and stare it in the face myself. How do we live to our fullest, in this place of ‘not yet’. I see so many similarities in the life I stumble through in my faith, in my marriage, in my parenting, in my wanting to achieve. How can we find genuine fulfilment in the undone, the imperfect? It’s a good question, huh? Dare to offer any suggestions?

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I am a textbook work-in-progress. I think we all are. And I think creating the image that we have it all together is not only brutally unhelpful for those struggling, but, is a big fat lie. Hunger itself is a symptom of knowing we are not self-sustainable. Dirt (as in dust and mould and all other frustrating and gross unstoppable forces) will always be there. Like split ends after a fresh hair cut. We cannot control everything… please, I can barely control my kids without the threat of erasing ‘Blaze and the Monster Machines’, Saturday morning pancakes, or some form of sugar.

And it’s okay. You’re doing okay. Let’s be in this crazy uncomfortable place together, and allow it to be okay, to live in the mess, and the dirt, and the celebration, and the sorrow, and the joy of our very beautiful reality.

And hold me to hanging that artwork…

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