Skip to main content

South African Singer Lira // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Oct 10, 2012

By Rinny of MissRiot.com

After rising to the top of the South African charts, multi-platinum selling artist Lira has her sights set on the United States. The gorgeous naturalista was nominated for Best International Artist at this year’s BET awards and was named one of Essence Magazine’s “Five Unique Artists to Change Music in 2012”. She talked to us about her natural hair journey and her growing music career.

On leaving an accounting career to pursue music…

I was studying accounting as an undergrad and was using my skills to exchange for recording time at a local studio. When I graduated, I continued in accounting for a couple years. But turned in my letter of resignation and created a five-year plan for my music career.

When I resigned my job, I had saved up enough to survive for a year, but it took two years to get my first album out and a further year to start making any kind of a living from my music. There were times when I felt like failure because I could no longer afford to take care of myself. I was ashamed and depressed. I could have just gone back to the job market but I opted to see the music thing through. Also, my mother made it kind of easy for me because she said “well since you have something to fall back on (accounting) I’d rather have you happy”. So in those initial days, my mother was the motivation I needed. It helps when a parent is open to the idea of you pursuing your dreams. I took a huge risk by entering into music but I’m happy about my decision.

The title track to my first album All My Love reached the number 2 position on our Billboards, kicking Beyonce’s song “Dangerously in Love” off that spot. This was the first time that a South African artist had received as much air play as our American counterparts. And then being able to go on to perform for Nelson Mandela, meet Oprah Winfrey and continue to make music obviously made it all worth it.


On her love of music…

I was 16 years old and I sang my first composition with my best friend Lebo who was a year younger. My favorite thing about the experience is how it seemed we could connect with an audience of people of different ages and races through song. I think this is still my favorite thing.

My music is deliberately positive and upbeat — it brings messages of hope, comfort, celebration. It’s meant to make you feel good through all of life’s trials and tribulations. I think there’s enough negativity out there in the world and I have no desire to add to it. People seek solace in music and I want mine to be an uplifting experience. We’ve all gone through hardships and we have had to overcome a lot. That’s what I want listeners to take away with them.

On breaking into the American market…

My label has done an excellent job at my introduction into the American market, I feel like I’ve climbed a huge mountain in South Africa and now I’m standing before another one with American audiences, but I’m excited. We released my best of album “Rise Again” this past June to coincide with my BET Award nomination and I’m going back in the studio to record all new music for a release early next year so I’ll be back doing more press then.

On her transition to natural hair…

I kept my hair relaxed and braided for about 10 years. While I was in College, I made extra cash by running a hair salon from my room at the student village. My own hair had to be on point so I always had it relaxed, styled and sometimes I put highlights on it. I kept a Halle Berry type of boy cut for about 6 years. It got to a point where my skull was lifeless and my hair became like plastic. It became thin and weak. So I kept it hidden by braiding it. I kept this up for another 4 years. In 2006 when I finally decided to reveal my real hair, I found that it was badly affected — it was dry and brittle but there was just enough ‘growth’ to start anew. I was recording my second album Feel Good at the time so I was always in the studio. During the first week, I started liking my natural hair, I loved the fact that I could just get up and go. The first week passed and my hair seemed to be responding well to being left alone, so I kept it.

We don’t have as wide a variety of natural hair care products here in South Africa as you do in the United States. It is my opinion that most women wear fake hair mainly as a convenience thing. Most women out here don’t know how to take care of natural hair and find it too limiting. I experienced a lot of hair envy when I was in the US, women have long healthy natural hair, which is something we still struggle with here.

On her hair regimen…

I have a really get up and go hairstyle.  It’s very low maintenance. I get my haircut twice a year and give it a good wash about once a week as well as a deep conditioning treatment like once a month. I just work to keep it clean, moisturized and soft. I don’t need much but a afro-pick comb, I use this every morning and run it through my hair in a circular motion to create a nice texture and what I call “The Organized Mess.”

 On a day when I wash my hair it’s a 2 hour affair — because I leave the conditioner on so long. But overall, my hair is so low maintenance it’s an absolute pleasure to care for

I keep it moisturized with Soft Sheen-Carson Sta-Sof-Fro natural hair products. It works like magic. They have a lovely gel and braid oil moisturizing spray that I use. I also really like Organix deep conditioner, it leaves my hair very soft. I recently got turned on to Carol’s Daughter so I’m trying out their products as well.

Thanks for talking with us Lira! Lira’s latest album “Rise Again” is available on Amazon.com. And be sure to check her out on Facebook and Twitter

Avatar

About Rinny

Texan by birth, Los Angeleno by situation. Lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Comedian by trade. Macaroni and Cheese connoisseur by appetite.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
32 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Landry
Landry
8 years ago

I LOVE her sense of style and her hair–she could probably be completely bald and still be gorgeous! GO GIRL!

Mcdee
Mcdee
8 years ago

Wow!! The woman is beautiful, just shows you dont need long hair to be stunning.

Afrinaturality
Afrinaturality
8 years ago
Reply to  Mcdee

Amen! She is beautiful without the long hair.

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago

FAB-TANSTIC! Great voice, uplifting message,incredible style and blessed with divine beauty!

@ Landry LOL, +1

You’ve got a new fan Ms. Lira =)

Onebyd42
Onebyd42
8 years ago

She is absolutely stunning and very talented, love that hair!!!!!!

Carla
8 years ago

Such a gorgeous woman with a beautiful voice! More features like this BGLH 🙂

Versatility Beauty&Fashion

Please show your support to Versatility Beauty&Fashion by Liking Versatilityat Facebook. Search for Versatility Beauty&Fashion (official) and than press Like:-) Love/Charity

Amy
Amy
8 years ago

She’s stunning and I love her voice and the songs even if I don’t understand a word of what she’s singing.

Maha
Maha
8 years ago

beautiful woman, great voice… she sort of reminds me of Heather Headley, but more fun and party like!

Deedeemaha
Deedeemaha
8 years ago

Wow! Lovely lady. I was thinking she appears to be the Byonce of South African, only natural hair. But wait that could be a wig or weave. Lol sorry I just could not resist saying that.

krmlwd
krmlwd
8 years ago

I’m lovin those pics of hers. Imma check out her music later.

Noluthando
8 years ago

She has been a jewel of South Africa from day 1. As a young South African I’m so proud of her!…It doesn’t get better den this!God bless her!

Noluthando
8 years ago

She has been a jewel of South Africa from day 1. As a young South African I’m so proud of her!…It doesn’t get better den this!God bless her!
Hey I’m a superfan Miss Lira abd I loooove u sisi uyisibonelo esihle kakhulu kithima anantombazane ase Mzansi!uThixo akusikelele!

Phumelele
Phumelele
8 years ago

I love this woman she an inspiration to most african woman she represent us as south african when she going to other countries she up to represent what a true african look good natural.

meowmix
meowmix
8 years ago

She is stunning. I really like the green and white dress. From South Africa? It’s really exciting to see the diaspora.

mav
mav
8 years ago
Reply to  meowmix

She’s not quite “diaspora” if she’s still in her motherland. 🙂 But yes, she is absolutely stunning.

Toni
Toni
8 years ago

Stunning lady ! Checking your music out right now !

DaynaJoe
DaynaJoe
8 years ago

How lovely to see such a beautiful lady with a beautiful voice being featured on this site. I hope women in South Africa see how you shine wearing your natural hair. I have visited a couple of times over the last three years, and was quite taken aback at how weaves (and poorly sewn in ones at that) were the preferred style of many so-called elite and/or educated black women in that country. I think that’s the thing about weaves/lacefronts that annoys me the most–how so many black women outside of the US have cottoned on to this look as if… Read more »

Aliza hair breakage
8 years ago

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away free. I love seeing website that understands the value of providing a quality resource for free.Thanks for sharing.

Masuka M.
8 years ago

Thanks BLGH for featuring Lira. As an international reader, it is great to see a non-american style icon featured. We love Lira’s music here and she has been a stand-out natural hair style icon for many years.

Much love from Zambia!

Rume
Rume
8 years ago

Absolutely love this woman, she is so stunning and her music is beautiful

Priscilla
Priscilla
8 years ago

Love Lira!!! Please come to Kenya again 🙂

Keedy
Keedy
8 years ago

This is my first time hearing of Lira but she is a VERY beautiful lady with a beautiful voice. I will definitely look her up to hear more of her music!

Matlhodi
8 years ago

We love Lira!! Oh she’s such a great performer I’d highly recomment you make some time to go see her perform when she comes to your side of town. Such an inspiration to young girls and grown women like myself. I know refer to the tapered twa on my blog as the “Lira look”.lol

KD
KD
8 years ago

She and her her are gourgeous. I wish this site would showcase more short haired naturals, just beautiful!!

ladyluo
ladyluo
8 years ago
Reply to  KD

agree

Rou
Rou
8 years ago

She looks very stunning in all her photos. I love the short fro on her. It is very becoming and elegant looking!

maralondon
maralondon
8 years ago

Stunning lady with such a beautiful voice. I’m loving some of the music coming out of SA of late, and today saw a brilliant show in London featuring Hugh Masekala called Songs of Migration.

Ugonna Wosu
Ugonna Wosu
8 years ago

I discovered Lira a couple of years ago, her voice is SO powerful and soulful. She is drop dead gorgeous, charismatic, and yes has great hair, lol. Glad to see her on here. Proud Nigerian proud of the proud South African.

Maria Ranala
Maria Ranala
7 years ago

Oh, I absolutely love Lira!what an amazing woman.she has this thing about her that makes a person look beyond“just living” and start living for a purpose and appreciating every little thing about life. I am always wowed When she opens her mouth,whether to sing or just talk in an interview. You know, simply because of the ways she carries and expresses herself.live on sister! Thanks for being such a beautiful soul.

Coretta
Coretta
7 years ago

Lira is simply stunning. I so love the natural hair!

Tselane
Tselane
6 years ago

oh how i lov Lira and her music…i once bought a jersey similar to dt i saw her wearing ths one tym…im amazed hearing dt she did excactly wht i used to do with my hair to kip my hair salon business runnin at school…dt makes me love her mor…kip up the gud wek sis…

32
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x

Shopping Cart