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Welcome to The United KinKdom!
I hope you enjoy your stay and be sure to subscribe to www.TheUnitedKinKdom.com so we can stay in touch.
My blog is dedicated to celebrating Afro hair and the experiences of UK Naturals. Dont be a stranger, spread the word and lets keep Uniting the KinKdom one curl at a time. International visitors are ALWAYS welcome. Enjoy!
Much Love Crystal Afro x
(Natural since Jan 2011) (Contact Me: crystalafro@hotmail.co.uk) View my complete profile

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

NATURAL HAIR AND INTERRACIAL DATING

This is just a quick post, but I'd love to know other people's thoughts, if they've had this experience.

Interracial dating! 
It's not a biggie to me, I date people, not races, and have done so since before I was natural, since before my hair was relaxed, since before I was even allowed a boyfriend. Trust me, twats come in all shapes, sizes and skin tones, as do gentlemen!
#Fact.

source
However, when dating white guys.....
The scenario:
Ok so, your hair is officially a raggedy outrage that needs fixing before you and your partner/date/spouse/ (delete as appropriate), that happens to be white, leave the house. This was me the other day. Am I the only one who finds it hilarious when they look at you with your hair in that state and genuinely ask:
"What's wrong with it?" and then state "Your hair looks fine to me."
LMAOO
I'm not talking about when a guy says something just to be kind, but genuinely - as in, they genuinely can't see a problem with the fact that your hair looks like you were dragged backwards through a bush by wolves!
If a picture is worth 1000 words then my thoughts/responses, of which there are many, are best summed below.... 
Closely followed by...

Although these are the thoughts that run through my mind, I tend to simply give a polite, (potentially patronising) smile, and completely dismiss such false reassurances that would otherwise have me out on the streets looking crazy.
Is it ignorance as result of race, because they're white and don't know about black hair; or culture because they're British? Maybe guys from other countries have a better understanding of black hair? Or could it just be a gender thing? Possibly a mix of all the above? Or maybe (skeptical though I am) it's just a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder?
Please note, the above is not a criticism, just a comment and I'd like to open this question out to anyone who'd care to chime in.
I know there are a lot of other naturals out there in mixed relationships. Is this just the experience of black women with natural hair or do weave wearers experience the same thing? If you're gay, is it the same thing with white women? I'm just wondering.
Am I the only one who's experienced this scenario or had similar thoughts?
Let me know

Monday, 17 March 2014

6 SILICONE-FREE DEEP CONDITIONERS FOR NATURAL HAIR

Last night was wash night and I kinda hit a rut.
Considering how many different products I've tried you'd think I'd have a long list of products to suit any occasion, that I could reel off at the drop of a hat.
Well, last night I was desperately searching my product stash for a silicone-free deep conditioner, only to discover that I don't have one! Or at least not a full sized one.
Shock horror!
It turns out that I have a couple of silicone-free instant rinse out conditioners, but with the exception of half a bar of rhassoul clay, the only deep conditioners I currently own all contain silicones, and I'm not convinced they're water-soluble silicones either.

WHAT'S WRONG WITH 'CONES?
In brief, silicones are a common ingredient in beauty products for example: Dimethicone, and they're great for providing that slippery, silky soft feeling on your hair. However, according to most sources I've read, if they're not water soluble they can just be creating a false illusion of soft healthy hair.
Once deposited onto the hair they can actually block moisture from getting beyond them to the hair strand. This means that although the hair may temporarily look and feel nice its actually dry, weak and unhealthy, and probably deteriorating from lack of moisture.
The topic of silicones definitely needs a blog post of it's own, so I'll come back with one soon.

RECOMMENDATIONS
I really wasn't in the mood for mixing anything up last night, and you might've seen me take to Instagram in my frustration, asking for suggestions of silicone-free conditioners. The best suggestion I had came from the ladies at @HairTheBeat_ on Twitter, who shared this link with me: Curl2Kinky List of Silicone Free Conditioners, which has a long list of silicone-free, instant and deep conditioners. 
The good news is it helped trigger my memory of silicone-free deep conditioners that I have tried and liked in the past. The bad news is I still didn't have any of them to hand, so it's officially time for me to reinvest.
The starred products are ones that I've tried tested and loved, while the non-starred have come highly recommended by other naturals.

If you can recommend any other silicone-free deep conditioners, I'd love to hear from you, so leave a comment below.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

MY 'GO-TO' TWIRL, A SIMPLE STYLE TUTORIAL

In my recent post I shared some tips that make managing my natural hair easier >here<, and I mentioned my 'go-to' style - you know that style you can always 'go to' when all else fails, or you're running late. Mine is a simple 'roll tuck and pin' style, that I've been asked about plenty of times and have been meaning to share a tutorial for, so here goes...
I posted a tutorial for this style on Youtube when I was new to vlogging, but I've been meaning to film a clearer updated version. Until then here's a written step by step. I hope it helps...

My 'Go-To' Twirl, Step by Step
1.) Work on moisturised hair, preferably detangled.

2.) Section off some hair at the front.

3.) You can decide what to do with the front section. I usually flat-twist it or do a canerow, or sometimes I just pin it loosely to the side.

4.) & 5.) Use a large elasticated headband. Place it on and roll it back slightly, as if you were going to create a puff.

6.) Sweep your hair forwards over the band (top, bottom and sides). Start by grabbing a section at the top and begin twirling it over the front of the band. Use the band as a guide/frame and continue following it around as you twirl.

7.) Use bobby pins to secure the roll at intervals as you go around.

8.) & 9.) Depending on how long your hair is, you may have some hair left by the time you get back to the top. I twirl up whatever is still out and pin it down slightly in front of where I originally began, and I'm done.

Professional, Protective & Suits Shorter Lengths
This style is not only my go-to because it's neat and easy, but because it keeps my ends tucked away, so it's worked as a brilliant protective style, and I think it's really helped my hair growth over the years. It's also possible to recreate this style on short/medium hair too, as I have done in the past, on a friend. It just takes a few more bobby pins to secure it.
If you want to make it really neat you can brush you edges before putting on your headband, or alternatively, once you've finished the style, you can wrap a headscarf around for about 10mins (or more) to set the hair.

Let me know if you give it a try, or even send me a picture. I'd love to know your thoughts.