About Me

My Photo

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

Thursday, 31 July 2014

PRIDE MAGAZINE HAIR BLOGGER TAKEOVER!

As I mentioned on Instagram, I've never been in Pride Magazine before, so in all honesty I'm a little excited about having a feature in this July's issue. Considering it's August tomorrow, this week is probably your last chance to grab a copy, so I'm posting this in time for your lunch break. Get yours today! 
Major THANK YOU to the team at Pride Magazine for the feature!
xxx

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

PART 2 ON PROTEIN TREATMENTS

I hadn’t heard of protein treatments until reading ‘Grow It’ by Chicoro.
Her book provides plenty of information and is my main source for this post, along with some great posts which you can find >here< on my Pintrest board for Protein Treatments.
(Read Part 1 of A Bit About Proteins >here<)
Gentle vs Intense Protein Treatments
Light Protein Treatments: Chicoro suggest that generally ‘light protein treatments’ can be used weekly and can be left in for just a few minutes before being rinsed out.

Intense Protein Treatments: Chicoro suggests that ‘intense protein treatments’ tend to involve adding HEAT and although designed for damaged hair she believes it can be ok to use strong protein treatments on healthy hair also, although she also warns against over treating the hair with proteins as it can be very damaging. Some articles I've read such as on stylehairmagazine.com disagree with Chicoro and strongly advise against using intense protein treatments on healthy hair.
Personally I think it's best to experiment a little to find out whats best for you.


How Often Should You Do A Protein Treatment?
This varies depending on the strength of the product and the condition of your hair. The general advice seems to be approximately:
  • Every 2 or 3 weeks for light treatments.
  • Every 6 or 8 weeks for intense treatments.
    Overall I'd say be your own judge!

It's also VERY IMPORTANT NOT TO DO TOO MANY Protein Treatments as too much protein can make the hair dry, brittle and prone to breakage.
You can try using conditioner to counter this effect but if you do over-do it with the protein it’s likely to take a few weeks of regular intense conditioning to restore your hair back to normality. I speak from awful experience. Some people recommend always using a deep conditioner after doing a protein treatment but I only do this when I’ve used a particularly strong treatment.

How I Do It
I'm not strict about how often I do protein treatments. I just do them whenever my hair feels weak or if I'm notcing more breakage than usual.
After an awful first experience with an intense treatment (here), I've since been quite cautious about what I use. I almost always leave my protein treatments on for approximately 20 minutes under a plastic cap, and apply heat, regardless of the strength; however I tend to use light/average strength treatments, which seems to work really well for my hair. 

Protein Sensitivity
Some people describe their hair has being 'protein sensitive'. This basically means their hair responds badly to protein, usually by leaving it feeling stiff and straw-like, and prone to breakage.
However, many sources argue that 'protein sensitivity' is a myth. Any hair that is exposed to more than its fair share of protein will become brittle and breakable. Instead it's recommended that you experiment to find the right protein based product for you. It's possible your hair may not need as much protein as others. Homemade recepies could be a good alternative to try.
Products
Below you can find a list of the products pictured in this post. These are products that I've heard about or had recommended as protein treatments for hair.
Have you tried any of them? What was your experience like? What other protein treatments would you recommend? Share your thoughts.
  • Tropic Isle Living Jamaican Black Castor Oil Protein Conditioner
  • Sofn Free Gro Healthy Milk Protein & Olive Oil
  • Parnevu Organic Hair Mayonnaise
  • Hair Rescue Keratin Reconstructor
  • Aphogee 2 Step Protein Treatment
  • Aphogee Keratin 2 Min Reconstructor (not pictured)
  • Mizani Kerafuse Intensive Strengthening Treatment
  • Motions CPR
  • Nexxus Keraphix
  • Aveda Damage Remedy
  • Coconut Oil Formula Deep Conditioning Protein Pack
  • Nexxus Emergencee
  • Joico K-Pak Reconstruct Deep Penetrating Reconstructor
  • Joico K-Pak Reconstruct Liquid Reconstructor (not pictured)
  • Keratase Ciment Anti-Usure
  • Aubery Glycerin Protein Balancing Conditioner
  • ORS Hair Mayonnaise
  • Giovanni Smooth as Silk Xtreme Protein
  • Vatika Egg Protein Hair Mask

Monday, 21 July 2014

VIDEO RECAP - WOW 2014

I'm back with another 'better late than never' Video Recap (check out the previous Videos  Recaps here). This time it's the 2014 Woman Of The World Festival (WOW 2014).
Did you attend the Women Of the World Festival this year?
I desperately wanted to attend in 2013 when they held their first 'Weave vs Natural' debate. Unfortunately I wasn't able to, but I did share the video, and a few of my opinions about it on the blog >here<.

This year I was invited to share my opinions as a panelist at the 2nd dose of the debate, again hosted by Curator & Journalist Hannah Poole
The Panel (L-R): Me; Natalie Clue - Author of Beauty Pulse London blog; Hannah Poole - Host & Curator;
Angel Dike - Author of The Natural Lounge blog; Sandie Okoro - Chief Legal Counsel at HSBC
I enjoyed the debate, but personally I think we needed a little longer to really get into some of the trickier issues surrounding Black women and hair.
Check out the video and let me know what you think.
            
In addition to being panelists, Angel and I were also invited to host a mini natural hair meetup following the debate.
The meetup was more of an open forum to continue discussing our hair. We began with our 2 guest speakers, Belinda Raji (BeUnique Haircare), and Shaherah Jordan (Balanced Busy Bodies), sharing their hair stories, and ended by giving away a few prizes.

It'll be interesting to see if there's a return to the topic of Black hair at WOW 2015.
Will it still be such an 'issue'? Will the conversation have moved on in any way? What do you think? Do we need another 'Weave vs Natural' debate? 
Shaherah Jordan owner of Balanced Busy Bodies and qualified nutritionist  sharing her story with us, she has recently combed out her waist length locs (interview coming soon). It was interesting to hear how and why. Then Belinda Raji founder and owner of BeUnique Hair Care (she also has a Youtube Channel) shared hair story. - See more at: http://www.thenaturallounge.com/page/6/#sthash.gzskz
Shaherah Jordan owner of Balanced Busy Bodies and qualified nutritionist  sharing her story with us, she has recently combed out her waist length locs (interview coming soon). It was interesting to hear how and why. Then Belinda Raji founder and owner of BeUnique Hair Care (she also has a Youtube Channel) shared hair story. - See more at: http://www.thenaturallounge.com/page/6/#sthash.gzskzKq5
Lovin' my 'WOW' Participants cup.

(sidenote: Major thank you to Angel & Shaherah for almost all of the images from the day.)