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Welcome to The United KinKdom!
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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

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

NATURAL PROFESSIONAL




My Curls in My Professional World - 1 Week of my Hair at Work
**Ive added a SHORT VIDEO (41secs) of the main styles I wore to work at the end of this article**

Random compliments can be really encouraging as there are so many circumstances that can make you feel doubtful.

I began a new job at the end of February and I was both Excited & Nervous at the prospect of entering my Professional World this time with my Natural Hair. This would be the 1st Time Ever that I'd have Worn My Natural Hair to Work! 
My mum was worried that I wouldn't be able to manage my natural hair and going to work. It might sound bad, but I knew what she meant. She was concerned that I might get frustrated with my hair and end up spending too much time trying to manage it, and that it would effect me getting to work on time etc... I can't lie, I was worried too. I even thought about getting some extensions cainrowed in for the duration of my job.

But thinking about it I changed my mind...
Since going natural I Love getting to know my hair. I love doing things I didn't before like washing my hair twice a week and not having to depend on hair-dressers thus Saving Time & Money
But Mostly I Love Learning About Living As ME!! 

So I decided I'm up for the Challenge! Living as myself cant go on hold everytime a new opportunity comes along, LOL.
Plus, I was quite excited at the chance to explore some Professional Styles with Natural Hair.

** SHORT VIDEO (41secs) of the main styles I wore to work at the end of this article**


At Work This Week:
So far besides 2 cleaners (working for the RAH) Im the Only black person I’ve seen working at the Royal Albert Hall for the company I'm with - I thought those days were over... The exception being my friend, one of the other wardrobe girlies, who I think is mixed race (Asian-Jamaican). She has hair like my sister’s (whose mum is white Irish), probably somewhere between type 2 &3 – definitely not Type 4.
My little sister, Type 3a hair I think.



My Boss who's white, her hair is more curly. It’s also Very ginger, and kinda short. It has beautiful ‘O’ shaped curls, massive spirals. It’s lovely. 
She always keeps it pinned up or tucked under. Although she’s younger than me, and our hair is totally different, she’s a very Big Inspiration to me in terms of hair (and a lot of other stuff). She usually has a kinda alice-band accessory in the front, and a side-swept fringe tucked away.  



The rest of the girls at work including the girls in the make-up department next to us, have all got pretty much straight hair. On top of that the whole South Kensington and Knightsbridge area is a VERY Posh area. There’s a lot of Very Privileged people and a whole load of buildings and statues that stand as testaments to the Great British Empire

One of the Statues in South Kensington
Not that I don’t accept the History but I’m also Very Aware of how it effects me today, especially regarding something so closely related to race, as hair.
Even the ‘Sloany’ style of the girls around Knightsbridge…it’s all very…‘Eurocentric’ is the quickest way to describe it.

Anyway, being so Different can make you feel a little Insecure sometimes. So it was nice this week when I was talking to 2 of my white work colleagues and my boss about hair. My colleagues (with straight hair) were talking about how much they wished for curly hair and were very insistent about the beauty of my hair, which meant a lot to me and was very encouraging. 
** SHORT VIDEO (41secs) of the main styles I wore to work at the end of this article**

I don’t know if it’s a maturity thing but I remember when I was in School and white people and even black boys would tend to see my hair as some sort of Controversial Abnormality; and I guess I kinda Internalised that. 
That’s what this period in my life is about I guess, me REALISING THE TRUTH, that those horrible thoughts about my hair Aren’t True, and that my hair is beautiful!


** SHORT VIDEO (41secs) of the main styles I wore to work at the end of this article**


On Thursday we had the show’s Opening Night drinks. All the girls who had worn their hair up for the day, took it down or vice versa, Except me and my boss, who just tonged hers a little in the front. Had a brief feeling of being that Odd-One-Out again but then I switched my thinking to loving the fact that my hair was styled from the morning and didn’t need any changes. Lol. (I was more pissed I didnt bring a change of clothes! haha.)
Me, My Boss (in the middle) & some of the other wardrobe girls.

On the way home a black guy at the bus stop complemented my hair saying he liked the flowers and the naturalness, and he ‘don’t understand why so many girls trying to be…..you know.’ LOL... I knew what he meant, lol!

Also, earlier in the week, my mixed race colleague had complimented me on how healthy my hair is.


With So Many Examples Of Desirability That Differ From My Natural Self, It Can Be Easy To Have Doubts, So The Compliments Can Mean A Lot


Whoa! One of my longest Blogs yet, sorry!