About Me

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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

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Wunmi's Sock Bun

Woman In The Jungle's Sock Bun Tutorial
Wanted to share this video of UK Natural Vlogger & Blogger Woman In The Jungle.
This is one of her most recent tutorial vids and I love it because it's quick, to the point and shows me how to make a sock bun. I really want to try this style, but I thought my hair might be too short. As soon as I give it a go I'll post pics.

Check it out and let me know what you think. I'll also be posting this vid on the Recommended Viewing Page where you can find other hair tutorial videos that I like.

Check out the Woman In The Jungle YouTube Channel and Blog: Woman-In-The-Jungle.blogspot.com

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Tangle Teezers

Tangle Teezer Review
"Suprise! Surprise!"
I've somehow managed to obtain 2 Tangle-Teezers in 1 month just from attending different natural hair events. I received one in my Naturally Fabulous goody-bad and another in my Respect The Fro treasure-bag.
I have to be honest, I was a bit baffled at first as I thought these brushes were just for European hair, and I was convinced that putting this in my Afro hair would cause it to get more tangled; but it actually went through my hair surprisingly well. 
Considering we're often advised to use wide-tooth combs on Afro hair, I was pretty skeptical at the sight of the random arrangement of all those bristles. But the appearances in this case were quite decieving as the bristles were a lot softer that I'd expected.
After brushing my whole head of
hair there wasn't that much breakage
Recently I've been moving away from using tools to detangle my hair and instead I now tend to finger detangle, none-the-less I can see how this tool could be very useful as a styling tool. It worked similar to a paddle brush (excellent for smoothing weaves) but a little more robust, yet not as rough as I had been expecting. 
Because I'm quite happy with the current results I'm getting from finger detangling, I probably wont be using the Tangle Teezer regularly, except to help me create those super slick styles.
Don't let the look of the Tangle-Teezer put you off, give it a try for yourself and see what you think.
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Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Mmm Hair

"Is This What Heaven Feels Like?"

I'm a big supporter of buying home-grown in theory, which I why I value events such as NATURALLY FABULOUS and RESPECT THE FRO, so much as they give me a chance to try and practice what I preach.
You may remember I mentioned purchasing a sampler-size pack of products from the Mama's Marvelous Medicine for Hair aka MMM...Hair Range by Dr Aroushka James at the Naturally Fabulous Event, which I decided to try at the weekend.

After 2 weeks worth of gel Twistouts that had left my hair feeling like a bowl of dry crunchy nut cereal, I wasn't sure whether these tiny bottles would do the job (in fact I had almost prepared myself not to review the results of this trial as I felt they were at an unfair disadvantage.)

The shampoo and conditioner were great for getting my hair back to normal, although I'd like to try them again so I could be a bit more lenient with the conditioner, and form a proper opinion. I generally prefer for conditioners to smell quite exotic and luxurious, but this one smelled pretty neutral, which some people might prefer.

In my opinion the absolute stand out product has to be the Revitalizing Spritz.
I don't usually like to buy spritz as they often leave my hair feeling dry once they've been absorbed but this one was nothing like that.

It left my hair feeling incredibly soft...like shockingly soft...as in I kept boasting to my mum about it, soft! If you follow my twitter you may have seen my random tweet at the weekend about my hair feeling like a cloud, now you know why.

To say I was pleasantly surprised or very impressed is an understatement.

I would definitely buy the full size bottle next time.

You can buy MMM...Hair Products and find out about Dr Aroushka L James, on the website: www.MMMHair.co.uk
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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

African Hair & Now

On Thursday I attended a talk at the Petrie Museum called African Hair & Now.
The talk was presented by Egyptologist Sally-Ann Ashton and explored the history of the Afro comb including it's significance within Ancient Egyptian culture.

Although Sally-Ann had held the African Hair & Now talk, the previous Saturday (as advertised on Events Page), I had missed it, so I was very happy for the second opportunity to attend. I was even happier to see two familiar faces arrive just after me....
My friends Joanna & Rochelle at African Hair & Now
They were definitely representing for #Teamnatural
I LOVED BOTH their styles!

The presentation was a very interesting one, with some incredible images of natural hair and hair tools from across various African cultures. I took a few pictures but I'm hoping to be sent a few more from Sally-Ann.

Sally-Ann explained to us that African Hair & Now was just one event that was being held in advance of what is planned to be an Exhibiton of the History of the Afro Comb, to be held in 2013; therefore, as much as the evening was a presentation, she also hoped for it to be a discussion about Afro hair. By the end of the evening I don't think she was disappointed as Joanna, Rochelle and myself had stories that could go on for days (as Im sure most Black women do.)

I was very encouraged by her motivations and goals, including her intention to strengthen the arguments connecting Ancient Egypt to traditional African origins and culture, despite what she feels is a tendency of some other Egyptologist' to try and isolate it from the continent.

During the talk Sally-Ann highlighted many of the links between ancient depictions of hair and traditional, as well as modern, Afro hair styling techniques and practices; with braids being just one example from many.

Comparisons have be drawn between the Ancient Egyptian
War Crown
(above & left) and this Watusi hairstyle (right).

The significance of the coils depicted in the Egyptian War crown
is a hotly debated topic. Many suggest they are representative of the
tight curl pattern of Afro hair.
 We were also shown quotes by the museum's founder Petrie, who stated that he had observed notable differences between hair combs used by ancient Egyptians and Europeans.
Sally-Ann has been exploring what this could show us in more depth and admitted that much of her time recently has been spent measuring the distance between the teeth of various ancient combs which may provide very important evidence regarding the originating and previously dominant African presence in Egypt.
She revealed that the increased European presence in Egypt corresponds with the gradual narrowing of the distance between comb teeth.
In addition to this she explained that prior to the increased European presence in Africa, many of the combs were carved with images and motifs which represented animals and often gods, but this common practice declined (for example with Roman influence) and thus everyday references to traditional gods was reduced. Instead these appear to have been replaced with standard patterns. 

We also addressed the general significance of symbolism in African
culture that remains present today.
 There were many other great bits information that I found interesting including knowing that some people were buried with combs in their hair and others with combs wrapped in hair beside them; also, in some places you would be unable to buy a comb from anyone other than a specialist and combs if made by women would first have to be cleansed before they could be sold.

Some of the ancient tools are on display at the Petrie Museum which is open to the public for visits and there are also some great books available to buy. Click Here: Petrie Museum
Books available to buy from Museum
If you attended the talk earlier in the week, I'd love to know your thoughts. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes pealed for similar events in the run up to the exhibition.

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Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Natural Mama

Natural Mama

Yet again another jam packed weekend has passed, and on Sunday I attended my friend Cherelle's Baby Shower.  I thought I'd post a few pics from the day as I was lucky enough to get a couple of cute snaps of other UK Naturals including the mummy-to-be herself, who began growing locs in July last year.
My cousin Evie
I know there's a lot of hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy which often benefit both skin and hair growth and I've heard many women say their hair grew exceptionally fast during pregnancy. Im looking forward to seeing how Cherelle plans to look after her little one's natural locs.
My aunt also had a baby earlier this year, and she's been quite overwhelmed with the rate of her daughter's hair growth. I have to say my aunt is very fortunate to have my Nan staying with her and making her fresh, homemade pure coconut-oil to use on my little cousins skin and hair. I had no idea my nan could make up a fresh batch of coconut oil, so when she gets back from Jamaica I'll definitely getting her to teach me how it's done - which should save me the £4.something I currently spend on a tub.  

I met this lovely young lady in
Clapham Junction on my way to the
Baby Shower and I loved the way she'd
done her headwrap. I hope she gets in touch
as she said she plans to do youtube tutorials
which I'd love see and share.
Cherelle Rockin' her locs and a beautiful bump.
My 3 day old Twist Out & OOTD.
Look out for these talented ladies
@SizStar & @DJMika123
Both beautiful & Stylish UK
Natural Singers.
Cherelle opening hand-knitted gifts from her Grandmother - #Natural Talent!
How Amazing it the cake - totally cute!
(I made the balloon flowers, lol.)

My cousin Evie, when she was born - look at all that hair
on day 1.
a few months on...
Hair getting Very thick.
So Cute!

Congratulations guys!!
Uber Cute baby cake model.

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"Thirst" Natural Birthday


Last Friday it was my Birthday and many of you sent me Happy Birthday wishes, so I just thought I'd take this opportunity to say a BIG THANK YOU to you ALL!!
Thanks to Pelumi Rae of Care For Your Hair for this. xx
I was so surprised when I opened my card from my boyfriend in the morning, he always tries to get me cards with black girls or women on the front and if he can find them, with natural hair, and on Friday he did. He somehow managed to find me a COLORBLIND CARD! I Love Colorblind cards but I don't see them around regularly so I was really happy to actually have one. 
This is the one he bought for me.
This is the first colorblind card
that ever caught my eye.

I also love their slogan: "The only thing that should be separated by colour is laundry."
I definitely recommend checking out their website www.colorblindcards.com
I wasn't planning on doing anything special for my birthday but, my friend's band The Thirst, were playing at Jazz Cafe which was also having a 90's Night...

So my boyfriend got me a ticket and a few friends and I went down. I had a brilliant night.

Janet rockin the Box Braids in
Poetic Justice. "Ol' Skool"
It's the first of what I hope are many future birthday celebrations as a natural, lol. Im so used to getting a fresh weave a week before my birthdays, but not anymore.  I know really, considering it was a 90's Night, I should have done the box braids but there was no time.
Instead I some how managed to prepare a whole head of gel-twists in an hour - my fastest time yet; and wore a pinned-up Twistout. I used the Olive Oil Eco-Styler Gel and the pics of the finished look are below.

I've been meaning to tell you guys about The Thirst, who played an absolutely brilliant set on the night, because not only do I love their music but I LOVE their HAIR, which usually consists of 3 Afros and Dredlocks
Love 'em!!
They're currently working on their 2nd album but it's definitely well worth getting the 1st Album "On The Brink" while you wait. I can't tell you how much I have absolutely rinsed that album, and I bought it for at least 2 other friends as a presents.

All in I had a brilliant birthday so thanks to everyone who helped make my day special.
Crystal xx
Rockin My Thirst Tee!

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Monday, 17 October 2011

Respect The Fro - Part 2

Respect The Fro Part 2
*This Weekend!!*

This Saturday Im looking forward to being part of a panel discussion with Regina Kimble - Founder of International Black HAIRitage Month (IBHM) and Director of Film "My Nappy Roots"; as well as Consultant Trichologist - Natasha Dennis; and Founder of Care For Your Hair - Pelumi Rae.
The discussion will be part of a natural hair event Respect The Fro Part 2, organized by Naturally Nubian and The Calabash Hub.

On the Panel with Charmaine of Black History Studies at
Respect The Fro Part. Click here to read more: RTF (Pt 1)
Even though I was a panelist for the Q&A session at the previous Respect The Fro, I'm still nervous, so I'm really glad that fellow UK natural Pelumi of Care For Your Hair, is going to be there. I was really pleased to get to meet Pelumi at Naturally Fabulous a few weekends ago, she was absolutely lovely so I'm looking forward to her reassuring presence at Respect The Fro pt2, to calm my nerves, lol.
Meeting Pelumi at Naturally Fabulous
The event will include a screening of My Nappy Roots, followed by the discussion. There will also be poetry, goody bags, prizes and a chance to network ...Oh, and did I mention there's food. Good Food! (for £8).

The event starts at 12pm and finishes at 5pm.
It takes place at: 
Cotton's Rhum Shack Restaurant
70 Exmouth Street, Islington 
London EC1R 4QP
Advance Entry to the event is £7 or £10 on the door.
You can book your ticket's online or contact Naturally Nubian aka Michelle on the number at the bottom of the flyer. Links for Online Booking: 

L-R: Me & Michelle aka Naturally Nubian

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