Friday, 7 September 2012

Event Review: Beauty Within Me

You may have seen me post a few pictures from the Beauty Within Me Event at the end of last month. Although it was a 2 day event I was only able to attend the Saturday but I really enjoyed what I learned from the hair and skin care seminars that took place, as well as the information on healthy eating.
Clare Eluka
The venue was slightly different from most as it took place at SOAS (School of Oriental & African Studies) and for some reason I really liked the fact that the seminars were held in a university lecture theatre (maybe because I love being in a studious environment).  Similarly to my University days, the lectures began before 12pm, which for me counts as an early start, especially considering it was a Saturday. However, it worked out well as the introductions to the day were at 9:00am, as well as early bird shopping opportunities, and the 1st lecture didn't start until 11am.
I learned a lot of really interesting things at Beauty Within Me, so check out the Highlights From My Notebook at the bottom of this post.

The day was hosted by the fabulously funny Tameka Empson (also known by her character name of Kim from Eastenders).

There were well timed breaks between the seminars which gave everyone enough time to shop around on the foyer upstairs.
Dianne Hall - I Grew It Long

Ronke Ige - Emi & Ben

Belinda Raji - BeUnique Haircare
The first of hair seminars was given by Melissa and Hugette of M&H Bespoke Hairstyles who spoke about how not to pass negative ideas and attitudes about Afro hair on to young children. They also explained their own approach to styling hair and their emphasis on healthy follicles for healthy hair growth; therefore they always wet hair before working on it, and never pull hair too tightly for the sake of styling.
Tameka talks to Melissa & Hugette of M&H Bespoke Hair
After lunch there was a talk from Trichologist Shirley MacDonald AIT.
Of all the events I've been to, this was the first time I'd heard any information from an officially qualified doctor of hair. If anyone is suffering from serious problems with their hair, I highly recommend they go and see a Trichologist, unlike hair practitioners or stylists, Trichologists are medically qualified hair specialist.
When looking for a Trichologist, Shirley recommends looking for those with "AIT" or "MIT" after their name.
Shirley touched on the science of hair including the Hair Growth Cycle and the difference between the oval shaped hair structure of African hair, the round shape of Asian hair, and the in between hair structure of European hair; and explained that the oval shape of our hair that makes it more porous than other hair types.
She also explained that because Afro hair is curly and grows out of the scalp "like a corkscrew" each curve is very delicate; consequently for it to stretch safely without snapping moisture must be applied.
As part of her talk Shirley gave examples of common hair problems such as chemical burns and alopecia and included some very graphic and disturbing photographs. I don't have pictures as these were real case studies so no photographs were allowed.

Before the end of the day there was a Q&A session with a panel of 5 different product owners including:
Sonya Evelyn of Fro Her Hair, Belinda of BeUnique Haircare, Ronke of Emi & Ben Skincare, Andrea of Tolu Organics; and Claire of Premae Skincare products.
It was great to find out more about each company and the motivation behind the brands and I found it especially inspiring to see 5 Black British Female entrepreneurs and learn about the motivation behind each of their brands.
The ladies on the panel revealed some very interesting information some of which I've shared below in the Highlights from My Notebook.
My favourite question to the panel was
"Which 2 natural products/ ingredients could you not do without?"
They chose:
Water & Avocado - Sonya
Aloe Vera Juice - Belinda
Olive Oil & Shea Butter - Ronke
Omega 3, 6 or 9 & Spiralina - Andrea
Coconut Milk & Cucumber - Clare
Angela Tella -Eat Yourself Gorgeous
The final seminar of the day was by Angela Tella, author of Eat Yourself Gorgeous.
Angela has written a number of books on foods and healthy eating and since myself and my mum are both taking a more conscious approach to our food I bought one for us to share.

The founder of Beauty Within Me was a man called Glen Yearwood, and I thought it was great that after the final session Glen took the time to thank all the women behind him who'd supported his cause including Tola of My Long Hair Journey who was the Event's Producer.
Tola receives her Thank You and flowers from Founder Glen
It was still the early evening when myself and a few other ladies were ready to leave, so we decided to go for lunch together - a perfect way to round off a fab Saturday.

Dinner with the ladies.
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and meee @Crystalafro.

My Hair of the Day (#HOTD) Taken with #Instagram
(Crystalafro on Instagram)
(I wore my hair in twists which I plaited down each side, and tucked the ends under.)
Highlights From My Notebook
  • Scalp massages stimulate blood flow to the head but can increase bad hormones as well as good, which can perpetuate some scalp conditions.
  • Darker hair dyes contain para dyes, which can be more dangerous than those found in lighter hair dyes.
  • Hair is said to be the bar-o-meter of health. Pay attention to your diet for healthy hair and wash hair regularly.
  • Drink pleanty of water and include "Essential Fatty Acids" (EFA's) and vitamins and minerals in your diet.
  • Iron is an important vitamin for hair growth, but women often loose a lot of iron during menstruation.
  • It often takes 3 months before dietary changes will be noticable in hair.
  • Only 5% of consumers know about "Nanotechnology" (I'm not one of those 5% so I will be googling.)
  • Manufacturers never have to disclose what's in their "frangrance" of their hair products.
  • You only need 5% of a natural ingredient to be classed as organic by FDA.
  • 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your blood stream.
  • Use vegetable based soaps to wash children's skin.
  • After washing: Pat skin dry instead of rubbing it and use a natural butter to lock in moisture.
  • Acetate, a common ingredient found in high street moisturisers, is a plastic which can not be absorbed by the body. 
  • Lanolin & Mineral Oil are by-products of petrol
  • Ginger Oil can help sufferers of dermatitis and eczema.
  • Coconut milk is 3 times more hydrating than water to drink.
  • Food colours can indicate PH acidity: Red foods - more acidic, Yellow/ Orange foods - less acidic, Green foods - neutral/ alkaline
  • Rice Milk is a good alternative for those who are lactose intolerent.
  • The brain and eyes prefer energy from starchy foods.
  • A portion is anything that can fit into your hand.
  • Lactose is a natural sugar
  • Protein helps you to feel fuller.
  • Dehydration can increase wrinkles
  • Fibres help avoid water retention.


  1. YOu hair looks BRILL! I feel like I'm missing EVERYTHING, the event looked good. Ah well, once baby girl is born she and I will have lots to do together :0)

    1. Yaay! Looking fwd to seeing you out and about with little miss Xpat xxx

  2. Looked like a great event and yes your hair looked lovely

  3. Really enjoyed reading your summary of the Event. Thanks for taking the time.

  4. Thanks for the love Crystal. Would love to use your experience at the seminar to help our marketing plans for next year. Let me know. Glen Yearwood, founder of Beauty within Me..

    1. Hi Glenron, I'd be honoured, thank you and well done again xx


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