Thursday, 26 April 2012

The Weekends Hair

THE WEEKEND'S HAIR
This weekend was one of experiments. I think going natural is all about trial & error in the early stages, so this weekend I tried using Perm Rods on my natural hair for the very first time.
I got the idea from Kimmay's Corrine Bailey Rae Style video (Click Here). I've tried it before on Bantu Knot-Outs before (as she does in the video) but both times have been a fail. This time I figured I'd try again but instead of doing the ends in Bantu knots I set them on Perm Rods.
I began by flat-twisting my wet hair with Eco Styler Gel before rolling the ends onto the rods.


Unfortunately I didnt have enough time to let it dry completely, which inevitably meant it failed. The parts that did dry looked lovely but there was more frizz than there were curls.



A last minute hair fail is never good when you're running late but it does push the boundaries of your creativity. I figured a Fro-hawk was probably gona be my best option so I quickly checked out some of the vids on my recommended viewing page to see how to do a fro-hawk. This was the end result.


I've never worn a Fro-Hawk before, and if Im honest I felt completely out of my comfort zone - it was almost like that first week without my weave, but just like that first week, I decided to roll with it.
 


By the end of the night I still had fun and felt good.
Note-to-Self: Don't be afraid to try something new!


The Lazy Bun & Bow

THE LAZY BUN & BOW
Last week I set myself the challenge of fixing my hair in less than 20 mins. I started the day with my hair looking like this.
Old Twistout - (Cool for around the house)
Later that day my mum was flying out to Ghana and 20mins before the cab arrives she lets me know its on its way - I wasn't even up properly.
I had nothing planned for my hair, but I thought it'd interesting to film my random process of hair play when running low on time and this was the outcome.....
The Lazy Bun & Bow
Because it was such and impromptu video its not the best that's why I called it rough, but it seems to be my most watched video so far - which is funny! (It also has the most dislikes of my videos so far, which is even funnier)

I spritzed with Mmm Hair - Revitalising Spritz
Used Flaxseed Oil from the Goody Box UK for some shine 
Then used:
1 headband
Hair Pins
1 skinny scarf



Sunday, 22 April 2012

Lolas Curls Healthy Hair Meet-Up

LOLA'S CURLS HEALTHY HAIR MEET-UP

Last weekend I was at the Lolas Curls Healthy Hair Meet-Up, organised and hosted by the lady Doctor herself Lola.
It was my first time meeting Lola who has a natural hair blog and a youtube channel and has now been on her journey for 2yrs, with some VERY impressive progress. Check out her featured video on the Curly Nikki website >>Here<<.
The venue was not far from Euston station at The Elixir Bar and when I arrived there were ladies standing around and happily mingling over hair products and free nibbles. The 2 vendors on the day were the Goody Box UK and Sister E's Calabash Hub.

The Goody Box UK
The Calabash Hub

After our "snack & chat" break Sister E gave her workshop on Head-wrapping.
Since I went natural last year I've been trying to attend a headwrapping workshop and for some reason I always miss them. Im either too late, or I get lost on the way to the venue...always something. So I was SO happy that I was finally able to see one.

Sister E went through a variety of styles, some of which I've been curious about for absolutely ages. I learned so much, but between trying to take pictures and writing notes I lost a few informative gems, so I'll be looking out for the next workshop and definitely attending again.



After another short break Lola gave a great presentation listing loads of tips on how to take care of natural hair and even some tips for those ladies with relaxed hair too - (a lot of which I wish I'd have known when I was relaxed.)

Taking notes
As much as I love the big events, I also really enjoy the smaller scale events such as this, too. At just £5 they're not too pricey at all, and just as great for meeting newly naturals or those who are considering it. They're also brilliant opportunities to turn up and learn about your hair with out feeling self-conscious or intimidated. Personally, I still get nervous about going to events, even when I know I'll see familiar faces. But with a host as warm and welcoming as Lola I was quickly put at ease.
The other benefit of smaller events is the likelihood of there being more food for those present, and less people to witness you devour it - all those who witnessed me with the chicken wangs could probably tell I'd missed breakfast.
One thing that did surprise me, was the number of visitors who were from The States including Atlanta, Chicago and The Virgin Islands - Hey Ya'll! *waves* it was love to meet you ladies.

Before the end Lola gave everyone mini goody bags & prizes including samples of her lip balms & body creams, as well as raw shea butter samples from The Calabash hub and hair dividers - which are always useful.
I was also the winner of The Curly Girl Handbook, that I'm looking forward to reading, so look out for a book review soon.


Well Done to Lola and thanks for taking a minute from the medicine to organise a wonderful Sunday afternoon for us ladies.
Look out for the photo album on Facebook & Youtube (coming soon).
On a side note - My hair was a twistout using BeUnique Mango Twist which I pinned up randomly.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Mixed-Race Hair Help

Mix-Race Hair Help
This post is dedicated to my friend Jacob and my little sister

Recently my friend Jacob contacted me and it turns out he's now the proud father of a beautiful little girl. Jacob is white and his daughter (2yrs old) is mixed race, so he was wondering if there were any products I'd recommend for her hair. It gave me a boost when he said that he checks out my blog, it makes me happy to know that the info here is connecting to everyone regardless of race or gender - its good to know the KinKdom is uniting!
It gave me an even bigger boost when he wrote he'd "like to take care of [her hair] as best [he] possibly can." With that sort of mentality I know he's making a fantastic father and Im proud to call him a friend.

Because I have Afro hair, I've got no first hand experience of what products work well on Mixed-Race hair, but my little sister is Mixed-Race and I've been planning to help her find what works best for her. (At the moment our Dad just gives her stuff for Afro hair which is WAY too heavy and just leaves her hair greasy.) As her big sister it's about time I do my research to help her out too.


Products
Products for children tend to be less harsh as standard, but may still contain chemicals or ingredients such as sulphates, albeit in milder forms or smaller amounts. Some parents prefer to use only organic products. The most commonly recommended products that I came across were:

Curly Q's
The Curly Q's website >>Click Here<< has a list of stockists, so as well as being available online you can find their product in a shop near you. They also have a range specifically for babies.


Blended Cutie
Blended Cutie is the children's range from Blended Beauty. If you check out >>This Link<< it should take you to their official web page with a list of various hair types (from Afro curls to Curls & Waves) and the best products for each. Have a look and see which type most closely resembles your child's hair. At the moment I think this brand is only available online so visit any of the 3 stores listed below.


Shea Moisture Baby
I remember Felicia Leatherwood talking about the Shea Moisture Baby range at the Multi-Textures Workshop. Again, this is not yet available in the shops over here but you can find it on some of the online stores below.


Mixed Chicks Kids Haircare
I dont think the Mixed Chicks products are organic, but I have heard a lot of great reports from people. The good thing about the Mixed Chicks For Kids products is their availability in most Black hair shops in London.




Haircare - Detangling
Curly hair does have a tendency to tangle a lot easier than straight hair, so detangling is an essential part of looking after curly hair. I have a couple of posts on Detangling (click here) but a couple of top tips include:

1.) Avoid detangling hair when dry!
It's VERY important to apply moisture to curly hair before attempting to detangle.
By applying moisture, you reduce the amount of friction on the shaft of the hair, thus making it more slippery, so the tangled hairs slides apart more easily.
By reducing friction you also reduce the amount of potential damage caused by combing and general manipulation of the hair. And of course reducing tangles also reduces hair breakage.
Root-2-Tip's Honey Rain Juice (pictured) is available in a growing number of Black hair shops and is great to use before detangling. A non-organic alternative is L'oreal Detangling Spray.

2.) Use a Wide-tooth comb
The younger the child the less this will apply, but depending on the amount of hair your child has, using a wide-tooth comb is a lot more appropriate for thicker or curlier hair types.


3.) Section the hair
Curly hair is a lot easier to manage when handled in sections. How many sections is up to you, but 4 is usually a good number to start with. You may find it easier to divide it into more or less.


Shopping
There are 3 brilliant UK-based online shops, that stock hair products for children including various organic product lines.
Click here for British Curlies Online
Click here for Gidore Online
Click here for Natures Parlour online



For More Info on Mixed-Race Hair Check Out:

Also Root-2-Tip have their second Hairducation Event coming up on April 28th where you can get top tips on caring for curly hair.


Hope that helps! xx

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

BeUnique: Product Review

BeUnique
PRODUCT REVIEW
Click Here to Buy Online

Im gona cut to the chase - I LOVE 'EM!
Love 'em! Love 'em! Love 'em!!
I could quite happily end the review there because I'm convinced that if you try it you'll love it too. But in case your not convinced it's for you, here's why I love it...
(Scroll to the bottom of this post for the video review)


Background
By now I'm sure many of you will have heard of or seen Belinda Raji on her youtube channel BeUnique, where she tracks her progress as she develops the BeUnique product line. I first heard about BeUnique last year, and the more I heard, the more I'd been intrigued to try it.
Hairspiration vs Hesitation
When looking at other peoples reviews last year, I was very impressed as the results always looked gorgeous. I would look and think "I'd love my hair to come out like that", but in the back of my mind I worried, that maybe part of the reason for their great results was because their hair was in much better condition than mine, or maybe their texture was different from mine. It's always important to be aware that everyone's hair is different and there are no guarantees.
I was prepared for good results, but probably nothing as great as those I'd seen. How wrong was I!

 The Review
I hadn't intended to try a whole week of BeUnique, but the result I got from the tester twists I'd done, had me really excited to see what I could achieve with these products.

I began the week using the Moisture Custard after washing my hair. This is a leave-in conditioner/ daily moisturiser which I was really excited about because I'm constantly searching for conditioners. I was very very impressed with this one. I was worried it might leave it greasy but once it sunk in my hair felt incredibly soft and not greasy at all.
I followed up with the Mango Twist. This product worked so well it was like magic! Im not great at twisting my hair neatly, and especially not good at flat twisting neatly, but this product smoothed my hair down so nicely that it actually made my hair look really smooth and neat. This inspired me to try and push the boat out and get a bit experimental with my hair, so I came up with this random style of flat-twisting the front and loose twists in the back.

I was so impressed with how neat and healthy my hair looked that I decided to try and keep it in for the whole week. My hair felt soft and moistured for days. In fact it was only after the 3rd/ 4th night that I felt I should add any moisture, so I lightly spritzed with water before smoothing on a little Moisture Custard. It worked perfectly! I've also had more compliments on the colour of my hair this week, with people saying it looks so dark and healthy, and well moisturised. I'm actually quite taken back by how many compliments I had. And once again not greasy at all, I've had people put their hands on my hair this week and at no point was I worried that they came away with greasy fingers. 

Price:
Moisture Custard 100g - £8.95
Mango Twists 90g - £8.95
In my opinion these are both brilliantly priced but I wont be playing around with these regular sizes. I've had a taster and Im officially sold. The next time I buy either, I'll be buying the double sized tubs for £14.95.

Texture & Smell:
Both of the products have a light mousse-like texture, almost whipped and bubbly, but not as light as a mousse. They feel a bit lotion-like, yet at the same time, feel almost fluffy. They dont feel as weighty as creams or butters but they do feel substantial enough to notice them. If you've read my review of other products you'll know I like this medium consistency, because my hair absorbs it well.
The Moisture Custard feels more creamy and slippery than the Mango Twist, which is why I was concerned that it might leave my hair feeling greasy, but was very pleasantly surprised when it didn't. I can honestly say I felt 100% confident that my hair felt like hair, not greasy not crunchy, just hair!
Both the products have very light scents, in fact the Mango Twist is practically fragrance-free, while the Moisture Custard has a lovely but light, sweet smell of vanilla.

Ingredients:
All of Be Unique products are handmade, 98 - 100% natural, pH balanced and free from Sodium laurel or lauryl sulfate (SLS), also known as sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), Parabens, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Propylene glycol, Isopropyl Alcohol and Silicones.

Key Ingredients of the Mango Twist:
Gingko Biloba, Mango Butter, Tucuma Butter, Oat Extract, Broccoli Seed Oil

Key Ingredients of the Moisture Custard:
Coconut Milk, Aloe Vera Juice, Illipe Butter, Hemp Seed Oil, Olive Squalane

Unlike the Mango Twist (which is white in colour) the Moisture Custard is a yellowish colour which I think it gets as a result of the Red Palm Oil it contains. This is the second product I've used this year that has contained Red Palm Oil and left my hair feeling fantastically soft, so I would add that to my personal list of key ingredients.

Conclusion
I dont know how Belinda's done this, when I first saw my results the only word that sprung to mind is "Magic!" I'm so impressed with my week of Be Unique and it now makes perfect sense to me why Belinda's hair always looks so fantastic. When I first went natural I completely depended on gel to get nicely defined twists, but Im so glad that's no longer necessary. I love the way it left my hair feeling like hair, I love the definition and hold. I love how healthy my hair looks, I love the confidence the products have given me in my hair. So I guess I end this review the same way I began....
Love 'em! Love 'em! Love 'em!
Be Unique is yet another brilliant reason for supporting homegrown British business. I need to see these products on the High Street ASAP. In fact Belinda, get yourself down to Dragon's Den, I'll testify to the brilliance of these products 100%! I reckon you could be the hair industry's equivalent of Levi Roots! 
Im so glad I finally got to try some BeUnique - Love it!
*Click Here To Buy Some for yourself!*

The Video Review



Monday, 16 April 2012

Afro Comb Afternoon

AFRO COMB AFTERNOON
ORIGINS OF THE AFRO COMB:
PROJECT UPDATE
Afro Combs Afternoon at the Petrie Museum
Saturday 28 April 1.30 – 4.30pm

If you've been checking in on the Natural Hair Events Page you probably spotted the Afro Comb Day listed with instructions to contact me for more details.
This was because the official organisers gave me a heads-up way in advance which I wanted to share with you guys.
Now all the plans have been confirmed and the Afro Comb Afternoon is listed on the Petrie Museum's Event Page too.
Petrie Museum Events Lising
"An afternoon of activities around combs from all ages of ancient Egypt. 
Talks on the combs by Sally-Ann Ashton (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge) will take place at 2pm and 4pm. A free trail is available to pick up for you to explore the museum with children or by yourself. 
We also want to hear comb related stories and histories from you!
You can opt to become part of history by telling us about your comb(s) or alternatives as part of the filming for the forthcoming special exhibition Origins of the Afro comb. Please bring your combs to show and tell us about"
CONTACT: 020 7679 4138 | events.petrie@ucl.ac.uk

As it says above, the Afro Comb Afternoon is a supporting event in preparation for the larger Origins Of The Afro Comb Exhibition which I've been posting about >>Here<<.
The aim of the day is to introduce and raise awareness of the Origins of The Afro Comb Exhibition - A large scale, Lottery Funded Exhibition being opened next year in July 2013. As well as spreading the word, we would also like to get people involved, record footage of people discussing their hair tools and hair care practices, and welcome any feedback or contributions from those who would like to be involved. There will also be a guided tour of some of the ancient hair combs currently on display at the Petrie. 
The day is FREE and you're welcome to bring friends or family along.
Members of the exhibition committee (including me) will be available to tell you about the exhibition, afro hair and the range of combs available today.
If you'd like to find out more feel free to contact me or the museum, or alternatively, just come along.

Also I will be hosting a brief interview with a few of our fabulous natural hair bloggers & vloggers from the UK prior to the start of the day. This wont be public but will be filmed, so if you have a natural hair blog or vlog and would like take part just drop me an email.




What: Afro Combs Afternoon 
When: Saturday 28 April 1.30 – 4.30pm
Where: Petrie Museum

Contacts:My Email: crystalafro@hotmail.co.uk
OrPetrie Museum Contact: 020 7679 4138 | events.petrie@ucl.ac.uk

I found this image on Tumblr - Gorgeous!