Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Old School Inspiration

The Afro's back in the day were on point. Nuff said....


 The beautiful Marsha Hunt

 Angela Davis (
Peace, Love and Hair Grease folks xx

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Black Girl Walking

“Yo, buff ting, ya looking nice today, still’. I walk past the bus stop, eyes focused on the crossing a few steps ahead. “Psst, psst - eh gorgeous, can I talk with you”, the thick West African accent cuts through my thoughts, and I glance to my side to be greeted with a smile, and a phone grasped by an expectant hand. I smile back weakly - ‘no, thanks’, and continue to walk briskly, while an angry voice shouts ‘You’re not that nice anyway!’ in my direction. I roll my eyes, slightly embarassed at the looks of vaguely amused passers-by. It’s nothing new - I’m just another black women, walking another street, in another town that could be anywhere in the world. 
I’ve been to Jamaica, America, Chad, Guadeloupe, and I happen live in England. They all have unique cultural habits, ethnic mixes, foods, outlooks and landscapes. One thing is for certain though - anywhere where there are black men, I can guarantee I will be approached by a random member of the male species who feels that it is his privilege- no, inalienable right, to have an awkward conversation with me that he hopes will inevitably end in the exchange of numbers and ensuing ‘hook up’ or date. Unfortunately for him, all he will receive is a polite ‘no thank you’, or depending on the manner he decides to approach me, a complete lack of response.
Why so harsh? you ask. How is a man supposed to find a good black women? Answer: Generally, not on the street.  As a black woman, I feel embarrassed, violated and intimidated when someone aggressively follows me and then demands that they have my number. There have been cases where I’ve been approached in a manner that hasn’t been intimidating. I’ve had simple compliments -‘I like your hair’ or ‘Sis, you look beautiful’, that made me smile, and in no way offended me, but sadly, they don’t form the majority of my experiences. 
I’ve travelled a fair amount in my short years, and no matter which country I’ve been to, I’ve noticed that white women don’t seem to have  to face similar interactions with their male counterparts. Sure, in certain areas you’ll get the odd builder wolf whistling from a wall, or on a night out a short skirt will attract a fair amount of cat calls, but day to day, I rarely see white guys stopping white women at random on the street and then hurling abuse at them if they refuse to entertain conversation. I refuse to believe that white women carry themselves in a way that commands so much more respect than I do, so what is it that makes (a large number) of black men feel that their behaviour is acceptable, or even strangely attractive? More worryingly, what in the psyche of these men tells them that a respectable woman would give her details out to someone who has quite obviously been malingering on a random street corner in order to solicit numbers? Or maybe these men are purposely looking for women who aren’t respectable, which makes me me even more concerned. Perhaps I should flip the question around and ask, what is it about black women that makes men feel that it’s ok to treat us like this? Someone, help me out here.
My Grandfather’s generation had a completely different mode of interacting with females than this generation, so I’m not sure I would be honest in just blaming my experiences on  the standard ‘psychological effects of slavery on black male - female interactions’. Maybe it’s a reflection of the general moral breakdown in society. Maybe the fact that the media portrays black woman as sexual playthings at every available opportunity also plays a role. It could be the fact that more black men grow up without a father at home now, than ever before, and so are at a loss as to how to interact with women on a meaningful level. Maybe it’s a combination of all these factors.
All I know is that I’m tired of having my daily routine interrupted by every Tyrone, Dick and Harry that wants some ‘digits’ from me. I love black men, but I wish they could show me some love by showing a little more respect.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Natural Hair Pet Peeves

I love my hair. Repeat. I LOVE MY HAIR. Sometimes, however, it can cause a wee bit of trouble. So here are my natural pet peeves ......

1) That first day after I wash my hair and it just refuses to cooperate.

2) The fact that I am constantly tempted to buy new products, and that a new natural product line springs up every 5 minutes, eliciting even more temptation.

3)Repeat number 2.

4)Detangling - I just really can't be bothered. I'm so lazy, it happens once a week if my hair is lucky.

5)The fact that 'normal' products always have petroleum, mineral oil or something else my hair doesn't agree with. Hence no.2 again.

6)I am apparently an exotic form of tropical mammal, because everyone seems to feel entitled to touch my hair.

7) Single strand knots.Ugh. Knots in general. Ugh

8)Ugly protective styles that make me look like an extra from Roots. (not all protective styles are ugly - but the bigger and easier the braids/twists on me, the worse they look)

9) Being seen as revolutionary just for being me.

10) My hair getting caught in velcro. Maybe that's just all hair though.

But....I still LOVE my hair. Wouldn't trade it for the world:-).

Peace, Love and hair Grease folks :-)

Monday, 7 November 2011

Trend: Chunky Box Braids

Anyone remember these (Janet J)??  Well, long chunky box braids are definitely the new trend at the mo. Now frankly, I don't care for trends or fashion - wear what you wanna wear regardless of what's in, but I do love this look. Here are a few pics to inspire.

Janet Jackson 


Solange again

Third time's a charm...

 Brandy (from

Jada - with a great updo.

A model with extra chunky braids

Solange again...with a lovely bun....


  1. You don't have to use really expensive hair - I found that the cheap synthetic hair worked fine. Obviously, if you can afford human hair, then it's better for your hair so go for it. ( I have my personal qualms about the whole human hair thing actually, but that's another post)
  2. Don't do them too tight - tight braids damage the hairline and cause traction alopecia.
  3. Moisturise daily with a spritz - water, glycerin, essential oils, conditioner.
  4. Keep them's better for your hair.
Disclaimer: Although I do post certain celebrities for their hairstyles please note I am by no means endorsing their music, lifestyle's just that getting permission to post pics from 'normal' people is a lot less easy.

Peace, Love and Hair grease folks!! xxx

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Natural Spotlight: Hayley Chisholm :-)

Natural Spotlight - the gorgeous Hayley Chisholm! Enjoy :-)

Curly Mohawk

Me: Hayley, 21, student. 
How long have you been natural for?
I have been ‘natural’ all my life and I used to straighten and blow-dry my hair quite often. However, in the last few years, I have drastically reduced the amount of heat on my hair to virtually none. 
Why did you decide to go natural or what inspired you? 
I decided to ‘go natural’ -stop using straighteners, hair-dryers- when I began university in 2008. This wasn’t really a conscious decision at first. I had moved out of home and hadn’t yet bought my own hair dryer or straighteners when I had to wash my hair, after getting a swimming membership.  I realised that if I was going to be swimming several times per week, washing and blow-drying, then straightening my hair, would not be a process which would be viable over a long period of time. 

Curly afro with breakage :-(

How long did it take you to transition? What were the main problems you found while transitioning?
It took me a while to get used to handling my hair without straightening it and also figuring out how often I should wash it. I was worried about chlorine damaging my hair, but also worried about washing my hair too frequently, which actually resulted in my hair becoming very dry, and eventually breaking after a year. I decided to cut quite a considerable amount off at this time!
What styles did you use to transition with?
I was very fond of a curly Mohawk, or a standard puff. I would often do two French plaits, or cornrows whilst swimming. This was a manageable/transportable style where I didn’t have to spend an hour in the changing room, returning my hair to a ‘fit’ state to be seen in public!
Twisted Puff
What were your favourite products while transitioning?
I used Dark and Lovely hair moisturiser, which I thought at the time, was good to use, but it is actually very greasy and does not absorb into my hair. I used Dax to slick back my hair with some Dark and Lovely hair gel. I washed my hair with just standard shampoo herbal essences, as I thought this was less harsh on my hair. 
What are your favourite products now?
I love eco gel made from olive oil; it’s not heavy on my very fine hair. I also use Jamaican castor oil and beeswax on my scalp. I use an organic olive oil moisturiser and occasionally some Dax when I want my hair very smooth.  I have a spray bottle to wet my hair when I want to style it and an array of scarves and ouch-less hair bands to tie my hair. 
First time straightened hair in 6 months after 2 years of regrowth.
How have people responded to your new look?
At first, people didn’t embrace my ‘new look’ and was often told I was brave for rockin’ my hair a certain way, which made it very difficult not to give in. However, over time I guess people have got used to it and ask for tips/advice now and again. I’m very amateur in the natural hair field though!
Have you got any advice  or words of wisdom for other new naturals or transitioners?
I know this is cliché but...
  • Stick to it and you will see results
  • Remember it always gets worse before it gets better! 
  • You don’t have to have a particular length/texture of hair to be natural, what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you. 
  • Just be patient and research before you experiment.