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NFATW: Maria in the UK

Avatar • May 24, 2010

Where are you from?
M:
I live in a city called Norwich, in the East of England. My parents came here in the 1970s. My mum is from Barbados and my dad is Nigerian. I was born here and have lived here ever since, but I do go back to the Caribbean from time to time.

Maria’s parents
I’m a singer and a songwriter and I perform under the name Girl In A Thunderbolt. I’m a bit of a sucker for the past, so my music is heavily influenced by a lot of underground stuff from the sixties and seventies.

What’s interesting about the UK?
M:
I think Britain is very quirky when it comes to art and expression. Some great music and ideas have come out of this tiny island!

What is the natural hair scene like?
M:
It’s definitely something that’s growing (no pun intended!) particularly in London and larger cities. In Norwich, where I live, there isn’t a huge black community, and most of the girls here tend to wear weaves. It is refreshing to see an afro but it’s not something that you come across often enough. Most people here are pretty accepting. I haven’t really experienced any objections!

When did you go natural?
M:
I went natural in 2002. I’d made a decision to opt out of the rat-race and to live a life that was totally true to myself. I loc-ed up on 6th December 2002, the day after I gave up my office job! I’ve done a hell of a lot of growing since then!

What’s your regimen?
M:
I don’t like to spend too long on my hair so I tend to co-wash once or twice a week using Faith In Nature conditioner as it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients. I deep-condition once a week using extra-virgin olive oil and shea butter. Then I do 2‑strand twists on my hair while it’s still wet (all the less tedious when I can watch Doctor Who at the same time!) I use a homemade mixture of unrefined shea butter, aloe vera gel, and coconut oil as a moisturizer. I’ve yet to find anything that works better on my hair. I take the twists out the next morning, fluff it up, and I’m good to go.

Where do you buy your products?
M:
Norwich is pretty good for natural shampoos and conditioners, but shea butter has yet to find itself here, so I buy that online.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
M:
For sure!
http://www.myspace.com/girlinathunderbolt
http://www.girlinathunderbolt.com
http://www.rocketsandtv.blogspot.com

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Elida
10 years ago

Good to know that natural is everywhere. I liked a lot of makeup… Congratulations. *-*

NuPointofView
NuPointofView
10 years ago

great pictures (especially the one of your parents). It’ awesome reading about the natural scene in different countries, I’m glad that people are accepting where you live.

thelady
thelady
10 years ago

Re: opting out of the rat race

I used the same expression when I cut my long relaxed hair off. I said I was opting out of the long hair race, let the other women compete with each other, I’ll do my own thing.

NappyKitchen
NappyKitchen
10 years ago

True. Not too many naturals in the UK. I think black women in the UK need the movement the most because the quality of hair on a lot of black women especially younger black women is just plain awful. I dont mean to be mean but it just seemed like a lot of the younger black women was using shellac on their hair. One of my really good friends was a natural. When I went to an Erykah Badu concert in London I saw some awesome natural hair styles so when they do do natural, they do it beautifully.

nappy3000
nappy3000
10 years ago

I do my hair during Doctor Who too! That show gets love across the pond as well.

Dani
Dani
10 years ago

I like her style and that pic of her parents is pretty sweet.

Titiana
Titiana
10 years ago

Not to be rude but in the UK, the majority of the black community has always followed/will always follow the US for hair trends and styling. When blond weave and contacts became popular among Mary J etc in the 90s, many women here followed it and adopted that look. Now that lace fronts and weaves are big in the US, women here are doing it too although I agree that the quality is low. The African women here are also big on lace fronts and weaves. I can tell when someone gets their hair done in the US because their… Read more »

NappyKitchen
NappyKitchen
10 years ago

@Titiana

I was afraid to give specifics because I got some heated responses when I talked about the hair styles of young black women in the UK. From what I have seen, its really many of the Carib girls who do their hair like that. Those incoherent styles of pony tails, slick backs, shags, glitter, corn rows all on one head, AT THE SAME TIME. I however didnt see too many weaves though. The abuse of gel in the UK should be a crime.

Maria
10 years ago

@ Nappykitchen

Haha! I agree with your gel comment!
😉

Titiana
Titiana
10 years ago

@Nappykitchen Next time you come you will see the weaves galore and everyone is wearing them accept the grandmas and little children. I know the particular hair you describe (dancehall/bashment fans stand up!). It’s a niche. I however see everyone wearing the straight weave that’s usually matted, looks uncombed, too shiny, too jet black (what’s wrong with 1B?) or to a lesser extent — the curly weaves (about 3b) which are also too shiny. Not forgetting the teens with the 1 inch fantails or new growth and silky yaki add on ponytail. I also see people without edges wearing the… Read more »

Catryn
Catryn
9 years ago

@ Titiana, Washing her hair only when she goes to the salon … eww I don’t live in the UK so I can’t comment on how the natural scene is there, but I was recently in Bamako, Mali and it sounds pretty much the same. When they saw I had locs they wondered whether I was too lazy to go get my hair done properly. Also someone asked me if my hair was breaking (because I wore a bandana)… Nonetheless, the people who often criticize are the ones with the worse hair possible (reclining hair lines, matted weaves etc). So yeah,… Read more »

Afrinaturality
Afrinaturality
8 years ago

In London, there is a mix of everything. However, I must say London is not representative of the rest of the UK. I actually think that we do have a lot of products available to us over here, and when they are not available in the shops, they are generally available to buy online. In terms of finding fellow naturals, it partially depends on your circle of peeps and where you go. Hit a neo-soul night called Amplified and you will see natural hair in all its glory. We are increasing in numbers!

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