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Christina in the UK // Natural Hair Style Icon

Avatar • Jun 9, 2010

Where are you from?
C:
I’m Christina and I live in London. I was born in Sutton Coldfield but moved, with my parents blessing when I was 16. I wanted to work in the media and there were more opportunities (I thought) for me in London. I now work as a journalist/writer/producer.

I’m the daughter of migrants; my parents are from the Caribbean. I go on holiday to the Caribbean as often as possible for as long as possible. I love it there.

What’s interesting about the UK?
C:
You can actually visit castles, dungeons and palaces. All the iconic stuff you read about in fairy tales actually exists here. However, I’m yet to find an ogre under a bridge.

The natural hair scene in the UK is growing but still uncommon. I’ve come across people who have never bothered with relaxers, especially those who are younger (under 25).

When and why did you go natural?
C:
I told my parents that I wanted to go natural in November 2008 and they were pleased, they didn’t want me to relax my hair in the first place. I relaxed just before I moved to London, my Dad was horrified to find that not only was it relaxed, it was cut short (in his opinion). He said ‘it’s nice’ but I knew he was a little bit disappointed.

In my early 20’s my lifestyle and the people I associated with required me to have straight hair. When I say ‘required’ I don’t mean that I was given a set of rules before joining, it was an unspoken requisite. For some people having straight hair has always been just a hair style but at the time it wasn’t the case for me. I wasn’t happy and despite the façade I still didn’t fit in anyway.

I started to shed the person that was never me. I stopped buying magazines, stopped buying clothes that were ‘in’, stopped going to high end nightclubs and even stopped talking to some friends. It all felt so good until it got to my hair. So the week my relaxer was due I took a pair of scissors to my pony tail and chopped it off. Then I cut a bit more off until there was no turning back.

I’m going to be honest, I didn’t like the look of myself and I cried. Thank God for mothers. She was and still is supportive. I also jumped on the net hoping to find people who understood and to my surprise there are lots of sites, blogs and YouTube videos of people documenting their natural hair journey.

What’s your regimen?
C:
On Sunday I wash my hair with African black soap, condition and detangle (using a wide tooth comb) with Curls Coconut Sublime. I’ve tried other conditioners but I keep coming back the Curls.

Every 2 weeks I mix it with A’kin Macadamia & Wheat Protein Conditioner and every month I do a hot oil condition using equal measures of Avocado, Jojoba and Coconut.

Daily I spray my hair with a mixture of glycerine and distilled/floral water. Then I top it off with Curls Milkshake. I add a little Shea Butter and Jojoba oil to make it a little heavier.

Where do you buy your products?

  • C: http://www.akamuti.co.uk/ This is an ethical company and the UK’s first importer of certified fair trade raw organic Shea butter and African Black Soap from Ghana.
  • http://www.naturesparlour.co.uk
  • http://www.afrotherapy.com/ I buy my Curls products from here. You can also buy the products from the salon in Edmonton, London (formerly Harriet Kessie).
  • http://www.aromantic.co.uk/ They stock loads of raw ingredients, so that you can make your own hair and skin care products. You can get Xanthan Gum here (I use it when making my own hair gel).
  • http://www.essentialoilsonline.co.uk/ You can get lots of raw materials here too, including liquid Lecithin which is a natural emulsifier and can be used when mixing oils with water based ingredients.
  • You can buy natural oils from almost all of these websites but they are easily available (and in some cases cheaper) from local Afro hair shops. In North London try Pak Cosmetics (http://www.pakcosmetics.com/) in Finsbury Park, it has a huge range. Pak has also recently started selling Curls. There are a few Afro hair shops on Seven Sisters too. In East London you can find a couple along Walthamstow Market. In South London you are spoilt for choice Brixton is easy to get to.

What would you like to see in your country in terms of haircare?
C:
I’d like to see Afro and Mixed hair care product being sold by Afro and Mixed people. It’s the same story here as it is in the US. The Afro wholesale and retail providers are predominately Asian and the product owners predominantly White.

As a group we spend millions of pounds on our hair every year and none of us are getting rich form it.

Is there a blog/webpage where we can find you?
C:
I am a member of the ‘Sisterhood of Natural Beauty’ group on Facebook.

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Lita
Lita
10 years ago

I just bought some lovely scarves for summer at the market to tie in the 50s style. I am in London too. I have not seen many girls with Christina’s hair type in the UK — what type is she? Her hair looks very healthy and plentiful too.

Lydia
Lydia
10 years ago

I agree with Lita~Beautiful hair, Christina! keep up the good work 🙂

Davinia
Davinia
10 years ago

Beautiful woman, beautiful hair — I’m in London too so thanks for the tips on where to buy products!

binks
binks
10 years ago

I would love to go to london but beautiful hair and woman. I usually find parents are the opposite in the whole relax or natural hair so it is refreshing.

BeautywithinSherry
BeautywithinSherry
10 years ago

I live in the UK and the majority of black women have chemicals in their hair.. However natural haired ladies are here too.. We are here with all kinds of texures; its beautiful…

Eve
Eve
10 years ago

I’m a New Yorker who lives in the UK an can’t find as many black hair products as I’m used to. (And being no where near London doesn’t help either) Thanks for giving that list of Online sites!

I’m newly natural and want to stay that way. Your hair looks nice Christina.

Christy Hyman
Christy Hyman
10 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and was heartened to hear her father’s reaction to her big chop. It showed how he would rather say something nice than express a sentiment that would hurt his daughter on her journey. I only wish my mom was more receptive to natural hair. Her hair is very beautiful.

dyva
dyva
9 years ago
Reply to  Christy Hyman

her father’s reaction wasn’t to the big chop — it was to her relaxing — which is just as great 2 hear. he preferred his child’s hair natural!

Miss Entrepeneur
10 years ago

Christina’s hair is beautiful. I love her those headbands. Although most women in the UK have relaxed hair, I am seeing more and more naturals which is great. Its definately a growing area.

Nadine
Nadine
10 years ago

@Lita — My brother has hair like Christina’s, I believe he has fine/thin hair. I have 4b hair which is thick and the majority of black naturals I see in London have 4b or 4a/b hair. I think the variety of textures is much less than in the States.

Anyway I love the scarves and colour here.

Kanikee
Kanikee
10 years ago

Christina great story and thanks for the product heads up, it’s always great to hear about fellow Brit Naturals…we may be few but we are many!!

@ Nadine & Lita – Ladies, take a trip daan Saarf (South London). I’m a Londoner born and bred who’s been natural my whole life. I assure you there are ladies here and in the UK as a whole of African descent with all sorts of delicious textures from relatively straight/wavy to the kinkiest of kinks.

maralondon
maralondon
10 years ago

You have a whole heap of info there, thanks for sharing. However, there are probably a lot more natural haired women in london (can’t speak for the rest of Britain) than you have noticed. Ever been to an Adornment event? It doesn’t happen anymore but this was a natural afro hair and beauty show held once a year. I can tell you that majority of the visitors were natural haired men and women and they came in droves. It was always a scramble to get into the event it was so popular. I first went in 2002. The organisers set… Read more »

Christina
Christina
10 years ago

I’ve just got back from holiday to find a bunch of lovely comments. Thank you all and big thanks to Leila for putting this up…a lot of work must go into maintaining this site. We’re all very grateful. @Lita- I love that you’re rocking the 50’s style. Also, I have no idea what my hair type is. I think it’s a bit of every thing, I even find a couple of straight strands. @maralondon- I’ve never been to an Adornment event and it’s a shame it’s not happening anymore. But I will look for the shop in Brixton. Feel free… Read more »

tasha
tasha
10 years ago

As my mother has always told me.… it doesnt matter what your hair is like or wheather you have the longest tresses or shortest locks.…..your face will always remain the same .… your a beautiful woman inside and out!

im glad that your making this statement as i am sure there are thousands of people who can relate “you go girl!!”
(from a loving friend)

Pierce23FRANCIS
8 years ago

Some time before, I did need to buy a house for my organization but I didn’t earn enough cash and could not order anything. Thank goodness my colleague suggested to try to get the business loans from banks. So, I did so and was happy with my sba loan.

Billie Davari
Billie Davari
8 years ago

Great information 🙂

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