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What is natural hair?

I read an interesting article by journalist Hannah Pool on the Guardian website the other day about natural hair and have also watched with interest the debate on Curly Nikki about caucasian beauty vlogger waterlilly716 who has curly/wavy hair and who was interviewed about going natural.

Sarah on Curly Nikki

The comments on both sites from both black and white from the US and UK intrigued me and I started to ask myself what exactly is natural hair?

This is a simple definition of natural 'black' hair on About.com
"Hair whose texture hasn't been altered by chemical straighteners, including relaxers and texturizers. An Afro hairstyle is sometimes referred to as "a natural," but natural black hair can be worn in many other styles besides a short 'fro. Pressed hair may still be considered natural because once washed, the texture returns to its unaltered state."

Does that then mean you have to be black to have natural hair?
In my honest opinion: No. I think people in the black 'natural' community put too much emphasis on semantics and particularly on race. 

In the 70's hippies started wearing their hair long and straight and 'natural', fast forward 40 years and this is how most caucasians wear their hair every day. You could say that all causcasians wear their hair natural today. It is no longer fashionable to perm your hair or wear rollers. People go to a lot of trouble to get that straight flowing look that would have been laughed at as unkept many years ago.

I can understand black people wanting to keep this movement all to them selves but another part of the movement is also moving on from having to debate the acceptability of our hair. We are lucky in that we have come to a time where society is more accepting of a more healthy, more 'natural' lifestyle. So this movement has been able to flourish and in time will hopefully move on to include general self acceptance.

Don't get me wrong we still have a long way to go but we are accepting ourselves and its become less and less of a big deal to see people with natural hair in the street. I don't get those knowing nods from naturalistas in the street anymore because there are so many of us now.

Right along side the hippies was the afro, which we have once again come to embrace, but yet we still continue to fight each other on who is black enough to call themselves natural. 

Marsha Hunt
Gorgeous Marsha Hunt 

As more young people are growing up with their hair worn natural will this phraseology even continue to exist in 10 years time. My daughter will just wear her hair. She won't think of it as natural, it will just be the hair that grows out out of her head.

I live in hope, for now
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Africa Centre Summer Festival 2014

The Africa Centre Annual Summer Festival

Hi All,

I thought you might be interested in the following event. The Africa Centre is proud to present its 2nd Annual Summer Festival.

The Africa Centre's 2nd Annual Summer Festival.
August 2nd 2014
12 noon – 10 pm
in the East and West Piazzas of Covent Garden
London WC2E 8RF

The centrepiece of the festival will be an inspiring programme, curated by Magie Relph of the African Fabric Shop and advised by Chris Spring, Curator of the African Collection at the British Museum, showcasing the rich tapestry of African textiles in all their beauty and diversity which will engage, inspire and fascinate you. Learn how to make your own Africa-inspired textiles at our craft workshops or take home a memento from our African craft stalls in Covent Garden’s Piazza.

The day will give you an opportunity to see, touch, hear and taste the best that contemporary Africa has to offer. Feel the energy of Africa through vibrant dance and acrobatic performances. Have fun for all the family with African face and mask painting. Move to the beat of Africa with live music, drummers and DJs. Savour the flavour of Africa with authentic cuisine.

Join us in celebrating the vibrancy, creativity and sheer joy of contemporary fabrics from all over Africa.

Admission Free

For more information please visit africacentre.org.uk or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

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Keziah Connections May 2014

Keziah Connections

Hi All,

I written about Keziah Connections a few times before and in July, Keziah Connections is turning two! I have already put the date in my diary and should be there with bells on. It is a great networking opportunity whether you working the beauty industry or not. You meet so many inspiring women of colour in the most fabulous locations!

In May, AfroDeity was asked to give a talk on our journey, brand development, some of the awards we had won and some insight into how we got started. 

We had a fab night, talking to the most amazing ladies, learning about their businesses or their aspirations.

Alicia and Joliette AfroDeity founders

Keziah Connections was started by the beautiful and talented Natalie of Beauty Pulse London

Natalie BeautyPulse LondonKeziah Connections

Keziah Connections

Keziah ConnectionsAlicia speaking at Keziah Connections

Everyone was treated to sample of the Joliette Curl Me Soft and Joliette Caribbean Body Butter Balm.

We hope to see you at the one in July and I am sure it will be in another fly location!

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
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Black Female Anime & Gaming Characters

Aveline de Geanpiere Assassins Creed

Hi All,

I told you I'd be doing more geeky, nerdy posts and here is another. After Leaving Curlvolution 2013 over the May Bank Holiday Monday. I walked across the road and was able to catch a few people in their get up at Comic Con UK 2013. I was able to catch these cosplayers before the event and my travelling companions must have thought I was crazy walking up to strangers and asking to take their photo.

Cosplayers ComicCon2013 UKCosplayers ComicCon2013 UKCosplayers ComicCon2013 UK

Although Comic Con was on again this year, Curlvolution had moved location so no cosplaying for me this year. no matter we had a great day at Curlvolution 2014 'Luv and Learn' anyway! Post on this soon!

AfroDeity love anime and all things scifi fanatasy and we are not we love to talk about it. We actually have a Pinterest Board dedicated to Black Female Cartoon and Comic Characters.

Black Female Anime characters. Being of Japanese origin I wouldn't expect there to be many but there are a few.

Bleach's Shihouin Yoruichi One of the few female black Anime main characters out there and is my absolute favourite. I can only use one word to describe her ... fierce!
Bleach Yoruichi

I am also loving the character Aveline de Granpere from Assassins Creed and if I had to cosplay someone it would definitely be her. Assassins Creed's first female assassin with her own game and she's black! Wowza!

Aveline de Granpiere
by lenny6666 on diviantart.com 

Then last week, the lovely Angel and the Natural Lounge shared these amazing photos with us by Let there be doodles. Maybe one day we will get a Disney Princess with Locs. Still waiting for Disney to do Goldilocs set in the Caribbean...LOL! Might be hard since we don't have bears :-)

Black Disney Princess

Black Disney Princess

Hope you love these animated characters as much as we do. Enjoy! 
Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity 

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Introducing Joliette's Caribbean Inspired Products

Joliette Luxury Afro Hair Products

Joliette is a new brand of Caribbean Inspired Hair & Skin products from AfroDeity. Joliette’s uniqueness is defined by the use of natural ingredients inspired by the Caribbean to create products for healthier hair and clearer skin. Using our combined knowledge of healing herbs, oils and butters which has been passed down through the generations, they were able to bring together their passions for science and beauty and a love of the Caribbean.

Joliette Curl Me Soft
As you know AfroDeity retails and features oils and butters from the Caribbean to a new receptive UK audience.  The ultimate goal of AfroDeity, is to help small farms in the Caribbean by injecting new life into the declining agricultural industry. Our new brand Joliette expands on this goal by widening the reach of these natural ingredients in the UK. 

Joliette Curl Me Soft (£14) has proved to be Joliette’s most popular product to date, a light shea butter and aloe vera based leave-in conditioner that comes in three Caribbean varieties. However, Joliette also offers balms, butters and clays to look after your hair and skin.

Choose from the Caribbean Curls Hair Range, Caribbean Radiance Facial Range and the Caribbean Body Range!

Recently featured on BEN TV and in OK!Nigeria and Isis magazine, Joliette is taking off at a rapid speed, with C:hub magazine praising Joliette Curl Me Soft Caribbean Berry as providing: “sheen without the grease”.

For more info on our amazing new products 

Twitter: @afrodeityltd
Facebook: afrodeity-ltd
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Edgesticks Styling Techniques with Kevin

Edgestick Styling Techniques with Celebrity Stylist Kevin Fortune

Introduction to Kevin

The Edgestick is perfect if you have natural or relaxed hair and you can even use it on your edges if you have a weave, on children's hair and it is so small and light you can keep in in your handbag - well a larger handbag :-)

This video shows those all important styling techniques. I love what he does to the young girls hair. No more burns!

The Edgestick is available at the AfroDeity Store in Ebony Black, Hot Pink, Cool White and now in Sexy Red
 The Original Edgestick Sexy Red
Maintaining sleek edges and roots shouldn't require use of multiple tools. The Azure EdgeStick™ combines the straightening ability of pressing combs with the smoothing effects of top flat irons. The compact, lightweight device delivers up to 225°C degrees of heat though a centred ceramic, tourmaline-coated barrel enclosed by two heat-protectant guide combs. EdgeStick™ is perfect for taming post-workout frizz and blending natural, multi-textured hair with extensions and weaves.

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity 
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Young Black Chemists in the Beauty Industry

AfroDeity and Cosmetic Chemistry
Photos by Patent Purple Life (can you spot me)

Last year I had the privilege of taking part in the Cosmetic Chemistry Connections campaign to try and get more young black women studying chemistry at university. Cosmetic Chemistry Connections is an initiative created by Madeka Panchoo, Managing Director of 33 Boroughs Consultancy Ltd, and with the help of Generating Genius. The programme hopes to encourage girls aged 16+ from black and ethnic minorities to pursue a career in chemistry. Supported by L’Oreal, Fashion Fair Cosmetics and Yves Rocher, these girls will be taking a step in the right direction making their mark within the beauty industry.
AfroDeity and Cosmetic Chemistry

So many amazing people were involved: Natalie Clue of Beauty Pulse London and Misha Terret a Cosmetic Chemist who both did great talks through the day, Guest judges Antonia Burrell, Connie Jackson and Foluke Akinlose and my fellow volunteers Segun from Lotions Potions & Me and Jo from Patent Purple Life who was the photographer of the day!

The girls got a lot from this and this was an amazing day for me as well. I spent my whole life studying chemistry culminating in 8 years as a Drug Surveillance scientist. Women in science is something I feel very strongly about and getting young black women interested in chemistry is something I can definitely get behind.

So on Wednesday I was super excited to meet Yolanda, author of Pink and Leopard Prints at the Curly Hair Magazine Photoshoot (blog post soon). This beautiful natural hair blogger is also studying for her MSc in Cosmetic Chemistry.
It is always lovely to meet ambitious young people like Yolanda who studying chemistry or mathematics, subjects I feel so passionate about.

AfroDeity with Pink and Leopard Print at Curl Hair Mag Photoshoot
Left: Leilu - AfroDeity and Right Yolanda - Pink and Leopard Prints

Yolanda's blog is a mixture of her natural hair journey, beautiful shots of her outfits as well as a peek into the world of a cosmetic chemistry student 

You can find her blog Pink and Leopard Prints here

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity 

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My Long Hair Journey & Joico K Pak

Joico KPak Deep Reconstructor
Hi All,

On Wednesday I was so pleased to meet Tola from 'My Long Hair Journey', she was so lovely and gracious and I really enjoyed talking with her. she was also so incredibly knowledgable about hair and gave me a great tip about making my own dairy free chocolate. I mean whats not to love!

AfroDeity at Curly Hair Magazine Photoshoot
L:Yolandas- Pink & Leopard Prints Middle: Tola- My Long Hair Journey R: Leilu - AfroDeity
At the Curly Hair Magazine Photoshoot (details soon!)

Tola also reminded me about Joico K Pak Deep Reconstructor. I loved this product when I started on my hair journey and after feeling Tola's hair which was so incredibly soft! I can't for the life of me remember why I stopped using it. It is probably because recently we have had so much choice and so many new products on the market I have been trying new things so hadn't gone back to get more. 


The Product Speil
Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor is an intense hydrating treatment that restores moisture to overly dry or damaged hair. The product seals the cuticle, imparts shine and improves manageability and elasticity. Joico K-Pak Deep Penetrating Reconstructor gives an immediately noticeable difference in strength, texture and appearance.

Aqua, Stearamidopropyl Dimethylamine, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycol Stearate, PEG-8 Distearate, Ceteth-2, Sodium Chloride, Hydrolyzed Keratin (Quadramine Complex), Cocodimonium Hydroxypropyl Hydrolyzed Keratin, Myristyl Myristate, Citric Acid, Parfum, Sorbic Acid, Cetyl Alcohol, Stearyl Alcohol, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Yeast Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Benzyl Alcohol, Coumarin, Limonene.

* Penetrating reconstructor
Immediate improvement in strength, texture and appearance
Increases hair's shine
Improves manageability
Repairs damage

I have had great results with this product and have used it in the past as my protein conditioner.
Post below if you have tried this, were your results good or bad?

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity 

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Natural Hair Then and Now

Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair
(Source: Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair )
Zewiditu Ruffin, Model/Actress/Designer/Poet/Student

This latest 'Naturalution' isn't the first time that women have embraced their natural hair and there were also many mavericks who wore their hair natural even when it wasn't popular, and you know what, we loved them for it. Natural Hair has always featured somewhere over the last few decades but most of us were too afraid of public perception to wear our hair out, so I wanted to share some pics of Afros from before the Naturalution. Let's rewind the clock to the first time the afro was cool.

Pam Greir

I love Pam Grier, She is just one of those few black faces that I remember growing up and of course the gorgeous Marsha Hunt. The 'fro is back and looks like at least for now it is going no where!

Marsha Hunt
Marsha Hunt(Source: themanesource.com)

Diana Ross
Diana Ross (Source: thesavvysistah.com) 
Pam Greir
Pam Greir (Source: slate.com)
Pam Greir
Grace Jones (Source: tribe.net)

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill 
Jada Pinkett-Smith
Jada Pinkett-Smith (Source: iwritealot.com)


Rhianna Kenny
Rihanna Kenny - Leeds born R & B singer in the 00s

10s Some pics from our fashion world today:

Solange Knowles 
(Source: i.peerezhilton.com and vissasstudios.com)

Corinne Bailey Rae
Corrine Bailey Rae (Source: thehairstyler.com)

Zewiditu Ruffin
(Source: nymag.com)
Zewiditu Ruffin, Model/Actress/Designer/Poet/Student
This last picture I love the most! It is from 'Afros: A Celebration of Natural Hair ' a book by Michael July . In the book he has documented men and women with Afros, each photograph with a personal anecdote from the subject about their hair. It is a 450-page tribute to natural hair and the afro


Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
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Why I love washing with Clays?

Hi All, 

Its has been ages since I raved on and on about how great clays are for the hair. When I was relaxed washing with clays gave my scalp much needed cleansing and somehow managed to add volume without blow drying or using heat. 

Fast forward to 2014. I have been completely natural for over a year now and I still love washing with clays.

My favourite clay is Argyle Rouge Clay from France.

I absolutely love the red colour, it reminds me of the red dirt in St. Elizabeth Jamaica which covers everything. It also gives your hair a natural red tinge, which looks nice and warm in the summer months. It is a highly absorptive clay which removes toxins from skin, face or hair. The red colour is probably derived from the high presence of Iron Oxide and is due to the sunlight which is is exposed to. It is this presence of iron oxide which helps to give the skin a natural radiance.

Another well known and commonly used clay is Bentonite Clay

You will also have noted my love for this clay as I have talked about it many times before. It gives my hair such great curl definition and in my experience isn't as drying as you would think. Whenever I use a clay to cleanse my hair I always deep condition afterwards. Another detoxifying clay, it helps the rejuvenate skin and add minerals, whist its high capacity for ionic exchange detoxifies the skin removing toxins and other free radicals from the body.

Always Raved About - Rhassoul Clay
This is the clay most bloggers rave about. It is not my favourite but it is still a clay I have used before and found beneficial for cleansing both the hair and body. Rhassoul clay foams slightly when added to water. It can be used to wash the body, face or hair and is hypoallergenic which suits all the types of skins, fragile, dry or fatty. Used as a mask, it cleans, purifies, softens and strengthens the skin. Rhassoul is also highly nourishing for the skin, thanks to its high mineral content and unique composition, including silica, magnesium, potassium and calcium. It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-microbial and antiseptic qualities, it is a great skin cleanser and can be use daily as a face wash.
*Joliette Rhassoul Clay*

These are my favourite clays but there are also many more.
Do you add an essential oil or carrier oil to your clay mixture, or perhaps a bit of banana?
Comment below and let us know which clays you use and how you use them

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity

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Joliette at AfroDeity