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 

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 

Natural Hair Then and Now

(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:

Diana Ross
Diana Ross (Source: 
Pam Greir
Pam Greir (Source:
Grace Jones (Source:

Lauryn Hill
Lauryn Hill 
Jada Pinkett-Smith
Jada Pinkett-Smith (Source:


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

10s Some pics from our fashion world today:

Solange Knowles 
(Source: and

Corinne Bailey Rae
Corrine Bailey Rae (Source:

Zewiditu Ruffin
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

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.
*It is a major ingredient in Joliette's Hair Mud Mask*

Joliette Hair Mud Mask
Listed in Spell Magazine as one of their 10 best treatments for Afro Hair

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

MarleOLOGY: A Study of Marley

Hi All, 

My favourite Bob Marley song is 'Redemption Song'. It always leaves me thoughtful and some days it can even make me feel sad. His music always stirs up a well of emotion in people, whether it be defiance, sadness or happiness. Bob Marley's impact on world culture is marked. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, people stood on the remains of the wall singing 'Three Little Birds' for hours that day.
We caught up with author Dr. Winston Sutherland in a gap in his busy schedule to find out about his new book MarleOLOGY, a word he invented to describe the study of Bob Marley.

Synopsis: This book is a resource for students of Jamaican culture, social anthropologists and for those who want to learn about one defining aspect of Jamaica's music and culture; Bob Marley. It simplifies the disparate and copious works on Marley into something more easily digestible. There are numerous other books, articles, films, biopics and publications on Bob's life and so this is not and exhaustive study. As far as I can ascertain there is no other work which brings together so many facets of his life and his work in such a coherent and accessible way. Some of what's inside: Three diagrams of Bob's family tree; Stories behind 130 of Bob's songs; 300 Bob Marley trivia questions and answers; The story about Bob's unrealised dream for football in Jamaica; Over ninety exam questions; Details of Bob's tours and live performances, Stories about Bob by people who knew and worked with him.

Dr Sutherland Thank you for allowing us to interview you. This is your second book and we are fast becoming fans of your work. Your first book Leadership Genius was a compelling read and we are very much looking forward to finishing MarleOLOGY.

What inspired you to write MarleOLOGY?
I have always been curious about Bob Marley. There isn't enough recognition of contemporary artists particularly in Afro-Caribbean culture so I decided to do some research on him, his life and his music.

What qualities do you admire about Bob?
His courage to write about contemporary social issues in Jamaica even though it meant that it made him unpopular with the ruling elite and those in the political sphere.

What were your first impressions of Bob Marley when you were a child?
As a child I could not actually sing Bob Marley songs because they were not approved of by the society which I grew up in. So I had to listen to them surreptitiously.

Where were you when you first heard his music?
When I first heard his music I didn't know it was Bob's music I just knew it was *shea-shea.
I sometimes heard it on the *pye radio or from the sound systems in the neighbouring village.

*Shea-Shea - local Jamaican music which was not acceptable music to be listening to*
*pye - old style wireless radio with a little blue light*

Did your parents approve of his music?
The rule was 'No that is not suitable music' and so it was never discussed.

If you were on a deserted island and you could only take one Bob Marley record which would it be?
That is a difficult question to answer now. If you had asked me six months ago before I wrote MarleOLOGY, I would only have been able to choose from 10 songs... now I can choose from 135 of Bob Marley's song.

What was your childhood ambition?
Like everybody else to be a medical doctor, but the way we learnt didn't facilitate application of knowledge. You were not allowed to ask questions or say I don't understand as you were then labelled stupid. I knew the theory and I could recite the theory but I couldn't apply it. I now hold a PhD so in some way I have achieved that ambition.

Do you remember Haile Selassie's visit to Jamaica. What effect did it have on you and your peers?
I remember it didn't have immediate impact on me but I knew it was a big thing at the time.

Do you think  it worth learning about Bob Marley in school?
Yes. Even if just to provide a different view of literary classics. We are accustomed to Shakespeare, Chaucer, Cervantes(Spanish), Webster and others. I think Bob's work is just as rich classically as these authors.

This is your second book. Do you think you will write more?
Yes. Once I get an idea in my head. I just start writing.

You can buy MarleOLOGY for only £12 here. I've got my copy(hugs book). Happy reading!!

Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity