Coming up….

I’ve been trialling what I hope are some fab new beauty and skin care products over the last few weeks and I should be able to share the results soon. One addresses over plucked eyebrows and the other cellulite which unfortunately like a lot of women, including Kate Moss, I have. Phew! I said and feel so much better!

I really hope I see some improvement in these two areas for two reasons, I dislike trying stuff that doesn’t work. I don’t mind making myself a guinea pig, but I need to see something happen. Secondly, my poor husband takes all my pictures and he hates having to do it. So at least if he’s going to do the photos, let it be worth it.

Also I’ve been to quite a few fun events lately, met lots of lovely bloggers and people in the beauty industry which I love so much – and to document them all, there’s going to be a biiiiiig picture post coming soon. Did you hear me, I said BIG!

Its time I did something about my hair too! Working with my newly rediscovered curly hair, I’ve ben going through products like crazy. Testing different things to see which enhances curls, banishes frizz, gives lustre etc. My check list deserves diva status in its own right. I’ve got a few star products and a few meh products, so I thought I’d do a video. I’ve never done one before so I think it will be fun and interesting. So yeah, a video done my moi – the least technical person I know. This is definitely going to be interesting.

Also keep your skin care and beauty questions coming in for ‘Ask Dija’. I’ve had so many already and thank you, but I want more!

dijasworld@gmail.com

Afro Hair & Beauty Show 2012 – my thoughts

So I attended my first Afro Hair & Beauty Show yesterday at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London. The show has been going for 30 years and is now more a lifestyle show encompassing hair in the main, beauty, fashion and jewellery.

Seeing as its my first time, I have don’t have the liberty of comparing it to previous shows but I can safely conclude it was a pleasant and intriguing experience. So I’m just going to break it down into what I liked and what I didn’t like about it.

My Likes

  • Creativity – especially on the stage. I enjoyed the vibrant and bold use of colours on hair, on skin and on outfits. It was amazing to see young talent being showcased in London. Especially young black talent. They will be the hair artistes of the future, so I lend them my full support.
  • Vibe – friendly and fun. Everyone was talking to each other and a smile was readily available. I had people coming up to me asking about my hair, how I got it curly etc. I love the fact that everyone was trying to learn from each other.
  • Space – overall I think the space was cleverly used. There were a few bottle necks at popular stands, but that’s to be expected. Popular means high demand so I’m pleased for those retailers.
  • I appreciated the ability to get up close in the hair demo’s and be able to touch the hair and quiz the stylist on what they were doing and trying to achieve. I had a good chat with Charlotte Mensah of Hair Lounge, who I found so warm and informative. She was doing a blast from the past hairstyle – threading. I remember some girls at my school used to have them and rumour is they make your hair grow. Not quite sure yet whether I’ll be going down that route, buts its nice to know what one’s options are!
  • Small businesses – I enjoyed meeting small female entrepreneurs who are doing their thing. This I think was by far my highlight. I met Diane Hall who’s just written a book about how she grew her afro hair called ‘How I grew it long….naturally’ and also the lovely lady behind Lipavenu Cosmetics (I was in such a rush I forgot to write her name down – bad blogger!). More on both later.
  • The variety of US brands on show like Miss Jessie’s, Curls and Beautiful Textures – for a while, we’ve looked across the pond and wished we had them over here. Now we do!

My Dislikes

  • By the time I arrived – 3.45pm – a few brands had packed up. I’m going to say that it’s because they were so popular and had sold out. In that case, good on them. However, I still feel even if that was the case, they could have stayed and maybe spoke to any interested potential customers about their products. Awareness is key to sales.
  • The sale of skin brightening products – I was taken aback that brighteners and lighteners were being sold. It’s the Afro (black) Hair and Beauty Show. Lets just celebrate that fact for a minute and not use it as a platform to feed insecurities about skin colour. Hydroquinone which is a usual component of these types of products was banned in the UK in 2001. If these products contained hydroquinone – all I can do right now is shake my head. For some reason I didn’t read the ingredient list (shock, I think), but I’ve compared the pictures I took to that on their website, which states clearly that some products contains hydroquinone. In addition, any skin care product being marketed at a largely black event for a black market called FAIR & WHITE or SO WHITE is questionable. I wonder what the organisers would have to say about this?
  • Retailers openly eating at their stall. I saw at least 4 retailers eating right there in front of customers – sushi, burgers and chicken to name a few. How are you ever going to answer questions about YOUR products with a mouthful of food? That really put me off and is very unprofessional.
  • Supermalt!! Maybe it’s because personally I don’t like the drink. I just felt they were a bit out of place.

If you went to the show as well, I’d love to know your thoughts. Am I being a bit over critical?

The Coiffure Project

There’s a natural hair revolution going on. More and more black women on both sides of the Atlantic are embracing their natural curls for all sorts of reason. Me, being one of them!

So when I spotted this on a the HUFFPOST Black Voices website, I knew it was worthy of a mention.  American photographer Glenford Nunez, is putting together The Coiffure Project, which is and will be a compilation of shots of beautiful black women in a natural curly hair state. The photo’s so far in the collection are nothing short of inspirational and also comforting.

The collection, shot chiefly in black and white is both magnificent and simply paints an awesome portrait of the natural hair movement. Currently 10 fierce women have been photographed and each is amazing in their own right. Nunez is looking to expand the collection and put together a coffee table book. I think it would look absolutely sensational.

Question is – will Nunez be coming over to our shores to photograph our British naturalista’s?

You can read the Huff Post piece and see the photos here.

Find out more about Glenford Nunez here.

my TeenyWeenyAfro

So, my hair has reached that in between stage where it’s not short enough to be cute without any help, but also not long enough to do much with. Meh! The most I can do with it at the moment is keep it clean and curly whilst praying for supper fast growth.

Because I can’t do much with it, I’m constantly dreaming up new ways to dress it up and make it work for me a bit more.  You can check out my mood board here.

So here are my top 5 things to do:

  1. Keeping it clean – this is the least I can do, but it makes me feel really good knowing that my hair is clean, healthy, moisturised and looking lustrous.
  2. Accessories, mainly earrings – I find that these really make a difference to my look. The more statement the better and they draw attention away from the fact my hair is saying ‘nada’ at the moment. So you can focus more at my face (and ears) whilst I talk to you.
  3. Colour – this can really lift your entire look, so its time to bite the bullet and be brave. I plan to colour this summer. I’ll keep you posted. Pray for me to have courage.
  4. Brows and lashes – brows especially are now more on show as there is nothing to hide them underneath. They should be clean and defined. Lashes just add more to my look and the love affair continues – I’ll tell you all about it in the next few weeks.
  5. Lipstick – brings colour and life to face. Long or short hair, natural or straight, lipstick is like magic.

Are you rocking a TWA?

Please tell me what you’re doing to bring some funk to it.

Beautiful Textures Curl Control Defining Pudding

This is a first for me. To finish a hair product is unheard of in my world. I’m always moving on!

ALL GONE!

I have to say that I thorough enjoyed using this product. From its tropical bubble gum smell (how is that even possible?!) to its softly whipped consistency it was a breeze to use. In addition, it did what it said it would do, give me defined curls!  The product itself is formaluted with coconut, olive and argan oil so its very moisturising to boot! I didn’t suffer from any dryness or product build up.

For just under £5, I got a lot of product in a good sized tub. I used everyday until it finished. I did try to repurchase and went to two afro hair shops in north London, but they didn’t even know what I was talking about. Beautiful Textures, take it from me, tet advertsing and stocking in more shops. I’ll have to return to the my favourite hair haunt to repurchase, but it will be well worth the drive.

Coconut Oil – hairline saviour

This here has got to be one of my all time favourite hair care products. I’ve only just discovered it after having the big chop and I have to say its doing wonders for my hair, most especially my hair line.

During university my hairline took a battering with me constantly having braids. I always seemed to have hairdressers that believed braiding was not complete until they had totally picked at all my fine baby hair on my hairline. I learnt the hard way and by the time I caught up my hairline was damaged to what seemed liked total disrepair. In the last six years, I have spent time and money trying to grow my hairline back to no avail. Until now.

In the last 3 months, I have noticed that my hairline is growing back thicker and faster and I can only put it down to my daily use of this enriched coconut oil. Granted this one is also formulated with castor oil (along with other growth promoting herbs) which also encourages growth and thickness of hair. The oil itself keeps my hair looking lustrous and completely moisturised all day long. This is very important for afro hair, which can be so prone to extreme dryness, relaxed or natural.

I’ve got a hair update with photo’s coming up soon, so the difference will be clear to see then. In the meantime, if you’re hankering after thicker and fuller hair, then I’d highly recommend this oil. I only use a tiny bit over all my hair then really spend some time massaging it into my hairline, but I can imagine even more amazing results if I used it as a hot oil treatment every now and then.

I bought it from Tesco’s. I don’t remember the price, but I’m pretty sure it was less than £5 and its worked better than any other product I’ve spent more on.