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FEELING FREE WITH MY HAIR OUT

November 23, 2018


My experience with showcasing my natural hair in its full glory while at work has been quite an interesting journey. 
I've changed career two months ago exactly. I was in the hospitality industry but now I moved onto the retail industry and what I've noticed with great pleasure is that people love seeing natural hair. They are mesmerised, hypnotised and quite fascinated by how my hair is presented.  

I had the chance to wear my natural hair at work multiple times now and I'm quite stomped to share that I've never received so many compliments, even compared to the occasions were I'm out and about with friends. 

I never realised how different I carry myself and how small and insignificant I want to appear when my hair is in a bun. I have the pleasure of having many naturals shopping at my workplace and it's so nice to exchange a proud nod between each other. The most beautiful moment that I had roughly a week ago with another natural was when I was in a corner squatting doing some replan and she couldn't really see my hair. She was just looking for an assistant to ask a quick question but when she actually saw my hair she was shocked for a split second and she just blurt out:" oh my god! I love your hair". For me it is quite normal to see myself with my natural hair out and I'm probably used to it so it doesn't surprise me anymore but that's MY perspective. Wearing my hair down is a great way for me to be more in contact with myself. I know that not everybody is on my same level or path, but once you discover something beautiful about yourself, you tend to show it and be absolutely proud of who you've become. And that's exactly how I feel right about now.

I feel different and I know for a fact that I do appear different when I am tying my hair back. I am wearing less colourful clothes, I tend to minimise my presence and basically shrinking my whole self.
I am quite tired of auto sabotaging myself! 

I've been on a self discovery and improvement journey for the past few months, if not year. I know where I started and I know what my end goal is. I feel that I can confidently say that I am tired of being stuck. Stuck in the same place and mentality, stuck in the same dead end job that is not going to bring me any fulfilment to what I am truly good at and to what I want to attract in my life. Stuck with a circle of friends that are not seeing my same vision for today and the future. Stuck in belittling myself and not enjoying my full potential.

I started this self improvement journey by chance. I now understand how difficult my life was. I wanted to change how I viewed myself, to be more spontaneous, happy and fulfilled. What I've learnt in the past couple of months is that all the hardships that I've been through were in reality possibilities and the incredible potential to change some old patterns that were detrimental to my life. 

Wearing my natural hair out might be seen as a perfectly normal but small change and it is. But sometimes the smallest decisions tend to revolutionise our life.

WHY "SHADES OF BEAUTY LIVE" WAS SO EPIC

October 17, 2018
There is no denying that black people are lit. 
Since I moved to London, I participated to tons of natural hair events. I love the sense of family and familiarity being in a room full of people who look like me. 
It is the perfect chance also to ask questions about other people's natural hair journeys, the efficacy of certain hyped products and to merely peep new fire hairstyles.
Shades of Beauty gave me something and more!

I remember being on Instagram and the event popped up. I immediately fell in love with the whole concept and followed the IG page. I run to the main site and saw many lovely naturalistas, dope weave-wearers bloggers & vloggers being featured. There were so many lovely people involved in the project that I definitely wanted to be part of it. Before I had the chance to purchase a ticket, the people behind Shades of Beauty reached out to ME and offered me free ticket. I love and will appreciate forever being contacted and offered this amazing opportunity because I believe that it's important for the black community to stick together, because they saw what I was offering on my platforms and they liked what I'm doing and the message that I'm trying to spread far and wide. 
I will keep repeating this: it's important to show up and support ideas and organisations that you think are important. I made clear from the jump that I was interested in an event for black people and organised by black people and the universe provided.  
 I.WAS.PUMPED!


WHAT WENT DOWN
The Royal Holticultural Halls was the spacious and modern venue chosen for this amazing get down. 
I acknowledge the fact that organising event is not an easy task. There is so much work that goes behind the scenes, so many people involved and loads of details to keep track of. Even one miscalculated step can ruin your whole schedule. 
I must admit that everything around Shades of Beauty was thoroughly planned. From the moment you walked in people greeted you, vendors were actively engaging with possible customers and there were various activities going on in every corner. Every little tiny detail was thought with participants in mind.
While walking through the crowd and checking out the stands, I've recognised most of the products for natural hair care but  I must admit that all of the make up / beauty / wig related stands were a completely new reality for me. I am used to read, scout and search mainly for natural hair products so it was refreshing and intriguing learning about another reality. 
In the past couple of years, numerous brands that sell afro clip in extensions and weave are starting to gain more notoriety. If I do want to have a protective style so that my strands can breath for a minute, I usually tend to go for twists or braids. 
I've never thought of using hair clip ins but I'll might have to start looking into that since winter is coming.
Various researches show that the number of people who discarded the Creamy Crack in the past decade is increasing so it's natural that the demand for products that resemble our natural hair is increasing as well. 

PANELS
I was lucky enough to arrive just before the terrific Sharmedean Reid (entrepreneur and founder of WAH nails) started spitting knowledge. Most of the crowd were youngins like me who were interested in how to become someone in this day and age, while being black and using social media as a resource. I got so many insightful tips from Sharmedean and realised how creating your own brand is not as difficult as we think it'd be. If you put in the work, everything is possible!  
 The other two panels that I attended were called the "Black Beauty Represented" (picture above) and "A Seat at the Table? The Beauty of Black Ownership".

The first panellists were Nicole Vassell, Dalia Dias, Yinka Bokinni, Sharmaine Aderemi and Zeze Millz and moderated by the lovely Michelle Owusu from SceneTV. All of these ladies are freelancer, beautiful and 50 shades of black. We still luck representation in the media and having somebody sharing their personal experiences was a real treat. I've had my blog for nearly 6 years now but I will never be tired to see black successful women doing their thing and showing us their results on social media. 

As a natural hair blogger myself, I love listening to every day struggle of other black women, how do they conquer fear, rejection and every day hardships. It's not easy leaving in this society while carrying all of this melanin!
Events like this one are always a great reminder that I am not alone, I'm not a freaking island and that the black community can be so powerful and valuable to keep some level of sanity up in this streets.

Thank you again Shades of Beauty for recognising my work as a blogger and for the huge possibility to listen to some British Black Excellences. You have no idea how much I really do appreciate it!

MY 2 CENTS ON THE MOVIE "NAPPILY EVER AFTER"

October 01, 2018

It was a split second decision. After turning on the hair clippers, half drunk and incredibly tired, Violet proceeds to start cutting her bleached blonde natural strands. The relief is immediate. While the clippers are gliding through her curly roots, tears are streaming down her face because she finally experienced the moment of pure freedom that she was longing for her whole life.

First of all, if you didn't have the chance to watch the movie "Happily Ever After" by film director Haifaa al- Mansour and based on the namesake novel written by the talented Trisha R. Thomas, you're wack. 
The movie tells the life of Violet Jones (Sanaa Lathan), a gorgeous promising and talented black woman. Violet seemingly has everything: a beautiful house, solid relationship with a soon-to-be doctor, great job and a loving circle of friends and family. Violet is used to take care of herself. She likes to follow the latest fashion trends, always well dressed and with long, flat ironed hair.

Everything seemed to be going well up until Violet's birthday. She's been in this relationship with Clint for the past two years. She's ready now to be engaged, get married and create a family. After founding a small box in her boyfriend's jacket, she can already taste the victory in her mouth. Her whole world crumbles when she discovers that in the box there was no ring, but just a name tag for her brand new Chihuahua as a birthday gift. After asking for clarifications, Clint tells her that he doesn't know the real Violet, that in the past two years she always appeared perfect and didn't show her true colours and let her hair or guard down. 
During the next few weeks, we will see Violet having an unexpected Big Chop after having too many drinks, rocking a TWA and flat iron her hair when seeing the future in-laws.

I do believe that the story per se is not groundbreaking nor special. Violet is going through a breakup after an important love story and she finds a way to rediscover herself before starting a new relationship. I get it! What I loved and found different from the usual movies out there was the fact that a link between the mental state of a black person and their hair was explored and took into consideration.
For the Black community, hair is a delicate and complex matter
As a black woman who did a big chop, had TWA and is now sporting natural afro hair for the past 5 years, I could be Violet. Her every day relationship with her partner, friends or family are all deeply tied with her personal relationship with her hair. If her hair are laying down in the right way, everything is fine; if not, everything is a disaster. We don't want to admit it but the same thing, happen to most of us curly afro heads.
Small details like checking the weather forecast before leaving the house, having her mom retouch her roots as soon as they got too unruly, dodging the hot steam coming from the dishwasher, using just certain poses during intercourses and waking up earlier to "fix her hair" are just some of Violet's hair worries before the Big Chop. After cutting all of her hair off, she realises that there's more to life than taking care of her hair. I started bawling my eyes out because I had the same experience when cutting my relaxed strands. It was a relief and a surprise to being able to put myself in somebody else's shoes and say "I did that!" or "that's happened to me as well". 

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and would recommend any natural curly head out there to watch "Nappily Ever After". You won't be disappointed!


NO SHADE | FILM UK

June 22, 2018

Colourismprejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

As you may know I grew up in Italy. I don't look like the typical Italian, but I do identify as Italian. The friends and acquaintances that I was used to have around when I was little were mainly Caucasian. I've had very little episodes of racism and discrimination, little to none. I was lucky. 
 I am a black person, not too dark and not too light. I know that my skin shade can help me out in certain situations were a person darker than me would suffer more injustices.  

Wanting to deepen my understanding about the experiences and struggles of darker black people, I bought a ticket for the screening of the docufilm "No Shade" by Clare Anyiam-Osigwe. 
This refreshing film was screened at the Black Cultural Archives in Brixton. No place was a better choice than this. It was a fairly warm day. Thankfully I do live in South West London, not too far from Brixton so I didn't have to travel too long to reach my destination. Once I made it to the venue, I noticed that there was already a queue of adult black women with their tickets ready. While glimpsing at each other, we shared a brief  welcoming nod of the head or smile. Once the tickets were checked, we reached the actual viewing room upstairs were Clare was patiently waiting. The seats were nearly all taken. I made my way to a corner of the room and had a look around. There were different styles, skin shades and sizes of women. I saw people much older and much younger than me already sitting there. I loved the diversity of the audience. 

The story of the movie is very simple: "Jade, a successful freelance photographer is hopelessly in love with her best friend of 10 years, bar manager Danny. She discovers through several challenging encounters both personally and professionally that the one thing keeping them from happy ever after is her inherent beauty - her complexion and skin tone. Her shade."
This film was the first production of dermatologist and filmmaker Clare Anyiam-Osigwe, a fearless and talented black woman that I had the pleasure to collaborate with few years ago. The story of Jade is loosely based on experiences and encounters that Clare had when she was younger. Few times during the screening there were some outbursts from the public as a reaction of what was seen or said on the screen and I couldn't help but giggle.  
I'm pretty sure I had a similar experience while watching "Black Panther", were the majority of the audience was black and sometimes you could hear the funny commentary from somebody sitting at the far back. Black people just makes everything funnier!

After the screening, as audience had the chance to ask questions to the film maker and writer Clare and the two main protagonists, Adele Oni and Kadeem Pearse.
I had the pleasure to listen to structured and very intelligent answers on colourism, skin bleaching, interracial dating, self doubt and black family dynamics. 
Everybody was represented in this movie and that's what I loved most. 
I think the movie was brilliant. Just the topic of this movie was fresh and hardly spoke about in every day filmography. We all know somebody who has a problem with their skin, probably because of bullying and self doubt but we do need more films like "No Shade" to start talking about this topics in order to HEAL and MOVE ON.

Bravo Clare!
#SupportBlackBusinesses #NoShadeFilm

HOW I PAMPER MY AFRO HAIR IN JUST 10 MINUTES

April 28, 2018

When it comes to hair pampering, I've always wanted to be one of those natural people who can ALWAYS find some spare time to have some me time and take care of my tresses. 
Unfortunately, since I have the LPS (Lazy Person Syndrome) I can barely find some time to do some weak braids after washing my locs. 
Last week I wanted to break the chain and do something special for myself. Last Thursday, after reaching home, I finally realised that I didn't have any specific plans for the night. Just me and my dry-as-the-Sahara tresses. After quickly realising how empty were my fridge and kitchen pantry in order to create an all natural concoction, I looked into my toilet cabinet to find the golden product that could resuscitate my afro hair.
Behind all the various combs, face creams, face masks, Shea Butter body lotions, tampons and nail polishes abandoned in there, I reached the far back corner and saw something familiar. 
I've used Creme of Nature products for ages and for a brief period, I was obsessed with them and bought many many many products.


The Creme of Nature Strengthening Milk Masque was the perfect product at the perfect time. The consistency is resembles a lighter consistency of an hair pomade so a little goes a hell of a long way. This jar is packed with repairing nutrients from a butter blend of argan oil and goodness. This essential deep treatment is formulated for all curly types to strengthen, restore and hydrate distressed hair, helping to prevent future damage.

The smell, in my opinion, is the best part of this masque. If you don't like lingering smells and odours, this product is definitely not going to be to your liking. On the other side, if you are a little bit like me and love to leave a scent wherever you go, this little gem will do just fine. 

It is highly recommended to apply the masque to clean wet hair from roots to tips, making sure to concentrate your attention on the drier areas. Once you applied this beaut, it is suggested to leave it for about 5 to 10 minutes. Once you wash the masque out of your hair, style those nourished and wonderful hair as you please. I usually apply just a touch of argan or castor oil to my hair and make small to medium size braids.
PRO TIP: use a shower cup or a hooded dryer in order to raise your hair cuticles and make sure that the hair can get the most of this quick & simple treatment. You won't regret it, I promise you!

Did you ever tried this product? If yes, did you notice any particular change in how your hair felt?
 Share with us your experience in the comments down below.

3 GREAT DEFINING PRODUCTS THAT YOU SHOULD TRY ON YOUR 4B/4C HAIR

March 12, 2018


What I love about my hair is that defines gravity and laws of physics. Once you create a bond with your hair and religiously take care of it, you get to know what does and doesn't work for your strands. Every hair is different. 
I discovered that if I want to obtain a defined and shiny mane, I need to apply some type of defining hair products on soaking wet hair. Since is fairly tiresome to find the holy grail products who will give you the right results, I compiled a personal short list of 3 products that do wonders for your hair.


I've had this product since forever and it was probably my first defining custard. The consistency is fairly smooth so it is really easy to apply. The Define & Shine Custard reduces hair bulk, elongates curls and provides enough hold for long lasting styles that stay. perfect to be use for twist or braid outs. I do like to add few drops of argan or castor oil to it before braiding my hair just to give it an extra help and extra shine.

The thought of having to make my own aloe vera gel always intrigued me but I never got the chance to actually do it because of my busy schedule. Aloe vera gel does great things to afro hair by moisturising it, making them soft and shiny. If you don't want have time to make your own aloe vera gel and want an organic alternative, Seven Minerals got you covered boo! 
The texture of this product is a mixture between being liquidy and lumpy since is a natural gel. I do love to use this gel with my trusty Tangle Teezer to create the perfect Wash & Go.

Last but not least, is the Coil Defining Jelly by As I Am. I am obsessed with this brand ever since I tried the Leave in Conditioner. After few trials, I do believe that I have the best results if my hair are not completely wet. Blotting my hair with a t-shirt first always gives me better results. 
The texture is really smooth, a little goes a long way and the smell is fantastic.


What are your favourite styling products for your natural hair, the one who never let you down? 

THE CHALLENGE BLACK PANTS

January 25, 2018

I never had particular problems finding high waisted jeans for some reason but finding some pants long enough for my height has always been a problem. 
A while ago I got offered the opportunity to collaborate with Tobi.com, an international fast-fashion online retail destination serving young women over 100 countries worldwide. I wasn't really sure what to get because of the vast selection of clothes but quickly changed my mind when I found bae aka this perfect pair of high waisted pants aka The Challenge Black Pants
The Challenge Black Pants are vampy, sassy, fit perfectly and easily accentuate my natural curves.
It is an article of clothing perfect for a classy and formal evening paired with a long sleeved blouse or a backless top. 
I decided to showcase this staple item by pairing it with a senape off the shoulders. Since I didn't want to take the attention off of the pants, I decided not to wear any bags or big accessories. 
I snapped this picture before going to the Afro Hair & Beauty Show, a spectacular event full to the brim with natural hair products and samples, make up for melanin skins and activities. 
During the day, I felt absolutely comfortable and got a lot of approving nods from people peeping my outfit.
What can I say? When the style is too fly, autographs you won't deny!

PALMER'S SHEA FORMULA - REVIEW

January 18, 2018
It's time for a new review babes! I finally had the chance to write a review on some Palmer's products and I couldn't wait to share it with you. Here's the detail processed of how I achieved those gorgeous curls that you can see in the picture above!

The first thing that I did was prepping my hair by creating four chunky sections. You don't have to create sections before applying shampoos or using soaps but I found that creating sections helps saving time and cleaning my locks better. 
After the sectioning bit, I've lightly rubbed the Black Soap Dudu Osun in my hands to create some foam and I've applied the soap on my scalp. Because I normally use oils as styling products on my hair, I like to cleanse my hair once in a while with black soap. 

Black soap is full of natural ingredients so it doesn't dry my curls out completely and natural hair products can truly work on my locks. TIPSA general guideline is to always avoid scratching the scalp with nails. Always use your fingertips and you will avoid creating unnecessary microscars.

The Shea Formula Curl Repair Moisture Conditioner is the product that I used next. I've purchased this conditioner ages ago when I partecipated to the Curlytreats, an afro hair & beauty event that takes place here in London once a year. Most of the hair event that I had the pleasure to go to always give you the possibility to purchase natural hair products at a slightly cheaper price than retail ones. I remember spending around £5 for it and being super excited to try a new product. 
I've never used Palmer's products before that day so I didn't really know what to expect. Since the first application though, I remember my hair feeling very moisturised and supersoft. It does contain shea butter, which is an absolute staple ingredient in my house. After years of tribulations, I finally came to the conclusion that my hair need heavier products in order to thrive. I need me some shea butter or castor oil to saturate and satisfy my locks. After checking the list of ingredients, I knew that the chances my hair wouldn't like this holy grail were very slim. The consistency of the Palmer's conditioner is fairly thick so it does coat my hair without trouble and a little goes a long way. What else could a girl ask for? 

TIPS: place a third of the product in a spray bottle and dilute it with some warm water. Shake the bottle and voila! You can now evenly spray your curls from root to tip. 
I easily combed out most of the knots just in one go when using my Tangle Teezer brush so I couldn't wait to use the next product as the cherry on top.

I was fortunate enough to have some spare samples of the Shea Formula Curl Repair Whipped Cream from the same event so I thought I would put them to good use and finally try them.   

After applying the whipped cream from roots to tips, I've brushed a portion of slightly wet hair with my Tangle Teezer and braided it. Since I didn't trim my hair in a while and my ends were feeling damaged, after braiding my hair I snipped nearly 1 cm off. 

TIPS: when creating a washing routine, try to utilise products from the same brand instead of "mixing and matching". I always thought that brands were suggesting to use just their products for our washing routine (i.e. shampoo, leave-in conditioner and oils) because they were trying to up sell but there is actually a scientific reason behind it! Most of the products from a specific line are created to compliment each others pH. When we end up using a shampoo from Cantu, the conditioner from Design Essentials and the curling cream from Taliah Waajid, we are not sure how these products will react with our strands and between each other. 

All in all I very much loved the products that I used. As you can see from the picture at the beginning of the post, my locks are defined and shiny. My hair didn't dry out the following day and I didn't have to wash my hair immediately. The Palmer's conditioner is already a staple in my home and I was glad to pair it with other products from the same family. 


I hope you found this review helpful girls! Have you ever tried products from the Palmer's line? If yes, state your favourite product in the comment section.

Have great rest of the week peeps x



 
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