Natural Inspiration- Janice Mutema

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What’s your name and where do you live.
Hi my name is Janice and I live in Weston-super-Mare, Bristol in England.

How would you describe your hair and texture?
I went natural December 2010 after transitioning unknowingly since March that year.

I guess the Chris Rock documentary ‘Good Hair” challenged me. I don’t even think I watched it all but I just remember watching him on TV shows on YouTube talking about it. What I asked myself was, why am I more comfortable with extensions? Why did I decide to relax my hair in the first place and finally , What’s wrong with the hair God created me with?

I had a total mindset shift of realising how society and the mainstream had convinced me to be less of who I truly and naturally should be.

Janice Naturalé

How do you take care of your hair?
My hair is 4a/4b type. I don’t really know. All I know is compared to when I was a younger, my hair is now soft and fluffy and loooves water!

I twist my hair almost every night (almost). I don’t use too much products on it and finger comb it when detangling. I’m currently doing the CG method (no shampoo just conditioner cleansing) and my hair texture has improved immensely to more defined curls.

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What are your words of inspiration to our readers?
Since I become natural, I have noticed that I really don’t care for people’s opinions. The natural journey is so diverse and for me I found that other people thought I had a problem for going natural. “Don’t you have enough money to relax your hair?” , “Your hair will never grow” , “Is everything ok at home” and to top it off, I had a family member at my house and they brought a texturiser as a gift !!

Fast forward to now, the natural hair movement has developed and people are more accepting but my point is how amazing is it to live in your skin and to top it off, embrace the natural curls that have been frowned upon for so many years by people who were born in it ! We are all beautiful and what I love the most is that although natural hair doesn’t define me, it has set me free

So if you have embarked on the Natural hair journey, don’t give up! For some , it’s not really about the hair but realising your inner beauty and confidence in stepping out of  the status quo

I recently started my own Youtube channel you can find it here: Janice Naturalé

Janice Naturalé2

Lovely Inspiring words Janice, thank you so much!

Readers – I hope you enjoyed this Natural Inspiration. As always If you would like to appear as a Natural Inspiration all you need to do is send in your answers to the questions above with a minimum of four photos to angel@thenaturallounge.com

You can also see previous Natural Inspirations by clicking this link

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Hair Talk and More with ANTM Star Annaliese Dayes

 

Image by  Orin Fleurimont

Image by
Orin Fleurimont

 

Annaliese Dayes is a London based model and presenter with an amazing set of curls. As well as hosting the Afro Hair and Beauty Expo in 2010 and 2011 she has in her career interviewed people from Janet Jackson to Peter Andre. You may know her from Living TV’s Britain’s Next Top Model where she appeared as one of the contestants  in 2009 . This lead to her being made into a Top Model All Star and asked to go to LA to compete on America’s Next Top Model British invasion at the end of 2011. I was glad to have her in The Natural Lounge to answer a few questions.

Photo: Angelo Sgambati/The CW ©2012

Photo: Angelo Sgambati/The CW

You’ve said that people Google your name and then ‘hair.’ People love your hair! How do you take care of it?

I’m quite a low maintenance kinda girl. I really don’t do much! But the key for me is keeping it moisturised with hair lotion and reviving my curls with mixed roots curl stretching creme.

What are your top hair and skincare products?

Number one has got to be Mixed Roots Deep Conditioner. My hair is usually really hard to untangle but with magic stuff in a tub my hair is soft, bouncy and smells gorgeous! Skincare wise I am a big fan on simple toner and moisturiser. They don’t contain any rubbish or perfume so it’s perfect for my sensitive skin.

After Britain’s Next Top Model, you headed off to LA to compete on America’s Next Top Model. This show is watched by millions of people worldwide. What was your first reaction when you knew you were going to LA? 

Pure exhilaration! When I got the call I said yes without thinking. But as far as i’m concerned if Tyra Banks’ people call asking you to go to LA, you smile, say yes, pack your bags and worry about the consequences later!

ANTM

What were the best and worst parts about the ANTM experience for you?

Best parts had to be travelling and getting to meet and work with some amazingly talented people and celebrities. While the worst parts had to be being babysat 24 hours a day and not having mobile phones, internet, tv or anything! It was torture!

I can imagine!  On ANTM you said you had to style that weave with curling tongs, do you often have to do your hair yourself at shoots and shows?

I rarely do my own hair at shoots and shows. (to me it’s one of the best bits of modelling). I love hairstylists playing in my hair and creating looks that I never could achieve.

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How did you get into media?

I started modelling at 13 when my dad mentioned the idea to me. I quite simply went to a photo booth, found an agency, sent the photos off and then demanded my parents took along to discuss representation! As for presenting, i fell in love with the idea of it while studying my Media Studies A Level. This spurred me to do Media, TV Broadcasting at the University of Westminster. From there you couldn’t stop me from hosting every dance, fashion and music event that would have me and it just snowballed from there.

Do you have any tips for natural sisters who want to get into your line of work?

Embrace what you got and work with it. People seem to try and work out what people/clients are looking for and then change themselves to fit. Really you should be true to you and then you give off a vibe that people want to work with.

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I watched your hair blog and you said that your mum influenced you and showed you how to take care of your hair. I loved that because  many mothers choose to relax their children’s hair rather than dealing with curls. What did your mother teach you and what might you pass on to your children one day?

My mum always told me my hair was beautiful. When I was younger every night she would sit and plait my hair telling me how lucky i was. I didn’t quite believe it at first, but after hearing it so often, I was like, ‘my hair is actually kinda nice!’ This is something that I will definitely pass on to my children. I believe that’s not about your actual hair type it’s about what thoughts and feels you have about your hair.

You have a great body – what do you do to stay in shape?
I pretty much eat what I want, but I balance it out with regular trips to the gym. I don’t believe in diets.

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We want more! Where can we see /hear you in action?

You can keep up to date with me through these methods:

 www.annaliesedayes.com

Twitter: @AnnalieseDayes

Facebook: www.facebook.com/annaliesedayesofficial

Instagram: annaliesedayes

 

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Interview with Natural Hair Blogger – Crystal Afro

Crystal

Rochelle Crystal Brooks-Ford is a born and bread londoner who lives with her mum in Wandsworth. Rochelle is a popular Natural Hair blogger so many of you will know her better as Crystal Afro. Crystal blogs about everything, events, hair products and more.  I was pleased she decided to  join me for a chat in The Natural Lounge, here is her interview.

 

So before we start tell us some little known facts about you

Until recently I don’t think many people knew my first name is Rochelle. Crystal is actually one of my many middle names including “Crystal Claire”. It’s a long story!
I was a finalist in Miss Jamaica UK 2010. Oh, and I recently started a new blog, but I’ll share more info on that, once there’s more to tell.

 

I’m sure we went natural around the same time and have watched the UK market grow can it do anymore growing? Is there anymore space for new bloggers, products, youtubers etc. 

YES!! Definitely, everyone’s story is unique and a fantastic opportunity to inspire others. In fact I’d encourage more natural ladies to get online, get blogging and as I said before, “Be seen!” None us ladies can re-adjust the balance of representation alone. It takes support from one and other. The more of us there are, the stronger we’ll be and the more changes we’re likely to see, so I definitely encourage more women who are going natural to share their experiences and “Be Seen!”

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Crystal you are everywhere, where do you find time to blog, tweet, youtube, facebook, etc?

It used to be fine but I’m working more often now so it’s a lot harder. Also, the keypad on my phone broke earlier in the year, which meant my twitter life went on hold – I hated it, but it did help me find a new love for Instagram, where the pictures can do the talking.
I think the amount of time I spent on the blog etc seems strange to my family and friends sometimes, but I’m passionate about my subject.

On the other hand there are so many new forms of social media that I just choose to be honest with myself and only update the platforms I feel like, when I feel like it. I abandoned my Tumblr for weeks! Lol

 

What do you do when you are not blogging?

At the moment when I’m not blogging I’m working on ideas for an exhibition that’s opening this July called The Origins Of The Afro Comb (which everyone is welcome to take part in). In my day job I am a freelance Dresser and currently working on The Lion King.

Crystal at Work

What inspired you start blogging about natural hair?

A few things, firstly the Kobena Mercer quote I came across in University:
What does the Black spectator identify with when his/ her mirror image is structurally absent or present only as Other?”(Mercer K, 1996)
That question really had a huge impact on me and was one of the driving forces in my decision to go natural and to blog about it.
The impact of history on today’s definitions of beauty in modern Britainare obvious, and Black women still have a fair way to go before we can honestly say our natural hair is equally accepted and celebrated for it’s beauty in mainstream British society. Starting my blog was just my mini contribution towards evening out the playing fields. As the quote suggests, it’s so important to be seen, and have people we can identify with. Consequently, your blog (The Natural Lounge) was a huge inspiration to me! It was the first British natural hair blog that I ever read, and everything you said seemed to echo my thoughts entirely. Seeing that you were doing this, inspired me to believe I really could do the same.

 

Aww thank you hun thats really nice. Has your life changed in anyway way since you started?

Yea definitely! I knew social media was the new thing but I never realised it’s life changing ability until now. I’ve met SO many new people who for a while I only knew as “@SoandSo” now we meet up for dinner, shopping, staying over and even baby showers! It’s definitely gone beyond social media and hair.
There are so many other things that have happened that I never imagined, and that still take me by surprise, like being contacted by journalists, or being featured in Black Hair Magazine. It makes me get all nervous and excited. I still get surprised when Im offered free products to try for reviews, or to write for a major blog like Naturalbelle, or asked to do interviews like this one. I keep saying thank you to God for the blessings, I’m truly amazed and grateful.

Spot the blogger/Vlogger/Product Producer 🙂

 

Your hair always looks lovely, what are your favourite products and what is your hair regime?

I think I have a different answer for every time I’ve been asked this. I promise I’m not a liar, it’s just that my favourite is always changing but at the moment I love everything I’ve tried from the Keracare Natural Textures range including the Leave-In, the Hair Milk and the Butter Cream. Also, Shea Bliss Deep Conditioner by BeUnique Hair Care, Jamaican Black Castor Oil, and Tresemme Naturals Vibrantly Smooth Conditioner.

My hair routine is pretty basic:
I pre-poo with a mix of Olive Oil and a cheap conditioner (sometimes I just use the Tresemme Naturals conditioner on it’s own). I do this mainly to make detangling my hair easier.
Then I shampoo, deep condition, rinse and follow up with a leave-in conditioner while my hair is still wet, and a little castor oil on my scalp. I usually style my hair while it’s wet, or if I’m about to go to bed, just put it in chunky twists to dry.

Crystal Afro 3

Tell us about your work on the Afro Comb’s Exhibition in Cambridge, what’s it all about?

I’m part of the committee helping to put together the Origins Of The Afro Comb exhibition that will open July 2nd 2013. The exhibition is a pretty major one with items on loan from the British Museum, Petrie Museum and I think we have some stuff coming over from the University of Nigeria. It’s a look at the 6,000 year old history of the Afro Comb from the Pre-Dynastic period of Egypt to the 21st Century in the UK and North America.
I’m really excited about it as afro combs are not only iconic, but studying their development though the centuries sheds so much light on the various circumstances and practices of societies and cultures across Africa and the Diaspora.I’m particularly keen to place emphasis on the British experience, as ours (Black British) is no where near as well documented as that of Americans and some others.

Museum

Anything you wanna share with the readers?

I’ll be tweeting and posting links, updates and opportunities to get involved in the Origins Of The Afro Comb exhibition as often as I can, so if any one want to get in touch please do.
In the mean time people are welcome to take part on Instagram by posting pictures of your hair tools and using the hastag: #AfroCombEx. There have been some really creative pictures

Afro Comb

 

Thank you so much for your time Crystal. Reading this back and looking at your photos I am regretting not asking you how you keep your skin looking so lovely!! hahaha

Anyway readers you can visit Cystal’s blog by going to www.unitedkinkdom.blogspot.co.uk

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