Friday, 26 July 2019

AFRO HAIR | 10 THINGS I'VE LEARNT SINCE CUTTING MY HAIR SHORT



Today I'm sharing with you in no particular fashion 10 things I've learnt since cutting the hair off short. Things that I have experienced and noted on this beautiful hair journey I'm currently on......Enjoy x

1. Self Conscious - No one actually cares what your hair looks like. They like you for you and want you to be happy however you choose to style the crown on your head. This may be obvious, but I was so dramatic when telling people in my life about the new hair change. I literally pre warned and told my friends/family with about 20 messages by text and couldn't wait to send pictures. And I even made a point to pre-warn them that I was coming with a very short afro natural hair style, like they were about to see an alien on my head or something. I don't know what came over me but I must of initially felt extremely self conscious and self aware of my hair, and assumed because I'd always had extensions for such a long time, they'd only like 'Me with extensions', rather than 'Me all naturel'. But no one gave a damn! I mean they absolutely loved the style and instantly made me feel super confident, and they actually advised me not to go back to extensions and weaves. So it made me realise that all that surface stuff is superficial. And of course hair is a physically fundamental part of you, but it doesn't actually purely defined who you are. It's about your essence, energy, soul, personality, spirit and more that connects you with the people you have and love in your life. 

2. Growth - Hair actually grows super fast, which I've only really noticed from having a shorter hairstyle. You have a chop which has finely been shaped into place, which may seem obvious, but I didn’t anticipate how quickly the natural curls grow. You may find yourself like me grabbing for a  pair of scissors at home and reshaping the fro DIY style (If you can't get to your hairdresser). There has been plenty of times where I've woken up in the morning and wished my hair would actually stop growing, and stay short for longer......The hair spurts seem to shine at night.

3. Cost Reduction - You’ll save tons of money on the hair products, extensions and hairdresser fees you won't be spending annually on your head. The hair industry is booming with extensions and weaves now being openly talked about. Even with extensions, lace fronts and wigs now available to buy directly from Amazon.....yes Amazon! Hair is the thing and I’m just happy with the savings that I’ve made from not having extension done every three months, I now invest all that money into something more practical.....shoes! 

4. Less Male Attention - This one is actually a bit harder to explain properly on here, so I truly hope you know that I'm not being a narcissist when I say I’ve always had male attention. I think its down to looking a lot younger than I actually am (34 baby!). I've always hated that type of unwanted male attention (ladies I think you can relate to the type I mean). Sometimes it's flattering and can be done in a polite, gentle way but the majority of the time it's not. And if I’m honest the unpleasant situations always make me feel very uncomfortable (especially in areas where I'd have to with stand that uncomfortable feeling for a long period of time i.e on a train or tube). BUT now with short hair I get pretty much zero male attention, which I am soooo happy with. I’ve never been someone who thrives off of or craves constant male attention to make me feel good or pretty. And I do believe beauty in our current society and social climate can deeply manipulate and train us to think that beauty can only be seen in one set form (usually body thin with long glossy hair, although this has changed over the last year). I’ve always loved rebelling against the norm in my life. And what I'm trying to say is I personally get less attention off of the leery man dem, when out on the streets of Lanndan. I certainly don't miss the undressing my body looks or the shouts across the street like I'm a piece of fresh meat. And when I do get attention from men now in that way, it's from the type of man that I'd want to sit down and have a coffee with (if I were single). It just feels different and I hope this hefty bit of writing translates that in some way....

5. Morning Hair Routine - Getting ready takes minimal effort and energy with less than five mins after shampooing my hair. With a zero fuss free leave in conditioner, hair moisturiser quick rub\scrunch and I'm ready to go. It's so frigging easy and I love it. Before washing my hair would take forever in the shower, then blow drying, then combing out, then straightening and then styling with products on a good day. I mean this is probably why the extensions on my head used to look liked I just walked through a bush.....because I never did all of the above on a regular basis.....shhhh. Basically short hair I've found is super quick and easy peasy. 

6. Invisibility - So I watched a film on Netflix called 'Nappily Ever After', recommended to me as the lead female character in the film has a weave with long straight hair, she has the perfect life but drastically shaves all her hair off.  And one of the clear narratives within the film touches on her sudden emotional sadness of feeling incredibly invisible with short hair. And from cutting her hair short she felt disregarded and that the world looked at her completely differently. And it's funny because I could really relate to that feeling as I have felt exactly that at times. Again struggling to explain, but I've definitely felt a bit lesser than or looked down upon from certain people. Mainly from strangers, new colleagues or train commuters stepping directly in front of me like I'm not there, or being served last at the bar, or a colleague not checking in on my opinion. At first I thought I was being paranoid but I know I'm not. And from recently experiencing it I sense that in some cultures (including my own) hair can symbolise a hierarchy status, the more flashier your clothes, the bigger your car and the longer your straight hair - the more powerful and successful rates your worth. Horrible to say but it's like an instant lack of respect, like I'm lower than lower class, ugly or I'm poor because I've openly chosen to have short afro hair. The thing is I'm strong, I'm opinionated and I naturally make my presence known if needed, but if you're not as confident, this may come as a knock to you. Again this is from my own personal experience with short hair and hopefully you won't feel like this. It's only from a very small percentage (not everyone as people are generally lovely), but certain people I encounter along the way. You have to stand your ground and own it and let people know that you haven’t lost your voice to be heard...You just have short hair and you're not dumb but intelligent and beautiful. 

7. Admiration From Women - I have been approached by so many women of all nationalities, backgrounds and ages complimenting my natural short hair. Women have said things like 'your brave for cutting your hair', which at first I didn't understand. Because I didn't feel brave and shared that feeling more in detail on my instagram feed here. But I've grown to understand that lovely acknowledgment now. A lot of women I feel want to go short but fear that they won't feel as beautiful with short hair. But again that's beauty conditioning and the mould that we are told and shown to aspire to. When people compliment me now, whether its on the tube or in Sainsbury's I assure them that I know short hair would look fabulous on them too. I talk about the fact that two years ago I would of never of gone short. Again it's a personal choice, but if you're deeply admiring someones look from a far, have an urge and time to stop them on the street.....take the plunge!

8. What To Wear - I wouldn't say I over think styling, but I do enjoy balancing out my overall look with feminine and masculine touches. I love playing around with clashing contrasting pieces to create that popping juxtaposition. For example piecing a dainty soft pink dress against a chunky black tough doc martin boot. And I've tried to do that with my everyday style since having the chop. Short hair is very striking to look at on a woman, so I like softening the style by accentuating my beautiful womanly qualities like my curves. I also tend to go for bold accessories like big hoops, statement earrings, feline shades and natural soft makeup. To be honest I've always worn quite natural make up so that hasn't really changed (maybe I can share a blog on 'how to style your body and still feel feminine with short hair' (mock title) type of post). The celebrities I go to for fierce style and hair inspiration are Amber Rose, Zoe Kravitz and Lupita Nyongo. I also love following the beautiful instagrammers Afiya Muir and Poppy Okotcha.

9. It's Your Hair - Just because you've gone short doesn't mean you can never ever go back to long hair, as there are no set rules out here. Do what makes you happy, it's your life and your head. I've always loved playing around with different hair styles as I quickly get bored with having the same set look for too long. Don't let a community of people tell you what to do with your own hair. I went natural (here) then got it cut into a easier afro style. It's your expression and your personal hair journey. I've had people preach to me from natural hair communities and I've had girls with weaves fear natural hair. I've just been brought up to have fun through watching my mum change her hair style every two weeks, lols. Life is too short to worry about judgement, have fun and just do you. 

10. Emotionally Liberated - When I first had my hair done I cried. I think it was a mixture of seeing my true unfiltered self and dare I say it.....natural beauty. I just felt like it was the way I was born to look. I had chopped off all the things in life that we sometimes don't realise we hold on to. I instantly felt lifted and just even more in control and confident. I know hairdressers say doing something drastically different with your crown is like becoming a new you. But personally there's a whole deeper meaning behind going full on afro with black hair. Because it's making a true statement to yourself and others that our hair is beautiful and shouldn't be hidden in the western world. It's the epitome of true strength. Embodiment of acceptance and historical bravery of my black ancestors. I wear my afro hair with such pride as it has helped me to learn and growX.
Pink Eyeshadow | Mac
Blouse | Vintage
Camera | Olympus-E-PL8
No.1 Hair Product I Swear By For Curls | Shea Butter Curl Activator





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Sunday, 9 June 2019

HOW TO LOOK FABULOUS THIS WEDDING SEASON | YELLOW SUMMER MINI DRESS | STYLE NO.2

Platforms\Kurt Geiger (purchased years ago at a more expensive price, bargain now!)
Snake Clutch\Vintage\Etsy
Sunglasses\Vintage shop in Brooklyn\Les Specs\Deepop
Dress\Vintage Market\Nasty Gal\Aspiga
Streetstyle Photography\Zoe Griffin
This Hello Sunshine look is perfect to style and rock on a hot sunny day to evening celebration, or a super chilled summer wedding reception party. The light linen fabric is extra cooling on the skin, refreshingly clean cut, comfortable to wear and effortlessly chic. I bought this particular baby yellow Queens Park piece recently at a vintage market. I actually spoke to the lady selling the item who told me that she'd only worn the mini dress once to a wedding. She was ultra chic and I wanted all her clothes. Of course the retro vibes had to be injected with a pair of cat eyed feline blue tinted shades, a vintage snake clutch that is taken to all occasions at the moment, big funky fabulous gold hoops and a flash of electric blue killer platform heels. Again feel free to add more accessories. As long as you feel stylishly-expressed, comfortable and make summer fashion work for you, this look will feel fabulous. Oh and expect to see more linen on here as I'm slowly becoming obsessed with the stuff! I'm currently after a relaxed yet chic 2-piece suit....I'll keep you posted. X

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Sunday, 12 May 2019

FIERCE FASHION WISHLIST





Nine fresh new pieces that will instantly revive your spring to summer wardrobe this year. 1\ Satin Slinky Dresses are vastly becoming a new fashion obsession of late. As last weekend I wore this one at a family wedding, honestly leaving me feeling fabulous throughout the entire day that I now want one in every single colour. A design that creates such a beautiful romantic female silhouette, yet so simple. This particular golden yellow shade can look magical against the shimmering sunlight. 2\ Denim Cut Off Shorts are practically your best bet if the London weather predictions are correct (today I can confirm is sweating hottttt). And classic Levi's shorts will forever be a great S/S timelesss wardrobe staple (just need to remember to prep me old legs first). 3\ Snake Skin Sandals - After seeing Solange (goddess) all snake skinned out at the Met Gala this week in a beautiful one piece (inc thigh high boots), these little straps beauties really do need to be mine. You can see the style vision of the snake skin detail looking all fierce against vintage light denim (for a day summer look) or with a gorgeous evening summery dress. Making your night look extra special (I badly fiercely need these). 4\ Adidas Gazelle 1991 updated originals. When a shoe can be created in the 90's but feel so new and fresh now....then that's.....Fashion Everything!! I tried this exact style on recently but opted for a classic converse hi top black pair instead...BUT I'm 99.9% sure I'm going back for these. 5\ Clear Perspex Shoes are highly trendy at the moment (I think Kim K started the love for them a few years ago), and I personally love how futuristic and minimal the designs can appear. If your after - cool - understated - with a hint of detail? Then these are for you (minus perspex sticking to your skin). The block heel is also giving off plenty of 70's vibes n all! 6\ U Ring Orange Bikini Top - Perfect for the sandy beach or laying besides the holiday sunny pool. I'd style the bright bikini top with the cut off shorts, add a vintage kimono and some easy slip on thong flip flops - and you're ready to go (briefs are also available to complete the set). 7/ Perspex Hand Bag - So the futuristic perspex look can also be formed in to a ladies quirky handbag. I really like the faux croc leather effect detail on this particular piece (that keeps appearing all over my insta feed), and the inner bag is ultra versatile as it's detachable too. Also how fierce is that striking strong square bag handle (yassss!). 8/ Veja Trainers are designed with the combination of natural rubber, leather and mesh made from 100% recycled plastic bottles. Veja is an ethical eco friendly brand, which is growing super super popular at the moment. The Duchess Megan Markle has been seen wearing them and a whole host of other inspirational women (props for how low key Meg's style is). I'm yet to try them on and heard that they're actually quite hard to get hold of with a lot of places selling out. So if you do find these in London....Keep me posted. Lastly - 9/ Tortoise Square Frames - So I know smaller frames are the eyewear thang at the mo, but I still have the bigger the better style mentality when it comes to summer shades. I'm not sure if the granny in me just likes the face to be super over protected from the uv rays. Or the 70's dramatic diva in me likes to feel as seventies as style possible. I basically love the look and no other sunglasses shape will ever do! I actually broke my pair of vintage round tortoise shades recently so these can replace them beautifully. If you like dramatic eye wear (like moi) these will truly look perfection on you. 

Happy Shopping 

x

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Sunday, 28 April 2019

HOW TO STYLE SUMMER VINTAGE PINK

Trousers/Rokit(Similar/Zara)
Boots/Office
Sunglasses/Brooklyn/NYC
Bag/Vintage(Similar/Etsy)
Photography/Zoe Griffin

Walking along London oxford street or looking at your fashionista inspo insta feed, pink styling is absolutely everywhere this spring season. In fact colourful styling has been a fashion thang for a wee while, as the right s/s shade can go with more colours than you may think. And I for one of course am a huge gigantic fan of all things PiNK. I just adore adding a few new striking pieces into my every day looks this time of year.

Talking of THE LOOK how amazing is this vintage Naomi 90's print (I have a big love for her btw), pairing the bold block pink with a simple white top keeps the look understated and more interesting. The pure fresh white blue tinted retro 70's inspired shades and vintage 60's bag add a flare of sophistication and retro personality. Lastly the sharp leather pointy booties keep the overall mood of the look ultra modern and cool. 

STYLE TIP 1  - Get the hue of your pink (or 70's yellow, blue, orange) absolutely right. Think a lighter softer colour and along the lines of a salmon like pink, or a warm dusty rose. The more charming the shade, the more effortless your entire colourful look will appear (magenta is lovely but way too rich for this particular look).

STYLE TIP 2 -  Make sure the tailoring of the garment is on 100% point. PINK SUITS look super sharp, chic and sexy if the cut is 100% right on women. Off the hanger ready to buy pieces do have the ability to have that crispness, but you do need to try on and shop around. I went for the classic straight leg (that felt utterly flattering and fabulous once worn). 

STYLE TIP 3 - The fabric of your new pink style piece has to be of beautiful quality. I've seen a few on the high street that look absolutely lovely from a distance, but once close up a little disappointing. If your looking for a quick fix fashion throw away bargain hit, those tiny details (see through, poorly stitched, not great buttons) may not matter (and are great for a party girls holiday). But as you know the granny instilled in me (that I've no control of), longs for timeless fashion and longevity in any purchases I make (basically gaining as much wear where possible). As usual I've popped a few fabulous pink trouser options below for you....Enjoy! Let me know your favourite. X


SPRING PINK EDIT

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Friday, 19 April 2019

TALKING SPRING STYLE AND MENTAL HEALTH


Jeans/Zara
Sunglasses/Freepeople
Boots/Office
Clutch/Vintage/Etsy(Similar)
Suede jacket/Pop Boutique




STYLE 

Now that Spring has finally sprung, I wanted to kick this seasons style edit off by sharing this bold and fresh yellow blouse with you. When I first spotted this gorgeous stand out shade, hidden amongst the vintage glory on a rail in the covent garden Rokit store. I knew I had to quickly try it on and nab it. Today's look has been completely styled around the fabulous blouse with a pair of wide leg high waisted frayed comfy jeans, a pointy black leather statement boot (that I've been living in and finally found! See here for reference), banging seventies inspired super frames and mums (Flora Maria) old beautiful vintage detailed brown snakeskin clutch. Finishing the effortless look with a loose fitting suede vintage jacket, which I've had for years and is so perfect for throwing on for laying if it gets cold. You can see how everything pieced together really subtly compliments each other. And you can also get a lot of wear out of each individual piece mixed with other fabulous pieces in your wardrobe as well. Like styling the booties with a fun summer vintage dress, or pop a retro t-shirt on with the bargain jeans or piece some vintage denim shorts and white mules against the colourful blouse. Yellow is the ultimate shade for spring this year and I can't wait to style more of it.

Photography/Zoe Griffin


MENTAL HEATH 

Okay so it does seem a little odd to jump from talking about colourful style to mental health but if you've been reading my blogs from the start, you’ll know I don't really do the norm. I've been wanting to talk more on mental health with you for a while. Especially with the sudden sadden loss of Mike Thalassitis. I remember watching the show (Love Island), with Mikes entrance and thinking who the heck is this very handsome confident guy. Mike immediately grabbed the attention of viewers and made a strong mark on the series. So to hear about the news of his passing was such a huge shock. Of course I didn't know Mike and never met him but I really did feel affected by the news. Then it got me debating whether, was it only a real shock because he was in the public eye. And how so many people that are suffering from mental health go unnoticed every single day. 

Including myself in the past being one of them......Now I do want to say before I carry on with this post, that I am no way a doctor, therapist or anyone trained to address the psychological factors and thinking behind mental health. So all I can do is be honest with you and just share a snippet of my own personal experience with it. You may also be wondering why share about a topic which is so difficult to know where to start and talk about. But the main reason for this post is for you - that maybe going through difficulties with mental health yourself. For you - who wants to understand possibly for someone you care about struggling with mental health, and for you - who wants a clearer insight and understanding on a topic that is increasingly so complex and rising. 

From being someone who has felt depression derived from immediate grief (I lost my mum at 26), I would constantly receive offers of help. People I knew would say I'm here for you and your grief, and even people that I wasn't remotely close to would offer help. But in my worse state of depression I didn't want their help. In fact the thought of anyone thinking that I needed help angered and triggered my depression even more. Even though deep down I knew that what I was feeling wasn't like me and wasn't right. I didn't want help because I didn't want to help myself. I had lost the main focus of my life. A woman who I looked up to and knew would always be there no matter what, had vanished. So in my mind back then in a way my whole purpose for life had vanished too. I couldn't see the point of my existence and had nothing left to live for, and the feeling as I remember was very overwhelming and isolating. It's such a predicament to want to help someone you care about that quite obviously hasn't truly identified that they need help. But even at that lowest point I was still going to work, seeing people putting on a front and in their eyes out of closed doors ‘I was pulling through and carrying on'. So what I'm trying to say is 1. Mental health isn't always as obvious as you think, the happiest person who looks the most out there together can be suffering. And 2. Until I was ready to get help myself no one or nothing anyone said or did could help me. It was something I had to finally acknowledge and address myself. I had to tell myself that I was strong, I was kind, I was beautiful, I was caring, I was intelligent, I was wild, I was giving, I was talented, I was respectful, I was funny, I was down to earth, I was loving and I can see the positives in life. I had to build myself up again. I started to do yoga which really helped the bad thoughts trickling in my head. Exercising by running also made me physically feel fit and strong too.

I'm not sure what I wanted to achieve by sharing a perspective with you, but I do know I don't want to hear that the rate of suicide is rising, especially in men. I do also think that accountability has to be spoken more about and addressed. I can't truly place all blame onto social media but I do believe it can play a part. We as instagrammers, bloggers, readers, writers and social media phone lovers have to be mindful of what we portray. I've always been honest that I'm literally a 30's something fabulous hot mess. But try and pick and delete who you follow if you have to, take time away from social media and the intensity of your phone by giving yourself little phone breaks. I like inspiring people whether that’s through style or the acting projects I do. But I'll always be and stay 100% true X


(For support and help on mental health issues raised please do contact the wonderful charity Mind. I want to continue to talk about mental health because I would of loved to of read a blog like this to help me through some tougher times. Mental health doesn't have to be and shouldn't be shoved under the carpet and not a discussed 'thing' if we don't want it to. Thanks for reading xXx)














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Monday, 7 January 2019

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