Tuesday, 15 March 2011

UK Afro hair guides on the Web. A mini review

Elle UK's expert guide to Afro hair


We have a picture of the fab Jordan Dunn to guide us through our magical journey. It starts off like this. Badly

If you’re blessed with afro hair, you’ll know that it varies as much as Caucasian locks. “Afro-Caribbean hair is lightest in texture; Brazilian hair is drier and denser; next Arabic hair is extremely thick, course and curly, and ultimately, African hair is the biggest – the most thick and curly” explains Errol Douglas, celebrity hairstylist and three times winner of the Best Afro Hairdresser of the Year award

I don't even know where to start with Mr Douglas's frankly bizarre assertions, and so as not to turn this into a gigantic race/ethnicity/anthropological rant, i'll just say" No sweetie. Just no" *Pats Mr Douglas on the head, leans back in rocking chair and hums swing low, sweet chariot to self*

Thank goodness it gets better. Trust me.

Subrina Kidd, Artistic Director and Afro Specialist at Toni & Guy says “most types of afro hair have a tendency to be more vulnerable, dry and porous than Caucasian types”.
The key to the perfect afro is to add moisture and lock it in to your hair

Go Ms Kidd! Dazzle them with science!!!!!!!

We are then told to buy some expensive shampoo's and conditioners( hey, i'm sure the editor of Elle has to eat), no suprise there. But at least they throw in some Organic Root Stimulator for us po' folks.

Uncle Errol then again gives us some bizarre advice on how to shampoo our locks( I want whatever Uncle Errol's having) but then does make sure to advice us to concentrate our conditioner on the ends of our hair.

Oh what a suprise conditioner washing is mentioned, of course its not called that, but nonetheless conditioner washing it is. Then on to leave ins.

We move on to Relaxed hair focus and here good advice to stretch your relaxers are given( 8-10 weeks). We are of course told that :

Relaxing is great; it creates styling versatility” says Ursula Stephen, Rihanna’s hairstylist.

Wait. Halt. Who said that? Ursula Stephen, Rihanna’s hairstylist Come again who?  Ursula Stephen, Rihanna’s hairstylist

Man i really want my hair to look as luxurious and healthy as rihanna's. Yes sirree, I'll be taking that right on board.

Moving on to weekly deep conditioning. Yayyy! Expensive products. Boo!

We move on to the benefits of oil. Good stuff. Uncle Errol tells about Mango oil. I've never heard of Mango oil, but i'll be looking it up( I'm not actually being sarcastic)

We are advised to air dry our hair, but due to time constraints/preference a list of blowdriers/blow dry technology is given. Oh and always use heat protectant. A very good tip. Very.

Serums and shine sprays, sun protection then hair tools( this page is quite good.)

What uncle Errol says about dry hair shampoo on afro hair.

it sits on afro hair, “if you spray it in, it hits afro hair which is oilier and goes flaky”, according to Errol Douglas. “I use talcum powder on the hair to suck up excess product between washes. Give your hair a good rub with the talc and it goes translucent, then brush it out” says Errol.
His other trick is greaseproof paper, which you can use like blotting paper on the hair to take out any oily deposits. Genius!

I never knew that. Thanks Uncle Errol!

All in all, for a mainstream publication not aimed particularly at those who posess Afro hair i think they have done quite a good beginners guide. The only faults i could point out is that the products are expensive.  In most cities there are afro hair shops/BSS's, that is where the majority of women buy their products and so a  few more of these type of  products would have been more sensible, or even the various UK afro hair internet entrepreneurs like Anita Grant, Akuawood and crown natural products  et al. But i do understand that magazines are run on advertising money so it cannot be.

Also it didn't go into the science aspect of hair, some of the comments by "experts" were  totally wrong and myths weren't addressed  however i'm not going to nitpick all day. I give it a solid  7/10 as a beginners guide, also i'm very glad that something that addresses the needs of  afro hair is in a popular mainstream magazine( we usually don't get anything)

[caption id="attachment_152" align="alignleft" width="285" caption="Uncle Errol"][/caption]


  1. Ew. Errol Douglas gets a massive glass of skepticism from me, ever since I read an article where he said "Afro-Caribbean hair is going to be expensive to maintain, full stop." If they go to his salon, it will be!
    Also. The race thing? ¬_¬ x2000

  2. Its rdiculous what most hairdressers peddle, especially when it comes to black hair care. I remember reading an article in black beauty and a tricologist was basically saying only relaxed hair can grow. It was like "well natural hair can grow too". I was like WTF????

    Plus i've seen hair tip articles jacked straight from forums/blogs

  3. lol lol rofl!! This was so funny and so true!