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Fashion Inspiration


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CONTENTS Twist & Curve in the USA Page .37


5 Tips to Change Job


Your Next Life Chapter

INTERVIEWS 20 Natural November - Spotlight 28 Judith Jacobs - Celebrity


24 Love Your Hair

28 Whos Feet Are These?


Hair By Chi - UK

34 Jus Natural - Jamaica 37 Twist & Curve - USA


African Fashion


Young Trend Setters


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26 Unique Business - SKONE (SK1) 27 Natural Recipies 33 Art & Spirituality 45 Community Vibes

Magazine designed & layed out by Simon Potter at Unframed Design. @unframed_design Front cover photo by Keston Duke supplied by Maria Thompson Twist & Curve natural hair Salon MUA Brettnee Nelson

April 2013

From the Editor… Greetings and welcome to our first edition of ‘Conscious Vibes’. I am the founder and Director of this ground breaking on line magazine, featuring sophisticated dreadlocks designs and natural lifestyle. This magazine will be published quarterly and was born out of a lack of dreadlock designs being featured in mainstream magazines in England. We also profile natural hairstyles, Nubian fashion, career discussions, neutrician and natural products for hair and body as well as community vibes. Each edition will profile a natural hair salon, here in the UK and abroad, for those travelling and in need of a Natural hair salon to visit during their vacation. You will receive a vegan receive a vegan recipe in each edition and we encourage our readers to send in articles supporting natural here and information to raise awareness within the community. It has taken a while for us to get here, and produce our first publication; it would not have been possible without support from Sonia Brown, Dennis Browne, Della Thompson, and Maureen Walker. Thanks for believing in my dream and helping me to make it reality. I would also like to thanks all the businesses that contributed to this magazine, and buying into my vision. Conscious Vibes is as much yours as it is ours therefore your feedback is important. Each response we receive helps shape the direction for further publications. Here’s to the future of natural hair and Locs Enjoy

ConsciousVibesM Conscious-Vibes Angela Small Founder and Editor at Large April 2013

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Contributors Della Thompson is an experienced project manager and events organsier and proud part time singer in her local church choir. She has a over two decades experience of organizing family reunions, social events, grassroots and community seminars as well as large scale corporate events; she is currently providing business services to a high profile law firm.

Maureen Walker has spent over two decades in the Media and Entertainment industry working with UK giant, The Voice, Britain’s leading Black newspaper; to supporting the highly acclaimed “In Celebration of My Sisters” and Jet Star Phonographic (the largest distribution of black music in Europe at the time); before settling at Blacker Dread Music Store in Brixton.

Today she resides in the sunny island of Jamaica with her family where she is now She is known in the industry as an flexing her professional and creative skills entertainment information bureau because she working as an independent booking agent for has her finger firmly on the pulse on what is popular and renowned reggae artists. She happening within her business sphere when it acts as the sole business manager for the comes to events. legendary Junior ‘One Blood’ Reid. Her message: Not only is it a privilege to be part of this pioneering magazine to promote the best in natural and locs hair and lifestyle, I think it sends out a positive message to the next generation who are not aware of the struggle it’s taken for us to be in the position to promote the positive, natural image of Black Women in the Diaspora. Delia is sharing her passion for natural hair styles as she is looking forward to getting inspiration and tips for her new natural hair look. Della Thompson Editor in Chief


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Her reality check: Realizing that she had a host of transferable skills that would never have given her the business or professional opportunities in the UK to work in a sector that she is both passionate and dedicated to. Maureen believes that each of us is changing the world in our own unique way and being part of Conscious Vibes means she gets to promote the best of Jamaica culture on a global platform.

Maureen Walker Jamaica Correspondant

April 2013



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HAIR BY CHI April 2013

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April 2013


Coffee Life C H A N G E YO U R

Organo Gold has recently launched in the UK and is currently one of the fastest growing companies in the network marketing industry. Due to local and international growth I am looking for key people to expand this amazing healthy coffee business on a nationwide scale. I am seeking to recruit independent consultants to join my team in the expanding health and coffee industry. You will need to meet the following criteria: • Be motivated and enthusiastic • Be a conscientious and hard worker • Enjoy meeting new people • Be a self starter & have the desire to succeed We can offer you the ability to work your own hours, work from the comfort of your own home, to be your own boss and earn a full time income on part time hours. If you would like to learn more please contact me, Benita Gardner, on: April 2013

Tel: +44 7956 35583 Web: Email:

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African fashion


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The Sassy Woman’s Sophisticated and Elegant Affair

Deola Sago Runway


ican Fash

Shades Afr


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African fashion African Fa shion week 2012

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African fashion

Young Trend Setters Ohema Ohene Boutiques


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April 2013

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April 2013


5 Tips to Change Career and Find a Job That You Love If you are unhappy at work and doing a job that you find unfulfilling, it can sometimes be difficult knowing what it is that you really want to do. Making a change can seem scary, particularly if you have been doing your current job for a very long time. Without realising it, it is easy to slip in to a comfort zone, doing a job day in and day out but not really enjoying what you do. You stay because you know what you are doing and it is comfortable.

3. List your skills Once you have identified what it is that you enjoy doing and are good at, list your skills so that you are able to clearly articulate them. If you have problems identifying the name of a skill, look at your job description and look at the skills that are listed on it. Also, look at job descriptions of roles that you are interested in to identify different skills.

1. Know your values

2. Identify what you enjoy doing and what you are good at What aspects of your current role do you really enjoy doing and what are you good at? Do you like interacting with people? Do you like working with figures? Are you a technical person?

April 2013

How up to date is your CV? How long is it since you last completed an application form? You will find some useful information on writing CVs and completing application forms at writing CVs. Brush up on how to write a CV and complete application forms and get applying for that job you love. Even if you are not planning a career move at the moment, it is always good to keep yourself marketable. The past few years have seen considerable change in the way that careers progress. Gone are the jobs for life! Many roles these days are offered on fixed term contracts. Keep abreast of the current job market. Keep a record of your successes at work as and when they happen so that it is easier to relay them should you need to.

What are the dangers of staying in a job that is making you unhappy and leaving you unfulfilled? Long term, it can have an impact on your health, as well as affecting those who are close to you. If you are unhappy at work and want to do something about it, the following 5 tips will help you on your way:

What really matters to you, what are your values? A clear understanding of your values is very important when looking for a job as your values go to the core of who you are. If you do work that is not aligned with your values, you will eventually become unhappy and long term may even affect your health.

5. Brush up on your CV and Application writing

Continuously work on your personal development and do not stagnate. It may require that you view your career differently and view it in the context of how careers are being shaped in the 21st century.

4. Identify new possible roles Once you are clear about what your values are, what you enjoy doing and are good at, think about what careers you can do. There are a number of free online psychometric tests that will give you an indication as to the types of career you may be interested in. Such a test can be found at Tests. These tests should not be used as a definitive answer but as an indication as to the types of career you may be interested in.

Carol Stewart is a Personal Development, Career and Business Coach and the owner of Abounding Solutions. Further details about Carol and the work that she does can be found at Abounding Solutions.

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Career tALK

YOUR NEXT LIFE CHAPTER Why Women Need to Start Thinking of a Career Plan B With the Coalitions deficit cutting reforms showing no let up, it is no surprise that Black women are facing the biggest challenge to their career prospects in over two decades.

with 17.7% of Black women also being unemployed.

The All Parliamentary Party Group on Race and Community has ensured that this matter does not get lost under the other battle for characteristic recognition that dominates the press today. With the launch of its report on ethnic minority female unemployment (2012) they found that the unemployment rates of Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi heritage women have remained consistently higher than those of white women since the early 1980s. Indeed, despite the more frequent attention given to the unemployment rates of ethnic minority men, the overall unemployment rate of ethnic minority women is actually higher, 14.3% compared to 13.2%.

On the other hand, it can be argued that Black women have experienced a rise in qualifications, status and prosperity but the vast majority have failed to close the leadership gap that has hindered their career progress over the years. The vast majority can still be found in auxiliary roles at the bottom of the managerial pyramid.

It is worth noting that when unemployment rises Under the public sector reforms; the government is during periods of recession, committed to achieving greater efficiency and savings it begins earlier among of over £83 billion within the course of one parliament, Black groups and at its and an estimated 929,000 jobs, will be axed in the public highest point during the 4 sector over the coming years. However, not only are years between 2008 and many professionals are concentrated in public sector but 2011, Black unemployment according to the Fawcett Society, women make up 65% was 3 times higher than of the public sector work force and make up 75% of the that for the rest of the Local Government workforce; 77% of the NHS workforce population. However when and 80% of the adult social care workforce. the economic situation begins to improve, it takes Should Black women be worried about their jobs in the longer for the impact to be felt among Black groups, public sector? as unemployment remains higher for them for a longer period of time. Simply put yes. Without a doubt, Black women will be disproportionally affected by the job cuts in the public The highest rates for unemployment among women sector. 30% of all Black Caribbean women are employed are found among those of Black African heritage - 31% within the public sector (mainly in front line services) of Black African and 25% of White British women. Both compared to 26% of White British women and 11% of Black women and Black men are around 2.5 times as Pakistani and Bangladeshi women. It can be argued likely to be unemployed. There is clear evidence of an that the challenge to our economic welfare is more ‘ethnic penalty’ on employment for most Black groups. sophisticated and lethal as employers hide behind a lack This means that Black people have much higher rates of of redundancy data broken down by ethnicity and the unemployment or worklessness that remain unexplained economic downturn to justify this massive upheaval to even after taking their socio-economic backgrounds their future career prospects. into account.

When looking at the groups which are the focus of the inquiry – Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi women – these women were far more likely to be unemployed than both white men and white women. Pakistani and Bangladeshi women are particularly affected, with 20.5% being unemployed compared to 6.8% of white women,


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The APPG report found discrimination was found to be present at every stage of the recruitment process – when assessing applications, during interviews, at recruitment agencies and also in the workplace itself where management benignly ignore them once employed. So who will help the single working mother trying to cope with expensive child care, inflexible school schedules and failing standards; women living in households where men cannot find work and they are the main breadwinner?

April 2013

Black women, it’s time to get prepared and ensure that you are not left at the bottom of the employment and enterprise trash heap. Here are my three simple steps to getting prepared for your post Coalition career future. 1.

Change Your Mindset

There has been limited parliamentary attention given to ethnic minority female unemployment, particularly in comparison to ethnic minority male unemployment so you will need to get proactive in order to safeguard your career and business prospects. There is no such thing as a job for life. And those superwomen who “have it all!” are either self employed, rich or have a very supportive partner prepared to put their goals ahead of their family as they work to someone else’s’ agenda. But more worryingly according to Sheryl Sandberg (CEO, Yahoo), too many women are holding themselves back by limiting their own ambitions and self sabotaging their careers.

Finally get your insurance policies in order and write your will – you don’t want to leave your children with a financial legacy of burden and debt. 3.

Start Working on Plan B

Yes, more women are blazing trails and breaking ceilings than ever before, but there are a whole lot more who are not making it. When organisations talk about the talent pipeline and more women in the boardroom – where do you fit in? We are absent from the debate because we have not come together to raise our voice about prejudice, discrimination and outright feeling depressed in the workplace. Our political silence suggests we have bought into the bogus ‘colour blind’ policy sprouted by the Coalition Government and therefore, we are operating on a level playing field.

According to Professor Anthony Heath of Oxford University, the unemployment rate of Black women has remained at roughly double that of white women since 1972. In times when unemployment has increased Get a coach to work with you but commit to the process overall, this ratio has remained the same, except for because very few people are able to make the necessary a brief period in the 1980s when the gap got even changes in time if left to their own devices. There are worse and the second generation still experience examples of best practice out there but remember unemployment rates which are as high as those of the even these women ‘superwomen’ are facing their first generation. own challenges as they strive to navigate their career against unconscious bias, the gender pay gap and Get off that smug high horse where you believe that job less opportunities at the top. It’s time to get mentally losses only happen to other people and start thinking prepared for your next career move. about Plan B. Believe me; you need to start thinking how you can support yourself and your family if you cannot 2. Get Your Finances in Order depend on a full time job. The Fawcett Society claim women are not currently taking up job opportunities With the bad shape the economy is in and the rise of the in the private sector at the same rate as men – both female breadwinner, women are now going to have to because there is increasing competition for the types work well past their 60s and depend on an of part-time, flexible jobs that many women need, and inadequate pension. because the evidence suggests that women are offered lower prospects for pay across the board, particularly for Will your finances be in order once your career those at the lower end of the pay scale. This contributes has peaked? to the significantly higher overall gender pay gap in the sector which stands at 20% in the private sector versus Its old fashioned and foolish to depend on someone else 14% in the public sector. to manage your finances! It’s time to get professional advice so you have more clarity about your financial The good news is that the APPG inquiry found that there forecast. Take control of your financial well being. Book is an appetite for more support to set up businesses an appointment with your accountant or advisor so you from Black women, particularly for newly unemployed can confidently plan for the future. professionals over the age of 25. This would not only help reduce ethnic minority female unemployment – small You can start now by tracking and managing your business growth is considered essential to the recovery of finances so you are not heading to the ‘if only’ club. the wider economy. There is no avoiding it – redundancy, divorce, retirement and death happen to all of us but often women are the Sonia Brown MBE is a business communicator, coach, least prepared in these circumstances and come out trainer and writer, with over 20 years in marketing, financially worse off often losing the family home. branding and life skills development. She is an authority on many areas of business, leadership, sales and A worrying phenomenon is the number of women who marketing, as well as supporting individuals to achieve have an interest only mortgage which will soon mature. success in all areas of life. She is the Business Editor for Do not ignore this ticking financial time bomb, as you the Voice Newspaper, the UKs leading paper for the will find yourself homeless if you do not implement an Black British community and contributes to a number of appropriate repayment or investment plan to pay off radio shows, magazines and newspapers on women, the capital/debt. diversity and enterprise issues. For further information visit

April 2013

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Spotlight Interview

Natural November A natural cultural hair, health, wealth & beauty event


What inspired you to start Natural November?

What’s the meaning behind the name ‘Natural November’?

It came about for two reasons: the first reason being that I became increasingly frustrated by the lack of products, seminars, information and networking opportunities available at the Afro Hair Show. I didn’t feel that they catered to someone like me; who is happy to wear their hair natural, who would like to use products that contain minimal chemicals, who would like to purchase these products from people that of the same school of thought, and who is more interested in either adopting or maintaining a more natural lifestyle. I also wanted to somewhat fill the void that Adornment had left since its last event in 2007 (I remember it well, and am still hoping that it makes a comeback. Adornment, you are much missed!). So, instead of moaning (I started moaning about it in 2010) and waiting for someone else to provide a solution, I decided to be proactive and do something about it, so in the summer of 2011, Natural November was born, the first event took place at the Africa Centre on Sunday 20th November, which is a day that I will never forget. The response was overwhelming and confirmed the need for me to continue and improve on what I have created.

One of the people who inspired me to create the event was Loctician, Ansylla of ‘My Hairitage’ who I met in 2009. She lives in the US, and normally comes over to the UK during May for the Afro Hair Show and also for the Afro Hair Awards in November. Natural November was meant to coincide with her November visit to London. I am natural, and the event would be taking place in November, so the name was created. She didn’t make it unfortunately, but the name stuck. It has a nice ring to it, and due to the fact that it is a bi-annual event, 6 months after is May, so the slogan Natural November in May (May Natural November get bigger and better) is a good play on words. Maybe divine synchronicity was in effect because I didn’t really think about what the event would be called, the name just came about organically, or some would say, naturally.

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You have a strict natural hair policy for your exhibitors, what’s the rationale behind this? It would be a total contradiction for me to allow any of the exhibitors or seminar presenters to wear their hair any other way except natural. This has always been one of the requirements, & it will continue to be so. Anyone can

attend, Black, White, young, old, male, female, conscious, unconscious, & I would like for them to see as many positive Black images as possible. I have been challenged by wearers of artificial hair who are upset by the restriction, & this is fine; I am more than happy to be challenged, I look forward to the continued criticisms & challenges that I will no doubt receive in the future, but what most people don’t seem to realise is that they have already been challenged by the negative Black images that are constantly being portrayed within the mainstream media. How many of us actually realise that this is form of psychological abuse? I think I also touch a nerve, in that, by being challenged, Black women who prefer to look artificial in the way they wear their hair, they have repressed issues which they are reluctant to address; issues such as self esteem, cultural identity, lack of knowing oneself. The numerous excuses I have heard about why Black women don’t wear their hair natural are just that, merely excuses, touching the surface but not wanting to delve any deeper. The sooner we take the steps necessary in order to break the psychological chains that have bound us for so long, the sooner we learn how to return to self, the sooner we realise that we are more powerful, more beautiful, & more amazing than the mainstream media would have us believe, the sooner we can heal ourselves as individuals, which would in turn help us to heal as a community.

April 2013

Have you ever removed an exhibitor from your event for this reason?

care experts who will be able to assist you, and children are free.

No, not yet, & I hope that I never have to do so because it would only cause embarrassment for the person or people being removed. Call me naïve, but when I first started the event, it wasn’t within the requirements, I didn’t think it was necessary because I thought the name of the event alone would be an indication, but I was wrong. I now make sure that it is stated not only within the exhibitor requirements, but also with the application forms. If they say yes to wearing their hair natural, but turn up with either relaxed hair, a wig, weave or even braids, then they should know by now what will happen, so I am hoping that my policy acts not only as a deterrent, but as an opportunity for them to question why the restriction has been enforced in the first place

How was your decision to go natural received by family and friends? I have never been concerned with what other people thought of how I looked, and most of them only know me as being a wearer and advocate of natural hair. I got a friend to shave off all of my relaxed hair on the last day of my school exams, and I have since worn a vast range of different styles; Bantu knots, cornrows, plaits, twists, twist-outs, an Afro. I now have Sisterlocks and am a Sisterlocks consultant, but I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of shaving it all off and having short hair once again; I am not obsessed with length, I am more obsessed with having healthy hair, which would in turn produce lengthy hair.

What made you decide to go natural?

What is the most exciting thing about your event Natural November?

I am proud to say that I have been natural all of my adult life. I got my artificial experimenting out of the way while at school, to my Mother’s disapproval. I was influenced by the negative images that are constantly portrayed by the mainstream media, peer pressure, and also from a desire to want to take control of my own hair; I recall my Mother combing and washing my hair as a child, which was quite traumatic, she wasn’t very gentle and I came to the conclusion that having and maintaining natural hair was painful and something that I would rather do without. I’m glad to say that I realised this wasn’t the case, starting from the age of 16, through experimenting with different styles and not inflicting pain on myself. Natural hairstyling should not be painful, and if it is, it will cause longterm damage not only to your hair and scalp, but also psychologically. I would also like for the Mother’s and Father’s to think about how they deal with their own children’s hair; treat their hair well and make them realise that they have a crown on their head that needs to be adorned, not abused. This will have a massive effect on how they view themselves, and how they deal with their hair issues later on in life. I understand that there are people out there who don’t actually know how to deal with natural hair, or what products to use, if this is the case, come to Natural November in May, there will be a number of natural hair

The most exciting thing without a shadow of a doubt has to be the actual day of the event. I have done it three times so far, and I have never been able to sleep the night before. I am high on adrenaline and excited about how the day will turn out. There are some exhibitors who have been present at all of the Natural November’s so far, so that alone is confirmation that it is a great event. All three Natural November’s have been well received, the positive energy and vibrations that resonate throughout the day is amazing. I sometimes wish that I was able to experience it as a visitor, but am very happy that people enjoy it, so much so, that some of the visitors have come back, I have started to recognise faces from previous Natural November’s, they come to say Hello and I’m always more than happy to stop and talk with them. At the end of the day, I get a lot of hugs and well wishes from people as they leave, which is my absolutely favourite part of the whole event. I go home feeling energised, happy, grateful, proud, and also very humbled; I find it difficult to sleep afterwards because my mind is racing, thinking about how I can improve on the next event. I spend the following few days giving thanks to everyone who took part, I reveal the winner of the prize draw, and then I let Natural November hibernate for a month, before I start with the preparations for the next show. I absolutely love what I have created, and I love that other people love it too.

April 2013

What’s next for your business? I have a few new plans in the pipeline, but I will mainly continue to do and build on what I am currently doing. Natural November is just one aspect of the holistic health and fitness career that I am carving out for myself, but in regards to Natural November, I feel that there is a book and even a documentary there somewhere. I am a Sisterlocks consultant, and will continue to increase my client list and cultivate beautiful Sisterlocks. I am a raw foodist, and have recently created my own range of foods, products and services called LibRaw (I’m a Libran, I am a fitness class and Zumba instructor, my intention is to also add Personal Training to my bow. My lifelong aim is to become a master student of holistic health; I have allocated some of my time to doing research, finding natural ways to heal myself, so that I can also help to heal others. There are many different aspects of health – physical, mental, spiritual, even cultural, so I hope to be able to provide a range of services that cater to all. I recently had my Astrological chart read, and it confirmed that I am meant to be making a living within the field of health. I am a radio talk show presenter on ‘Genesis’ (gifted to me by Stephen Ssali), where I talk about health, events that are of benefit to the community, and I also give a platform to various Black businesses to promote themselves. I will be forever grateful for the positive people that I have met on my journey, for the amazing opportunities that I have been presented with, for the love and gratitude that I have received from the people who overstand my vision, and for the ancestors who are blessing, guiding and protecting me. Love, blessings and gratitude x

DebRose Brown SearchWell Founder of Natural November Facebook: Natural November Twitter: NATURALN0VEMBER

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LOCs-in Natural Around Town

rent e f f i d f o aps Photo Sn s wearing their ion generat h pr i d e ha i r w it


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LOVE YOUR HAIR Yvonne J Douglas talks about her love for natural hair. With all the talk about black women and their hair, why is it such hot topic? Why do some embrace their natural hair whilst others shun it? Many weave/wig wearers claim they wear it because it is more manageable. Some still wear it as a form of protective styling. Having been a weave/wig/plaits/curly perm/relax/texturize girl in the past I can relate to all the reasons or even excuses that people have for not embracing their natural hair. Some women have not seen their natural hair for many years and others insist on relaxing, weaving their hair even though it causes damage to the hair shaft, creating traction alopecia to name just one of the side effects. In my research paper I looked at the links between the Eurocentric worldview of beauty pertaining to hair and how it affects black women psychologically. I will not go into all the statistics in this article, however, my findings clearly show how black women have been subtly affected on a psychological basis. The many subliminal messages in the media, the effects of slavery; the negative messages we have received over the centuries and continue to receive about our hair are all reasons as to why so many black women do not embrace their natural hair. The problem is that many women are not aware of these oh so indirect messages and wholeheartedly believe that they are making an informed choice. Last year someone said to me that she has an issue with how God created her, she was happy with her curves as a black woman but she had an issue with her hair. She said that God made a mistake with our hair, and she would love to have words with him. Now, this woman is in her 50’s and whom I consider to be an intelligent woman, but to say such a thing, in my opinion shows lack of self-acceptance which in turn depicts a lack of self-esteem. How could God have made a mistake? Did you know that our hair is a natural air conditioning unit? Did you know that we can receive messages and signals from the universe through our hair? Our hair is special, it is


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so versatile too; to cover our hair with a hair type that is not naturally ours, in my opinion seems like mental illness. Can you imagine the majority of European and Asian women walking around with an afro? We would think that there was something wrong with them and my guess is that they think black women must be crazy. In fact, I asked an Asian proprietor of fake hair what he thought about us and he responded that black women are silly, but he does not care because it is making him rich. Chris Rock’s ‘Good Hair’ was also an eye opener, yet still many continue with their hair practises and refuse to embrace their natural hair. The black hair industry is a multi-million pound industry, yet many women are less prepared to invest in themselves and work on their inner beauty to affect how they feel about their outer selves. Many women who do decide to take the plunge and wear their natural hair find it quite a big deal and I guess it is. I remember, over 12 years ago when I embraced my natural hair, it was not such a big deal for me, but more of a relief. A relief to not feel pressured into conforming what seems like the right thing to do. All I do know is that I felt free. Embracing my natural hair was like saying to the world, this is my hair and I love the way it looks, feels and grows. I don’t care what you think of my hair and I do not care how it makes you feel that I am wearing my hair in its natural state, because it is my hair and this is how my creator made me. It really is quite empowering. Take the plunge today and embrace your lovely, woolly, thick, versatile, shiny black hair.

April 2013

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Fitz Douglas MBACP April 2013

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Skone (SK1) collection is made up of a mixture of designs, which are re-produced into either tee-shirts or pieces of original Art using rhinestones and acrylic paint. Our jewellery collection is strongly influenced by the “Adinkra symbols”. Each symbol is individually hand-made in Ghana from sterling silver. The pendants are a mixture of hand carved ebony wood and blown glass pieces also from Ghana, and a selection of Agate slices and early ammonite fossils, as well as recycled glass beads. SKone designs mean ‘beautiful woman’ designs in African. The definition of beautiful ‘having beauty, having qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear and think about’ ‘Producing things that are pleasing and delighting to the senses’ The aim of SK1 designs is to produce products that make us feel beautiful. It is just not about the way something looks, but about the pleasure and satisfaction it brings to your senses or mind, also how it can touch you and brings out your inner beauty. The main product line of the business is: • The Rhinestone and acrylic art collection • Hand-made silver jewellery using a mix of recycled beads, agate and fossils • Customised and symbolic meaning tee-shirt designs made from a combination of rhinestones and print • Hand crafted leather bags, blended with fusions of African materials • African inspired clothing range designed in the UK and hand made in Ghana. • The collection will consists of tailored items including coats, jackets, dresses, skirts, blouses and jeans that have a contemporary mix of African fabric and western style. This is a work in progress and not yet available. Mission and values To provide unique, VFM (value for money), quality, hand produced products that are mainly sourced in the UK, Africa and the Caribbean. Brand SK1 designs represents – quality, uniqueness and style, through the bespoke offering an opportunity for self-expression of what makes you feel beautiful.


Conscious Vibes

April 2013


Tropical Smoothie Morning delight to a more healthy lifestyle

My name is Joan Wray-Niles and I show men and women who feel depressed and a sense of loss of direction in life, how to be amazing and brilliant. Part of this process is what we eat. What we Ingredients eat is important to our spiritual, emotional and physical wellbeing, as is the way we think. ½ a cup of Almond Milk When we eat certain foods, they can make ¼ cup of alkaline water us feel depressed by draining our energy in 1 whole ripe Avocado order to digest, or by supporting our cells, with energy, during or after the digestive process. A 3/4 of a Mango medium ripe, peel and cut in lack of energy in our body can be obstructive large squares, or 1 whole to us feeling our ability to create, to heal full-ripened mango physically and be healthy, and to love. 1 tablespoon Maca Powder I would like to introduce you to a quick recipe, ¼ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper which you can use to start your day. ½ Fresh lemon squeezed ½ tablespoon of coconut oil ¼ teaspoon of unrefined, sea or Himalayan salt Blender Method Place the almond milk into your blender, and all the other ingredients. Blend until all ingredients are smooth. You can add water to adjust the texture of your smoothie. Pour into a glass and drink with love. Preferably, use organic ingredients. You can find most of the ingredients from your local health food shop.

April 2013

Conscious Vibes


Celebrity Interview


British actress Judith Jacobs talks locs, career and lifestyle I met up with the lovely, bubbly Judith Jacobs, actress, fitness instructor and now radio presenter... on a freezing cold spring afternoon, in north London, after she finished her radio show, on Sounds Of Urban London Media Fortunately we found a nice cozy venue to sit back, relax and carry out our interview. The focus of the interview was Judith’s acting career as a woman with Dreadlocks.

Cork Screw, but because I was on television people automatically thought I started the corkscrew look, they didn’t know that I saw someone with it and decided I wanted that look and claimed it! (laughs) What made you locs up?

Mainly a very external thing, because I spoke very good English (laugh) people were judging me saying I was not conscious, but I So let’s start at the beginning of was a very cultured person, going your acting career, when did you to loads of chats, where we had first appear on television? people like Shacod Deock come over doing African talks and sharing My first real television role was his knowledge and wisdom with us, ‘Angels’ I played a nurse, I was acting but I was always being judged. So I before this but, I left school to take on wanted to show all, though I knew I this role; I was 17 at the time. In those was African inside, I wanted to show days Angels was like a soap opera, it those people who were making was on for nine months of the year, judgment calls on me, who I actually and I was in it for three series, over was, I didn’t need to do that because three years. Then I did ‘No Problem’, I knew who I was inside but I wanted ‘The Real McCoy’ and ‘East Enders’, I to show them I was conscious. done all of them for three years”. You were young then so that makes Have you had an acting role for sense, so you wanted to show more than three years? people that you were conscious? No, I may live to regret that. (laughs)


When did you locs your hair?

And you’ve kept your locs ever since?

During the second series of ‘No Problem’. When I first started that programme I had my hair in


Conscious Vibes

Yes, I think it’s so beautiful, I love…. I

love, I love my locs, I love them…. If I wasn’t locsed today, I most probably would still be wearing them twist in my hair, because I just love that look. Going back to your acting career, what’s happening now? I am still going up for auditions; I just finished an episode for Holby which will be out some time in May. Acting goes through phases, there’s a lovely expression that states in project cat walk “one minute you’re in, one minute you’re out”. I think that’s true for this business. So it’s a case of getting another job that brings you into the market again. Do you think you having locs impacts on whether you get roles or not? I don’t think it impacts on getting roles, but I do think that if I bothered to put a wig on for some parts it might help me a bit more, because sometimes you read a script and you know instantly that she would not have Locs, but I don’t know if casting directors will go “ok she’s fine she just needs to put a wig on”. It’s only once that I have had this request, from a American agent for an advert that I filmed here but was aired in the United States, when I got the part, they said “we prefer you to have straight hair would you wear a wig”?

April 2013

That was fine by me, I wore the wig. is also an actress, asked me to play I wish more people would think like with her as she has a saxophone as that. It was interesting that the locs well; so I took it out and we played did not throw them off but I would twice. And then, my friend Toyin like to think it is not an issue. ‘bless Toyin’ who is coming over from I guess if I was really brilliant at the America, she phoned me and said auditions they would say it does “”Judith take your sax out, you can not matter, we can always work come with me and play on my gig”. something around the hair. Unfortunately my mouth will last a So do you doubt yourself now, your full five minutes, and then it will seize acting ability? up due to lack of practice. (Laughs) I would like to have the time to really What do you mean? play my sax. I am also writing with a group of Well you said “if I was brilliant at the actresses called the ‘Bb crew’. We auditions …..” have what we call ‘Bev’s bag of ideas’, as she Yes, I think as actors we are constantly questioning ourselves as we are in a profession where rejection is the number one thing. So you’re constantly telling yourself; ‘oh I must be really rubbish at this’, and then I will see something and then I tell myself ‘no Judith, you’re ok, you can do this’. You just need to reassure yourself that you’re not a fraud and you can actually act. So as well an actress, you’re your also a fitness Instructor?

What do you mean? I can’t control the work I get as an actress but I can go out and run, go to the gym and get some training in. I train people six times a week and run every Sunday. I am also putting on a fitness day on the 5th May at Tottenham Green Leisure Centre, from 1pm to 4.30pm, it’s called Fitness JVS (Judith Vanessa and Suzette). We also provide refreshments at the end of the day. And I also sing to them at the end, even though they don’t appreciate my singing! They get it for free, they ask me not to sing, but I still sing anyway as I have a captive audience (laughs). What do you sing, not lovers rock? I sing anything normally right at the end ,actually, so far what I have been singing is Superwoman I love that tune. Come along to our event, it’s going to be a great day.

Interviewed by Angela Small Founder & Director of Conscious Vibes

Yes. For more than 3 years? Yes, I am proud to say longer than ten years (laughs)

Judith Jacob is a professional British

actress and has been in the industry for keeps on over 30 years. saying ”we need to have lot of ideas”. We have a couple of things She is the co-founder of Black Theatre I am a freelancer, I teach Body we are writing, half way through Co-op (BTC), a London theatre group Sculpt, Spinning and Circuit. I and looking for contacts to move it of black actresses and the Bibi Crew, originally started off by doing forward, it’s for television, not theatre, where seven black female actresses Aerobics but I don’t do aerobics however television is always a lot wrote, produced, directed and anymore, I didn’t find that interesting. harder. There are a few contacts performed. I am at a stage where I can say NO. we’re hoping to meet to take this When you first start out in a new forward.” She also hosted her successful live profession you say yes to everything, then you learn to find your niche and Is there anything further you would sell out chat show called “Judith Jacob Yabba Yabba’s with friends” as well as stick with it. like to share with us?

What does that involve, you as a fitness instructor?

I’ve seen a picture with you with a saxophone, do you play? I love my saxophone, but i haven’t blown it properly for years, however, I took it out last year because a friend of mine, Beverley Martin, who

April 2013

I love training, It’s the only way I have some control of my life.

her popular radio show.

As well as being a self employed actress, Judith has over 15 years experienced training in Wing Chun, Kick boxing and a little bit of Muay Thai.

Conscious Vibes


Jill Scott

Showcase d her natu ral hair on cover of E the ssence m agazine in Octobe r 2012


l avis er natura Viola D wig and wore h her 2012 ditched oscars in As the ‘stars’ step out onto e th to ir ha

the red carpet sporting their natural hair, we applaud the positive messages this sends out to women who have made the conscious decision to wear their hair natural. All of the celebrities look stunning and comfortable with their choice of hairstyle, matching this with elegant and stylish dress ware to suit the occasion.


Trace’s ha LLIS ROSS ir is lovely in a natura is thick an l d healthy with beau state her hair vibrancy tiful sheen and

ral a C osta Yaya D s she remains natu ng and dmired a


Conscious Vibes

A acti rsuing a whilst pu areer gc modellin

April 2013

We are living in times where appearance has a huge impact on personal development, careers and inclusion into various social groups. Therefore, the more people of colour in the media eye, embracing their natural hair, the easier it is for us and other cultures to accept and wear our given hair with pride.



Knowles Impulsive ly choppe do now trans formed in f her hair in 2009 a to a natura nd l hair icon g other life, her m r e h za Spaldin ll a l atura

Esperanhas been n

za Esperan ved in relaxers lie never be


Mona Singer so ngwriter re spected fo amazing r her style April 2013

Conscious Vibes



Conscious Vibes

April 2013


The world according to Theodora Take care of your garden Take care of your garden is a painting I created to remind us all that bringing happiness to our life starts with our own actions and thoughts. We need to grow our own flowers and care for them. Friends and family may bring more of them, but just make sure to always have some of your own. Kind hearts are the gardens, Kind thoughts are the roots, Kind words are the flowers, Kind deeds are the fruits, Take care of your garden and keep out the weeds, Fill it with sunshine Kind words and kind”. Henry Wadsworth

LOVE WARRIOR Love warrior” is a painting dedicated to us women to encourage us to stick together and help each other. Women tend to be rather competitive and often forget that supporting each other & staying together is not just healthier, but also makes us stronger. This painting is a love message for all of us; sisters: “world sisterhood” “Together we are stronger”

We offer a range of colourful varied designs on canvases. The themes available go from realistic to spiritual. Many of our customers like the vibrant colours of our designs and the spiritual messages that many of them convey. We are continuously adding new designs to the existing ones. You are welcome to visit my site to view my work and if you wish to purchase any of the canvases you can contact me through my site. April 2013

Conscious Vibes




Travelling to Jamaica, check out our natural hair salons


After recognising the frustration

about the many benefits of

to go natural or to ‘sport’

natural haired brothers and

having natural hair.

dreadlocks. No one leaves

sisters are having trying to


without a style.

manage and care for their locsed

Services include locsing and

or afro hair, Princess Dunn and

loc maintenance, plaiting, corn

Trudy Greenland (who both

rowing, twisting, braiding and

held notion that natural hair is

have had locs for over twenty

also shampooing and natural

not flexible or stylish, should be

years) decided to create a space

hair treatments.

dedicated to individuals wanting

With the motto ‘bring your roots

dispelled. Jus Natural maintains

to enhance and maintain their

to life’ along with a team of

natural hair. ‘Jus Natural’ hair

experienced staff, Jus Natural

studio is a unique unisex salon

Hair Studio makes people feel

that seeks to educate customers

comfortable with the decision

Conscious Vibes

Jus Natural believes the widely

the fundamental principle that there is no better beauty than natural beauty.

April 2013

April 2013

Conscious Vibes


Jus Natural has three branches at the following locations:

Directly across from Bay West Shopping Center

Jus Natural Hair Studio - Pulse Complex Shop 45 Pulse Complex 38A Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10 Tel: 876.906.0400 Store Managers: Trudy Greenland & Princess McLean DIRECTIONS: Located in the Pulse Complex opposite the intersection of Trafalgar and Holborn Road

Jus Natural Hair Studio- Portmore Town Center Shop 40 Portmore Town Center Tel: 876.998.8879 Store Manager: Yessener Greenland DIRECTIONS: Located in the Portmore Town Center on the 2nd floor. Upon exiting the Toll Road, Portmore Town Center is located on the opposite side of the Portmore Mall.

Jus Natural Hair Studio - Montego Bay Shop 25 2 Union Street Center Point Plaza Tel: 876.952.8325 Store Manager: Samantha Broomfield DIRECTIONS: Located in the same plaza as Island Grill.


Conscious Vibes

April 2013


Hair Designed by Maria Thompson

USA Looking for a Natural Hair Salon in the state of Connecticut then visit

Twist & Curve

Keston Duke Photographer

April 2013

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Conscious Vibes

April 2013

Keston Duke Photographer

Hair Designed by Maria Thompson

April 2013

Conscious Vibes


Keston Duke Photographer

Hair Designed by Maria Thompson

Keith Clayton Photographer MUA Gerrie Fessis

T wist n S alo & Caurve r i a lH

r d Natu ore R m d r 75 A Hartford West 06119 CT tates S d e Unit


Conscious Vibes

April 2013


Whose feet are these? ‘Importance of providing positive messages to young people From every corner we hear, far too often, a chorus of shocking stories about some of our young people. Heinous crimes are committed, children are rebelling, school discipline is under threat, law and order is under test. Parents, guardians and carers are speechless, ashamed and weary of the bad behavior they witness in their homes, on streets and in the news. They feel powerless and frustrated at their inability to reason and stem the tide of young people heading headlong into the iron bars of incarceration, the hopelessness of unemployment and the feral communities of our urban cities. What are we to do? In answer to this, I shall reflect back to a time when I walked and talked from a place of not knowing. I was also influenced by the inexperienced voices of my peers, caught up in the magic of rebellion and listening to the re-iterations of addled minds that stared blankly at me as they held court to an audience of children, their own peers long gone.

what you are’. Conscience, started to penetrate my heart, my soul and my mind. ‘Not me,’ said I to these wary ways. ‘When did it ever become OK to rob, steal and kill, lie, cheat, mistreat and deceive for one’s own purpose much less to dress it in frilly justifications to mask its maker’. I paused in the madness and retraced my steps to remember those people that had influenced me, ordinary folk who worked diligently. They came in their droves ready to work, sacrificing home and everything they knew in search of a future free from hardship and pain to acquire the skills and qualifications that would transform their course.

Every weekend our living room would be transformed into a gentlemen’s games room, the air laden with cigarette smoke, rum and whisky fumes. My dad, uncles and their friends played card games as they talked Caribbean and British politics and current affairs topics of the time. Voices were raised; debates heated and passionate arguments ensued from Here I learned how to kick against the system, the more radical and verbal of the group. In an era discredit my parents’ values and live for the where my friends at school were not interested in moment as if my life depended on it. I was fast politics, social reform or debating I would sneak becoming something unrecognisable as destruction into the living room and sit at the feet of my dad, beckoned me to lie in its hand and forsake all I had my uncles and their friends and listen intently to been taught. their impassioned speeches on current affairs and historical events of the past. It was during these My granny would often say to me as she gently discussions that I learnt of Fedon’s Rebellion, Sir combed my hair that ‘birds of a feather flock Eric Gairy becoming the first premier of Grenada together’, but these were not my feathers- why did after the uprisings of the labouring class, Dr. I linger here? I recalled a favourite quotation from Eric Williams of Trinidad, Dr. Martin Luther King, my mum, ‘Show me your friends and I’ll tell you Malcolm X, Angela Davis and many more.

April 2013

Conscious Vibes


I was fascinated by these stories and enthralled by the characters. I wanted to be like them. They were my heroes, men and women just like us that had overcome injustice and were responsible for improving their society. Such awesome accomplishments, I felt indebted to them and proud that they were part of my history, brave, resolute and victorious people. I really appreciated what they had done, especially Harriet Tubman, was my all-time favourite. They enabled me to stand with my back straight and my head held high, as they paved the way for people like me. Their only demand was that I too was ambitious and held aspirations for individual and community betterment in my pursuits. Whose feet are your children sitting at? Who are you allowing them to be influenced by? Are they the feet of gang leaders, drug dons, irresponsible and self-seeking adults? Who do they admire? What do our actions tell them? These are just a few questions to ask in preparing to stem the tide of destruction and worthlessness that is apparent today in our youth.

Neither of these children stood a chance on their own; the adults around them chose to turn a blind eye for their own reasons. I am reminded by the African saying that it takes a whole village to raise a child, signifying that the community ‘as a whole’ has a responsibility to each and every child in its midst. What are we doing to speak out against the abuse of our children? Or is it someone else’s problem, the welfare state for instance? I hope not, as every statistics currently shows that children in social care are more likely to end up in detention, have poor academic achievements, and have substance misuse problems, behavioural problems and teenage pregnancies to name but some of the issues. From my perspective it is clear that the present state system is not working. Whoever is influencing these children and informing them of ‘self’ is not bringing a positive message of hope that inspires and motivates these young people to improve their position. Instead they move seamlessly from one institution to another within the system.

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men”

In the absence of good and loving leadership something else will actively take its place. The call is to invest in Here we have tale of a our children and build caring young woman. I met her at people of substance, resolute Frederick Douglass a project and she told me in the face of adversity, filled that she had been ‘on road’ from the age of 13 with knowledge and understanding that add to as her mum kept ‘turfing’ her and her brother out their community. We must strive to regain a pride whenever a new man came into her life. He would in ambition and aim to be the best as so many died have all her mother’s attention; the best food and selflessly in the fight for education. Being ‘dumb’ they became a nuisance to her. She said that it is not the path to progress and prosperity, and was whilst ‘on road’ that she met dubious and neither is selling drugs nor prostituting. So choose nefarious characters that would buy her Kentucky, wisely whose feet you will sit at and glean from the McDonalds, allow her to ride in their cars and gave knowledge they have gained and imparted to you. her the attention that she was not getting at home. For these pearls will act as manna in your journey Needless to say this young woman found herself in through life. trouble and went on to say that her mother never asked her how she was spending her time nor To round up these reflections I will end by saying where this extra money she had was coming from. that our children are watching us and taking heed of what we do, say and how we behave. A young man I met at a conference on gangs, a So with this thought in mind let us be mindful of reformed character told me that he did not go the conversations we have in their presence, the looking to become a member of a gang. The gang people and behaviours we herald and be sure they found him when he was just 13 and recruited him know the place of unconditional love they hold in to deliver drugs for them. The older boys on the our hearts. estate would take his mobile phone to see who he knew. Pride would not allow him to back down, so he soon earned his stripes and was given a gun by time he was 15, he was earning lots of money. He web: was the breadwinner for the family; they were all email: dependent on him for the extras that their usual benefits could not support.


Conscious Vibes

April 2013

April 2013

Conscious Vibes


FOR A HEALTHY OPTION Moringa Tea What Is Moringa? Nutritionally rich health tea The content of this product is from the moringa tree grown in the best tropical climate better known as the tree of life.

Nutritional Powers

Natural Health Benefits

Natural Health Benefits

• 7 times the Vitamin C in oranges • 4 times the Vitamin A in carrots • 4 times the Calcium in milk (Lactose Free) • 3 times the Potassium in bananas • 2 times the Protein in yogurt

• Increases your natural body defences • Provides nourishment to the eyes and brain • Promotes strong body cell structure • Lowers the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines • Promotes the normal functioning of the liver and kidneys • Beautifies the skin • Promotes energy • Promotes proper digestion • Rich in antioxidants • Supports the immune system • Supports body sugar levels • Effective anti-inflammatory

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Conscious Vibes

April 2013


In need of French lessons?

As a very experienced French & business French teacher, Sophie can help in this area on account of her academic background: Master’s Degree from the University of La Sorbonne, Paris, France and a Diploma in Business from the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce and Industry, together with an in-depth knowledge of corporate demands.

Sophie is the founder of a high-end consultancy, French Lessons in London. She has a very exclusive clientele: high-networth and ultra high-net-worth clients. She has a proven track record of teaching the most exclusive target-driven clients & captains of industry and has been teaching an impressive portfolio of demanding clients, both in London and overseas.  

For more information, please visit:

Creative lifestyle Coach

Spiritual Activist Knowing Your Uniqueness Sharing Your Togetherness Greetings, my name is Itricia. I am a motivational Creative Life Coach with a proven track record supporting many organisations such as schools, prisons and community development projects by delivering workshop and coaching sessions. Over the years I have developed a style of working which has helped to engage my clients in developing their own personal self-identity. I have been able to bring clients to their spiritual self and being and have found that many people of colour can sometime feel held back when it comes to how they are perceived by the western world. This I believe has had a knock on effect on how they develop their self-expression.

We are all gifted with a perfect self-expression. It is our gift that we travel the earth with. As we are all spiritual beings having an earthly experience, we owe it to ourselves to pay attention to this place within. As an activist for true selfexpression I will work with you to find your true alignment with self. I use meditation; chanting, breathing stillness and energy techniques so that you can choose which ones work best for you. Services • One 2 One Coaching via Skype; • One 2 One Coaching session; and • One 2 many workshops/session You can also add yourself to my email practice. • I will soon to be launching my weekly spiritual practices. This will be an empowering tool to strengthen your spiritual higher self-expression.

April 2013

Conscious Vibes


Nerine O’Connor is the Director of Beyond Feelings a new Community Counselling Service offering low cost counselling and complementary therapies to the local community. We offer short to medium term supportive/ explorative counselling for current problems or distress including bereavement, unemployment, stage-of-life issues, recovery from addictions, depression and anxiety states. We do not judge, discriminate, criticise or persecute. Everyone is welcome with any personal need, shame, guilt, embarrassment, secrets or fears.

CLIENT GROUPS DIVERSE NEEDS Men and Women experiencing: • Relationship Difficulties • Marriage breakdown • Domestic Violence • Low Self-Esteem • Obesity And particularly Men: experiencing: • Depression • Addictions (destructive habits) • Anger • Abuse/ Abuser


Conscious Vibes

All Individuals need love to grow and develop and when they experience trauma in their lives it leaves them with deep emotional and psychological wounds. They need to be shown love, justice, equality, fairness, mercy and empathy. My role as counsellor psychotherapist is to develop a trusting and confidential relationship to facilitate healthy growth in mind, body and soul in all individuals.

We are based at 6 Chattenden House Woodberry Down Hackney London N4 2SG Open Monday to Thursday from 8am to 4pm (appointments available up to 9pm). Telephone 07774967119 / 02088097203 Email Website

April 2013

HAIR BY CHI April 2013

Conscious Vibes



Conscious Vibes

April 2013

Locs, Career and Natural Lifestyle for the Sassy Woman  

This month’s exciting April Edition brings you all the best Dreadlocks designs in the UK and abroad; Career Tips and advice; latest cultural...

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