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Celebrating Your Hair, Style and Life Sept 2011, Edition 2

THE EYES HAVE IT Make up all day every day

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK Bobeam and BGLH Marketplace

SAFE OR SCAM 5 tips on whether to buy from new businesses!

HAVE NATURAL HAIR - WILL TRAVEL Plan your holiday and your hair

NATURAL September Offers .

SHEABUTTER COTTAGE Get £5 off purchases of £45! Code: HAVEN


Published by The Natural Haven

Copyright All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Views and opinions by contributors may not represent views of the publisher.


Disclaimer All information presented here is not a substitute for professional advice for example use of certain products when pregnant or in the case of allergies.

CONTENTS The Basics 05 VINTAGE HAIR Summer hat tutorial - A chic way to style your hair with Autumn.


08 BROWN SUGAR A quick, simple and deliciously scented brown sugar scrub from Savvy Brown. Pamper yourself or create a unique gift.

10 TRAVEL GUIDE Plan your holiday in style. Kenyan bloggers Mary and Nyachomba take us on a guided tour of Kenya and what to do with your hair when you get there. 12 THE EYES HAVE IT See the beautiful work of budding freelance make up artist Ashley who also works full time in IT.



21 5 SIMPLE CHECKS TO AVOID SCAMS Natural hair businesses are booming. Our guide on how not to get scammed.


22 NATURAL BUSINESS A chat with natural hair entrepreneur Laquita of Bobeam. We talk kitchen made natural soaps, charity and free advertising.


24 NATURAL BUSINESS Leila of super blog BGLH talks about expanding into product supplies. 25 MEAL FOR ONE Shanimarie is single and cooking! 26 NEW YORK CITY Chai writes about being natural in the big apple and gives tempting reasons to visit.

Vintage Style with Autumn

The last rays of the summer sun are just about to ebb away, so if there was ever a time to take advantage of them, it is now. Vintage style maven Autumn walks us through a chic summer hat tutorial and puts a gorgeous spin to ‘hat hair.’

Step 1 Start off with large two strand twists that have been undone. The hat is worn angled to one side, therefore, section off the front part of your hair on whichever side of your head that you prefer.

06 | Vintage Style

Step 2

Step 3

Take one section of hair and make a U shape with it, allowing the ends to be hidden underneath.

Brush out the parts you might have from the twist out or finger separate and cover any partings.

Secure the ends with jumbo bobby pins (tip: do a criss cross pattern for stability!).

Repeat step 2 to the back section of hair and continue to create a U shape and pin.

Vintage Style | 07

Step 4 Roll the sections of hair in the front, making sure your hair is pinned down well against your head. This will allow the hat to fit around the hair.

100% Natural Shampoo Bars

Step 5 Time to try on that hat!

Find us on Etsy Shop - Laquita33

08 | Pampering

All Natural Pampering Brown Sugar Exfoliating Scrub Savvy Brown is a great blog packed with natural and green tips on everything from health to hair. One great recipe is a quick and easy brown sugar body scrub which you can make for yourself but also makes a wonderful gift for mother’s day or for a special friend. The recipe is quick and the final product has a scent to die for! You can also change the oil in the recipe to create a scent that you like. The final product is ridiculously cheap! All you need is a pretty bottle and you have a beautifully packaged, all natural body scrub for far less than you would spend at a beauty store. Here is the recipe from Savvy Brown.

What you will need: raw brown sugar white sugar 1/2 cup sweet almond oil 1/2 cup grape seed oil spoon (or something to stir with) vanilla oil (or vanilla extract) peppermint oil anise oil spoon, tongue depressor or pop-sickle stick empty plastic jar (any size will do, you can recycle an old body scrub container) Method: First, fill the jar halfway with the brown sugar, and then fill almost to the top with the white

Pampering | 09

sugar. Do not fill all the way to the top as you need the space for your oil. Make a well in the centre of the sugar and pour in the oil (sweet almond and grape seed oil), stirring as you go. Add enough oil to wet the sugar but not saturate it. If you add a little too much oil, just correct by adding in some more sugar. Finally, add a few drops of the scenting oils to your liking and stir until well blended. Savvy’s mix is 20 drops of peppermint oil, 10 of anise, and a small capful of vanilla extract. To use: After a shower or bath and right before you step out, stick two fingers in the jar of scrub and rub onto your skin in a circular motion. It sloughs off dead skin cells nicely. Once you have scrubbed all over, rinse off any excess

sugar (not the oil) and step out of the shower. Towel off and you’re left with soft, smooth, moisturised skin! Tips: Feel free to substitute any essential oils that you would like to use. Sweet orange and peppermint smell great, as does lemon balm. You can also use jojoba oil or avocado oil as a base instead of sweet almond and grape seed oil. Use a plastic container because there is a risk of dropping a glass jar in a wet shower. The sugar will separate a bit from the oil, but that’s normal, don’t add more, just stir it up a little every time you use it. For pampered men, substitute the ‘girlie’ scents for tea tree oil, lemon grass oil or eucalyptus.

Have Natural Hair - Will Travel Kenya with Nyachomba and Mary Here is a special travel guide with a natural twist. Ladies with natural hair living in a stunning destination give you the inside scoop on the weather and how best to manage your hair for that climate. The first guide comes from the beautiful ladies of Kenyan natural hair blog Kurly Kichana Nyachomba and Mary. 1. Weather in Kenya Kenya is mainly warm for most of the year, but the temperature and humidity do vary. The white sandy beaches of the ocean coast are the warmest (30°C) and the most humid. However fresh sea breezes do temper down the humidity. As you travel further inland to the

wildlife safari hotspots of Nairobi or Maasai Mara, the weather is generally warm (25°C) and far less humid. The main concern you may have with natural hair is that it can get very dry. It is important to make sure that you invest in moisture rich products that will replenish your hair’s moisture reserves. We would recommend a spritz bottle with your favourite moisturising concoction. We like a mix of water, some squeezes of conditioner, glycerine (because of the humidity) and some olive oil. Sealing with a natural oil or butter is really important. 2. Natural Hair Maintenance in Kenya Unfortunately, not many Kenyan hairdressers

Travel Guide | 11

If you plan on “roughing it” on the wild African plains, we would recommend protective styles such as braids, twists and cornrows. Opt for hassle free styles that will prevent the need for everyday styling. Wigs are not generally recommended for safaris. At the beach you should rinse your hair after any swimming in salty water to avoid breakage and damage from sea water. Humidity works to keep moisture in your hair but go easy on the oils as the temperature is high and they can melt and creep down your face and neck. Majority of the products on the beauty shop shelves in Kenya are imported and are usually

intended for relaxed hair. This is not to say that you will not find any products for natural hair. Some of the brands you will find include Herbal Essences and Suave but not necessarily the full range. We would advise that you carry a tiny jar of your staples; just enough to last the duration of your travel. 3. Getting your Hair Braided Kenyan stylists are very artistic braiders and we highly recommend getting your hair braided on your visit. There are countless hair salons but one of the most famous is Kenyatta Market in Nairobi. Upon your arrival, be prepared to be bombarded by a host of braiders offering you the best price possible. Prices range from £10£20 ($20- $40) with smaller braids costing more. Again, we would advise that you instruct your braiders to be gentle with your hair and scalp. Be as firm as possible. We would absolutely recommend that you get braids done early into your trip before you set off on your Kenyan adventure. You will not be disappointed, welcome to Kenya - Karibu Kenya!


are accustomed to styling natural hair. Hair salons that cater to natural hair are rare and if found, you will have to direct them on exactly what you want them to do to your hair. Be direct; do not be afraid to let them know exactly how you would like your hair to be handled. Many may fight you, but in the end, it is your hair. Do not let them mishandle your hair and you can and should carry your own products as well if you prefer them to be used.

The eyes have it Make up with Ashley

Beauty Feature | 13

Our regular beauty feature this issue is with fellow natural and make up artist Ashley. She blogs at and her space is filled with gorgeous versatile looks suitable for evening and daywear. Ashley works in IT full time and freelances as a make up artist. Q: I love that you have two hats (IT and Make up). Do you think you will always have both or do you think you will transition to a full time make up artist ? Two hats indeed! I love technology and have the ability (and willingness) to understand, interpret, and identify how technology can benefit people. Make up artistry seems worlds apart from IT, but as a make up artist, the soft skills are basically the same. I understand products and application techniques and deliver them in a way that makes people look and feel good. Freelancing has allowed me to tap into creativity that my career in IT has not. However, my make up and IT jobs cross paths all the time. I had a colleague that was so anxious to see how she looked with false eyelashes that she picked up some during lunch and had me apply them while at work, behind closed doors of course. My IT job has helped me to land freelance work as a lot of my “gigs” come from work references. I don't think I will ever be able to separate myself from delivering technical solutions to nontechnical people, but I like to keep my options open and will not stand in the way of where make up will take me. Q. I like that you post failed looks as well as successful ones on your blog. What advice would you give to someone who is struggling to do their own make up. My advice to myself and to someone struggling with their make up is to practice. If

you have never worn foundation, attempted a smoky eye or winged eye liner, then do not try it on the day you need it. Practice your looks beforehand. I like to try new looks and colour combinations before going to bed. That way I can try out the look and if it is perfect, I know what products, tools, and techniques to use. If it is a failure, I can just wash my face and go to bed. I post my failed looks to show that mistakes are part of the learning process. My second piece of advice is a hot pink lipstick on me will not look the same on you. As a beauty enthusiast, blogger and a freelance artist the words that make me cringe the most are, “That [eye shadow, lipstick, blush] colour wouldn’t look good on me.” On and off the runway, Heidi Klum and Alex Wek have worn pink blush, berry-toned lips, and gold shadow. These two ladies have different skin tones and face shapes, but they wear them beautifully. So don’t be afraid to try the trending lip colour, just learn to make products work for you by trying a shade or different tone. The results may surprise you. And my final bit of advice is, it is only make up. If you’re not satisfied, grab your make up remover.

The Look: Pink Shooter purple


deep lavender

Beauty Feature | 15

Q. Hair wise, how well does your natural hair fit in to your two jobs. Do you feel more freedom to wear it in certain styles or is it all about the same? Natural hair fits both my corporate and creative environments. My look is simple and I wear the same styles in both jobs. Whether I I am in the office or in my beauty studio on a normal basis, it is unlikely that you will find me with a dramatic colour, cut, or style. I must confess that when I started my natural hair journey, I was a bit concerned about how my colleagues would perceive my natural hair. But in my experience, the results that I achieve give little reason for others to be concerned about how bright my lipstick is or how kinky my hair is. Q. What advice would you give to budding make up artist keen to secure paid gigs? My advice is, if you build "it" they will come. "It" refers to your talents, make up kit, network, and your brand. Every client does not want a smoky eye, so build your talents beyond what you like. Second, building a make up kit is critical. Your kit should be ready to use for every skin type, age, and ethnicity. Next, building your network is a big key to success. Strengthen your local network by developing relationships with co-workers, photographers, salons, boutiques, and service organizations. Last build your brand! This does not mean choosing a slogan or making sure you have the same font for your business card and website. Build your brand as a person. This is the reputation you have as a professional that your network will use to promote your talents. A lesson that I learned from my own personal coach. From here your career as a make up artist will go places you'd never imagine.

The Look: Red, White & Blue red



Beauty Feature | 17

I remember the first bridal make up I did. I bought a few foundations that I thought would match the bride. I even packed a massive make up kit, those heavy train cases that weigh a ton. I felt beyond prepared. When I arrived at the suite, not only did the bride want her make up done, but the entire bridal party did too. The foundations I brought did not match anyone, the room was small and dim, there were 2 stylists there who had already claimed the 1 full-sized table in the room in front of the only natural light source and there was no place to roll this gigantic train case that I had in tow.

experiences. Through blogs/vlogs I have learned and shared so much information. I really can appreciate all the bloggers who take the time out to publish their thoughts, passions, and reveal their dreams to the entire world. Through blogs I've found many new interests outside the IT world that have helped me more than I ever imagined. For those who take the time to and are to share experiences (free of charge), while enhancing their IT skills, I would personally like to say...THANK YOU.

I stood in the doorway and panicked. I had to persevere through it. As embarrassed and unprepared as I was, I worked through the space issues, borrowed foundations, and removed lamp shades to generate light. The looks turned out great and everyone was happy and loved the experience. When the bridal party headed to the ceremony, I sat down to reflect on what had just happened. I documented missing products, spacial issues, interactions, and working efficiently while answering beauty questions and with everyone looking over my shoulder. As I looked at the list I created, I had a lot to work on. Since then I have built a quality make up kit that is condensed in size. I have even made the "reflection" time a normal part of my gig, so I can improve with every opportunity. Q. Is there anything else that you would like to add? (Anything at all, does not have to be hair or make up related!) Blogging, has become an integral part of my day. I joke with old college friends from my computer science classes (which seems so long ago) that we were blogging before it was even called blogging. Years later blogs have evolved to incorporate images, sounds, and provide a real-time source of personal

The Look: Sun Kissed


blush pink

The Look: Parfait Amour



The Look: Super Bass



baby pink

Natural Entrepreneurs The New Kids On The Block

Editor’s Note | 21

Here are 5 simple steps that you should go through before purchasing anything from an online seller. Are payments processed securely with consumer protection? Your money is safe and can be returned back to you in the event of the seller not delivering but only if you pay using a secure service such as paypal.


Is the physical address of the business displayed on the web site? Legitimate businesses do not mind you finding them. In many countries, the law requires a physical address to be displayed for online shops. If you do not see one, be worried.


5 Simple Tips for Safer Online Shopping

Our July issue of Natural Bloom featured well established natural hair product businesses Sheabutter Cottage and Oyin Handmade. Both of these companies have been running for several years with great feedback. Currently, the natural hair product market is booming and there are new businesses springing up all the time. Whispers of a new ‘magic’ ingredient quickly lead to a new string of hair products incorporating it. The vast majority of natural hair product makers do intend to create unique and functional products. Here at Natural Bloom, we feature these companies based on reader recommendations. However, there are always a few bad apples in the barrel. There are stories of people purchasing products which fail to arrive. There is also the age old problem of some manufacturers over stating claims which lead to disappointment for the consumer.

Use the word ‘scam’ or ‘fraud’ in your search engine. If you want to purchase a product from a company, let us call it - company 1234. Type ‘company 1234 scam’ into your search engine. This will pull up any results from blogs, vlogs and forums where members are discussing a possible scam. Go through your search findings and decide if you have reasonable cause to trust or distrust the company.


Look for reviews from natural hair forums specifically. Natural hair forums have a large number of ‘product junkies.’ The great benefit of this is that many natural hair products from companies large and small will be discussed. Before you buy, take a trip to 2-3 forums and see what the buzz is about the product. Remember membership is not necessary to read key information in most major forums.

4 5

If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. If a product promises the world ( 3 inches in 5 weeks, 10 times more moisturised hair etc), do yourself a favour, be extremely doubtful.

22 | Bobeam Business Feature


Laquita Thomas-Banks We love taking requests and this interview was requested by a Natural Bloom reader/twitter.

family and friends to get their feedback. During this time I also use their suggestions, likes and dislikes to tweak the shampoo bar.

@annnoire - You asked for a feature with the owner of Bobeam and so here it is! Laquita is well known in the natural world for her writing. She has been selling natural products for hair since 2009 on Etsy. Her shop name is Laquita33.

When it comes to making the shampoo bars, it usually takes about 6 to 8 hours to make one type of shampoo bar, that includes mixing and letting them dry, packaging and labeling.

Q. Do you make the products in your store or do you buy them?

I am in the process of testing new formulas for a product re-launch. My goal is to have the new formulas and packaging ready by the spring. I also plan to have more scents available for the Shea-Moisturizer which is a hair and body butter. I sell flower clips, and plan to add more handmade clips as well.

I make the Bobeam shampoo bars in my lab aka my kitchen (she smiles). Q. How long does it take you to make each product from design concept to sourcing materials to finally making the product? When I get a new idea for a shampoo bar, after researching the ingredients, I test it anywhere from 6 months to a year on myself,

Q. Do you have any new products in development?

Q. Where do you see your business in 5 years? In 5 years I see the Bobeam Natural Hair Product business much bigger, with more

Bobeam Business Feature | 23

shampoo bars, hair teas, moisturisers and conditioners. I also see the products in other online shops and brick and mortar stores as well. With the business bigger, I would also be able to add more charitable foundations to donate sale proceeds. Currently, proceeds from the sale of the Bobeam Flower clips are donated to the 1 in 8 Foundation for early cancer detection.

where there is a need use that as an opportunity to improve or come up with something new that will address it. Another thing I would suggest is to ‘give back’ to your community or charities via donations, giveaways, time, etc. Doing this will not only help those in need, but also is another way to get your brand/product exposed.

Q. What advice would you offer to a budding small business? My advice to a budding small business would be to never give up. Even if it seems your business is growing slowly, count every sale as a milestone. Use social media i.e. blogging, Twitter, Facebook etc. to advertise your business - especially since it’s free. Pay close attention to feedback/reviews of your products and even other products and

Etsy Spotlight : Hair Time Prints by Mossy Rock Designs

24 | BGLH Business Feature

BGLH Marketplace

Leila Noelliste Black Girl With Long Hair is arguably the biggest natural hair blog in the world. Here we talk to Leila who has recently diversified the blog with a one stop shop for natural hair products. Q: Why did you choose to open BGLH Marketplace? I wanted to make BGLH a more holistic space. There's the website, there are the events we do in Chicago, and I thought opening a store was a natural evolution in service that I could provide. More and more women are tossing out their drying, itch-inducing, petroleum laden products and reaching for products that refresh and revive the hair. I want to be part of that revolution! Q: What influences the products you choose to sell? Naturals!! Before adding any product I check reviews on YouTube, forums and blogs. Q: In a recent survey, the main objection to buying from small businesses was

shipping cost. What do you say about that? All our domestic (US) shipping is free! And I really think that's the wave of the future as far as online businesses are concerned. Every day more online businesses eliminate shipping costs. Q: What are your plans for the future? The shop has been in business since November 2010 and recently passed 1,100 orders! Right now the plan is to just continue in forward motion. Down the line I would like to get some bigger name brands in the store. Q: What advice would you offer to a budding small business? It's not easy, but I feel that 90% of business is a.) persistence and b.) being willing to change course when things aren't going well. I always keep in mind something my mum says, success isn't always about being first/best/fastest, sometimes it's simply being the last one standing when others have given up.

SINGLE & COOKING by Shanimarie Ogilvie As naturals, new hairstyles come to mind spontaneously while others require a lot of practice to perfect. Creating a new meal can also be spontaneous and daunting at the same time, but do not let this stop you from nourishing your appetite and soul. Before my discovery of pot pie, I had so many leftovers and it was painful to throw expensive and scrumptious food in the garbage.

pot pie out of a vegetable stir fry or left over chilli. I put my recipe idea to the test, lovingly made the dough and assembled my pot pie to bake in the oven. Thirty minutes later, the pot pie was golden brown, crispy around the edges, bubbly, moist and delicious in the centre. I lightly fried some sweet plantains to complete the dish.

After reading, ‘The Pleasures of Cooking for One’ by Judith Jones, I quickly began to see how easy it was to make a savoury pie dough.

Be creative with your left overs and turn them into a whole new meal that will inspire you for many more meals to come. Most of all, now you have the energy to practice those two strand twists!

This then led me to the think, why not make a

(Recipes available in the recommended book)

26 | Oyin Handmade

A Natural Perspective: New York by Chai It has been over 10 years since walking into an NYC salon for an early morning appointment to have over seven inches of my relaxed strands expertly chopped off. Since then, there has been ample time to answer questions as to why I made such a dramatic change in appearance at a time where virtually no support system was in place. What helped to influence my decision, while at the same time diffuse some of the mixed reactions from those in my inner circle? Well, while there was no singular answer, it is my home, where I have lived all my life that has and still continues to play a major role. Where we live, work, play and draw inspiration from day to day can have a pretty significant impact on our natural hair journey and for me

calling Brooklyn, New York home over the years meant I was able to enjoy all of these perks without compromise. Apart from having the home base of some of our favourite well known brands such as Carol’s Daughter, Karen’s Body Beautiful & Miss Jessie’s in our back yard, what ultimately unifies the natural hair community in New York is the people. The men, women & children living their lives almost effortlessly, whether it is heading to a corporate 9-5 in mid-town Manhattan or settling in at a local coffee shop in Fort Greene for some midday writing, it is all unification with a purpose. New York is a city to truly BE your authentic self on every level, and wearing natural hair really is one of the main highlights.

In Brooklyn New York, there are no limitations as to where you can go to feel and be accepted along your natural hair journey. There is no need to hide, to feel fearful of naysayers or detractors simply because wearing natural hair is neither the “norm” nor the minority; it is purely a choice that is widely respected and validated without a second thought. 28 year old Courtenay Aja Barton of Brooklyn who works as a Development Manager at a charter school agrees that while the experiences of wearing natural hair in New York can vary from the sometimes rude to the remarkably supportive, there is in fact something for every living soul in this city, “I see so many women with a wide variety of gorgeous, natural hairstyles,” she says. “It almost seems that natural hair is in the majority sometimes.”

The soul of Brooklyn is undeniably beautiful whenever you are able to take the time to pause and take notice of it. To continue to hear about the still growing community taking place here is one thing, to experience it is quite another. “Brooklyn has a reputation for having something for everyone,” says Courtenay. “Natural hair salons and natural hair care product purveyors have flourished in Brooklyn, so I think having that support helps women feel no particular stress in going and staying natural.” Not only will you come across a mountain of support from other naturals, but you will rarely come across a shortage of salons to visit or brick and mortar stores to peruse to stock up on hair favourites. While some can argue that BK, NY is not necessarily the Mecca of this thriving community, it certainly has one of the warmest and steadiest heartbeats across this country. So, why is it so important to surround yourself with positivity and the motivation to continue on any journey? Well, If you have a destination in mind, whether it is on this natural hair journey or any other point in your life, the scenery along the way matters just as much as your intended end point. It carries you whole, rather than in bits and pieces, makes sure you are safe, well protected and able to live on your own terms. I went natural over 10 years ago with no support system to speak of, yet knew without a doubt that I’d be safe in this city. If you do find yourself in Brooklyn, NY, make your way to the local gardens, the bus stops, the lively coffee shops, the free concerts, the burgeoning avenues filled with every style and hair mark you only see and read about in the pages of magazines or blogs. If anything, stop reading and come.


NYC with Chai | 27

28 | Contributors BOBEAM BY LAQUITA






BoBeam by Laquita

Sheabutter Cottage



Etsy - Laquita33







Nyachomba and Mary






theretronatural.blogspot. com

Contributors | 29



Shanimarie Ogilvie WHERE TO FIND HER:

singleandcooking.blogspot .com





Savvy Brown




Editor’s Note It has been a real joy compiling this September edition. The wide breadth of topics from travel to cooking merged to make this issue one that you will surely have to revisit several times or at least I hope you will! I love reading your comments and suggestions. If you would like to see yourself featured or wish to shout about a unique company or product just get in touch! The magazine is going from strength to strength and I would love you to visit the beautiful women on the contributor’s page who made this possible. Thank you very much, every single one of you!

Ruby ( Jc )

Could you be our next cover girl? Email us your head shot and link to your hair, style or make up blog.

The next Natural Bloom issue will be out on 1st of November, 2011 To Advertise or Contribute Email:

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