From Copenhagen to London – Malaika’s story on black hair

Hair is personal to all women especially black women. Malaika is a Danish-Tanzanian marketing officer in London who had several things to say about her relationship with her hair. Charcoal Ink caught up with her for her unique global perspective and how that’s coloured her view on black hair:


On her memories with hair:

I kind of just go with the flow. My whole childhood and teen years was just my afro strapped up in a ponytail as I didn’t have many options. Then I colored my hair blond and got extensions in which was pure impulse. I didn’t really like the feeling of heavy hair on top of my own so I took them out and bought clip-on hair so I can take it out in the evening and wash my hair!


On the differences between Denmark & London on black hair & Afro hair trends:

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Deciphering the value for money of going to the salon

I went to the hair salon today as you can see above, and it made me think about trying to figure out the value for money aspect of going to the salon.

I got the following done today (included currency prices with exchange rates)

  • Hair braiding for box braids: 30,000 Tanzanian shillings ($18/£12)
  • Eyebrow shaping: 1,000 Tanzanian shillings ($0.62/£0.40)
  • Blow dry + hair washing: 5,000 Tanzanian shillings ($3/£2)
  • Buying x 2 extra packs of hair: 3,000 Tanzanian shillings ($1.87/£1.22)

Grand total spent: 39,000 Tanzanian shillings ($24/£15.86)

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Did You Watch Beverly Hills Fabulous?

Yesterday VH1 premiered its new show called Beverly Hills Fabulous which focuses on stylist Elgin Charles hair salon. I have to say I was very interested in seeing the show because it focuses on a predominately black hair salon. Although the first show didn’t really talk much about actual hair other than the snippet with celebrity host Tanika whom I was surprised to find out that her curly fro all along has been a weave.

Looks like I need to get myself to Elgin because her curly weaves look so good. Tanika actually didn’t go for a curly fro style this time but opted for a straight weave that in my opinion looked good. Elgin can definitely bust out some styles. I wonder throughout the show will we see any natural styles, most of the women seem to be getting their hair pressed or curled.

What did you think of the show?

I’ll definitely be watching this season if you haven’t already done so check out the trailer …

Did Anyone Read The ESSENCE Roundtable discussion with Solo & Nia?

nia long

I was in Borders today and in the UK, the latest issue of ESSENCE is the one with Nia Long on the cover.

There was an interesting roundtable discussion which included Solo Knowles, Nia of course and the stunning Tanika Ray, as well as Mikki Taylor, Tonya Lewis, Ursula Stephens (Rihanna’s hairdresser) & another lady called Ledisi. Continue reading

10 Things A Natural Girl (Me) Noticed in a Black Hair Salon

[I wrote this @ The Afro Spear and have cross-posted it here]

Last weekend, I went with a close friend of mine at a hair salon in east London. My friend was getting a weave done, however, just sitting with her was such a ripe opportunity for me to observe how some black women act within the space of the hair salon.

10. The sharp smell of smoke that was piping out of one patron’s head as she sat underneath the dryer! I never noticed how thick the plumes of smoke can get.

9. How the rattail combs poke in and out of people’s heads as they undo their braids underneath their long weaves.

8. The stitching together of weaves could be a metaphor of how we need to stick together as black people. Continue reading

Natural Hair Update: (Afro Puff & Tools/7 Pictures Included!)

Okay everyone, I know the last time I did a natural hair update with pictures was more than 6 months ago. Shameful, I know.


1. Back of my Afro Puff: I took this shot the other day. What do you all think? I think the back of my hair has grown a lot since last year becausee it seems to be the part of my hair that grows the slowest. Continue reading