The Kinky Collective will be your new IRL natural hair experts

Photography by Clfgroup media

A new collective set up by a trio of hairdressers and trichologists has launched a series of events at Peckham Palms afro hair and beauty centre to help black women learn how to care for their natural hair.

The Kinky Collective, dubbing themselves a “natural hair event with a twist”, has planned monthly events based around interactive games. They are aiming to challenge the biggest misconceptions around black hair care and create a welcoming environment to meet up, as well as introducing their clients to new black-owned British brands that have good quality products.

The sessions will be led by Ebuni Ajiduah, a trichologist and natural hair specialist, Fola Kassim, a hairdresser whose mission is to take the guesswork out of natural haircare and Stephanie Sey, a trichologist with first-hand experience of hair loss.

“We wanted to do something fun and interesting and give people real information because there’s so much nonsense in the hair community about what you should be doing,” Ebuni told gal-dem. “I know from my teaching experience that the best lessons are when you don’t feel like you’re learning. I want to make sure that it’s not like you’re just being talked at or feel like you’re doing everything wrong.”

Ebuni, who hosts hair health podcast Snatched Edges, and wrote the Healthy Hair Handbook, is used to educating black women about their hair. Her Instagram is filled with tips which challenge a lot of the crowdsourced wisdom found in the natural hair community, such as the “float test”, a practice which has become popular with naturals as a way to determine porosity.

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In the spirit of April fools, I wanted to drop another bomb on this fine Monday. The ‘float test’ has become very popular with naturals as a way to determine porosity however IT DOESN’T WORK! The pseudo science behind this test is that the more porous your hair is the more it will sink, however there is this pesky thing called surface tension that will affect results, not to mention if your hair is coated in oils which are hydrophobic (water repelling) it is more likely to stay near the top. When I was training to become a hairdresser, we we told to test ‘porosity’ by rubbing the hair from tip to root and feeling for roughness. This is also quite inaccurate as the older/longer the hair is, there will naturally be less layers of the cuticle due to wear and tear. The only true way to test porosity is using gas chromatography… • • • #mythbustermonday #mythbustingmonday #aprilfools #floattest #porositytest #porosity #porous #hairporosity #lowporosity #lowporosityhair #highporosity #highporosityhair #afrohair #londonnaturals #uknaturals #peckhampalms #trichology

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“I think sometimes the reason that people can run to these fake remedies or trends that come up because they see someone with long hair and think ‘if they’re doing it, it must work’,” she said. “But that’s not always the case so this is to teach people how to look after their hair in an easy and fun way.”

Having the sessions take place at Peckham Palms is important. The hub, which opened in January 2019, in run almost exclusively by black women and headed up by the formidable managing director, Monique Tomlinson. Their mission is to support and grow business ventures led by black women, to create more diversity and equality in the hair and beauty sector.

Ebuni concludes: “It’s really about empowering our community and showcasing the best of what’s out there”.

The next Kinky Collective event will take place on 12 May at Peckham Palms. Tickets are available here.

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