Give Tina Lasisi Your Hair. [Understanding African Hair Diversity]

Yes ladies and gents,

You read correctly.

Please donate the smallest of snips of your hair to an amazing woman – Tina Lasisi.

Not only because she is amazing, but because [all jokes aside] she is doing some amazing research as her final year undergraduate thesis at Cambridge University, to help the world understand African hair diversity.

I believe some of the success of the “natural hair movement” is that the majority of us believe there has not been enough done to not only embrace our hair in its natural form – but also not much has been done in terms of research either.

Tina explains part of her motivation:

I would like to emphasise the novelty of this study. Only 1 study has looked at quantitative hair variation (in other words: objective measurement of variation, instead of arbitrary typologies), this study was published in 1976, and it only considered 1 “African population” consisting of 20 individuals from Uganda, Kenya, Zambia and Mozambique, which it considered homogeneous and considered as representative of African hair. 20 individuals from such a wide geographic range cannot be considered homogeneous, especially without proof and without reason. Furthermore, 20 East African individuals can hardly be considered representative of all African diversity.

Later studies by cosmetological scientists (including some at L’Oreal), have published studies making the same mistakes, and sometimes worse ones. The problem, I believe, is that many of these European-led studies do not consider Africans as diverse, and so fail to include this in their hypotheses. I believe however, that there is much to be found, and many answers which will illuminate the origins of not only African hair, but humans as a species.

On a more personal level, this subject is of great interest to me, as a woman of Nigerian descent, because I believe it to be a great injustice to see African hair so under- and misrepresented in science. It is my ambition to contribute to the knowledge of African hair diversity by publishing an article about my research in a peer-reviewed journal (sometime in 2014). However, this would not be the end of it, as I am currently in the process of applying for PhD scholarships, for the purpose of further research into the origins and diversity of African hair.

For this study to succeed, Tina will need people to participate and donate hair for the analyses. The more samples she gets the better and more representative of people of African and/or Caribbean descent this research will be. She only needs five minutes of your time and a few strands of hair.

Over the next month, she will be recruiting participants. For those reading based in London – she will be hosting a drop-in session next week Friday, the 11th of October, in the centre of London and another event on Saturday the 26th of October with the help of the Cambridge University Afro-Caribbean Society titled African Hair: Evolution & History.

Please share this, blog, tweet, or even just talk about this to someone. We need to spread information like this. We’ve done enough complaining – now let’s take some action.

 

More about Tina Lasisi’s project:

Her blog: http://african-hair-diversity.tumblr.com/

[Here you can find all the information you need about the study, and what participation entails]

The Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/africanhairdiversity

[By “liking” you will remain updated on events for participation, as well as progress once the sample collection is completed]

Her Twitter account: https://twitter.com/tealass22

[You can also remain updated by following]

 

As usual, I’d love to know how you get on. More importantly – let’s support and encourage this ground-breaking research and a woman who has gone out of her way to go “the road less travelled.” I’m getting a bit cheesy here but I’m just so happy that we’re breaking past just the aesthetics of our hair and learning more about the science behind it. The knowledge will ultimately help us in bettering our hair care and eventually our bodies also.

 

Goodluck  to Oladuni Tina Rissicat Lasisi,

Division of Biological Anthropology; University of Cambridge

 

EXHIBITS | Origins of the Afro Comb

Comb made from strips of cane. Cameroon, 20th Century. © Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

6,000 years of culture, politics and identity …

The 6,000-year history of the Afro Comb, its extraordinary impact on cultures worldwide, and community stories relating to hair today are being explored in an exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology in Cambridge.

The exhibit has been open to the public since 2 July and will be available to view until 3 November 2013.

Curated by Sally-Ann Ashton, Senior Assistant Keeper, Antiquities, Fitzwilliam Museum and artist and writer Michael McMillan it exhibits how the traditional African comb has been used in the creation, maintenance, and decoration of hairstyles for both men and women for over 6 millennia.

Origins of the Afro Comb follows the evolution of the comb from pre-dynastic Egypt to modern-day, tracing the similarities in form and the remarkable diversity of designs found across Africa and the African Diaspora. The exhibition is a part of a legacy project to record how the comb is used today, with visitors being encouraged to contribute their personal stories and hairstyles both to the exhibition and to archives for future generations.

I have already contributed my story and I’m excited to see how it was included in the exhibit tomorrow! A group is heading to Cambridge tomorrow morning to support the great work that has been done to put this together and educate our communities.

14 sept

A digital interaction gallery will show projections of personal stories about combs and African type hair, as well as the contribution personal styling has had to play in maintaining and expressing cultural identity.

At the Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, the story is brought into the present with three connected contemporary art installations My Hair: Black Hair Culture, Style and Politics by artist and writer Michael McMillan.

Contributions from the widening public about their hair stories are being welcomed throughout the exhibition and beyond at the website http://www.originsoftheafrocomb.co.uk/.

Ashton commented: “Regardless of where you are and whether you visit the exhibition, we would love to hear from anybody who uses the combs today, who thinks about hair styles and what they might mean in general, or who might just be interested in cultural history at a global scale.

One of the most important displays in the exhibition is a case of combs with lost histories. They have no story because it was never recorded at the time; now we have no way of knowing. With enough contributions from the public we can create an important archive reflecting a unique part of our global culture today, and continue the story for future generations.”

This project is partially supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

2 July to 3 November 2013 The Fitzwilliam Museum
Trumpington Street, Cambridge CB2 1RB
2 July to 28 September 2013 The Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology
Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3DZ

BOTH VENUES OPENING HOURS:

Tuesday – Saturday: 10.00 – 17.00

Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays: 12.00 – 17.00

GLOWWBOX Launch Tomorrow!

GlowwBox_single_web_2000px14dc2c055a5f

Hi my lovelies,

Remember my little blurb about Glowwbox a while back?

Well they’re finally launching tomorrow at 3PM!

Memberships will be limited and will be available on a first come, first serve basis, so act fast to make sure you grab yours and don’t miss out!

Everyone who subscribes this Saturday and uses code: ‘GLOWWME13′ at checkout, will get 200 bonus Glowwpoints that can be used towards claiming a free GlowwBox!

If you do get a box please let us know how you felt about it here by leaving a comment.

You can join in the celebration on Facebook or tweet/instagram with @glowwbox and #GBxLaunch

Have fun ladies!

With Love,

Nwadiogo x

OOTD | British Summertime Brunch

Hi Ladies and Gents!

On Saturday my dear friend Naomi treated me to brunch at Dane’s Yard in Stratford. It’s our favourite restaurant and it was great to catch up after my four weeks away on holiday. I will fill you guys in on that ASAP!

She doesn’t go anywhere without her iPad so we took a few cheeky snaps in the sunshine while we still have it!

Whose outfit do you like more? Lol we love a bit of competition between us – nothing mean-spirited – we’re big children really Lol!

Naomi Dane Yard photo (3) photo (4) photo

Event | African Culture & Health Awareness Day

Hello beautiful,

I recently found out about an event that looks quite interesting – so I thought I’d share the details with you!

Neter Vital  Health  and A-Mawu have come together to host their second African Culture & Health Awareness Day!

It will be held on Sunday, 27 October 2013 from 2pm to 8.30pm at Hilton London Tower Bridge, 5 More London Place, SE1 2BY.

A-Mawu is a  non-profit organization which aims to provide African  entrepreneurs a platform to showcase their business, offering opportunities to network and promote themselves. They transmit the love for Africa through arts, dance, fashion and business.

Neter Vital is a Natural Health organization which specialises in the manufacturing, retailing, and distribution of its own branded cosmetics including alternative and complimentary ailments. They are also known for the organising and running of workshops to provide and promote healthy living and general wellbeing.

Their show’s focus, which I’m quite excited about, is to showcase the best in African creative culture. I think that’s wonderful (perhaps my recent trip to Ghana has heightened my excitement for this type of event…)

They will be presenting workshops and activities in:

  • Natural Health – including diet / nutritional advice and updates
  • Beauty and Wellbeing (including beautician sessions for attendees)
  • Business and Enterprise Development
  • Networking & Social Media Marketing

I believe these events are needed because there are so many great businesses out there that need more exposure. I’d like to see more African and Caribbean businesses in the spotlight, so I hope these sessions are well attended.

They will also have speakers, including:

  • Julian Hall, Professional Speaker & #1 Best Selling Author
  • Stephen Ssali,  Director Of Mariandina Foundation Research
  • Sophia Bailey, Motivational Speaker

Other activities and entertainment will include:

  • African Fashion shows
  • Live music
  • Traditional African Dance (I’m not sure on the specifics of the dance yet)
  • Raffles and Giveaways

There will be stalls and vendors so take a little spending money!

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

Tickets: £9 in advance  £12  on the door /  Under 16s Free

Website: http://www.healthawarenessday.com/tickets/

Eventbrite Page: http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/7698623791/

Tickets can be purchased from the following London locations:

East: Y. Wait: 98 Woodstreet Indoor Market, Walthamstow E17 3XH

West: D’jed Bookstore: 10 Adelaide Grove, W12 0JJ – Tel. 020 8743 1985

South: All Eyes On Egipt, 25 Brixton Station Road, SW9 8PB – Tel. 02079788321