The Afro hair and beauty show 2014 – 28/7/2014

I’m not a huge fan of the event but it costs a tenner, it’s on my doorstep, so I go.


I follow my usual modus operandus.


I visit every stall methodically and collect every sample on offer.


And this is my litmus test. So far I have always come home with more samples that I can’t use rather than those that I can.


This is one of main reasons that the event isn’t entirely for me.  There aren’t enough natural products with natural ingredients being showcased.  It’s all about the usual suspects: sodium lauryl sulfate, silicones, petroleum and mineral oil.


But it’s a good day out I see a lot of afros styled to their finest, I can always pick up a discounted hair magazine subscription and I am entertained by the bull shit claims accompanying some of the lotions and potions on offer.


Is the Reversible Straightening Texture Manageability System (TMS) a case in point I wondered?  There was a big stage, a live tutorial, Felicia ‘the hair whisperer’ Underwood and an audience lapping up the free samples.  The TMS (let’s not mention the offensive product name again) makes some big promises.  It claims to be all things to all hair types.



The condensed spiel went something like this:


It’s a protein treatment leave-in; once flat ironed on the hair, the hair can remain straight for up to 6 weeks.  The leave-in alone (without flat ironing) on afro hair will pop your curls.  It’s a perfect relaxer substitute and the perfect product for managing a transition (between relaxed and afro hair); a win-win for everyone and there are no harsh chemicals.


Now I was seduced, not by the-straight-hair-for-6-weeks claim, (nothing would persuade me to put heat in my hair and commit to styling straight hair).  I was seduced by the fantasy that the inner active leave in conditioner could be the ultimate detangler.  I found myself considering the application of this 37-item-ingredient-list product to my hair…

This is what’s in the Inner Active Leave-in Conditioner


Aqua Glyoxyloyl carbocysteine Glyoxyloyl keratin amino acids Shea butter cetyl esters Behentrimonium methosulfate Shea Butter amidopropyl trimonium chloride
Hydrolyzed triticum vulgare protein Hydrolyzed avena sativa protein Hydrolyzed glycine soja protein Hydrolyzed vegetable protein Citrus aurantifolia peel oil Hydrogenated vegetable oil
Argan spinosa kernel oil Butyrospermum parkii fruit Olea europaea fruit oil Mangifera indica seed butter Cocos nucifera oil Prunus amygdalus oil
Citrus limon peel oil Citrus limon peel wax Phenoxyethanol TBHQ Cetearyl alcohol Butylene glycol
Cyclopentasilozane Dimethiconol Dimethicone cross polymer Silanetriol Panthenol Peg 90m
Isopropyl palmitate Polyquaternium 67 Methylchloroisothiazolinone Parfum, d-limonene hexyl cinnimal Methylisothiazolinone


It’s a long list; 37 products only 18 of which I recognize and understand the function of and even fewer of which I’m confident about the safety of.

That quelled the seduction. I’m a raw vegan I couldn’t put this largely unknown chemical product in my hair.

So it’s there in my cupboard along with the rest of the sample haul.