The Struggles of a British Curly Girl with Candi Curls

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Starting a natural hair journey is a hard road to begin. Knowing where to start, the decision between doing a big chop or transitioning, and finding out what works for you. There are so many brands which cater to natural and sometimes specifically curly hair, so it should be easy to get your hands on right? Wrong. I live in Manchester, England and I can tell you now that finding products is a struggle. With most natural hair products being both expensive and made in the united states, I am left with few options. I have had bad experiences on this hair journey to keep up to date with the latest products and brands and I hope sharing this article can shed some light on the struggle of a British curly girl.

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There are some brands, which you just can not get in any store in the UK. Brands such as DevaCurl and Ouidad, a lot of the Shea Moisture range to name a few, just aren’t on the shelves in natural hair shops. As a product junkie and hair blogger, I follow a lot of curly girls on Instagram and like to try out what everyone is talking about. I want to stay current and up to date, and I want the amazing results I see girls getting.

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I remember when I first saw results of DevaCurl. Every single girl I saw use this brand, had amazing results! I have one hair store which is my go-to, because they try to keep the UK up to date, but even they didn’t have this on their website. I checked on the DevaCurl website and when it got to the shipping section it said “no rates available.” I emailed them desperate to find a way to get my hands on it. The response I got, directed me to a site which ships to the UK. Great right? If I wanted to pay a HUGE shipping fee. A $28 product was going to cost me over $80 with shipping! A quick google search brought up another website which had some of this brand and had a lower shipping fee. With a discount code it was letting me order 2 products for £30 ($42.29). Excited I placed my order and waited nearly a month for it to arrive. When it finally did I was hit with a nasty surprise. A note had been delivered informing me that my package was being held at my local courier until I paid a customs fee of £15 ($21.14).

I see girls in the states get discounts, sales, free shipping, etc on these top brands and over here in the UK we just watch and wish. Thankfully DevaCurl is one of the brands that my go-to website has made available, but even they aren’t up to date with the newer range and the price is still really high. When you are actively online watching everything, it is easy to feel very left out. There are so many curly girls over in the UK, so why not cater to us as well? This is not limited to just hair products either. Tools are every bit as important to the hair journey as products and just as hard to get hold of. Yes denman brushes are available in some stores, but just the basics. Why not everything? When starting my journey, research was the first thing that I did. What is everyone using right now? Who has a hair type most similar to mine? None of this mattered when I realized that any of these things weren’t available to me.

There are very few afro hair shops, in fact none in my area, I have to travel into the city centre or to the more “ethnic” areas. Supermarkets do not have an afro hair section, some drug stores and pharmacies stock a few products from brands like Cantu and ORS, a few Shea Moisture products, but anything new and current is an online job and includes a shipping fee. As a natural hair blogger, I get a lot of people who will email me asking me about certain products and the first thing I ask them about is their routine. When they mention the products they are using, or asking which one out of a few they should buy, I am useless in giving advice. How can I comment on what I can not have?

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Thankfully there are a lot of British brands and brands shipping to the UK at a low rate that are starting to come up with products. People like OnlyCurlsLondon, Curlsmith and Boucleme are just a few brands which we are able to get without the hassle. These are only available on line though. If I was to go to a store and do a product haul recording, the brands would either be outdated, unheard of, or non existent!

With the natural hair movement being so huge right now, and with all the struggles we already go through in this journey, it is quite sad that something as simple as shopping for products can be so stressful. The high shipping, on top of already expensive products can leave someone broke.

I hope that one day, these brands choose to make their products more readily available not just to the states, but to the whole world.

Written By Candi Curls

Our brand ambassador Candice is giving you all 25% off all products at CURLSMITH until April 16, 2018 for reading today!

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The Struggles of a British Curly Girl


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