On www.LondonCurls.com, I love sharing the experiences of men and women from all around the world – not just our beautiful city. In this article, the lovely Nandi aka @HairOfHeritage, returns to the blog to share what the natural hair scene is like in Sweden, how she has contributed to the scene and gives us an idea of how she thinks it will grow in the future. Enjoy!
When I first started blogging about natural hair in 2011 it was partly because there was no “natural hair community” in Sweden. I searched online using different search words to find something, anything based in Sweden, but all I found were a very few inactive blogs. For a while I debated if I should start a webshop or a blog, but settled on a blog as writing is a passion of mine. I also wanted to create what I felt was missing; a platform for Scandinavian Naturalistas to find information and tips. Over time the blog has grown and so has the natural hair community. Bloggers and vloggers have popped up and some of them with a great amount of followers (links to blogs/vlogs can be found on my blog).
There have been “afro hair salons” and “afro hair [product] shops” in Sweden for many years, but the knowledge about different types of natural afro hair has been varied and usually limited to relaxed hair and different styles of braiding. As you don’t need any kind of training to open up a hair salon in Sweden anyone can do it, and this is quite clear when you go to some of the the Afro salons that are available.
As far as product goes, the bigger cities do have places where products aimed at “black hair” can be purchased, however unfortunately the quality for product varies. Many still order products from the USA or the UK, but a few webshops have popped up and better products are coming on to the Swedish market as well.
In the beginning of 2014 Sofie Asmait started a Facebook group called “Afrotalk – hårforum för dig med curly/kinky hår i Sverige.” This group grew very quickly in the first couple of days, with a lot of exciting responses from the group members. This is basically a group for anyone with afro textured hair to bring up an array of topics related to hair.
In April of 2014 I joined forces with two other Swedish bloggers and hosted the event “Sthlm Loves Curls,” all the 30 spots were filled in less than a day for this event. It was the first event of it’s kind here in Sweden, and it was something many of the attendees had been waiting to attend for a long time. Since this event a few other events have taken place over the year, to my knowledge only in Stockholm.
This year I’ve taken the next step with starting to host workshops, lectures and one on one consultations – filling a void that has been there for long. Even though there is so much information accessible online people want to speak to an actual person to better learn to care for their hair or their children’s hair.
In the future I predict more natural hair events, salons, products etc. in Sweden. The black/African community is coming together on many levels in Sweden; things are changing. I hope these positive changes as far as building community and coming together will carry on and grow; also trickling down into the natural hair scene.