CW Insider: My London Glossary by Freddie Harrel
Freddie Harrel, 31, Parisian-born, London-based entrepreneur, style blogger, founder of Big Hair No Care and SHE Unleashed talks afros, acupuncture and staying sane in the city
Culture Whisper: You have an amazing Afro, who are your hair heroes?
Freddie Harrel: I go to Charlotte Mensah, Hair Lounge on Portobello Road. She is a genius, and she’s just been inducted into the British Hairdressing Awards Hall of Fame. Plus, my Big Hair No Care extensions. I love a huge Afro, and my real hair doesn’t have anywhere near as much volume. I wash my hair every other week, and I make a day of it – I’ll apply Coconut oil religiously because it solves so many of my problems.
CW: Tell us about ‘Big Hair No Care’?
FH: Big Hair No Care started because I absolutely love a huge Afro. My hair has much less volume, so I add extensions. Previously, I used human hair but wasn’t a huge fan, so I started doing a bit of research into synthetic options on the high street – none fit my criteria, so I found a supplier and designed the extensions I wanted. Everything happened so quickly. My line offers clip-in extensions, which are made to match your texture. You don’t need to wash, condition, or detangle them, so they are really great for people who don’t have much time to spend on extensions or the skills if they aren’t great at hair styling. The aim is to make the natural hair experience faster, easier and more inclusive. Big Hair No Care is a hair business, but it’s also a self-confidence business, a self-love business and a business by and for black women.
FH: Nails and Brows on Berkeley Street is my go-to place for mani, pedi and they do the best job on eyebrows!
CW: Your skincare secrets?
FH: I never used to have much of a skincare regime and never really took it seriously. I make sure I drink loads of water and indulge in facemasks to keep my skin looking hydrated and fresh. I’m also obsessed with serums and SPF.
CW: What’s your biggest Beauty extravagance?
FH: I had a lot of my body hair lasered off; don’t ask me why I’m still not too sure!
CW: What’s your idea of bliss?
FH: Being with my family and friends. I have the most amazing support team, my husband, my mum, and my friends. It would probably just be the perfect day spent with my family, my beautiful son – a day full of love and laughter is the best.
CW: Any alternative health gurus?
FH: I love acupuncture, I have a wonderful acupuncturist near where I live, Kennington Osteopaths & Physiotherapy, it’s made such a big difference to my stomach and stress problems.
CW: What wellness concoctions are in your medicine cabinet?
FH: I don’t eat meat – so I always take iron and turmeric vitamin supplements.
CW: Any feel-good items you couldn’t live without?
FH: The Eve Sleep mattress, our bed is a magical place, Boy Brow by Glossier, and lip balms – I have quite a few scattered around the house.
CW: How do stay sane in the city?
FH: I always say, make sure you take some time out and time for you. London is particularly fast paced and can become quite stressful if you don’t allow yourself time for self-care. I often take time to myself, I checkout of social media, switch off my phone and get into a book, or a bath, or both. I’m really good at disappearing, I need it sometimes.
CW: Your favourite spa space and why?
FH: Gazelli House is a gorgeous and peaceful haven, really restoring.
CW: Secret spot to walk, run, or get some air?
FH: Kennington Park because it’s close to where I live.
CW: Any beauty tips you’d like to share?
FH: Wear SPF all day every day, whatever the weather. They even make finishing sprays with SPF so you can leave it as a final step to your routine.
FH: I’m working with them to support people who, like me, aren’t working the traditional 9-5 anymore. People are setting up their own side hustles because they want to see changes in the world and feel empowered to make those changes themselves. Anything I can do to help bring these ideas to life is an honour.
To launch the Mate 20 Pro, I’m giving away one of three £10,000 bursaries for one lucky winner to take their passion project to the next level. This is a fantastic opportunity to give someone the financial boost to get started; I can’t wait to see all of the creative ideas. For more details log onto: www.huaweinewworkingorder.co.uk by the 10th December.