hair and beauty products

Photo: bournbeautifulnaturals.uk

 

Named after the town of Bournville and the small brook that runs through it, Bourn Beautiful Naturals specialises in handmade vegetarian and vegan products for curly/kinky hair and healthy skin.

Want to know more about the brand and the woman behind it? We caught up with PhD researcher and lecturer Kadian Pow to talk the company's beginnings, her biggest inspirations and how she’ll be protecting her hair this winter…


What is your background?

I was born in Jamaica, and then grew up in Washington DC.  After marrying a Brit, I moved to Birmingham,UK.  My professional background has been in museum education and workshop facilitation. 


Tell us about your paper 'Deregulating Blackness and Radical Being-ness in the Age of Trump and Brexit'?  What themes does it explore?

It is my first published piece as an academic, and I'm proud of it. The chapter uses the 2016 Brexit vote and American presidential election of Donald Trump as a launching point for listening to the voices most ignored in those campaigns: those of Black women. The chapter focuses on learning from the ways in which American and British Black women navigated volatile political times by tackling small regimes of domination. Secondly, attempts to recover the term 'radicality and blackness' by examining them from an interior, emotional place. 

 

Is collaboration important in your work?

Collaboration has been very important to me as a brand owner. I learned that collaborating horizontally, when you are a small brand, is extremely important because you are helping to boost more than just yourself. I look for people with energy, enthusiasm and clarity of mission/goal.  

Kadian Pow wearing a yellow coat and burgundy beret

Photo: Kadian Pow wears the Chidora Classic Beret in Damson


How did Bourn Beautiful Naturals begin?

I had a lot of anxiety around trying to afford part-time tuition to start my PhD. Bourn Beautiful Naturals began as a self-care hobby in the summer of 2014 because reading about cosmetic chemistry and applying what I had learned helped relieve that anxiety.  It was productive in a way that was not yet tangible with the jumbled ideas of my dissertation.  I had no intention to start a brand. I was trying to make a conditioner to the exact specifications I needed. After 7 attempts at that, I got it right and wondered what other hair and skin problems I could work on. 

 

What ingredients do you gravitate towards for your products?

I love hempseed oil- the texture, the consistency, the health benefits for both hair and skin. And I put hibiscus flower extract in whatever I can because it's a great strengthener and helps with volume - something my fine-strand hair suffers from.  

 

 What tips do you have for caring for your hair and scalp over the colder months?

Even if you protective-style your hair in the winter months to protect it from the weather and manipulation, don't neglect to keep your scalp clean. A clogged and dirty scalp inhibits growth of healthy hair.  

 

What do you look for in winter accessories?

Warmth. I like fur-lined things for my hands and feet because I have raynauds disease, so my extremities do not get proper circulation.  For my hair, I look for hats that are lined with silk or satin on the inside to protect my hair from too much friction.  

Kadian Pow photo portrait

Photo: twitter.com/kadianpow


Do you have a hobby?

My hobby is being overprotective of my two Shih Tzu-Maltese  

 

Describe a book that has inspired you?

Two very different books with the term 'quiet' in them have been personally and professionally inspirational to me. The personal one is 'Quiet' by Susan Cain . The second is 'The Sovereignty of Quiet: Beyond Resistance in Black Culture', by Kevin Quashie.  Cain's book helped inspire confidence in me as an Introvert and empath because it talks about the value that we contribute to the world. I used to think something was wrong with me. Secondly, Quashie's book talked about blackness in a way I had felt, but was never able to to deftly articulate. It emboldened the direction of my dissertation, helping me to better articulate the never-ending trap fo the representation discourse. 

 

Describe a person who has inspired you?

My grandmother is still my greatest inspiration and has had the most lasting affect on me. I get my optimism, quick-to-laugh nature and determination from her 

 

Describe a place that has inspired you?

I love being in India. I have been to several states in the North and South three times now. It is an inexhaustible place with so many contradictions, great food, and amazing, diverse landscapes. I am able to relax there. It is not a place I am able to visit too frequently, so any environment with a beach pretty much is a favourite!

 

Describe a movement that has inspired you?

The natural hair movement is very inspirational. I guess I see it as a component of the larger project of the Movement for Black Liberation. Embracing our natural hair is part of discarding harmful socialization that endeavoured to make us feel inferior to some European ideal, which is itself a constructed lie. I just love seeing Black people flaunt their god-given Africanness. Given what we have been made to believe about African people, flaunting and loving ourselves is quite radical. 

 

 

For more information about Kadian and her brand, visit kadianpow.com and bournbeautifulnaturals.uk

Follow @bbnaturalsuk on Instagram & Twitter