I’m so excited to interview fellow Brit and YouTube vlogger-extraordinaire Laila of Fusion of Cultures (some of you may know her as Neffy Fro Fro). She’s been forging the way for many European naturals with over a whopping 120k followers on YouTube and 30k followers on Instagram. I caught up with Laila to find out how she got started, what she plans on next and where she gets her products in lovely London-town!
1. You’re one of YouTube’s most popular naturals, yet unlike most popular vloggers you’re based in London, UK. Is there a vibrant community of naturals in the UK like there is in many parts of the US?
There definitely is, however, it’s on a much smaller scale in comparison to the States. Over the last few years it’s getting stronger. We’re seeing a lot more natural hair related events and a lot of the big US hair brands have been launching here. It’s exciting!
2. Do you feel removed from the US natural community at all or do you find there are equal opportunities for you as a vlogger in the UK?
I hate to say it but I do feel removed being in the UK, the opportunities to grow and take part in things just isn’t here. From what I can see the natural hair community is more supportive of vloggers and each other in general.
3. Why did you decide to document your natural hair journey on YouTube?
At the time, I was part of a hair care site called KISS and people would always ask me to make videos but i didn’t really take it seriously. Then while I was transitioning I realised that there weren’t many women like myself sharing their transition or should I say long term transition. I told a few friends what I was thinking and they encouraged and pushed me to do it.
4. Are product lines like Carol’s Daughter and Miss Jessie’s readily available in the UK or are there other popular brands that naturals use? Which are your favorites?
I think Carol’s Daughter launched here exclusively at some store but I cant remember which one. We also have Miss Jessie’s in most beauty salons I believe. One of my fav UK brands is BeUnique Hair Care and my US spot would have to go to Entwine Couture and Indigofera Beauty.
5. Are you recognized a lot on the streets of London?! I’m sure your hair gets a lot of attention!
LOL! Well I would say a lot, but I meet my subbies here there and everywhere. In fact, I moved to another city for university and met a few of them. It’s really nice to meet people that actually give up their time to watch me and interact with me.
Fusion of Cultures isn’t just about hair, I want to use my platform to touch lives in a positive way.
6. Is Fusion of Cultures planning to expand in the future?
I hope so! I’ve been low key selling jewellery, whipped hair & body butters and I plan to introduce body scrubs. I’ll also be starting workshops for young girls with a few of my blogger followers focusing on self esteem and confidence this summer. Fusion of Cultures isn’t just about hair, I want to use my platform to touch lives in a positive way.
7. How were you able to build such a large following on social media – YouTube and Instagram in particular?
I believe it mostly comes down to being an activate part of the community, especially when it comes to YouTube. It’s important to be visible and to be present, the rest comes down to the people and whether they like what they see and hear. I try to connect to people as mush as possible, after all that’s what social media is all about.
8. What’s the one piece of practical advice you wish you’d known when you first went natural?
I wish someone would have told me that wearing wash ‘n’ go’s every day wasn’t for everybody… lol. I was so excited about by hair when I cut my relaxed ends that I wore wash n go’s every day for like 3 weeks. I had so many single strand knots that I ended up trimming my hair within a month of being natural. Stretched styles are more practical for some of us.