Thanks for stopping by! This is my corner of the blogosphere where I'm keeping track of
styles/techniques/products, lessons learned, my to-do list, and favourite links.
Feel free to offer any comments, feedback, or advice - I'm learning as I go !


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Toronto Natural Hair and Beauty Show 2011

It's taken me a while to write about it, but the Toronto Natural Hair and Beauty Show was simply incredible.

JJ and K at the Toronto Natural Hair Show!
I have never seen so many beautiful hairstyles - and so many natural hair products - all in one place. I was too busy taking it all in to remember to take photos, but you can check out these slide shows from the Natural Hair Show website

I was literally like a kid in a candy store. I had a very modest budget and spent it very quickly, which was exciting (there's nothing like retail therapy!). But the best part by far was connecting with workshop facilitators and participants, as well as the many vendors. I could go on forever - so I'm going to try to concentrate on favourites:

FAVOURITE VENDORS

The product selection from the people at Honey Fig was amazing. I saw all kinds of products I'd only ever seen in the blogosphere (seriously, click on that link to see the incredible selection!). The staff were very knowledgeable and helpful. There is a retail store in Toronto, and Honey Fig will ship their great selection of products to Canada AND the US.  Did you click on that product link yet?

The people from The Natural Beauty Shop were so warm and approachable. They had great information about Hair Analysis and Building a Hair Regimen. They also provide a very unique service - In-Home Natural Hair Consultation Shows - where  they will do a hair analysis and personalize a hair regimen for each guest. A "Hair Party" is DEFINITELY on my to-do list!! 

Finally, the people from i HEART my hair were awesome. Their website is undergoing maintenance and is soon to relaunch, but you can check out the i Heart my hair facebook page here. They were selling these lovely T-shirts:

Source: http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=253748768003137&set=pu.103856122992403&type=1&theater
Sadly, I was out of money by the time I reached their booth ): but I hope to buy one of their shirts asap!

FAVOURITE LOCAL FIND

The couple from Eli's Body Shop were unbelievably nice. I spent a lot of time looking at and smelling their wonderful natural products. I got a very good ((off-list)) price on this Organic Shea Oil with Lemongrass. It smells amazing. So far I've used it on JJ's and Daddy D's hair, and am hoping to incorporate this oil (and it's delicious scent) into some of my upcoming homemade concoctions (stay tuned)!!

FAVOURITE NON-LOCAL FIND

Although I've read a lot about Taliah Waajid products I've never seen them in Canada. I asked the vendor at the Taliah Waajid booth what she would recommend for little brother K's multiple curl-pattern 'fro. She suggested the Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier. I wasn't sure, so she convinced me by trying some out right then and there. After a few sprays and a little rubbing, his curls looked refreshed and shiny. I picked up a bottle at a very good price. After checking out this review at Happy Girl Hair once I got home, I transferred the product to a better spray bottle and diluted it with 2 parts water to one part Bodifier. Especially diluted with water I feel this product is a great value and works wonders for K's hair (review with photos coming soon).

FAVOURITE SEMINAR

The day before the event I was reviewing the program. One of the many seminars that caught my eye was this one:

Natural Hair and Natures Waves: A business
Mariam Ibrahim and Donna Kakonge
Did you know hairstyling has always been a major way for black women to earn an income? Mariam Ibrahim who left her government job to start a natural hair business and Donna Kakonge who received funding from the University of Toronto to study natural hair at the doctoral level will share their story.

Participants will learn tips and techniques on how they can use natural hair to finance many of the dreams that they have or turn the art of working in the natural hair care field as a dream in itself. They will also learn the dos and donts of loc maintenance.

I could not believe my eyes! Donna Kakonge is my neighbour and friend! We have spoken many times about many things, and I have often admired her natural hair, BUT I had **no idea** she was facilitating a workshop at the Show AND studying natural hair at a doctoral level!! And she had no idea that I had a little natural hair blog!! It goes to show that sometimes we have resources and connections in our own backyards that we don't know about.

I ran over to her place to share my excitement, but she wasn't home, so I decided I would surprise her by attending her seminar. The kids' nap schedules did not cooperate, so I arrived slightly late for her seminar and snuck in at the back. By the time I got there, the discussion had turned to loc maintenance, which was great since I am a relative newbie at taking care of Daddy D's locs. People started talking more generally about natural hair and hair care, and much to my surprise, Donna saw me and shouted me out in front of the whole group, bigging up my cornrowing skills! Everyone turned to look at me and although I'm sure I blushed a little I was very proud of myself and how far I've come over the last couple years. I mean, I have gone from knowing nothing about natural hair care...to being shouted out by a facilitator at the Natural Hair Show!

FAVOURITE MOMENT

I loved sharing this experience with my family. Big brother took a pass, but Daddy D, JJ and K all came with me. We also ran into our friends Mama L and her gorgeous daughters O and Baby T. Daddy D generously offered to take O, JJ and K so that Mama L and I could ran around and look at products. I loved scanning the room and seeing them all holding hands, checking out the vendors. They got a lot of attention - one big natural with three little naturals in tow! 

O, Daddy D, JJ and K checkin things out
For those of you who haven't yet had the chance to go to a Natural Hair Show in your area, I highly recommend it. It's an incredible way to learn from and connect with others interested in natural hair. And there's so much to see (and BUY)! I can't wait for next year!!

4 comments:

  1. Alright now!! Seems like you had a blast!! :)

    Great read!

    Char~

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  2. I've been patiently waiting for this post! I'm so glad you had a great time, it sounds like a lot of fun! I'm def going to be looking for one in my area, now

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  3. Looks like some great products! Thanks for sharing!

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