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