Today I attended my first ever Natural Hair meet up ran by Rose Addori of Naturally United. Mk and I briefly went to the Afrocenchix meet up but we arrived very late and it was over soon after, so this was my first proper meet up. I decided to take my lil sister ‘K’ as she is currently transitioning an because she’s only 14 and wearing braids as a protective style. I thought it would be a good learning experience for both of us.
So ‘K’ and I went along to naturally United. We arrived at 12.00 pm (Black People Time the event started at 11.00,lol) but when we arrived we hadn’t missed any workshops as yet. There were a variety of stalls/vendors there such as: Naturally Sexy, Mahogany Naturals, I love Afro, Black and Brown, Almond and Avocado, Lux hair and body products, Naturally Nubian, BeUnique hair, Gidore, TrueVine Organics. (Sorry if I’ve missed anyone out)
To be honest, I had only heard of Mahogany Naturals, Be Unique, Black and Brown and Gidore so it was great to see a lot of vendors that I hadn’t heard of and see their products. I also really appreciated the fact that there were body products there as well, especially for my young sister who has eczema. She sampled a lot of different products on her hands and there was no itching. This is VERY rare, so we have made a note of those products and we will definitely be getting some skin care products for her in the future.
The vendors were all very friendly, approachable and took the time to chat to us and explain their range. This is very important from a new natural/transition perspective because I for one, am in a stage where I’m soaking up information and trying to find staple products that work for my hair, so finding out what’s out there and being able to sample products was great.
We also found the workshops very informative. Marcia Coke who is also the founder of True Vine skincare gave a talk on the 9 laws of health, (H: Healthy Diet, E: Exercise, A:Alternative lifestyle, L:Lots of water, T: Tranquil Rest, H: Have faith, I:Iinspiration of Air, E:Everything in moderation, R: Rays of sunshine) (HEALTHIER). Annette Clark Headley of Almond and Avacado gave a talk on complimentary therapy and the benefits of having regular treatments with a professional. Tope of Mahogany Naturals did two quick 10 minute hairstyles that you can do on un-prepped hair in the morning if you are in a Rush. 2 ladies from Hair by MH/Bespoke Hair who spoke mainly about sisterlocking, but also about hairlosss. Their session was in a Q and A style, and answered a lot of questions that people may have about the sister locking process. It was a very informative workshop and I learnt alot. One tip I learnt from them was if you DIY make sure you have someone checking your hair from above every now and then because you cant see if you are causing damage to your hair. Sometime we may be causing hairloss on our own head but we are unaware because we cant see it. Another point they made is pain is not normal. If you are experiencing pain when someone is doing your hair then that is not a good thing. To close,a lady from Body Gossip talked briefly about the project and how they are trying to show the diversity of bodies that make the UK.You can write a short peice about how you feel about your body and for it to be acted by a celebrity cast.
Mahogany Naturals demonstration:
There was also a BIG give away. There were a lot of products given by various companies, both attending and absent (this included 2 heutiful Steamers). We were all given 2 raffle tickets each on entry to the event and at the end of the event there was a raffle. ‘K’ and I were lucky to win some products. I will include these in a haul post as I bought some products from different vendors at Naturally United.
All in all I really enjoyed this event. Rose Addori (bless her, she was on crutches) was zipping around during the event making sure everything went smoothly. I must say that she looked after us very well. There was water and tea/coffee provided throughout, on arrival there were a variety of snacks, there was lunch provided AND after lunch there were cupcakes. (I didn’t take food pics as I was busy eating. lol). Also when the event was over we all got goody bag with samples of many different products. I definitively think it was worth it and Rose Addori looked after the ‘customers’ well. There were some minor timing issues, we felt like we were waiting a long time for the next workshop, as well as acoustic issues: because we were in the same room as the vendors, it was sometimes difficult to hear what was being said as there was sound from people chatting to vendors and purchasing that we could hear in the workshops. But that is to be expected sometimes. Apart from these minor issues, the event was enjoyable and informative both for me and my lil sister and we would definitely attend again.