Wednesday, 1 June 2011

The Afro Hair & Beauty Show 2011

The Afro Hair and Beauty Show 2011

On Monday I went to the Afro Hair & Beauty Show in London.
It was their 30th anniversary but this was my first time attending, and despite the bad reviews and lack of Natural Hair, I'm still kinda glad I did.

Click Here to see All the Photos of the Show
As far as Natural hair goes it left a lot to be desired. Most of the emphasis was on weaves or straight hair. There were some Natural stalls but I definitely think it could have been a lot better. As someone tweeted earlier today "Natural Hair needs better PR!" I couldn't agree more, so I guess I'll keep blogging and promoting with the rest of #TeamNatural.

Besides the main stage, the BIGGEST stands were run by the biggest names like Sensationnel (i.e Remi Goddess weaves) who also had their own stage, followed by Sleek Hair (more weaves), Black Beauty and Hair (The Magazine), Mazuri Organics/ Pak.
Note - Most of their advertising plaques are massive pictures of Black women with straight hair/ weaves....
The Sleek Hair Stand
The Sensationnel Stage
The Sensationnel Stage & Till
The Mazuri & Pak Stand
I know it makes sense that the biggest money-makers have the biggest stalls but then where's the celebration of Afro hair? (I WAS at the Afro Hair and Beauty Show, Right?)
The ratio of celebration of natural hair to straight hair/ weaves, was incredibly disproportionate.
Click Here to see all the Photos from the show
Obviously it's not just the fault of the show - they cant control how the big companies advertise, but they could have made the effort on the main stage, which again was dominated by straight hair styles and weaves... Oh well.
Click Here to see All the Photos from the Show

Click Here to see All the Photos of the Show
If I was still into weaves or relaxing my hair then maybe I would have given the stage more time, but I quickly lost interest. The most interesting thing I saw was the style inspired by The 2012 London Olympics...

Inspired by the London 2012 Olympics
The only Afro hair styled models I spotted (There may have been others I didn't see)
It was good to see products that are difficult to find or aren't sold in shops here in the UK like Mixed Chicks and Jane Carter; but my personal highlight was meeting Cathy Howse, author of Ultra Black Hair Growth II...
Click here for my Book Review of UBH II
She was so lovely. I spoke with her for a while and asked her about some of the things she said in her book that I had questions about such as not trimming or brushing.
Click here to see All the Photos from the Show
I had a few more questions but I didn't wana grill the woman.
My favourite thing about her was how genuine she seemed and in case there were any doubters (like my cousin) she showed us her scalp just to prove it wasn't weave or hair implants (as my cousin suggested, lol).  It's definitely ALL HER REAL HAIR!
One of the smaller stalls that got my attention was T444Z. I'd never seen or heard of it before but these 2 girls with wonderful hair handed us a flyer.
Click Here to see All the Photos of the Show
They weren't pushy at all but as soon I asked them if I could take a pic of their hair, they suddenly had loads to say. In short they insisted that the product was the reason for why their hair looked great.
Click Here to see All The Photos of the Show
Wish I'd have got a pic of the stall, because most if not all the women selling it seemed to have great,healthy natural hair. I haven't used hair oil since learning about my natural hair because most of them contain Mineral Oil or Petroleum, but to my surprise T444Z DOES NOT CONTAIN Mineral Oil or Petroleum!
Im tempted but it'll have to wait till I've got a spare £12.
I wish their distribution and website was more professional though, it'd be a little more reassuring for such an expensive product.

Another Stall offering some lovely Natural Products was Arise and Shine Cosmetics. It was the lady who makes the products' hair that attracted me to the stall (the fact that she was also from South London was just a bonus, lol)...
Click here to See All the Photos from the Show

Click here to See All the Photos from the Show
Not only did she tell me that my hair type is 4a, she also told me about an  up and coming Natural Health and Beauty event in Croydon called Keep It Real , unfortunately the only details I have about are on the flyer she gave me (below):

Natural Health & Beauty Show at Fairfield Halls, Croydon on 16th Oct 2011 £10
The LOWEST point of the show was seeing a stall for Fair & White.
There's SOO much wrong with this, I dont know where to begin...
I spent about 2 hours at the show and the only hair related product I left with was a sample Jane Carter's Leave-In Conditioner (Thanks Ladies). 
One lady told me the show used to give away goodie-bags - I highly suggest they  start doing this again, or that the vendors be a little less tight with the samples. I dont think the seminars were too great as the crowds and the surroundings were so loud and distracting. 
In the end the only thing I bought were books - 6 in total, for just £20. They were mainly about black culture, but it would have been good if their were a stall for black hair books.
Natural Hair definitely needs a much larger platform there, but if the Afro Hair and Beauty Show won't give it to us, we'll have to create it for ourselves -
Im on the case!

To See the COMPLETE PHOTO ALBUM click here: 

What did you think?

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