I always say the natural hair community is a different beast, because the decision to “go natural” or as some prefer “return to natural” requires transitioning and a deeper look at one’s self. For many of us, the beginning can be difficult, and we start to question almost everything we have been taught. We begin to research everything for a greater understanding, so I often find that the connections I make at these events are deeper. Therefore, attending a natural hair event is always enlightening but there is also a sense of connecting with a part of your tribe you did not know existed. Last weekend we attended the Mississippi Natural Hair Expo presented by Curls on the University of Southern Mississippi’s campus in Hattiesburg, as a media sponsor and were educated on how natural hair is more than just fashion and style while also meeting and networking with natural product brands, business owners, and lovers.
The following workshops took place:
Taking the Scare Out of Natural Hair by Josie Bee
Choosing the Right Extensions by Shara McGilberry
Loving the Natural Self by moi (Francheska Felder)
Mothers & Daughters: Let’s Talk Natural Hair ft. Iamawog
Taking Care of Your Hair Under There by CURLS featuring of Melody Washington
Science Never Looked This Good: A scientific approach to understanding what works and doesn’t work for your by Sister Scientist=
Natural U Class by Astoria Stubbs
Texture Talk by Tendai Morris
Being Natural in the Workplace: Perception vs Reality Charity Jones
Sisterlocs 101 by Precious Alridge
See event photos here.
Favorite Part of the Event:
Aside from speaking, because I do love that as well, I really enjoyed Sister Scientist’s presentation. As I have already stated when you decide to go natural, it is like a knowledge or information search. For me personally, that can get to be overwhelming, so I am not a product junkie (as some are called). I tend to stick with what works and keep it moving, so obviously (though it was not as obvious to me before), I tend to seek knowledge for one time use, but there are more wiser individuals, who retain their product and ingredient knowledge so that they can really tackle and tame their mane. If you are one of those, this workshop would have been perfect for you, but the fun part for me was Erica, the cosmetic chemist behind the brand. Her energy was contagious, taking chemistry, something that never could hold my attention, and making it fun yet informative. Her workshop was packed to the point whereas they physically came up with a plan to get all the attendees in the room before she started. Side note, she also used Curls products for live demonstrations.
This event was also a great opportunity for vendors, as we had enough room to move around and put your brand on display, but vendors were also allowed to do announce their promotions and present little add on’s like giveaways and even story readings, as Baton Rouge author, Joy Williams, did for her book, “Olivia and the Land of the Extra-Ordinary”.
WearArts Designz by Debbie
I would also like to add, the hospitality and commitment I saw from the Mississippi Natural Hair expo team under the direction of the event organizers, Kim Williams and Jennifer McDonald, was awesome. They were attentive and eager to assist however they could.
If you would like to learn more about the awesome presenters, be sure to scroll over their names, which link back to their sites. Stay tuned for next year’s event.
Photography by Willy Morgan of One Shot Photography.