Kinky, curly, straight or soft, most naturals have a tendency of putting a label on their natural hair and in their quest to find the right regimen or products that will make them achieve the “perfect curls”, they end up experimenting with various expensive products that don’t necessarily work on their hair. Or how about when you decide to go to a hair salon, and end up frustrated with the way they handle your natural hair; the stares and attitude they give you, perceiving you as a Miss-know-it-all when you try to give them instructions on how to handle your hair in a gentle manner?
Maybe you’ve done it all, and gotten tired of the natural hair routines of twist outs and flat-twists and probably started contemplating SisterLocks. Or you probably find it overwhelming when it comes to taking care of your daughters hair and making them appreciate the beauty of natural hair at an early age.These were a few of the queries and topics that were addressed on the 30th of July, when the founder of Awali Naturals- Shirley Bee, decided to host an Afro Hair Festival brunch for stylists, natural hair bloggers and enthusiasts, alike at Jacaranda Hotel in Nairobi.
Despite the chilly weather outside, it was nice to see beautiful women showing off their beautiful manes, protective styles and bold hair colors at the event. From natural hair stylists, bloggers and natural hair products owners, the event was well represented, which gave the lovely audience a chance to interact with the key major players within the natural hair industry in Nairobi.
The event kicked off at 12 pm with some neo soul music from DJ Andre playing in the background while the lovely emcee for the day, vlogger and jewelry designer Angela from Malkia’s Lush welcomed the guests who slowly started streaming in.
After a short brunch, the audience was able to participate in hair talks and got a chance to interact with hair bloggers such as Nyamchomba Kariuki from Kurly Kichana, who shared their own personal hair journey. My highlight for the day was the Little Curls workshop, where Nina Odongo from My Big Fat Afro, shared her experience on how to take care of our little one’s hair with child friendly products that are locally available. The children were also well taken care of under the watchful eye of Cheeky Monkey, where they got to engage in various fun activities while the discussions were going on.
There was so much to learn from Awali’s Afro Hair Festival; from the products ingredients workshop by Mumbi Muturi Muli from Harvest of Sunshine who spoke at length about the many misconceptions that many naturals seem to have about certain ingredients that have been labeled as “bad for the hair” by some in the natural hair community, yet they play an essential part in our hair regimen.
The live hair demonstrations by the amazing natural hair stylists who attended the festival , such as Saul Juma who talked about hair colour and how to go about colouring hair and taking care of it well, went the extra mile by demonstrating on a model’s hair from the crowd.
Of course Saul wasn’t the only one who did live demonstrations at the event; Dennis Mwangi and Dgonie also wowed the audience with their skills and a few ladies from the audience managed to have their hair styled as well!
From crotchet braids, to finger coils, it was nice to see a variety of hairstyles being demonstrated by the hair stylists at the event. I had been debating about SisterLocks for a while, and Kirigo Kabuga –certified Sisterlocks Master Hair Stylist and natural hair coach, almost convinced me to go that direction with her empowering talk on why we should embrace and love our natural hair regardless of what society seems to deem acceptable and “neat”.
The event ended at around 6pm, and I’m pretty sure the ladies and gents who attend the brunch, left with a little bit of information on how to handle their natural hair and embrace their kinks and curls regardless of their hair texture.
Awali’s Afro Hair Festival Brunch, was a prelude to the main festival that is scheduled to take place soon, in order to bring together the natural hair community in Kenya, as well as a chance to get to interact and network with the key players in the natural hair community abroad. For now, here are a few more photos to entice you into making sure you attend the next Awali’s Afro Hair Festival!