There are many times when I have been running late, too tired to give my locks the time love and care that it deserves that or when I’m lacking hairspraration I considered going back to the creamy crack (not happened yet).
No one said going or being natural is easy it takes time, effort and a lot of your hard earn coins. A lot of the skills and tips you learned from your fave blogger or vlogger come from months or even years of trial and error and when you try to apply these skills to your unique hair texture you could still find that they don’t work and when there are hundreds on products on online which promise to help you achieve the perfect braid out how do you know which one to invest in?
My saving grace has defiantly been attending natural hair events which have amazing workshops, demonstrations, question and answer segments and sometimes in inspirational natural hair personalities.
When I started my natural hair journey I was forced to take the first steps alone as none of my friends were not interested in going natural. Which meant I attended my 1st natural hair event on my lonesome and petrified. Once I got over my initial shyness I was able to network and connect with so many amazing women like minded women with whom I have continue to shared hair styling and product tips.
My love of goodie bags and freebies is an ongoing joke with my friends but to me spending money on products that I never uses is no joke, however Natural hair events offer the perfect the perfect opportunity to speak to the brands rep to get answers to any specific questions you may have about the product, reps who are normally not only happy to advise you on the best products for your hair but hook you up with free products and samples. A lot of times event organises gift attendees goodie bags full of product samples for you to try out at home.
I recently found out that Natural Hair Week one of my favourite natural hair events was being rebranded was being rebranded to Curlytreats Festival I defiantly had to find out more from founder Vinna Best.
1. For those that have previously attended Natural hair week why was it rebranded Curlytreats Festival and how has it evolved?
The rebrand of Natural Hair Week (now CurlyTreats Festival) signifies the renewed commitment to offer a safe space to celebrate black culture and a diverse platform for self-expression. Previously the event focused on natural hair without recognising the other needs of black women and men within in the UK. CurlyTreats is continually looking for ways to enhance our visitors experience, to provide greater value for those who love to attend Natural Hair Week (now CurlyTreats Festival). CurlyTreats Festival is a fantastic day out and was created for our visitors who enjoy natural hair and look to us for additional benefits such as beauty sessions, empowerment workshops, product offers, expert recommendations and feedback on their natural hair and wellness journey. The additional natural wellness branch of our event offers more presentations, workshops, exhibitors and networking opportunities to make feeling great easier
2. What can attendees expect from the Curlytreats Festival?
- Attendees and visitors can expect a beautiful fusion of inspiring natural hair and wellness offerings including;
- Smoothies: Beauty superfoods for better skin and hair
- Cantu Workshop: Where all curls matter
- Hair Care seminar: Prevent split ends and breakage for longer natural hair
- Guide to natural hair care for girls
- Black Girl Magic workshop: activating your inner magic
- Discover the powers within: wonders of the womb
- DIY product making for girls and parents
- Beauty Panel: Black Beauty, Still Tangled in Politics
- GroHealthy: Hair education workshop
- Storytime and creative reading for Children
- Brunch with International celebrity MahoganyCurls aka Jessica Lewis
- Women's Wellness and Nutrition: How to Get Fit on a Budget
- How to Create a Hair Care Regimen & The Science of Black Hair
- Awakening the giant within for girls
- Natural Hair Product Making for Adults
- Fashion Shows
- Afro Men Hub: FREE shape-ups, beard care & skin care advice for men
3. How does Curlytreats Festival differ from other hair events?
CurlyTreats Festival provides additional interactive seminars, talks and workshops other than hair. We also recognise the hard work that many black businesses so we are launching awards. This year will create an Awards for Best UK Social Influencer, Natural Hair & Beauty Brand, Fashion & Style Brand. CurlyTreats Festival is empowerment event to help attendees improve their lives from the inside out. We focus on men and young girls rather than women only.
4. What do you hope attendees will take from Curlytreats Festival?
To love thyself from the inside out, be empowered to be the best you, learn the best practice techniques from hair & beauty experts, health & fitness experts, and your favourite UK & international bloggers.
We create a place for natural hair enthusiast to meet their favourite international bloggers. For the very first time in the UK, popular American natural hair influencer MahoganyCurls will share her natural hair and beauty advice. MahoganyCurls captures the attention of young girls and women worldwide, with over 25 million YouTube channel views and a collective social media audience of over 1 million, she continues to encourage women to adore their natural hair.
EmpowHER Girls Day Out is an event dedicated to inspiring young girls at the CurlyTreats Festival. This safe space will allow girls to express their feelings and speak their minds without judgement. So we invite mothers and daughters, fathers and daughters, aunties and nieces, and friends and daughters to experience a day of absolute fun!
Afro Men's Day out is for men and boys who love being valued. They will learn how to care for their beard and skin, and experience the most recent products and services from top brands in male grooming.
5. How do you see the natural hair industry in the UK and how can we improve skills and knowledge?
More women returning to naturals means more business opportunities for black businesses. New black businesses have created natural hair care products to cater for our hair needs at a time when there was a lack of products. Due to the large amount of people going natural, mutilmillion brands started to create curly hair products as they witness the decline in relaxers.
Besides the event, CurlyTreats is working with other brands on a wider campaign to promote that there is diversity in natural hair textures. When women began to return to natural roughly 10 years ago, it was more diverse but now many adverts portrays women who are or can pass for being mixed race with bigger curls as the face of natural. This is not a true representation of the natural community. Therefore our aim is to celebrate all shades and curl types be it tightly curled or loosely curled - diversity is essential. It important the next generation of adults understands being of a darker hue or having tightly coiled hair is normal and should also be celebrated too.
6. How do you see natural hair empowering women on a daily basis?
For so long, Black people have experienced discrimination because of the colour of their skin and texture of their natural hair. Although, the standard of beauty is becoming diverse, the gap is still wide apart - progress is slow.
Afro-textured hair is still perceived as political - Young people around the world are still being told that natural hair is unacceptable for school, many women still wear a weave or wig to work because natural afro hair is seen as “unprofessional’, andbanning men from wearing their hair in locs is not considered racial discrimination - all recent news.
However, many Black people refuse to conform to mainstream society's views of what is right. Phrases such as “Black Girl Magic, Black Girls Rock and Black Boy Joy” are used both online and offline to take back ownership and shape the narrative of Black Beauty.
Women inspire girls, women empower women. By seeing another women's natural hair journey be it your sister, friend or a youtube has given other women the courage and confidence to go natural.
7. What advice would you give to black women who have just started or are considering going natural?
Going natural for the right reasons is vital. It is important to understand that your hair is not like anyone else's so having unrealistic expectations of your curl pattern will set you up for failure. Embrace your curl pattern, embrace the journey of returning to natural, there will be days when you love your hair and days when you don't. But have patience, focus on growing healthy hair rather than having long hair which may be damaged. Try different products to see which works for you. We have a monthly subscription box called CurlyTreatsBOX to help new naturals start their hair journey with ease and discover which curly girl products works best for your hair.
More about Curlytreats Festival can be found here www.curlytreats.co.uk
More from me here: Lee-Anne Weise