Hello ladies,

Ok so it’s been months since I attended the 2014 afro hair and beauty show back in May and it’s only now I’m actually getting this post up. Let’s just say it has been a busy few months for me, but better late than never!!

The 2014 Afro hair and beauty show took place in London at the Business Design Centre on 25-26th May 2014. The show was held at the same venue as the previous year and as I always say “if it’s not broke don’t fix it”. I thought the Design and Business Centre was a good venue for the show as it was well positioned and had plenty of space.

The Business Design Centre

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I attended the show last year so I knew exactly what to expect and I was not disappointed. There was plenty to see and it was definitely high-class with respect to displays, fashion shows, speakers, demonstrations and products to buy, in comparison to newer, smaller shows. It was clear that the Afro hair and beauty show was not only well established but also well attended. When I said there was plenty to see I wasn’t joking, just look at a few of the different shows and demonstrations that I managed to see, needless to say I didn’t get a chance to see everything and I didn’t even really attend any of the advertised talks or presentations.

Demonstrations and shows I attended:

Ossat Naturals demonstration

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Design Essentials demonstration

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Afro Chic Fashion Show

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Team Africa Street Dance

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Organics demonstration

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Battle of the Barbers

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If unlike myself you were not on a “hair product budget” then there was also plenty of hair care and hair related products to buy.

Some of the many exhibitors

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My Beautiful Textures experience

While at the show my eyes spotted a Beautiful Textures “naturally straight” display and I was eager to see what it was all about. Reversible straight hair for up to six weeks “naturally”, I wouldn’t mind some of that in my life – well not for six weeks anyway. Could this be the budget blower? Could I now easily choose to wear my hair straighter without the use of harsh chemicals or “damaging direct heat”? I was excited about the possibilities and made a beeline straight towards what could be the mother of all hair products for those naturals looking for a bit of healthy straight on the side. Unfortunately there was not a happy ending to this story and my hopes, anticipations and direct heat free straight hair dreams were brutally dashed when I saw with my own eyes the “steaming hot flat iron” smoothly glide over the demonstratee’s hair!

Beautiful Textures photos

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Could this really be? A hair product marketed for naturals which requires a flat iron? Well YES this is actually a common occurrence! As you can imagine, I was disappointed! My disappointment quickly turned to upset and my upset to a plethora of searching questions! This product claims that it gives natural girls the flexibility to Flip™ back-and-forth from curly to straight and then back again after it’s been blow-dried and flat ironed. I’m not going to rant about my well-formed, well thought out opinions on this product in this particular post but I will pose a question for my natural sisters out there for you to think about. “Do you really believe that a product which requires four to six weekly direct heat additions to your hair with the aid of both a flat iron and a blow dryer is likely to result in long, strong, healthy hair?” I’ll leave that one for you to think about. O.k, o.k so I’m biased because I advocate minimal or no direct heat but only in-direct heat sources such as a hooded dryer. However it is still an important question I want you to consider. I’ll leave my argument right there for fear this already lengthy blog post could quickly become lengthier.

How I styled my hair

With respect to my hair I was once again in all my glory sporting a super high, super fly, mega big updo:

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My bloggers lounge experience

Thanks to the brilliant organisation and vision of the lovely ladies at Uknaturals I got my very own bloggers pass and free entry to the show which enabled me to attend the bloggers lounge “how exciting”. This really topped the show for me and made this event one to remember. So the bloggers lounge was for U.k bloggers and YouTuber’s etc and there was food, lots of freebies, socialising and photo taking to no end. I got the opportunity to meet  bloggers and other people on the U.K natural hair scene as well as those from abroad.

Photos from the bloggers lounge

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My after show experience

At this point most naturals would have reflected on the amazing time they had and made their way back to the train station to catch their train back home to Birmingham but no, not me. As far as I was concerned, the night was still young and I had paid my hard-earned cash to travel all the way to London and I was going to have a good time. I went for burritos with my newly found bloggers lounge friends and headed to The Penthouse in Leicester Square, where I culminated my natural hair day out at the BRIT Beauty Show MIXER. Actually, come to think of it, I had to choose which of two natural sister after show event to attend, either ‘The Curls Just Want to Have Fun’ event or the ‘BRIT mixer’, but after discussion with my friends I went to the BRIT mixer since it was closest to my train station back home to Birmingham. Who wants to be stuck in London in the wee hours of the night – hell, not me!

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Who would have thought over ten years ago when I ‘returned to natural’, that living a natural sister’s life would be this fun. All in all I was inwardly and quietly happy as I saw the shift towards an increase in the number of natural hair products/ demonstrations/ talks and the clear shift in the focus to more natural hair and natural hair care products. Don’t get me wrong the usual were still there like the familiar relaxers etc but there was more of a focus on caring for your own natural hair and a rise in the profile of the natural sister.

Will I attend the afro hair and beauty show again? YES and YES, bring it on!!!!!! Well done Afro Hair Beauty show 2014 – I’m looking for bigger and better things next year including a greater variety of products, shows, demonstrations and hair care products for the natural sister.

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