Hello ladies,

I know this post is very much delayed, not only has it been almost a month since I attended the WITJ natural hair show but I’ve actually been to other natural hair events since then. But better late than never!

The Woman in the Jungle natural hair show was hosted in London at the Grange Tower Bridge Hotel on 5th May 2014. The hotel was a good choice for this years venue since it was conveniently located, in fact I’m sure it would have been a lot easier to get to if the folks on the London Underground did not decide to schedule their maintenance for the same day.

Below: 2014 WITJ natural hair show venue photos
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Since I had not attended a natural hair show before I was unsure what to expect, I simply assumed it would be very similar to the Afro Hair and Beauty show I attended last year. After eventually arriving at the show extremely late, my first stop was at the different exhibitors who were selling hair care products, African print bags, shoes, t-shirts as well as different beauty products.

Some of the exhibitors and sellers present at the show

Below: Sheabutter cottage – www.sheabuttercottage.co.uk

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Below: SheaDo – www.sheado.nl

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Below: EntwineCouture – www.EntwineCouture.com

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Below: Sale of African print bags and shoes

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Among the exhibitors at this years show were a few smaller black owned business who are newer to the black hair care and beauty industry. In support of the lovely Sonia Muneri founder of Nakayi (which means ‘Be Beautiful’ in Shona) I purchased one of her fair trade African black soaps. Her company launched in May 2014 and it offers a unique range of luxurious products for both skin and hair. Check out her products at www.nakayi.com

Below: The team from Nakayi and my African black soap purchase

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I also had the pleasure of speaking with Klerissa McDonald founder of the natural hair care product range Curly by Nature. The Curly by Nature range contains either organic or naturally derived ingredients that have been ethically sourced. They are also all free from sulphates, parabens, petroleum, mineral oil and alcohol. Check out her product range at www.curlybynature.com

Below: Klerissa McDonald founder of Curly by Nature hair care product range

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The majority of my time was spent roaming around the different exhibitor stands, talking to other naturals as well as viewing hair care products that were for sale. Since I booked my ticket the night before the show I unfortunately missed out on the VIP tickets and as a result I did not get the opportunity to see what was happening in the VIP section – never mind, at least I saved myself some money! One of the guest speakers and hair celebrity for the day was MsVaughn but I did not even get a chance to really hear what she had to say because I missed a few of the scheduled seminars. This was partly due to the fact that I arrived late and partly because individuals were stopping me and taking photos of my “gone wrong” big updo.

Below: The updo I was sporting at the show

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Of the three talks I actually managed to attend I was really inspired by the information that was presented and for me, this was by far one of the main highlights of the show. I was particularly interested in the points that were discussed by the consultant trichologist but I did leave her presentation a little uneasy as she actually advised against commonly advocated natural hair practices and sanctioned other practices frequently frowned upon. Check out some of the key statements she made below ladies -you might be surprised:

1.) It is O.K to use silicones on your hair but not your scalp.

2.) It is O.K to use a gentle sulphate.

3.) Protein sensitivity does not exist.

4.) If you have a good diet you do not need supplements for healthy hair growth.

5.) We do not need to overload our scalp with oil (in fact we do not need to oil our scalp at all). However if we were to remove oils from our scalps it would be dry because the scalp becomes addicted to the oils.

6.) Receding edges may or “may not” grow back depending on the hair follicle.

7.) Blow drying natural hair is “bad” even when using the tension method, but a hooded dryer is perfectly fine since it uses indirect heat spread over a larger area.

8.) If the pH of your hair is not within the required range it could take up to 8-12 months for the hair’s pH to adjust back to normal.

9.) Hair should be washed at least “once a week” to remove waste build up.

10.) Conditioning hair longer than 20 minutes is pointless but we can obtain benefit from the use of natural heat by using a plastic bag or towel over a longer period of time.

Below: Presentation by consultant trichologists

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I also enjoyed the “wear your natural hair with confidence” seminar presented by the lovely ladies from I Love Afro – check out their natural hair care product range at www.iloveafro.co.uk. The key points discussed at their presentation were:

1.) Be realistic with your expectations
2.) Enjoy your journey
3.) Positivity is the key
4.) Be inspired
5.) Give compliments
6.) Learn, learn, learn
7.) Don’t give up
8.) Find a community
9.) Don’t be a product junkie
10.) Fake it until you make it

Below: “No excuses hair confidence” presentation by the ladies from I Love Afro and products from their hair care range

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Below: I also made a few new friends and caught up with some familiar faces

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So in summary, what did I really think about the WITJ natural hair show? Well actually I really enjoyed it and I was excited about the fact that this event was specifically for “naturals”. It was not a relaxed, weave and Indian remy show with a little natural section tagged on as a sideline. I would definitely go again and I look forward to next years instalment. Thanks woman in the jungle for making the show possible!

Below: Photo with WITJ organiser

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Check out my list of up and coming hair events taking place in the U.K on my events page. If you would like your hair (natural) event featured on my events list, please email: info@naturalcocodoll.co.uk

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