Crafting for a CAUSE • Sunday September 15th

I’m very excited to announce my next event coming up on Sunday September 15th— a fundraiser for local Bay Area fashion designer Erica Varize who is launching a new venture called Sew What Project Uganda. Sew What Project Uganda is an international extension of the summer camp Erica has run locally for the past seven years in which she creates a sort of “fashion design” camp for young girls and teaches them not only how to sew, but some of the entrepreneurial aspects of the industry. This summer, Erica has built an exchange with a group of girls in Uganda and her local Sew What campers and in October she plans to travel to Uganda and host Sew What abroad.

When Erica asked me to host the fundraiser for her, I immediately said YES YES YES! First of all, Erica is an extremely accomplished designer and I am always wow’ed by her styles (and have worn many myself!)But more than that, a fun lesser-known fact about me is that I LOVE to sew and think it is one of the most empowering skills a person can have. To be able to provide this educational opportunity for girls to lift themselves up is a goal that rings near and dear to my heart.

Thus

a Bay-Ganda fundraiser for Sew What Project Uganda

was born.

CFC-Final-Flyer

Here’s the scoop:

THERE SHALL BE CRAFTING: I absolutely adore all of EVarize’s fashion designs in which she incorporates beautiful African patterns. So I thought we could all make something together with some of these patterns and colors. Our craft du jour, will be a braided fabric necklace that you will be able to make and take home for yourself (or as a gift!)

THERE SHALL BE MUSIC: What’s a party without some jamz!? DJ Bella Soul will be spinning tunes and setting the mood. Lovez it!

THERE SHALL BE NATURAL HAIR GOODNESS: Our friends from Komaza Care will be joining us for the event and providing some natural hair samples for all attendees. I love them! So excited they’ll be in the house!

THERE SHALL BE SHOPPING: That’s right! We’ll have a little shopping area and if you’re interested in being a vendor, please let me know! cassidy [at] naturalselectionblog [dot] com.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. You can purchase them below OR visit the ticket page here. All proceeds will go to support Sew What Project Uganda. This is truly a community effort, so if you would like to be involved, please let me know and we can certainly figure something out! Can’t wait to see you soon!



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Fall Into Natural: full recap + gallery!

Fall Into Natural: What. A. WONDERFUL. Event!!!

Sponsored by EDENBodyworks, Strawllers and Huetiful, Fall Into Natural was NaturalSelection’s largest event (and the first one to ever sell out!) featuring afternoon of brunching, shopping, drinking and most importantly learning from Dr. Kari Williams and panel of experts. Set at Hibiscus Cafe in Oakland, attendees enjoyed the delicious Southern-inspired brunch fare while sipping on mimosas and checking out the styling demonstrations and vendors in the sun-filled courtyard space.

“It was beautiful seeing women of color coming together and embracing their napturality,” expressed one attendee Shannique Gibson.

Huge shout out and thank you to those who traveled to attend the event, including Ken Burkeen, Owner and Creator of Huetiful Hair Steamer, Myleik Teele, CEO of CurlBox, and Dr. Kari Williams of Mahogany Hair Revolution.

Attendees arrived in the most beautiful array of styles from head to toe and I know that I speak for almost everyone that it was truly style-crush central!!

Closing the formal presentation, I made an exciting announcement of my latest project called “BROWN GIRL BLISS: a wellness retreat with soul.” Stay tuned for more details and an official post announcing this exciting upcoming event!

But for now, I’d like to invite you to Fall Into Natural AGAIN and check out the full gallery:

Your Official Invite to the Fall Bay Area Natural Hair Event!

 

There it is ladies (and gents)!  The Fall Bay Area Natural Hair event: Fall into Natural!!

It’s shall be big.  It shall be bad.  It shall be BRUNCHY.

I’m thrilled to announce that we will be joined by Dr. Kari Williams, renowned Trichologist and Owner of Mahogany Hair Revolution in Los Angeles.  Not only is she one of the best natural hair stylists I’ve ever encountered, but as a Trichologist (a.k.a. a doctor of scalp and hair) she is also one of the most knowledgeable, not to mention qualified, individuals on the subject of hair.  She will be doing a presentation followed by joining us on a Q&A panel to answer all of your burning natural hair questions (and you KNOW you have them!)

There will also be live styling demonstrations by our sponsors Huetiful, EDEN Bodyworks and Strawllers.  Whether you’ve got locs, braids, loose natural hair or are transitioning–the expert stylists on hand will be showing something for YOU!  You’ll be able to get up close and personal to see some of the hottest styles and practical techniques in styling, conditioning, and hydrating your hair.

Please–oh please– come ready to shop because we’ll have six fabulous vendors on hand who will be selling their wares including jewelry, clothing, skincare and more!  We’ll be doing some spotlight features on them in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!

And don’t worry, we’ve got ya covered in the food department too!  What better way to enjoy a Sunday morning than with a delicious brunch buffet!?  If you’re one of those hair of the dog types, please sidle up to the bar and enjoy a speciality cocktail!

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door.  But don’t wait til it sells out—this is an event you won’t want to miss so get your ticket now!

Camille’s Big Loc Chop

I peeped Miss Camille’s new ‘do on Instagram and immediately pinged her to send me more pics.  Y’all know that I love 2nd Chops more than anything so I took the opportunity to snag an interview with this Bay Area Naturalista who just snipped off her locs for a fierce short style.

Before……

 

...and after the 2nd chop!

 

Cassidy: What inspired your 2nd chop?

Camille: I get bored easily with my hair and like to change it up. After having locs for a year, I was just ready for something different. I was also feeling very stressed and overwhelmed around that time. Cutting my locs, I felt, was a great way to release some of that negative energy. I cut all my locs off one random night sometime in April, and went to the barber the next day to fix it up. I have kept it short since.

Cassidy: What has the reaction been?

Camille: The reactions have been all positive, thankfully. Most of my friends and family have told me short hair really fits me and suits my face well. I have yet to receive any negative feedback.

 

Cassidy: How do you like the new look?

Camille: I love the new look! I feel like I’ve received more compliments with this look than any other style I’ve rocked before, including after my first big chop in 2008. I feel like I look a little more sophisticated, but funky at the same time. I love that I can rock it dressed up or dressed down, with little effort on my end.

Cassidy: What’s your regimen like now?

Camille: My regimen is a lot more fluid now that my hair is so short; I simply attend to it as needed. I wash my hair every week to a week and a half. I like to rotate between Trader Joe’s Tee Tree Tingle Shampoo, V05 Moisturizing Shampoo (passion-fruit smoothie), and Tresemme Color Protection Shampoo. After I rinse out the shampoo, I follow up with a conditioner. I switch between V05 Moisturizing Conditioner and Trader Joe’s Balanced Moisturizing Conditioner. After washing my hair, while it is still damp, I use a creamy leave-in and seal it in with an oil. Some of the leave-ins I use include Garnier Fruntis Sleek & Shine Conditioning Cream, Beautiful Textures Tangle Taming Leave-in, and Oyin Handmade Hair Dew (my favorite). As for oils, I use a variety of kinds like olive, grapeseed, castor, and coconut. Throughout the week, I spritz my hair with a little water every morning and apply a little oil every other day.

Cassidy: Are you planning to keep it short or grow it out?

Camille: When I originally cut my locs in April, I had planned to grow it out. However, I fell in love with the way it looked short and have cut it three times since then. Also, as a full time student with two part time jobs, short hair works really well with my lifestyle and busy schedule. So I might keep it short for now until I get the urge to feel a handful of curls in my head again.

Cassidy: Anything else you’d like to add?

Camille: Since going natural in December of 2008, I have noticed a growth in the way I think about my natural hair. After my first big chop, I just really wanted it to grow. I longed to have that afro people avoided sitting behind in the theater. Because of my gravity-defying shrinkage, I would sometimes become discouraged by what seemed like snail-paced growth. Then I started my loc journey in March 2011 because I always wanted them and was ready to take the leap. In this journey, I was still slightly obsessed with attaining length and reaching certain length goals. Over the years I have just fallen in love with the texture of my hair, and the unique look of it. I’m now more concerned with it being healthy and looking fabulous at all times. At this point, I have no hair goals. I’m just loving my hair for what it is at the moment, and going with the flow. Thank you for this feature!

Be sure to keep in touch and follow Camille’s natural hair journey on her YouTube channel Natural Hair Care and Love!

300 NorCal Naturalistas Come Out for Sunday’s TextureTalk Event!

Yesterday naturals from all over Northern California came out in full force for TextureTalk- an afternoon of natural hair education and celebration.  In partnership with natural hair care brand Beautiful Textures, co-host Karen Byrd of Naturally Beautiful Hair Blog and myself welcomed the huge crowd to the Omni Hotel in San Francisco.  The afternoon consisted of mixing and mingling while snacking on an array of fruits and veggies before being treated to a dynamic expert Q&A panel featuring Charlene Bastien, co-founder of Beautiful Textures, Felicia Leatherwood, Beautiful Textures Brand Ambassador and Product Expert, Karen Byrd and myself.  The highly informative panel discussion featured insight and wisdom on:

  • Corporate hairstyling
  • What to look for when purchasing products (and we all learned that Beautiful Textures products actually come with cocktailing instructions to make it fool proof!  Very cool!)
  • How to prevent fairy knots (smooth a moisturizer over two-strand twists before unraveling, sleep on a satin pillow case or bonnet, and TRIM!)
  • How to deal with changes in hair texture with age
  • Maintaining a healthy scalp

Charlene Bastien of Beautiful Textures, Felicia Leatherwood, Karen Byrd of Naturally Beautiful Hair Blog, and Myself on the Expert Panel

After the hour-long presentation and panel discussion, 20 attendees received a one-on-one scalp analysis with Felicia while others connected with fellow attendees and  shopped the offerings of our fabulous vendors:

  • Andy Drew who has a line of stunningly sculptural accessories made from unique materials
  • Fatemeh’s Jewelry and Accessories who has a wide variety of earrings and hair jewelry (I even rocked a pair myself!)
  • Natural Girls United, which is Karen’s super cool business that offers a line of custom natural hair dolls any girl (or adult!) would be proud to own!

I was thrilled with the turnout, which brought together so many people I hadn’t seen in a long time as well as new friends alike!  Everyone was looking super stylish and I was proud to see the NorCal naturalistas step out and represent with fierce natural flyness!

As y’all know, I love getting dolled up for these events (dresses are my weakness).  TextureTalk was no different!  Here’s what I wore:

Dress my I'Me + nude heels! (remember those big fluffy pink earrings I've got?? Same designer! Love her stuff!)

 

Afro Pik earrings by Fatemeh's Jewelry and Accessories. I nabbed these right before the event doors opened! Sherbet Orange lipstick by DVA Cosmetics, a fun and colorful up and coming skincare line.

 

Belt buckle bangle by We Dream in Colour. I have a *thing* for belt buckle bracelets--they're just so awesome so when I saw this one We Dream in Colour hooked it up!

Everyone looked fabulous (can we talk about Felicia’s dope red earring!?!) and the event was absolutely wonderful!  It has been far far too long since I hosted a Bay Area meet up and I promise another one to come this summer!  Thanks to everyone for coming out—it was such a fun time! Huge thanks to my co-host Karen Byrd and our event partner Beautiful Textures for making such a wonderful event come to life!  For those of you who couldn’t make it, check out the full gallery to get in on the TextureTalk fun!

 

Please make sure to sign up for the Bay Area Naturals mailing list:

TextureTalk THIS Sunday with Private Scalp Consultations! (learn how you can sign up!)

 

We’re just a few short days away from our up and coming Bay Area Naturals Meet Up: TEXTURE TALK!

It’s been far too long since we’ve gotten together and this is shaping up to be our biggest event yet! We’re expecting over 200 NorCal naturalistas, so be sure to come ready to mix, mingle and meet new curl friends.

A few fun features I want to tell you about:

  • Scalp Consultations – Product Specialist and Beautiful Textures Brand Ambassador Felicia Leatherwood will be offering individual scalp analyses to a select number of attendees!  Beginning at 2:00pm TODAY March 21st, you can sign up for one of the limited slots for this private consultation.  I had one while we were in the Virgin Islands and it was not only totally cool to see my scalp magnified over 1,000 times, but also to confirm suspicions that my family has joked about since I was young: that I have more hair than normal on my scalp!  My personal scalp scan showed that I have many hair follicles that have not just one, but FIVE strands coming out of it.  Visit naturalselectionblog.com/events at 2:00pm to sign up for this exclusive first-come-first-serve experience.

If you want the scalp scan, but don’t want to risk not getting a time slot, we’re also looking for a handful of volunteers to assist with the event and those volunteers will receive a guaranteed timeslot for a scalp scan (along with exclusive behind the scenes access).  If you’re interested in volunteering, drop me an email at cassidy[at]naturalselectionblog[com].

  • Vendors – Come ready to purchase some goods!  We’ll have jewelry and natural hair dolls on display for you to check out.  If you’re interested in securing a vendor spot, we do have a couple left, so please let me know and we can arrange that.
  • Q&A – Got burning natural hair questions?  Get ‘em answered by our expert Q&A panel!  We’re looking forward to sharing our thoughts and answering your questions!
A couple housekeeping notes: the event is located in Downtown San Francisco around many parking garages.  The Omni Hotel is also centrally located to BART and Muni, so public transportation is a great option!  If you bike to the event, I will love you forever and you will get a special shout out on the blog.

If you haven’t already, make sure to RSVP for the complimentary event.

Seasonal Skincare by Shalom Organics

As I’ve deepened my knowledge about hair products and ingredients geared towards healthy hair, I’ve also been more curious and educated about skincare products. Enter Shalom Organics, a seasonally-produced, all-natural, handcrafted skincare product line by Monica Fine. I’ve never heard of a product line such as this one before and I’ve been really giving it a good testing for the past couple months and finally had to share it with you all because it’s been absolutely AMAZING. Here’s the skinny.

Monica produces the line twice a year, using fresh, local ingredients selected for their healing and nourishing qualities. When I first sat down to chat with Monica, she was just dashing out the door to go distill conifers and other plants for use in her products, tonics, perfumes, and treatments.  Monica received certification as a Master Herbalist and Aromatherapy Practitioner after training with Jeannie Rose, the legendary herbalist.

Shalom Organics was inspired by Monica’s passion for aromatherapy and herbal medicine meaning that these products don’t just work to cleanse or moisturize your skin, but they also improve, heal, and nourish your entire being.

I’ve been using several products on the line including:

  • Fruits of Madagascar Exfoliating Cleanser: a tropically refreshing scrub that removes of the daily grime of city life before I hit the sheets
  • Canna Have Great Skin Purifying Seaweed Tonic: a herbal spritzed that primes skin for moisturizing
  • Canna Have Great Skin Ultimate Repair Serum: one of my favorites of the bunch!  Organic hemp seed oil that I apply before bedtime.  I wake up with glowing, baby soft, super moisturized skin.
***note that the entire Canna Have Great Skin line is for Californians only because one of the main ingredients is legal only in California.  Hemp seed oil is great for skin because its high in essential fatty acids.  All the goodness and none of the side effects!!***
  • Tropical Sunblock:  all of the protection, none of the harsh chemicals.
  • PMS Serum: miserable things happen to my face around a certain time of the month.  This alpha-hydroxy laden serum helps keep all of the madness in check.

Sound divine?  It’s because they absolutely are!  Every time I wash my face its like a sensory wonderland and my skin has improved so much since using this regimen!
If you’re in the Bay Area, you MUST, and I repeat MUST swing by Monica’s skin heaven where she will give you the best facial of your life!  I had the pleasure of being wrapped in a warm downy cocoon of  and having my skin pampered like never before.  Highlights from the transcendental 2-hour experience include:
  • Having my face, shoulders and chest swathed in Moor Mud, an ancient, geothermal mud with over 1,000 trace minerals
  • Aromatherapy massage using essential oil blends created by Monica herself
  • Steaming with Seaweed Cooling Masques and Cucumber Gel Masques
  • Extraction.  The [slightly painful] process by which all impurities are removed from your skin
Other treatments in facial rotation are a Pomegranate Enzyme Masque and Lemon Chiffon exfoliating masque.
I walked out looking a little puffy from all of the extraction (it was the first time I’d ever had it done), but work up the next morning looking absolutely RADIANT!

So you’re probably wondering how to get your hands on a bit of this Shalom Organics goodness.  Give Monica a call at 415.691.SKIN where she’ll give you a free skin consultation and figure out what products will work best for your skin needs.  If you’re in the Bay Area you’ll also be able to book your appointment to see her through this number.

OMG NNO FTW!!!! – Naturals Night Out Wrap Up

Another one for the books ladies and gents!

This past Saturday, a group of Bay Area curlies of all types gathered at Madusalon in San Francisco for an evening of styling demonstations, mingling, cocktails, giveaways, and fun.  I was absolutely THRILLED with the event and had a great time chatting with the guests!  A few highlights I want to share:

  • Jess of Jessicurl surprising Megan of NaturallyCurly.com with a Jessicurl make over in the middle of the event!  It turned out *phenomenally*!
  • Introducing the word “tenderheaded” to our loc model, Thiago.  Apparently there is not an equivalent word in Portuguese and after stopping by his styling chair to check out his loc demonstration, I discovered that Thiago is in fact quite tenderheaded, but being the good sport that he is, he continued on.
  • The bantu knots. OH the bantu knots.  Stylist Isabel did one of the coolest sets of bantu knots on model Bobbi that I have ever seen.  They only took her a couple hours AND she had time to add these really cool pops of color.  I will be getting a set of mine own very very soon. 
  • Seeing Fatimah’s big chop!  I’ve featured Fatimah on Natural Selection before as a transitioner and a couple weeks ago she finally did the chop!  She looks great and is really happy with her full natural.
  • A SoCal presence: a group of ladies drove up to the event from San Diego, which is about an 8 hour drive.  They’re part of a meet up group called Showing My Roots who are also putting on the naturals cruise in October.  I was so excited to finally meet them!

 

All in all, a great event!  HUGE thanks to NaturallyCurly.com for sending samples and giveaways, I know that a lot of ladies are excited to rock their awesome Curl Power t-shirts and dig into their Curly Cocktails!

Here’s the full gallery! Enjoy!

Naturals Night Out TOMORROW in San Francisco!

 

BAM.  Manana!  So excited.  And the BEST NEWS is that I have something to wear.  Something, in fact, that I saw on the runway of Fro Fashion Week back in February.  It took me a hot minute to get my paws on it, but I did.  It’s finally here. And it’s on.  Oh you wanna see?   Sorry, this shall not be a spoiler, you’ll have to come to the event to see (or if you’re too far, wait for the event coverage)

I spent a couple hours on Tuesday at Madusalon for a little bit of styling guinea pigging with Jessicurl products and let me tell you that these ladies ROCKED, absolutely ROCKED my coils.  (In fact, three days later, they are still rocking).  They shingled my hair and then used a blow dryer to fluff it at the roots.  The results were a HUGE, fluffy, defined afro with lots of movement.  Oh man.  Great work.

On Saturday, we’ll be showing off a wide variety of styling demonstrations for a range of hair textures and types from looser waves to locs to fros to long corkscrew curls.  Even Jess of Jessicurl is going to be hopping behind the styling chair to show off her handiwork!

Again to RSVP email rsvp@naturalselectionblog.com.  To pay in advance its $20 sent to rsvp@naturalselectionblog.com through Paypal, otherwise its $25 at the door.

See you tomorrow!

 

 

Chatting Hair with Jessicurl (interview!)

Ok, yes, this interview is long overdue, but I’m just getting so excited for this weekend’s Naturals Night Out and I wanted to share this Jessicurl goodness with the world as we’re gearing up for our event together this weekend!

Jess and I at Curly Girls Rock | Atlanta April 2011

Back in February at Fro Fashion Week, I was delighted to sit down with Jess McGuinty – Founder and Owner of Jessicurl.  If you haven’t used Jessicurl – HOP ON IT!  Quality products made with great ingredients that *work* for curls of all textures.  Her Weekly Deep Treatment is on point, her Too Shea and Aloeba Conditioners are great for regular use, and the Confident Coils, well actually I’m really pissed about the Confident Coils because NO ONE TOLD ME ABOUT THIS PRODUCT SOONER; awesome definition with no crunch and a lot of moisture.  Definitely a keeper.

What is particularly awesome about this product line is that Jess herself is super accessible and a great person to talk hair and life with.  Check out the interview and hear about the origins of Jessicurl, how she went from awkward adolescent frizz to owning her own product company, how she learned the secrets of caring for her curls from her curly father, and our discussions on the similarities between curls of all ethnicities.
An interview with Jess McGuinty of Jessicurl

I’m super jazzed that Jess will be at Naturals Night Out this Saturday and will be on hand to answer your questions and drop serious hair care knowledge.  For more information or to RSVP for the event, be sure to check out the Natural Selection Events page.

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