Black Hair @ MoAD: Event Wrap Up + Gallery

There was a lot of anticipation for this event, especially on my end as I wanted to do something a very different from anything else I produced.

And I’m glad to say that Black Hair Throughout the Diaspora not only met, but truly exceeded my expectations!

The three stories of the glass-walled and glittering Museum of the African Diaspora were filled with hundreds of attendees from around the Bay Area, some even traveling from as far as New York for the event.

The concept of the event was to produce an artistic celebration of black hair through the lens of the diaspora. I came up with the idea to have “Living Sculptures” or models who each represented a specific location within the African Diaspora. I narrowed these locations down to six places which hold a certain significance for me in terms of my personal natural hair journey: Paris, The Congo, Sub-Saharan Africa (modern day Ethiopia), Brazil, the Caribbean and, of course, San Francisco.

In collaboration with Celebrity Stylist Felicia Leatherwood, our fashion sponsor, Bloomingdales, and make up artist, Tamra Marie Aristry, this vision was brought to life (literally):

The highlight of the evening was a panel that featured Jewels Barron, Creative Director of Shea Moisture; Felicia Leatherwood, Celebrity Stylist and Rhadamés Julian, Director of Follicle. We talked about the importance of hair when it comes to discussing black identity, the role of pop culture when it comes to discussing black identity, and the origins and future of the natural hair movement. It was truly an insightful discussion, one that was filled with themes and topics that are too often glazed over and it was good to facilitate a deeper topic on the subject.

The rest of the evening was spent checking out the MoAD exhibits including the Kinsey exhibit on black hair and adornment (if you’re in the Bay, this is a must-see!), enjoying the delicious eats from Radio Africa, laughing and smiling in the Lightworks Photobooth and grooving to the tunes of DJ DC from KMEL.

It was truly a magical event, one of my favorites I’ve ever done. Going into it I thought it might be my last, but I’ve already got the itch and idea for another in the works… :)

That said, this was truly a group effort and special thanks to the following:

•Shea Moisture for supporting the Bay Area natural hair community and the exploration of these topics.
•Bloomindales, for being such creative collaborators in making this happen (shout outs to Mariama, Cati and Jay!)
•Tamra Marie Artistry, for lending your talents and vision and a wide palette of colors!
•To the MoAD Vanguard, for giving me the platform to do this event. And in particular, Timmie Roach, my true partner in crime in making this event happen. I couldn’t have done it without you!!!!
•To my mom, for hopping on a plane at my insistence to come check out the event.
•And to our partners, Lightworks Photobooth, Moet Chandon, Radio Africa, DJ DC, Glass House Communications and the Parc55 Hotel— THANK YOU!

Now, without further ado, the full gallery from the event!

EVENT ALERT: The Global Culture of Hair with the Museum of the African Diaspora

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Words cannot express the excitement with which I am announcing this event!  I am honored to partner with San Francisco’s Museum of the African Diaspora to present

 

Black Hair Throughout the Diaspora

On Friday July 12th we will be welcoming guests for a classy and cultured evening of hair and art. Drinks and documentaries. Style and swagger. And oh so much more….

Here’s the scoop….

Naturally when you go to a museum you are there to check out art, so I had to figure out how to present HAIR–something so tangible and three-dimensional–in a museum exhibit form.

Naturally, the only thing to do is to create I’m calling “LIVING SCULPTURES”, or live models who will be styled and presented as living, breathing works of art inspired by locales within the African Diaspora. Celebrity stylist Miss Felicia Leatherwood, known for creating some of the boldest and most inspired hairstyles around the world, will be creating the ‘dos while fashion sponsor Bloomingdales will be providing a gorgeous and global wardrobe for our models.

As the title sponsor of the event, Shea Moisture, leading natural hair care brand, will be on site and you’ll be able to scoop up some of their amazing products.

We will also have a hosting an insightful panel discussion, showing documentaries on hair throughout the evening, enjoying a DJ, drinks, photo booth and more! Oh and did I mention the complimentary champagne happy hour and goodie bags?

Set within the gorgeous three-story, downtown San Francisco space of MoAD, Black Hair Throughout the Diaspora promises to be one of the most inspiring celebration of the global culture of hair.

Of all of the events I have hosted, this is truly one you do not want to miss and I really hope you can make it!

Early bird tickets – $20 (through Saturday June 15)
General Admission Presale – $25
Door tickets – $30
***space is limited and it is strongly encouraged that you purchase your tickets in advance***

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE!

I’m also doing a CALL FOR MODELS! If you or any body you know has a gorgeous head of hair, I am looking for ALL textures of hair: 3a-4z, locs, relaxers— ALL OF IT! Please send me an email with your headshot (that shows your TRUE natural texture) and measurements (dress, waist, height). MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR IN-PERSON CASTING AND ALL DAY FRIDAY JULY 12. LOCAL APPLICANTS ONLY. Thank you!

Curls, Curves & Cocktails: wrap up + full gallery

I’ve hosted a lot of events, attended a lot of events, but last weekend’s Curls, Curves & Cocktails, co-hosted by myself and Marie Denee of The Curvy Fashionista,  blew it outta the water! First, it was the concept: to bring together two thriving online communities – natural hair & plus size fashion- for a true celebration of what each of them represent and the fact that both have grown to have powerful voices within each of their industries.  After the event, Marie and I both marveled at the fact that we had equal representation of each of our blogs: curvy girls, curly girls and even more gals who were both!

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The event started with a steady stream of dressed-to-the-nines attendees flowing through the doors. There were a lot of familiar faces, but it was great to meet new friends as well as we mixed and mingled to the soulful beats of DJ Freshstep! The event program started with a fashion presentation in which we broke down the looks of each of our six models and explained the trends and hairstyling techniques. Each of our models looked gorgeous, confident, and chic in their dresses by IGIGI, hair styled by Sacramento-based stylist Jessie Varner using MyDNA products and make up done by Kim Roxie of Lamik Beauty.

Following the fashion presentation, we led an insightful and inspiring panel discussion with our event sponsors and partners including

  • Yuliya Raquel – IGIGI Designer and Creative Visionary
  • Kim Roxie – Creative Director + Founder of Lamik Beauty
  • Jessie Varner – Natural Hair Stylist
  • Chenese Lewis – Actress and Plus Size Style Icon
  • as well the co-hostesses with the mostesses: Marie Denee and myself!

It was a truly powerful moment to have all of these industry mavens–spanning fashion, media, natural hair, and make up– each sharing their thoughts on trends, styling tips and personal inspiration.  I felt honored to be sitting alongside such a strong and intelligent group of women!

I want to send a MASSIVE thank you to those who made Curls, Curves & Cocktails possible:

  • To our sponsors MyDNA, IGIGI and Lamik Beauty for supporting the idea and bringing this event to life.
  • To Jessie Varner, our awesome hair stylist, for her awesome energy and creative styling talents!
  • To Chenese Lewis for making the trip to share her fabulosity with the event and be our emcee.
  • To Chuck and Ramone for lending a helping hand (literally!)
  • And finally…to my partner in Curly and Curvy crime, Miss Marie Denee!

And now, without further ado the official Curls, Curves and Cocktails Gallery!

 

 

Brown Girl Bliss: recap + gallery

ANOTHER EVENT FOR THE BOOKS!  Brown Girl Bliss was this past Saturday and absolutely knocked all of my (and perhaps all of OUR) expectations out of the park.  I’ve hosted and attended many events in my day, but none of them have been as inspiring and fulfilling as Brown Girl Bliss.  I mean, this one had it all: FASHION! FOOD! YOGA! SEX! DANCE! Basically everything I love in the world.

Highlights include:

  • Kicking things off in the morning with an amazingly invigorating yoga practice with Heather of BodaBodaYoga.  As I said once we finished “seeing a bunch of chocolate faces in Warrior II is a rare sight to behold, but truly warmed my heart.”
  • The HONEY HUMMUS!  Holy crap, the Apothocurious-catered lunch was nutritious AND delicious!
  • Learning tips and techniques from Diana Rodriguez of Balanced + Beautiful about how to maintain a balanced eating regimen.  One of the tricks I’ve already even used!!  Try it yourself: rather than topping pasta with sauce, use pasta like “croutons” to top the sauce.  This will keep your meal veggie-heavy and gluten/wheat-light!
  • Having Nenna Joiner of FeelMore510 create an honest and open dialogue about everyone’s favorite, but not openly discussed subject: SEX!  It was a no-holds-barred conversation in a safe space where people were asking, sharing and learning.  This discussion definitely made me realize that as black women we need more sex-positive conversation that isn’t just about AIDS, prostitution, rape and other unsavory matters.
  • Learning from Jennifer, a rep from Rodan+Fields, that sulfur is used as an acne treatment!  Sulfur is always popping up in hair and skincare products, which makes me want to know more about it!
  • Felicia Leatherwood, not just dropping her unparalleled knowledge about natural hair during her presentation, but being one of the most engaging attendees throughout the entire event!  From Downward Dog onward, Felicia was one blissed out Brown Girl!
  • SWEATING. IT. OUT. for Hipline’s Shimmy Pop class!  When was the last time you were at an event that had you drop it like it was hot during 45 straight minutes of cardio.  And by “sweating” I mean “glossing”…because Hipline girls don’t sweat, they get glossy.  Obvi.
  • Ooh’ing and aah’ing over the fashion spectacular presented by Sway Boutique, EVarize and Amber Aaron.  Can you say serious sartorial savvy?
  • Nibbling on Nothing Bundt Cakes and sipping on champagne while listening to Stephen Satterfield share his epicurean prowess and answering some need-to-know information on vino and vittles.

All in all, it was an exhilarating and exhausting 8 hours (I mean, did I mention that 45 minutes of dance cardio!?)—-but I loved every second of it.  Everyone that was in attendance was raving about the experience, stating that we MUST do it again.  Stay tuned for a survey coming soon because if we do it again, we want to hear from you about what you liked and didn’t like. Even if you didn’t attend and even if you don’t live in the Bay Area— we will want to hear from you!

 

Now, without further ado—- the BGBG (Brown Girl Bliss Gallery):

Special thanks to my co-organizer Heather for her tireless effort in pulling this off!  Brown Girls everywhere are about to owe a lot to you! ;)

To those that attended—my we had fun didn’t we??!  Thanks for coming and supporting this event and bringing your infectious energy and smiles.  You made it the special experience that it was!

To those that couldn’t make it— you were missed!  But hopefully you won’t miss the next one :)

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:

Set It Free: Wild Success for Twin Cities Curlies! Event Wrap Up + Gallery

Last night, Natural Selection partnered with East 42nd Street Salon to host “Set It Free” a Deva-sponsored event brining together wavies, s’wavies, botecellis and fractals (thats ALL curl patterns for the non-Deva speakers out there) for an evening of curly wining, dining, and whole lots of styling.

Curlies were welcomed by a both a wine bar (self-explanatory) and a Curl Bar where the expert Deva-trained stylists did one-on-one consultations with attendees. There at the Curl Bar the stylists would analyze each unique curl pattern and recommend customized styling techniques and products for each person.

Following the Curl Bar happy hour, we all moved over to the main event space where we enjoyed a catered dinner by LaChaya Bistro and after a welcome by the Salon Manager, Jaclyn, I provided a quick overview of everything that is NaturalSelection and my personal hairstory. Then we all enjoyed a runway show where attendees with all curl types modeled first and second day hair, showing that it is possible to not only style great curls, but maintain them for days as well. Shout out to my cousin Charise who not only modeled in the show, but did her Big Chop two days ago to be in the show! (it looks awesome and we’ll have a fuller post on her experience soon!) Following the runway show, attendees purchased products and enjoyed the Curl Bar consultations once again while enjoying the soulful musical stylings of Ashley Dubose.

After doing events all over the country, it was truly a pleasure to be able to enjoy the curly community in a place called home. Knowing the Twin Cities, it was so special that people came from all over (some VERY far away), from all walks of life, with all curl patterns to enjoy, experience, and learn from this event. Thanks again to all those who came and I really look forward to doing it again.

I’ll have a full gallery up next week, but for now, here are a few select snaps!

Huge shout outs to Jaclyn and the E42 Stylists for hosting us and providing such a wonderfully educational experience, Meg from Deva for traveling from NYC to join us, and LaChaya, B.Resale, + Ashely Dubose for adding the ambiance, flavor, and style to make this a truly memorable event. Also thanks to the family parts: Mom–for coming out and supporting and even allowing your hair to be curled. Nana– for always getting in the mix and being there for your grandkid. Rica–for hair modeling and BIG CHOPPING! WOO!!

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:

Texture on the Runway: from a lofty idea to a kick ass reality

This past weekend seems like a blur, albeit a fantastic whirlwind of textured hair love and celebration type of blur. Texture on the Runway was absolutely an amazing event and experience and I can’t believe that after five months of planning that it’s all over! It started back in September, maybe even August when we started throwing around the idea of a runway fashion show during New York Fashion Week. The idea evolved into a concept called “Texture on the Runway”: four brands showcasing five models apiece in a true runway fashion show. But instead of clothing and designers being the focus, of course, hair–textured hair–would be the starlette of the night. While the TextureMedia sales team busied themselves with the task of selecting and securing the five brands, I found myself at the helm of production and seeking inspiration for the show. I started attending runway shows in San Francisco, watching fashion documentaries, immersing myself in fashion blogs, gleaning the coverage from the Spring/Summer 2012 fashion weeks of NYC, Paris, and Milan and looking at the venues, catwalk design, lighting, music and all the things that make the guts of a fashion show. By December we had secured the majority of our brands, but before we got too deep into production, the holidays came and everything came to a screeching halt, but not before we had locked down our custom illustrations that would be the branding of the event:

After a three (!) week holiday break, January arrived and it was like jumping straight onto a train moving 90mph. Texture on the Runway was six short weeks away and there was an immense amount of work to do. Between 7am conference calls with stylists and 7pm calls with my production team, I worked with the TextureMedia crew to develop our marketing plan, budget, media strategy, and design elements that would scaffold the event. There were a lot of nuts and bolts involved, but also a TON of creativity on behalf of not only the TextureMedia team, but also the stylists involved from ARROJO, Curls Unleashed, Hair Rules, Matrix and Minardi.

Never have I been more aware of hair styling being an art form. The hair artists and creative teams involved are more like sculptors and painters than anything else. During these creative calls with the styling teams, I heard a frame work of their visions in their nascent stages, words like “neo-victorian, vintage glamour, 70′s Halston, technological revolution, and soulful” were all used to describe the various visions the artists were working to achieve.  I’m honored to have been able to connect with so many creative new stylists in this process: Amanda Jenkins from ARROJO, Mark Mileti and Stephen Wang from Minardi Luxury Color Care, Daniel Roldan and Nick Stenson from Matrix, Zac Britt and Willie Malone from Curls Unleashed and while I’ve known Dickey from Hair Rules for quite some time, it was good to work with him on this level of project.

After a last minute trip to Austin 2 weeks before the show, I found myself back in San Francisco for 30 hours of relaxation before making the trek across the country to New York. THIS, my friends, was go time. The days leading up to the show were filled with casting calls, wardrobing, PR meetings, production meetings, venue tours, and more emails and phone calls than I could ever ever fathom.

Curls Unleashed stylists check out the hair of a potential model during a casting call

 

Matrix Artistic Director Daniel Roldan feels the texture of the hair of a potential model during a casting call

Somehow, I made it through a roller coaster of a week to Saturday morning. I was up early, styling my hair before an 8am arrival at the ARROJO Studio where all of the brands were to get prepped. Slowly the stylists and the models–all 25 of them– started trickling in. By 11am, the place was in full swing with blow dryers sounding off, crimpers, curlers, and rollers flying, wardrobers steaming hot pants, and make up artists painting the faces of models in a variety of hues from monochromatic nudes to dramatic violets and teals. Volunteers showed up. Bloggers, vloggers, and magazine editors showed up. At one point there were as many DSLR cameras in the salon as there were blow dryers. I smiled to myself at how the models settled right into their chairs with their iPads, iPhones, textbooks, and Kindles. They had obviously done this before.

A Minardi stylist blowdries the crimps out of a models practice run

 

After five hours of styling, we made the one block sojourn to City Winery, the event venue, and arrived to mass chaos. 12 volunteers had been there for hours stuffing the 2 tons of products into gift bags (and were still working) signage was still being assembled and  we discovered that there was no way that the models and their creative teams could possibly fit into the assigned green rooms. Add that to the fact that we had 2 hours until the doors open and we needed to do a rehearsal. At one point I found myself lost in the underbelly of the labyrinth-like winery and had this fleeting “what in the world have I gotten myself into” thought. But I powered through it, put on my wireless head set that connected me with my backstage crew and video director and we made it through the rehearsal. By the time we had finished, the venue was in complete order everyone’s confidence was on point.  Hell yes. Showtime!

The event was a veritable who’s-who in hair soiree. Attendees traveled from the California, Seattle, Chicago, Texas, Atlanta, Boston, and even London. Everyone looked gorgeous in the sparkling candlelight of City Winery and my heart raced as we dimmed the lights for the runway show. As I settled into my running of the show from the sound board, sandwiched between the audio tech and video director, I realized that I was having just a WHALE of a time! IT WAS HAPPENING! AND IT LOOKED KICK ASS! As the models took their final walk to my favorite Korean pop jam, I couldn’t but just starting to dance and was grinning for ear to ear!


VIVA LA TEXTURE REVOLUTION!

The rest of the night was a haze of flash photography, laughter, and an epic Whitney Houston dance party. I woke up early the next morning still on an intense adrenaline high from the night before. Texture on the Runway exceeded all of my expectations. It wasn’t just a party, or a show of pretty models, it was the zeitgeist of all of the work I’ve done and everything I’ve grown to believe in as a blogger in the natural hair community over the past couple years. I’m thrilled with how it all turned out and even more excited about all the feedback that has been pouring in. It was a lot of hard work to pull it off, but the result was absolutely worth it. I suppose you’re wanting to see some pictures of the whole shebang, well…don’t let me keep you!

 

Huge shout outs to my TextureMedia family, the sponsoring brands: ARROJO, Curls Unleashed, Hair Rules, Matrix, Minardi Luxury Color Care, Modern Salon, and CURLS, my amigos that traveled to make it to the show (Jeff from SF, Joanna from Boston, Felicia from LA, Mushiya from ATL, Pam from DC, Lukwesa from London),  Lenore for diving in at the last minute and playing such a crucial role in the night, Joy for all of her running up and down stairs, and of course YOU for reading!

The Pool Party Kicked A**. Let me count the ways.

1. THEY CAME. THEY SWAM. THEY CONQUERED. – People got in the pool! I got in the pool! I mean, I was always planning on getting in the pool, but I know that sometimes there exists this pool/brown person disconnect. “Do you REALLY expect people to get in, Cass?” asked a friend a couple weeks before the party. Then I got a little nervous, then I got a lot nervous, then I resolved to swim and figured people would join me. And they did. Lots of them! And it was a beautiful, beautiful sight to behold!

Friends at the swim up bar

Yeah….I went in and under and loved every second of it!

Bikini clad guests strike a pose

2. MOMZ IN THE HOUSE – My MOM was there! That’s right, good ol Mamajesty got to check out her first big event planned by yours truly. It was really special to have her there and introduce her to folks. Thanks for swinging through, Mommy Dearest!

Daugher and Mother pose for the camera

3. ALMA MATER REPRESENT – My college buddies from Wash U were there! They are all awesome and talented and doing cool things (such as moving to China, pursuing a PhD, and opening a bar). Even though they may have straight hair they were totally down with supporting the cause and I loved sharing a little bit of the Curly World with them.

Nicole, Dani, and Sarita—–> <3

Josh and Barry. Two of my closest friends since Freshman Year in college.

Aaron: a long time friend, blog reader, and fellow curly

And now I realize that I even had a duo of sisters that I’ve known from when we were all in grade school together in Minneapolis!

My Mom with Leslie and Erica — all from MN

4. BLOGGERS UNITE – Lots of bloggers and vloggers came that either I’ve met before and wanted to come or that I’ve always wanted to meet, which was super cool! EmpressRi, Afroniquely You, BackToCurly, Taren916, Le Coil, Sheena LaShay, Boutique de Bandeaux, ManeMoves, Essence Street Style, Chescaleigh, CurlyFashionista, and Miss Moon’s Musings were all there just to name a few!

Chai of Back to Curly and Sheena LaShay

Natural Selection and EmpressRi

Taren916

Jamala of LeCoil

5. SINGING IN THE SHOWER – This woman made my night. Nuf said.

Mad respect. I belt it out in the shower too!

6. PUTTING THE FACES TO THE PRODUCTS – It was super awesome to meet Jane Carter, Dickey of Hair Rules, and Sondriel of Ouidad. I would add Rich Dennis, owner of Shea Moisture, to this list, but we’ve met several times before and it was good to see him nonetheless! It was also a treat to have Karen Tappin of Karen’s Body Beautiful in attendance!

Dickey of HairRules

Chimole of Shea Moisture, Jane Carter, and I

 

Sondriel of Ouidad

Karen of Karen’s Body Beautiful and Michelle of NaturallyCurly

7. PLEASE DON’T STOP THE MUSIC! – No for serious, I wish that the music didn’t get cut because DJ Christian Jae was ON POINT! Loved what he was spinning! Definitely the fitting vibe for the soiree!

On the one’s and two’s and killin it

8. CURL POWER – The energy of the community in attendance was palpable. You definitely got the sense that this was a truly special event. It makes me think of Captain Planet or something, but to the tune of “with the power our curls combined….”

A longtime NaturallyCurly reader and Michelle share a moment in the name of Curl Power

 

9. IIIIIII’M COMING OUT – I mentioned this yesterday, but I was thrilled to announce my official joining of the NaturallyCurly fam as Global Editor and it was great to revel in appreciation and congratulations from attendees. Thanks for your support y’all!

Announcing the new position (and the winners of lots of giveaways!)

 

10. F.U.N. – It may go without saying, but I had a REALLY fun time! Events should be fun and flow and make people happy. Judging from the smiles on peoples faces, that was definitely achieved with this one. The good news is that there will be more! And probably in your neck of the woods, so stay tuned!

 

 

 

 

For the full album of snaps visit the Natural Selection Facebook album.  Also check out my write up of the event on NaturallyCurly.com!

Naturals Night Out Los Angeles + San Diego Wrap Up + Galleries!

This past weekend, Natural Selection hit the road to go visit our natural sisters to the south for a two-stop weekend of Naturals Night Out events sponsored by Shea Moisture. Los Angeles was up first on Friday night where we spent the evening with our gracious hostesses of Mahogany Hair Revolution . The salon, which was founded by trichologist Dr. Kari Williams, was an inspiring and knowledge-rich environment and the evening proved to be informative for both veteran and new naturals alike. Using Shea Moisture products, stylists executed a wide variety of styles throughout the evening including flat twist/updo combos, two strand twists, and cornrows.

One of the highlights of the evening was actually the result of a last minute switch up in the program in which I asked fellow blogger EllePixie of Quest for the Perfect Curl to stand in as a hair model. Boyyyyy was Elle resistant, but after being wooed with the promise of free flowing champagne and no scissors she agreed to sit in the styling chair for the FIRST TIME SINCE HER BIG CHOP!!!!!! (!!!!!!) I know the terror that comes with putting ones’ precious curls in the hands of an unknown stylist, but props to Elle for taking a risk because what unfolded of the course of the evening was one of the dopest natural hair styles I’ve ever seen. Blending 2 sizes of cornrows, two-strand twists, mohawk and three bouffant-esque puffs Izzy (the name of Elle’s hair) walked out of that salon looking capital H Hawt!

Aside from finally meeting Elle (after over a year of correspondence on the interweb via forums and emails), I also got to meet fellow blogger Daily of DailyCurlz, and other LA-based readers. After two rendez-vous on the East Coast at Atlanta hair events, I was thrilled to share some West Coast natural love and community with stylist Felicia Leatherwood who has become not only an natural hair inspiration and style icon but a friend.

Striking a pose with Miss Felicia!

Somehow, after wrapping up the evening chatting hair on a street corner until 2am (the love of hair chat knows no limits), I got up on Saturday and drove down to San Diego for the second SoCal event at Upscale Gallery Hair Salon. Many of the ladies on Saturday night were members of the local meet up group called Showing My Roots (who you may have heard of before for their organization of the West Coast Natural Hair Cruise in October). This event took on a much more hands-on and involved approach as attendees kicked off the evening by passing around and testing out Shea Moisture products. Within minutes, I was demonstrating a smoothing/shingling technique on one attendees head using a Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie then switching to another head to put in a two-strand twist using the Deep Treatment Masque (a product that gave me one of the best twist outs I’ve ever had. You can see it up there in that picture of me on the header of this blog riiiight now!). Almost everyone had their hands in someone else’s head— feeling moisture levels, checking out curl patterns, and seeing how each product reacted differently to another’s curl.  One attendee took the time to do her own set of two strand twists throughout the evening using the provided products!

Upscale Gallery stylists demonstrated a wide variety of styles including wash’n'gos, finger coils, and a spiral set. I was really amazed at the results of the spiral set in which the stylist used Shea Moisture’s Curl Enhancing Smoothie because of the definition achieved as well as the fact that the style should last for up to two weeks with proper maintenance.

If you read this blog frequently, you know that I rarely let go of my trusty wash’n'go and so I spent a good chunk of time explaining and walking attendees through my weekly wash’n'go routines. One of the highlights from this San Diego event was having Chimole, the Marketing representative from Shea Moisture, styled in a wash’n'go. Chimole expressed that she rarely (never?) wears her hair loose and frequently pulls her hair back in a ponytail. The thing is that she has a gorgeous curl pattern that to me was just screaming to be let loose and I thought that her wash’n'go looked great. I want to announce publicly here on this blog right here, right now, that Chimole *promised* me that she would wear a wash’n'go for two weeks. A promise is a promise. You heard it here first and we’ll be checking up on her often :)

Chimole rocks her wash and go! I’m so proud.

All in all, it was a great duo of events and I’m so glad to have made the trip to Southern California! I loved meeting new friends and providing a space for others to connect and learn through Naturals Night Out!

I want to say special, heartfelt and warm thank-you’s to:

  • Mahogany Revolution and Upscale Gallery Hair Salon for sharing their space and natural hair know-how with all of us.
  • Naturals Night Out sponsor Shea Moisture for supporting our West Coast natural hair communities— it was truly a pleasure to have this amazing product line participate in the event and share the experience with Chimole; thank you for making the trip from New York to join us!
  • Myisha of Sheena’s Events who keeps me and Naturals Night Out running smoothly. In addition to making Naturals Night Out the great experience that it is, Myisha also proved to be an excellent travel mate and I’m very thankful to share these adventures with her!
  • All of YOU!  For attending, reading, supporting.  Thank you thank you thank you!

Without further ado, the full galleries from the events:

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