By Andrea Henderson, Fashion & Beauty Contributor
Line dancing, free food from Houston’s top chefs and live music from one of Houston’s hottest DJ’s was not even half of what you missed this year at the fifth annual Nzuri Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Festival on December 7, 2013, and December 8, 2013, at Reliant Park. With natural hair being one of the most common hair styles in Houston among women, men and children, missing the festival was more so a crime. Attendees with curly hair in shades of black and brown, humongous afros, natural mohawks and natural up-dos roamed the festival while picking up on the latest natural hair ideas, bargains on hair products and mingling with their favorite social media natural hair stylists.
If you didn’t make the festival this year, there is always next year, however, here are a couple of things you missed this year:
1. Workshops: Natural hair can be a bit tedious and frustrating at times especially when you are new to rocking the look. Hair care professionals hosted numerous hour long workshops that provided advice on head wrapping, secrets to growing your hair, the do’s and dont’s on different hair care products, natural hair styling and the beginning phases of becoming natural.
2. Fashion shows and concerts: Hair was not the only focus of the festival. Local designers and fashion insiders put together fashion shows that not only had models of color grace the runway but they also rocked their boisterous fros and chic natural looks. To end the festival, the audience was able to take in the vocals of BET’s Sunday Best winner Joshua Rogers. They also enjoyed watching the Next Top Model, Fab over 40, Mr. Handsome Man and “Happy” Headed competitions.
3. Free samples and hair care product discounts: Some patrons were not so pleased with the small amount of free samples that they collected from various vendors this year, however, they were excited about the deals they received from vendors like Bronner Bros Inc. Companies like Cantu Shea Butter and Natural Curlz made their products readily available for purchase as well as having knowledgeable hair care specialist on site to discuss ways to incorporate their product into your natural hair care regimen.
4. Hair demonstrations: Stylist from Nothing But explained to onlookers as she strategically massaged a curl sealer into one of her spectators hair who wanted a more defined curl. Hair stylist Xaviera Brown from Glorious Hair flat ironed viewers hair for free and styled hair with a simple flat iron for only $15. Barbers were on site as well, with free hair cuts or edge ups for men, women and children.
5. Mingling: For women who are natural the festival was perfect for observing the latest natural hair care products as well as simply meeting fellow natural hair women and men. There was so much advice in one room for those who are beginners or for those who have been rocking the natural look for years now. For those who are new to the natural hair look the best advice that I heard all weekend was to not be a product hog. Buying every product you see or hear about is costly and will go to waste. Just stick with one great conditioner and it does not have to be pricey to do the trick. Also, if you are looking for styling ideas, then do a Google search for the hairstyle or hit up your favorite social media site like YouTube or Pinterest for great ideas from some natural hair bloggers like My Natural Sistas or Iknowleee.
In case you missed this years event, go to www.naturalhairfestival.com for more information on upcoming events.
About Andrea Henderson
Andrea Henderson is a fashion contributor for Empower Magazine and her own magazine-style fashion website. She features tips for fashion trendsetters and the fashionably challenged and covers the fashion scene in her hometown of Houston, Texas. Andrea wants the world to know that Houston is more than cowboy hats and boots.