The hair meetup was at the University of Namibia main campus at the centre for external studies UCCB hall (old library upstairs). It was a lot of fun to meet people who have a keen interest in maintaining their hair and keeping it healthy.
The sound of India Arie's "I am not my hair" was playing, giving a fitting atmosphere for the discussions of the evening. As we began to find out seats, the audience chatted with each other, trading tips, asking questions and complementing this or that person's hair do.
|Tikalah, our wonderful MC|
It started with a brief introduction by Fransina, who had a gorgeous head of relaxed hair. It was almost APL dare I say. She cut it almost bald to help ladies realise that their value is not in their hair and also to encourage sisters who are starting out their healthy hair journey. I was really touched when she explained this. Normally one is hit with the thought, " But WHHHYYY all that hurrr down the drain???!!" Hearing it first-hand from her and seeing her passion really helped me to understand her choice.
|Hermien dong her thing|
Next was a talk by Hermien Elago, who was touching on the issue of identity and it's relation to hair. In a nutshell she basically encouraged us to see beyond a person's hair and appearance and NOT judge them for it. The typical gold digger assumption people have for a person with the fancy Brazilian weave. Or the thought that that lady doesn't have any hair that's why she's weaving it up. Or the belief that a naturalista has some deeper understanding of life, is wearing her hair as a political statement, is really in touch with her African roots or is a rebel. You know the thought that a relaxed sista hates herself? As a naturalista she said there's this kind of wall some natural ladies put up to the relaxed women because of her hair. All that judging should not be taking place. Can I just get an amen right about now? She wears locs and is currently on her second set. Apparently she always gets people trying to sell her weed or going " Jah Rastafari Movement" or something like that. She also touched on how important it is to remember that our hair, although a part of us should not BE who we are, neither is it what someone else is. We are the soul that lives within. One of the things she said that impressed me was that as we take care of our hair ourselves, we get to know it like a friend. That's so true.
Twapewa, who I featured some time ago, also gave us a pep talk on loving our hair, accepting it in whatever form it is in. She struck a cord when she asked what's wrong with women knowing their value. Her message really put across that there is so much pressure to fit in and women don't think they are good enough until they conform to society's ideals. She reminded us that we have the freedom to be who we are and our hair is an expression of our creativity whether relaxed or natural. There were so many nods and "uh huhs" in agreement.
|Twapewa had this beautiful fro with a twisted halo|
There was also a clip on the effects or a relaxer. Some parts were factual, some not so much. However I felt for the relaxed ladies there who kinda felt a bit awkward during the vid. Although it was meant to educate people and help them make informed decisions about deciding to perm, it was still giving the "don't relax your hair vibe". Some of the relaxed ladies in the audience stood up for their right to remain relaxed, citing the care and steps they take with their hair. My opinion is that as long as you know what the relaxer is doing to you hair and you take safety precautions, relax away. Relaxed hair can be healthy too.
Then we had a talk from Mercia, who is currently a student hairdresser. She works with both natural and relaxed hair. It was really refreshing to meet a hair dresser who actually cares about healthy hair care and handling your tresses properly. She encouraged washing and deep conditioning weekly, regular trimming, exercise, good diet, and the mixing and matching of products from different ranges. Also that consistency + a little patience with products to work their magic will pay off in the long run. Most importantly she stated that what works for one head, will not necessarily work on another. And that's okay :-) Since she's a student her services are FUHREEEEE! There were many questions for her when she was done talking!!
|Mercia demonstrating efrolage (idk the spelling) which is a cool sciency word for a scalp massage!|
At the end we had a giveaway. We had to make a catch phrase with the words 'natural hair' in it. Yours truly won a hamper with ors hair mayonnaise, castor oil and coconut oil and an apple :-) for her phrase " I love my natural hairitage". Second time in my life I've ever won anything guys. Lol my sister and I screamed like little girls when they showed me what I won lol!! The runners up won some fruit : a kiwi and an orange to feed their hair from the inside. Every attendant also got a free complementary bottle of castor oil with an inspiring bible verse (sweet)
Afterwards we had some refreshments and yummy muffins. Then we mixed and mingled, took some pics and thanked everyone for putting it together. All in all, it was a great mixer. The audience was rather small, about 15 to 20 people but we had such a ball. The passion with which each speaker said her words was remarkable.
|Riita braided her locs. I mean how AWESOME is that??!!|
|Some of the lovely ladies in attendance|
|Pre-meetup ussie , with my sister Hazel|