BY SARA MILLER
Whether it’s kinky, straight, curly or wavy, hair has always been an integral part of the black community and our rich history. From the intricate braiding designs of the Himba and Mangbetu African tribes, to the pin-curl styles of the 1960’s, hair was not only groomed and decorated for aesthetic reasons, but was used to express the social terrain of the era. However, historically for much of those years, black women have felt immense pressure from society to change the structure of their hair. Not an easy task for some, many women subject themselves to harsh and often times dangerous chemical relaxer treatments that beat their kinky hair into submission, a practice that still continues on today. But in recent years, the resurgence of having unprocessed or natural hair has been proven to be very popular. Reminiscent of the 1970’s when hair was popularly worn in an afro-style, you can now see many women wearing their hair in braids, twists and curly styles with confidence. But for a person who has been using relaxers since childhood, the concept of having natural hair can be confusing, as they have no idea how to take care of it.
Attention to all Toronto Naturalista’s! Now in its eleventh year, the annual Toronto Natural Hair & Beauty Show is set to take place at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre on September 25th 2016. One of Toronto’s only major shows dedicated to natural hair, health and beauty for the African/Caribbean diaspora, the family two-day event boasts over fifty exhibitors, vendor marketplace, interactive workshops, live entertainment and fashion shows.
In attendance at the show will be Barbadian author, Taymer Mason who will be launching her new book titled: Kink Alchemy: Guide to Handcrafted Natural Hair Products. Mason will also host workshops on how to make natural hair products including a Papaya Anti Breakage Hair Mask, Coconut Styling Hair Milk and the secret to whipping shea butter. Also in attendance will be Rachelle Turple who will be offering a budgeting workshop on making your hair look good without breaking the bank. Marketplace vendors in attendance for this year include Reflections Jewelry, Up North Naturals, Estella African Clothing and Jewelry, Holistic Vibrancy, Safiya House of Kreation, Curly Crown, Design Essentials, Loc ‘n Twist Natural Hair Studios, Eli’s Body Shop, Roots to Curls, London Ivy Natural and Organic Hair Products, Earthtones Naturals and more.
Open for everyone to attend; event-goers have the opportunity to learn about various styling methods, new products, holistic health practices, fashion and more. Created in 2003, the event is aimed at changing and reshaping old racial stereotypes and assumptions about natural hair in the black community. The event provides attendees an atmosphere that is welcoming and uplifting, perfect for those who may feel uncomfortable or new transitioning to natural hair.
The show has grown tremendously in the years, starting off with ninety participants attending the four-hour event to over a thousand attendees visiting over a two-day span including international visitors.
Tickets for the Toronto Natural Hair & Beauty Show are $20 for Saturday, $25 in advance for Sunday, and $30 the door. A weekend pass is $35. Tickets can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com
Don’t miss out on what is going to be the biggest Toronto Natural Hair & Beauty Show yet.