Yesterday was a great day for natural hair in Toronto! It was the ninth annual Natural Hair and Beauty Show, featuring both local and international vendors and stylists. I had the fortune of modelling kinky crochet twists for natural hairdresser Hair By Glenna in her runway showcase, and it was a blast! She had seven models in total, each rocking a different protective style. Glenna excels at creating low-manipulation hairdos such as bantu knots, Senegalese twists, and crochet braids, all of which were prominently displayed for the audience's enjoyment.
Preparing backstage, I couldn't get over the variety of styles packed in one room! Giant afros, locs, updos, fades, extensions... you name it. Everyone looked absolutely stunning. Moreover, there were vendors galore offering all the essentials like shea butter and conditioning oils. Jewellers, painters, and other artisans also spread their afrocentric wares across a sea of tables.
What was most exciting, though, was the atmosphere. The whole event had such an air of community and camaraderie. There was no competition between models, no animosity between vendors. It was purely a celebratory collaboration. I experienced this firsthand when I arrived and was asked to put on some lipstick. I am a bit of a tomboy and I don't own a single palette of makeup, but fortunately a really sweet criminology major named Sara hooked me up with a deep shade of maroon before I could even ask. That moment when she introduced herself and handed me her lipstick encompassed what the natural hair movement is all about: naturalistas supporting other naturalistas.
Thinking of attending next year's event? Keep an eye on www.torontonaturals.ca for more info!