Picks, twists, fros and bows. Natural hairstyles and accessories alike were plentiful at the International Natural Hair Meetup Day – New Orleans in Kenner on May 30. Despite heavy downpour and a flood watch, dedicated attendees, including eight vendors from the local New Orleans area and Texas came to offer and receive makeup, fashion and of course, natural hair care tips.
The International Natural Hair Meetup Day is an annual one-day event that takes place simultaneously at different cities and countries all over the world such as Amsterdam, Kenya, Los Angeles, Chicago and even Baton Rouge. Every city has it’s own list of vendors and program scheduling, unique to its city and its audience. Vendors sold various types of items including sunglasses, clothes and even custom made crochet earrings and bow ties. In addition to the shopping opportunities, two discussion panels on proper natural hair maintenance led by media personality Chenese Lewis (@cheneselewis), informed the audience of the do’s and don’ts of protective styling to prevent losing hair (edges), the best type of oils to moisturize hair without clogging the scalp and a Q&A session with the naturalistas in the room.
Following the panels, a fashion show featuring the clothes from Miss Behavin’ Online Boutique entertained the crowd and at the end, a group of confident women from the audience got a chance to pose off to win a giveaway prize.
Jabreel Walker (@jabreelw), organizer of INHMD New Orleans, was only expecting less than 70 attendees based on the number of ticket sales by the day of the event, but was humbled by the amount of on site registrations, swelling her attendance rate to nearly 100. Not bad for it being the first time Walker has organized the event.
“I wasn’t expecting this many people,” she said. “I’m so happy for the turnout.”
Local artist and renowned big hair, don’t care natural diva Tank of Tank and the Bangas opened up the event and was proud of Jabreel and loved bringing INHMD to New Orleans.
“This was a great event,” she said. “It’s a great crowd and as word gets out about it and more publicity, more people will be coming to it next year.”
Spread LA – @shopspreadla
“I’m scared to talk to people but I feel more confident with glasses on.” – Raquel Boyd, owner
Komplexxblends – @komplexxblends
“My favorite lip color from my line is High Class. Donations of sales goes to charities for Parkinson’s Disease in memory of my grandmother.” – Karian Durham, owner
Natruelemine – @natruelemine
“When coming up with a design for my T-shirt, I asked Facebook, ‘What does natural hair mean to you?’ and that’s how we came up with the fro graphic and I included my signature mole over my lip to make it unique to me.” – Jeanette DeVaughn, owner
Creationz 4 You – @creationz4you
“My favorite items to make are the tutu earrings. Anything you want me create, I have probably made it before and if not, I love a challenge.” – Nikki Spence (left), owner
Royal Nubian – @royalnubianskincare
“The Nefertiti and Sephora collections have deep connections to me because the formulas came to me from dreams I’ve had.” – Jahnel Profit (left), owner
H2BN – @h2bnnaturals
“What I love about my products is that we can make custom made products and take out certain ingredients for your skin allergies.” – Kiera Robins, owner
Miss Behavin’ – @missbehavinboutique
“I like color, so the kind of outfits that make me feel good must have color, lots of ruching and I need accessories to complete my look.” – Lyndreion Farria, owner
Silk Me – @silkmehaircare
“Six months ago, I started working with labs and testing out samples for products with all natural ingredients to help improve hair growth. I specialize in natural hair but my products can work for all hair types.” – Meme Kelly, owner