Last week, I was in Abuja for the Capital Naturals 3, Natural Hair Meet Up. I love how beautiful Abuja is and was very excited to be back there. I was also quite curious to see how far the natural hair community had come along there.
The very first meet up we had in Abuja, there were several ladies in attendance who came with weaves, braids and twists and the rallying cry was “My hair is natural under this!” a clear indication that
- They did not know how to handle their natural hair
- There was no real support – salons, products e.t.c
I am glad to say that at this meet up, that had changed significantly. I am also aware that there are at least four dedicated natural hair salons in Abuja and now lots more vendors selling products that are natural hair friendly. Progress, no?
Our chosen venue, Baytown Lounge, Apo was lovely. The staff were very friendly and helpful. They quickly re-purposed one of their air conditioned indoor lounges so that our attendees would have a place to sit and listen to the talks. This was amazing of them as it meant that we did not have to sit outdoors in the heat – Abuja is hot o! When we realized that the canopy we rented for vendors was not sufficient, they brought some of theirs out of storage, set it up and even supplied us chairs. The compound is H.U.G.E and so we were not wanting for space outdoors where the shopping was taking place.
We did not start on time, mainly because a lot of people came late. For some, this was because they had some difficulty finding the venue. Well, nothing to fear! We are going to continue with this venue for some time so the hassle is a one time thing only 🙂
And then it began – Our beautiful and funny compere, did a really good job getting people to talk about themselves and their unique hair journey. One of the ladies she asked to speak was actually all the way relaxed. I was quite glad that she had come for the event as we do not discriminate.
After the ice-breaking discussion, the hair talks began. It was started off by Farida of Lumos Naturals Salon, Gwarinpa speaking about Ayurvedic powders and how they can be beneficial for growing healthy hair.
This was followed up by Natural Mane of Deep, Brown & Kinks taking participants through tips on managing their hair during Rainy Season. She threw in some tips as well.
The third speaker was moi! I spoke on Healthy Hair NOW! My message was essentially tailored towards healthy practices and regimens that would help one achieve healthy hair. I stressed that only healthy hair can give sustainable length.
Kiki of Keeks Therapy gave a talk as well, tackling things from a health perspective. She’s a pharmacist with a fully functional pharmacy in Jabi, so she knows her stuff. Unfortunately, I do not have a clear picture of her giving her talk.
When the talks were done, people started walking back to the vendor area. See how much space we had? It was slightly ridiculous. I love that about Baytown Lounge!
Okay, let’s do some hair ogling. That, after all, is what most people go to meet ups to do! Don’t deny it!
This lady showed up with threading. Loved it! Doesn’t she look good? I really hope this catches on. It is one of the best things you can do for your hair.
While I was busy running around to make sure that the event was going well, this chic right here took a lot of the pictures here. She very kindly gave them to me to share. Follow her on twitter. She also slyly took pictures of me when she thought I wasn’t looking.
As always, we had vendors at the meet up. Here are a few pictures. I loved that they were selling things that were different – one from the other. I particularly liked the fact that there were a lot of items there that were locally made. #BuyNigerian.
And that about sums it up! I had a delightful time and I am so grateful that we had such a good turn out – while I was giving my talk, I saw that not everyone had a seat and some were standing. That is something we will definitely address. At the next meet up. Later this year!
I absolutely love how the Nigerian Hair community is shaping up and these Natural hair meet ups we hold in Nigeria really help us see the progress we make.
If you are in Lagos, don’t forget to join us at the NITC8, Lagos Natural Hair Meet Up