Here's What You Missed at Curls We Do Adore!
Image: left to right-- Panelists: Kela Walker, Gabrielle Corney, Courtney Stradford, Sunita, Kia
Saturday, March 26th, Midtown--Picture it, a quaint space all white chairs and background, beautiful white flowers...No, we’re not in heaven, unless of course you’re referring to natural hair heaven.
Black Girl Fly’s very own co-founder, Courtney Stradford, hosted her first natural hair care event, Curls We Do Adore, at the 28on27th Loft in New York. Aunt Jackie’s and Dark and Lovely sponsored while also serving as vendors for the event. Aunt Jackie’s is a fairly new company having only been on the market for four years. They cater to the kinky curly hair textures, providing great moisturizers, shampoos, and conditioners with their flaxseed line and coconut and olive oil ingredients.
The panelists include award winning and Emmy nominated TV host Kela Walker, celebrity hairstylist Gabrielle Corney, NYC based blogger Sunita, and natural NYC based digital content creator, social media influencer, and brand ambassador Kia.
If you went, you learned a lot about a lot. Aunt Jackie’s spokesperson Janice Leonard says the go to product is the “Knot On My Watch” detangler and leave-in conditioner. Since many women complain about shrinkage “Curl LaLa” is also a great product from their line, which allows for awesome wash and go styles and twist outs. Leonard also had opinions of her own stating that natural hair is freedom of expression and Aunt Jackie’s addresses the market and needs of its consumers. “I love the mode of confidence it gives women,” says Leonard.
Image: Aunt Jackie's hair products
Speaking with Dark and Lovely representatives, Briana Wright and Lauren Clementz, they agree that natural hair care has become more of a focal point due to a shift in the market where there is now a place for all hair types. They also endorsed their newest product the Twice As Nice Curl Refresher which works wonders for curly girls and second day hairstyles.
Another Dark and Lovely spokesperson says that their products help take the guesswork out of hair care and since there are many textures there are just as many products that speak to natural hair. Her go to product is the L.O.C collection because she prefers the wash and go style.
Image: Dark and Lovely ambassadors
The hardwood floors were soon covered as a bevy of natural haired beauties filled the room. Black paned windows created the backdrop of the other end of the room where a stop and stand stood. Various textures, hair colors, skin tones, and chic outfits posed in front of the piece as photographer Joe Chea snapped their pictures.
Image: Curls We Do Adore event attendees
The place was packed and full of good energy, therefore the background noise was a steady hum of conversation and laughter. I am able to have a chat with Kela Walker off in the narrow hallway loft entrance:
“ I never had an issue with it. As long as your hair is presentable it is fine, because it is all about head to toe style,” says Walker referring to hair protocol for women of color in the media. “I never had to face it. I had the stereotypical relaxed, straight hair, but I also enjoy the versatility. When I’m at work it’s like they can’t keep up with all of my hairstyles. My go to style is organized chaos, messy but intentional,” she says.
Vendors filled almost every corner of the loft. Including the aforementioned Dark and Lovely and Aunt Jackie’s Table. There was also Pearls Boutique owned by Tamika who founded the store in Jamaica, Koffi’s Jello Bar, who has delicious jello cups adorned with the Curls We Adore seal, and catering provided by Chef Jeff Catering. Those mini cupcakes were oh so tasty!
Image: Chef Jeff Catering Cupcakes
“Natural hair care means keeping your hair healthy,” says Sunita as she stands near the Dark and Lovely table with her plentiful head of hair. “My go to style is letting my hair out and deep conditioning while my go to product is Pantene Curl Perfection,” says the Wisconsin born blogger.
Everyone is mixing and mingling throughout the crowd, sipping champagne, taking pictures in front of the stop and stand, and getting henna tattoos placed on their hands. Gabrielle Corney, celebrity hairstylist, also weighed in:
“I wanted to do hair since I was fifteen years old. It was only about five years ago that I figured out that this was my purpose. I was so busy in it, I didn’t realize it. It was sort of like my ministry, a way to connect with women,” says Corney, who swears by aloe plants to keep her edges and skin tight.
The goodie bags are handed out before and during the event, filled with what one would consider a sample of hair care heaven.
Image: Gift bag giveaways
More giveaways were announced as people looked over their raffle tickets to see if their number has been called. Thenotoriouskia sits on a panelist stool talking to a friend.
“One of the reasons I started my natural hair care journey was to get my hair straight without using chemicals,” she says. With her go to hairstyle being the twist and curl Kia says, “My go to product is a deep conditioner, leave-in, and styler...I like versatile products that let me style my hair in many ways.”
With Curls We Do Adore being her first solo event, host Courtney can be seen buzzing about the room, greeting and mingling with her guests in a chic white dress and her twist out tresses. As Courtney mentioned during the panel discussion, the inspiration for her natural hair journey can be credited to the fact that she was once told that she is not the “natural type.” To her, natural hair is diverse and just as hair is diverse so are the women of the panel and within the room.
“My biggest inspiration are the women I inspire. Knowing that my hair journey has inspired someone else motivates me to keep learning to keep teaching and hopefully [to keep] inspiring others,” says Stradford.
With that said, these women are more than just their hair and you can expect to see more of their personality and style through their social media accounts and blogs. Check out www.curlsandcouture.com for natural hair tips and product reviews.
Image: Attendees and panelists
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