Natural hair is a lifestyle -yes a lifestyle. Whether you’re a product junkie, YouTube guru or an “I’ll make an appoint” type of girl, natural hair takes time and attention to maintain its health and be vibrant. An added accessory to any look, natural hair is versatile, charismatic and timeless.
The 2018 Texas International Hair and Trade Show’s Natural Life department has searched far and wide to bring you trend-setting, innovative, and the most sought after professionals in the world of natural hair. Natural hair educators, stylists, exhibitors, wearers and spectators are welcomed to be part of our hair world.
2018 Natural Life Celebrity Guest Stylist
You’ve seen her innovative, game changing styling on Beyonce, Zoe Kravitz and Brandy! Susy The Purple Unicorn, aka AfricanCreature, owner of “HairBySusy” and creator of the Lemonade braids and the Zoe braids.
2018 Natural Life Classes
Sunday June 24, 2018
11:00 to 12:15The tricks and truths about dreadlocks Syreeta Baker
12:30 to 1:45LocsJese Webb
Monday June 25, 2018
11:00 to 12:15Braid ElevatedMs. Nelly
2:00 to 3:15Revolutionizing the Natural ExperienceCyrita Jackson
3:00 to 4:45The Business of Loc ExtensionsPaulette Anderson
2018 Natural Life Showcase and Competitions
The Natural Life Showcase and Competitions offer a grand prize of $500. 2nd and 3rd place winners are awarded trophies.
Wearing locs is great, and one of the best things about wearing them is low maintenance! When I say low maintenance, I mean almost no maintenance. I get my roots interlocked (retightened) every six weeks, and try to wash my hair every ten to fifteen days. I may miss a wash day here and there, but I ensure to have my retightening done on a regular basis. Another low maintenance perk is product usage. Locs can be maintained with shampoo, water and oil 90% of the time.
Mature, Color Treated Loc Maintenance
I suffered a devastating experience with breakage (due to low iron) in 2015 when I colored my hair just before discovering I was pregnant with my second child. I haven’t given up on color, but I have started to include products to help strengthen and maintain moisture in my locs.
So far, all of the products that I’ve used have been for loose natural hair. Both of my daughters have loose natural hair, so their haircare products are easily acessible. And while locs are a form of natural hair, they aren’t loose strands of hair, and mine are colored treated, so there are some products that can work for me and others that simply won’t.
Even though I’ve branched out and added some additional products to my routine, my scalp still felt dry and itchy, and my locs still looked dry and frizzy.
More Life with More Locs
I finally got my hand on a brand that I’ve had my eye on for a while, MORE LOCS! The first things that I immediately noticed about my hair was the SHINE! After using the product for about a week -OMG! Like, for real!
More Loc debuted earlier this year (2017), the line features over ten products made to give your locs More moisture, More shine, More growth! Because one of my biggest scalp and hair issues is dryness, I selected two items to help me with that.
The Scalp Nourish oil feels like heaven on my scalp! I like that it’s not as thick and heavy as some other oils that I’ve used in the past. It’s easy to distribute, it absorbs into my scalp and locs, and it smells like tropical heaven!
white tea moisture mist
I use the White Tea Moisture Mist daily. It adds moisture to my locs that I can see, and feel when I touch my hair. My locs feel less brittle and the added moisture brought more life into the color of my locs.
The products didn’t just sit on top of my hair nor did it absorb into non-existence like I’d never used it. My scalp and locs feel nourished and moisturized. Not only does my hair and scalp look better, the added moisture has also helped eliminate some of the frizziness I was experiencing with my locs.
More Locs offers products ranging from cleansers to oils and serums. Find out more about More Locs on Instagram at @More_locs. Next on my list of things to try from More Locs is the Herbal Cleanse (shampoo) and Loc Silk (conditioner). Have you experienced More Locs? Tell me your favorite product within the line and why you love it!
I attended my first Texas Hair Shows’ International Hair Show, the Texas International Hair and Trade Show, this year. And I have to admit that I must have been living under a rock for the last sixteen years, because the show was amazing! I’ve attended hair expos in the past, so I had a general idea of what to expect as far as the set up, vendor booths, and class breakouts. But I had absolutely no clue what to expect nor what I was in store for during the America’s Next Top Stylist Competition/Hair Battle and other competitions!
From classes, to live demos, to vendors, if you have any interest in the beauty industry there was something there to benefit you. The exhibition hall hosted a variety of vendors, a main stage, and Barber’s Island; a stage set exclusively for barbers to showcase their work live on stage! The vendors ranged from hair & body product manufacturers to jewelry and fashion. Mocca Cosmetics and Pretty Girl Pillow were in the house. I also spotted all natural, organic and handmade products from Like Second Nature and Unique & Natural!
let’s get it started
As the vendors shut down for the night, the crowd shifted to the ballroom of the convention center and the mood changed drastically. The lights were low, the music was bumping, and the stage was set center to two large projection screens. K104’s Dede McGuire of DeDe in the Morning and actor/model, heartthrob, Christian Keyes opened the show and introduced the opening act, Dooney da Barber.
The performance was followed by the presentation of the Ultimate Groomer Award. Diana Fowlks crowned, or better you could say cloaked, Marcus (Tipp) Mitchell with an Ultimate Groomer bomber jacket! Up next were the Souljahs Steppers. These young men killed their performance, and had a cheering squad like no other!
Our hosts for the evening were the beautiful Michelle Barber, and Glynn Jackson. Glynn kept me in stitches with quick-witted, comical antics throughout the night. The battle was a fist-pumping, edge of your seat, you betta work, yaaasssss type of production. The pressure was on, as the contestants were first critiqued by Tracy Jones, Anita Hawkins, and KC Fox. Then judged by a host of industry giants: Zerlene Rogers, Keya Neal, Dave Raye, Hair Majesty, and Texas T.
I’ve seen hair battles on TV before, but being in the room and feeling the energy of this show was amazing. I loved every minute of it!
There were twelve creative and innovative competitors with industry experience ranging from five to twenty-plus years, all competing for a Grand Prize of five thousand dollars! Each stylist showcased their skills through themed performances ranging from African Safari’s to The Great Gatsby. I had a great time the entire time, and as the millennials would say, “It was LIT AF!”
This year’s Grand Prize winner was Toni Ancher from Spoil ‘Em Rotten salon in Waco, Texas. Toni’s Toy Story Hair Tale brought down the house! It was colorful, had insane energy, and she showed off her skills from natural to fantasy hairstyles. Toni left us in awe -she shut it down!
Sunday night’s festivities were fun, fully of energy and long, but I couldn’t miss Monday’s Loc Competition and I didn’t. All five contestants had dope loc-styles. I’m always delighted to see locs on a platform showcasing their versatility and beauty.
And while everyone isn’t quite ready for the commitment required for locs, we can all get down with braids and corn rows! The braid competition was fit for a queen, the styles were majestic mixed with some ‘around the way’ vibes.
I also had the opportunity to see the Fantasy Hair Competition and the Cosmetology School Competition. Another display of talent and innovation that left me wowed.
All I can say is that I’m kicking myself for all the other shows that I missed. This may have been my first time attending the Texas International Hair Show, but it will not be my last! Follow Texas Hair Shows on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with what’s happening next!
Eight months ago I attended a makeup class at what I like to call a “hidden gem” of a salon. When I arrived at the location I was a little confused, because the name of the establishment and what I’d looked up online listed a hair salon. But when I got there and walked through the doors, a beauty baby grand piano greeted me in the foyer, and a textured wooden wall served as the backdrop. It felt classy and rich. I walked through to a waiting area, the decor had changed. Black walls, crisp, clean white walls. Still rich, but the vibe was more street- around the way. A little past there was a transitional type space. The walls were still black, but there was also a rippled tin wall, and it took all of about 5 minutes before I realize that there was a mural painted on a wall in a street art fashion. My final destination was clearly a photography studio. One side of the room was white. The other side had a stage, and another wooden textured wall accented with elegant mirror art. “I’m here for a makeup class, but I need to find out more about this place!”
Located in Grand Prairie, TX, the 4,500 square-foot facility is equipped with a full service salon: 4 stylists, a loctician, braider, threader. The salon also houses a full service makeup studio, professional makeup artists, photography and videography studio, and media team.
The inspiration and concept of Salon21 was curated by the owners, brother and sister, Jerrod Collins and Amiya Cleveland.
“Part of the inspiration was filling a gap that was there, and loving photo shoots! My brother, Jerrod is an amazing designer. He put everything together. It looked really nice and brought class to the table.” Amiya explains, “You can go from a ‘walk-in’ to having a photo shoot. But, you know that. You’re a model.”
I don’t consider myself a model, but I have thoroughly enjoyed “the experience” of hair, makeup, and a photoshoot at the salon. Since attending the makeup class in August of 2016, Studio 21 has become my go-to! I frequent the salon as a walk-in for wax and threading services. I also love that Studio 21 offers a full list of natural hair care services, loc maintenance and styling. I’ve had my locs styled, and my daughter has her natural hair treated and styled as well.
The lights, studio chairs, and ambiance of the makeup studio make me feel like a star.
I just sit back and let the magic happen. Amiya ‘The Face Beata’ slays and is always on point! She’s done my makeup for events ranging from formals to concerts. Amiya did my makeup, and Studio 21 media did THIS photo shoot. She also did my makeup, and my hair was styled by Jerrod in the Rouge issue of Honey Be Natural magazine.
Graduation season is vastly approaching and prom season is now. This can be a stressful time for students and parents scheduling hair appointments, makeup appointments, buying a dress, tux or outfits. You want to have photos to commemorate all of it. Studio 21 gives you the option to come get your hair and makeup done, then have a photo shoot all in one stop! “We have lots of options, so people can come in, get taken care of. You can even get dressed here and leave for prom from here! ” -Amiya Cleveland
Fall is here, it’s my most favorite season. One of the first things I do to my hair when fall arrives is darken it. I usually highlight or go with all over color in the summer. Changing my hair color in the fall is an is an inexpensive way to change my look for the season.
I always go with reds, bright tones for the summer and deeper tones for winter.
It occurred to me that I haven’t had black hair in quite some time -it’s been at least 4 years. This year I decided to switch things up a bit and tap into my true self a little. I’ve been wanting to go purple for quite some time now. Due to my corporate job, I’d always decided against it. Due to the damage that would result from bleaching, my stylist wasn’t down and told me to give it time and hopefully the crazy urge would pass
I put much thought into the decision. My stylist was right because time has made some purple tones more acceptable in the workplace. I called her up and let her know that THIS YEAR, WE G’ON DO IT. I want PURPLE LOCS FOR FALL!
I know my stylist, I knew that she would not be too keen on bleaching my hair, especially this (dry air) time of year (fall/winter). I scoured social media for the perfect shade of royal. After my color consultation and taking all factors into consideration, including the health of my locs, I settled on black with a splash of purple in the back.
(Some of these pictures are poor quality, I apologize about that.) The back portion of my hair was lifted to a light brown color.
Then a semi-permanent color, Indigo was applied to that area and black to the rest.
I was happy with the black, it was just what I’d hoped it would be. The color was ok, but I expected it to be more visible. However, it was a nice start and good transitional color for work. Two weeks later I had the back lifted again, this time to a gold color.
I’m happy that the color is visible. It’s a little more visible than I’d anticipated, but it’s cute. The black overlays so much of the purple that it doesn’t look as bright as it actually is. I get a lot of compliments and I’m really enjoying it so far.
The number one question that I’m asked about my hair is, “What kind of dreads are those?” After wearing loose natural hair for about three years I had microlocks installed.
“Oh, microlocks, I thought those were Sisterlocks. So, what’s the difference between microlocks and sister locks?”, is usually the next question.
Sisterlocks is a trademarked hairstyling method. In order for locs to be considered “Sisterlocks” the person installing them has to be certified through the Sisterlock program. Sisterlocks are beautiful, I love the versatility they offer as far as styling options. But, my personal opinion is, they cost too much, and some certified sisterlock consultants are just that -certified, not experienced.
My stylist is not certified to install “Sisterlocks”, but has over 15 years experience with natural hair and locs. I saved hundreds of dollars having her install my locs. To this day, I can honestly say that having my locs installed was the best hair decision I’ve made.
The night was long, I woke up bright, early, and sticky from sweat. My roommates were sleep so I took the opportunity to enjoy the patio and view from our room. To my surprise the patio doors were open. This was a pleasant discovery, because it was so hot that night I thought the air had gone out in our unit. Between the sticky heat and mesquitos I found no comfort outside. So, I took advantage of the soft bedding.
It was great, a dream come true for a working mother. Vacation with the girls and we slept in every day. We stirred around that Friday morning and didn’t actually leave the room until almost noon.
We ate breakfast at the same buffet we dined at the night before. We found out that the dinner options provided true variety but breakfast was pretty universal throughout the resort. We also learned that there was a dress code for entering the food establishments.
After breakfast and on our way to the beach, we stopped off at the travel office to book offsite excursions.
Even though the humidity was high, once we got to shore the breeze was pleasantly refreshing. The current was strong and the rip tides were at level red but we went out to enjoy the water a bit anyway.
The most unfortunate part of my first visit to the beach was the fact that I really couldn’t get my mind to settle enough to relax as much as I wanted to. So, I decided to just take in the scenery and enjoy my immediate surroundings.
We took in some sun for a bit and then decided to have a photo shoot. I’m a little self conscious about sharing pics of myself in swimwear. But, oh well, this is me. “If you see something your mother didn’t have, throw a hat at it!”
As the day progressed the rest of the group slowly trickled in. We decided to meet at the Brazilian Steakhouse themed restaurant on the resort for our meet and greet.
The food was good and the staff was…..entertaining, to say the least.
After dinner we headed to the main building for drinks and another night of Karaoke.
And more Mamajuana!!!
The crowd wasn’t as hype as the night before but we managed to turn up in spite of that.
My travel day seemed to take forever, it was wonderful to finally land in Punta Cana.
We had to sit idle on the runway for maybe 15 minutes. Afterwards we were escorted off the plane and shuttled off to Customs.
Image the horror that consumed me while standing in line to clear customs, when I realized that I had no cash on hand. Luckily, I’ve traveled enough to know that I had to remain as calm as possible. Becoming frantic in that situation would only have made things worse. But, not having cash actually helped me get through customs with a breeze. I got to skip past all the lines and was escorted to the Currency Exchange Station.
My next challenge was finding the travel booth with the information for my shuttle ride to the resort. I, again, found myself in a panic. The employees at the airport spoke very little English, add a heavy accent to that and….yeah, I got nothing.
I felt a better when I realized that, even though I don’t speak Spanish, there were people strategically place throughout the air port to ensure we got to the right place.
There were two stops before mine on the shuttle ride to the resort. By the time we got to the Hard Rock I was tired and couldn’t find much excitement. I’m lying, I was excited at the thought of ordering room service, a drink, and laying down for a while.
The resort was massive and beautiful. My roommates met me in the lobby and took me on a brief tour of the main building. There were bars, clubs, a mini mall, and a variety of eateries to enjoy.
The day of traveling had me pretty beat, my roommates (who arrived about 3 hours before me) were feeling good from cocktails but ready for some rest as well.
We ordered a light meal from room service, took naps, showered and headed out for more drinks and more fun.
We found ourselves at the Sun (Karaoke) Bar and I was introduced to a drink made with honey, red wine, rum, and herbs. It’s called Mamajuana…. and Mama is one smooth tasting bad girl! After my first three shots I decided to make Mama my drink for the night.
After my 8th or 10th shot (like seriously, I lost count) the hostess shoved a microphone in my hand and I found myself belting out the lyrics to ‘Someone Like You’, then doubled as the hype man for my fellow karaoke singers.