An overview of happenings, gatherings and events in the Natural Hair World in 2013; highlights, hairstyles and more.
As usual 2013 started with America’s Next Natural Model which just gets better every year. It was an extremely tough race but after this years’ winner Jayme Goodwin came to New York to do the photoshoot as part of her prize she was so impressively good that she was also offered to do a video commercial. So not only was this the first time that I personally met and shot America’s Next Natural Model, this was also the debut of our online pageant producing a commercial.
My unexpected speaking engagement at the United Nations became an absolute highlight of this nearly passed year. Invited by the former First Lady of Suriname Liesbeth Vanenburg-Venetiaan, I was given the opportunity to present Going Natural to eight award winning First Ladies of the continent of Africa. To be in the present of these accomplished women with a heart for social issues was a huge honor.
Celebrating Keti Koti.
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Another highlight was my invitation to speak in the Netherlands for the commemoration of the abolishment of 150 years slavery, sponsored by Motivational speaker Jorgen Raymann. It was just great to be in Amsterdam at a time like that but the fact that my speech BAD Hair Uprooted was very well received made it a truly humbling experience. You can read the transcript here: Bad Hair Uprooted, the untold History of Black Follicles
Going Natural Hair Show
Back in New York, I hardly had time to recover from my jetlag because the first Going Natural Hair Show in years, featuring five top natural hair salons, was almost ready to get started.
With so many events going on and a pretty hectic traveling schedule there was hardly time to workshops but I did manage to do one together with the amazing Adenike of the Woven Wool Hair & Body Experience. The article My hair doesn’t Curl tells you all about how well the workshop was received but more than that Adenike and I realized we need to do many more. So the first thing on our todo list of next year is workshops. Stay tuned!
The Master Pioneer Award 2013
A great event that didn’t get as much attention as I think it deserves was the Masters Pioneer Award to honor those who have built the foundation for the natural hair industry. It was a fantastically organized ceremony in the Brooklyn Museum complete with poetry, songs and of course a hair and fashion show that surpassed all expectation. I hope in the coming years you will be more on the lookout for the Masters and many more of you will attend.
Going Natural Hair Products – No more ouch ouch
This is the year, I was also elated to announce that the Woven Wool Hair & Body Experience and Sabine’s Hallway in Brooklyn became the first salons to sell the going natural hair products. Everybody who’s ever visited the salon or met Adenike who is not only an experienced and accomplished hairstylist, she is also a reiki and holistic healthcare practitioner who loves to preach, teach and share her knowledge. So when she asked to become a representative of the Going Natural Hair products, after being hesitant to even use them, I was elated. That was the ultimate test but if that is not enough listen to what this beautiful mom told me her baby said to her when she started using the No More Knots.
In between all the events that were going on, I also started to loc my hair, implemented a new design and introduced the Going Natural Video Diaries. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that I hardly had time to blog about my loc journey. To be honest with everything I have in mind for the coming year, I can’t promise it will be any better in 2014 when it comes to blogging about my personal hair journey but you can be sure there will be plenty to see, do and participate like the Video Diaries.
The response on this new project has been incredible and you can expect many more videos next year. If you haven’t sent in yours yet, please follow the link and do so asp.
So although we weren’t asked to sign a petition this year, there were enough controversies in the news about natural so we know there is more work to be done and I promise you we will be at the front of it.
Naturally I can’t end the year without thanking you, my fellow members, for making going-natural.com what it is. Your visits, comments, sharing and ordering all helps to make a difference. So I like to thank you and leave you with what better than natural hair inspiration; a slideshow of incredible hairstyles from our fellow hair salons. Youc an also see a more extensive slide show of happenings in 2013 at the homepage. I hope you enjoy the slides as much as I did putting it together.
Happy holidays and a happy, healthy and incredible 2014!