Bronner Bros Hair Show Recap Part Dos: Product Round-Up + Giveaway
Before heading out to the A, I was quite nervous about my hair, not only because of the impending doom of humidity, but also because at a hair show, you gotta have some good-looking hair. So I left with an arsenal of [travel sized] gels, conditioners, moisturizers, bobby pins, flowers, and headbands. Several hours after arriving, my friends with whom I was staying suggested we go to the pool. I nearly opted out in favor of going directly to the hair show (read: skip out on the hassle of redoing my hair), but the opportunity to frolic in the sun got the better of me, so poolside I went. And literally on the side of the pool, I intended to stay, until the heat got the better of me and I decided to just throw caution to the wind and dive in! I was in Atlanta to cover the hair show AND have some summer time fun so I didn’t want to let my hair get me in the way of maximizing my experience.
Slowly but surely all of my anxieties about my hair melted away into a laissez-faire attitude of just letting Lola be Lola. An ironic approach since the hair show showcased a lot of high-maintenance styling techniques and options. But I was feeling comfortable in my curls and slightly lazy in the heat, so I just rocked my natural in a wash’n’go. In the land-o-weaves I was definitely in the minority, but my coils were a big hit to my immense surprise!
I got so many compliments on my hair at the show. People kept on asking me what products and styling techniques I used. Hands (and they were not my own) were constantly in my head (of course people asked, and I actually didn’t mind because hair touching is definitely a part of the hair show culture). And over and over again, people kept asking me if my hair was real. 100%, baby, 100% and proud of it!
Frizz wasn’t too much of an issue for me and I just made sure to moisturized daily because of the heat using my trusty Qhemet Biologics Burdock Root Butter Creme and a spritz bottle of water and conditioner.
So I spent my days at the hair show, rocking my natural, and sifting through the hundreds of exhibitors to see who else was there representing the natural community and providing quality products for those who choose to wear their naturally textured hair.
Here is a round-up (in no particular order) of some of my favorite companies and products that I came across at the show (read til the end for deets on the giveaway).
ASHLEY LAUREN NATURAL PRODUCTS
Handmade in Chicago, Ashley Lauren caught my eye because of its unpretentious, zen display and deliciously all-natural ingredient list. Founder Georgia Parker created the skin and hair product line twelve years ago after experiencing hair loss and now focuses on educating stylists and consumers alike about the importance of quality ingredients in products. I tried out the leave in conditioner, which has a smooth, thick, and creamy consistency and a light refreshing scent. Check out the website here.
After taking one whiff of the body lotions on this line I was hooked and I stopped to chat with founder, Malik Abdul-Zahir about the product line. Turns out that this Ohio native was originally a perfumer by trade and was inspired to start the line out of a passion for creating custom scents and natural ingredients. The complete OBN Skincare line offers lotions, scented shea butters, and hair oils in 13 transcendent scents. Check em out here.
“Natural hair care was never a trend”. This is a statement I’ve been trying to find the words for for MONTHS now and there it was, prominently displayed on the bags, banners, and capes of this line of loc products. And ok, fine, the brothers on the bag didn’t hurt in drawing my eye to this booth. The full line includes shampoo, gel, sheen spray, two types of conditioner, and a butter. Check them out here.
HICKS TOTAL TRANSFORMATION EDGES
I’ve never been concerned about “slicking down my edges” before, but thats all gonna change now that I’ve entered the realm of afro-puffdom! Now I gotta worry about getting those edges smooth and flat so that the puff is puffier. Enter: Hicks Edges. This stuff is the real deal, gets your edges this flat: ________________and the ingredients aren’t terrible for you either. Check em out here.
Yes, thats right, Whoop Ash. I mean, the play on words is so obvious I’m tempted not to say it, but…I…can’t…resi—-DON’T MAKE ME OPEN UP A CAN OF WHOOP ASH! Actually, please do. This stuff is the JAM! Made with white honey, mango, and shea butter, this skin moisturizer does away with any trace of ashyness in the best way possible. Smoothing it on your skin is like rubbing yourself in honey-scented heaven and then some. And it’s all natural AND it’s founded by Will Smith’s ex-wife, Sheree Fletcher (aka his first son Trey’s mom). Who knew? Well now you do.
ENTER GIVEAWAY: one lucky winner can get some of their very own Whoop Ash by being a subscriber to this blog and emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and telling me in haiku form (3 lines, 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. No rhyme necessary) why ashyness is wack. Whoop Ash is fun and creative, so I want you to be too! I’ll pick a winner on Monday, so get your entry in! Check out their website here.
So there you have it. My product round-up from the Bronner Brothers hair show lots of treasures hidden in there and I really think I unearthed some good stuff. I do want to say that there were many other companies at the show who focused on natural hair and while listening to their spiel, I would turn over the bottle and read the ingredients, and hand it right back, disheartened to find that many of these products “for naturals” had the same mineral oil, silicone, and chemical-laden ingredient rosters as those in your average beauty supply store. In one particular instance I shared my views with the lady promoting the product, who happened to be the Ph.D. chemist behind the line who is also a natural, but never wears her hair curly and so had never thought about the silicones in the products (because for her, they are a good thing as a heat protectant). I’m realizing that education needs to go two ways: first we as consumers need to be more aware of what goes into the products and what is best for our needs and then secondly, the manufacturers need to be more educated about what consumers want and, more importantly, need to maintain health in skin, body, and hair.
In general, I sensed a trend amongst participants and exhibitors that natural hair is going to be a ever-growing part of the hair show. Guess I’ll have to go back next year to find out if my predictions are true. The only question is, who’s coming with me?