Ig: @curlygirlcollective | fb: facebook.com/CurlyGirlCollectiveThe natural hair movement has been on the rise for the past several years. As with all things, like bell-bottoms and chockers, history repeats itself and styles come back in. Sometime during my undergraduate studies women all over my campus were doing the “big chop” and began transitioning back into natural hair. This made hair become a statement. For a long time ethnic women have been conditioned to think their natural hair wasn’t beautiful and that they should look more like European women. So women doing this transition was like a huge “I love my hair despite what the rest of the world may think of it”. Personally I’ve always been #teamnatural, but where there use to be a bunch of products for “curly” hair, there began to be specialized products for “kinky”, “coils”, and “wavy” hair curl patterns. There were products specific to every kind of hair and that made my experience even greater.
But all of that to explain why The Curl Fest is such a needed event, and why it’s such a beautiful concept. It’s a celebration of every kind of person, with any kind of hair texture, and embracing them all. This festival very much like Afropunk is about self-love and acceptance, no ageism, sexism, or racism.
The Curl Fest collective is only 3 years old. Their first year they had a great turnout and since then they’ve just continued to expand. Now I had a great time but obviously, seeing as though they’re still in their infant stages there were a few things I believe they need to work on.
- Organization of Vendor lines. Now first I must commend them on the amount of vendors they had and things they offered. There was a wide variety of things to chose from which is great, BUT the tents were all very close together, on a tilt so the lines seemed to at a point merge together which got really confusing.
- Lack of Food and Beverage trucks. Granted you can bring your own and that’s suggested (by me) because it’s cheaper, but for those who didn’t and expected there to be trucks as with most festivals, there were I believe only maybe 2, 3 tops, and the line was incredibly long. Two people I know ended up saying forget it.
- The Set Up of the Festival area. I’m sure that the way they set up was done so for specific reasons so I’m not going to hold that against them, but, the layout separated the areas in which people set up their blankets and stuff from the dance area and vendors. There were some space in the direct middle of the festival (where the sun was beaming), but moreso the lounging was behind the tents or DJ booth. Also this made checking in extremely hard.
But as I mentioned, this event is only 3 years old and rapidly growing, for that they’re doing an incredible job. First of all the sponsorships are amazing. They’re getting media coverage from Centric, and their partners with Ors, Shea Moisture, Cantu, Dark and Lovely, Palmers, Dove, Ouidad, and so many more. Those are big names and with that comes AMAZING GIFT BAGS. I’m a not so proud product junkie, and they fed to my needs seamlessly.
The vendors there had some cool give-aways, and things to purchase, and services they offered which kept people busy and interactive.
- There was Yoga. I didn’t participate I signed up too late, but my friend did and she received after the session a branded yoga mat and bag (such a steal)
- Natural Hairstylist. Now I went there with full intentions for a natural stylist to teach me a thing or two on how to tame this puff of curls, but unfortunately I didn’t get a chance. (It was first come first serve, with no sign-in sheet so you legit had to stand and wait there for them to be done with the people in front of you. Who got time for that?) But for the people who do have time for that it was a great option
- More Chances to Win FREE products. A lot of the vendors offered products or merchandise to people who posted pictures of themselves with the product onto one of their social media sites. Or who played and won games.
- The DJ was bomb. Plenty of line dances to get people into it, old school joints, and new school joints to appeal to all audiences.
- Oh yeah, and they brought out a Brazilian drum band. DOPE.
My favorite part, by far, were all the children. These beautiful little girls and boys from different backgrounds, rocked their different natural hairstyles so confidently. It was beautiful to see how happy they were, which put this event even more in perspective for me. We need this.