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CURLFEST: A Celebration of Natural Hair and Melanin

CURLFEST A Celebration of Natural Hair and Melanin

Already its third year, Brooklyn’s CURLFEST is an annual Natural Beauty Festival founded by the ladies of Curly Girl Collective. This was Type 4 Naturals second year attending and with more than 10,000 attendees there was a whole lot of #BlackGirlMagic to take in. If you’re thinking about attending CURLFEST in the years to come, here are some tips to keep in mind.

It’s FREE, but Get there Early

No need to buy tickets, this event is 100% FREE for all. Now, if you’re a product junkie, there are early bird tickets that go on sale that guarantees a gift bag with CURLFEST tote and products from sponsors. If you get there early enough, swag bags available while supplies last. If you miss out on general admission bags, vendors often give away free samples.

Come With Friends

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Bring Your Coins

Not only does CURLFEST provide hair and fashion inspiration, there are opportunities to support the cause and shop new and established Black Owned Businesses. Get sales from your favorite natural hair, beauty, food, fashion, and jewelry businesses.

Rock Your Natural

CURLFEST is the ultimate celebration of Black Women of all shades and textures embracing their natural hair. Come out rocking your kinks, coils, locs, curls, and fros. You’re bound to capture some hair inspiration just walking through the crowd. Check some of our favorite styles including Jo rocking her Fulani Inspired braids and fro.

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Stay Cool and Hydrated

CURLFEST takes place in an open field with large crowds and lots of action. There will be times of waiting in long lines, searching for friends, dancing, and lots of energy so take breaks when necessary. If you do bring drinks to the party, make sure to have enough water to keep yourself hydrated.

CURLFEST - Celebrating Natural Hair and Melanin

Have you attended CURLFEST?

Natural Hair

A Few Ways to Maintain and Style Short Natural Hairstyles

Short Natural Hairstyles

Are you new to being a natural? New to recently short natural hairstyles? Rocking that teeny weeny afro (twa), and asking yourself, now what? Most ladies become frustrated with their new journey and can’t wait till a little hair grows to attach synthetic hair to show off new box braids, faux locs or any other type of protective styling instead of becoming one with their new growth. I’m writing this post to tell you ladies, you don’t have to do that! Your hair will feel your frustration and retaliate like a two year old that wants a lollipop but you said no. Having a short natural hairstyle in the beginning of the summer season was the best decision of my natural journey and can be of yours too. Some women are mentally attached to their hair, me – it’s just hair and if you haven’t noticed, it will grow back.

Here’s some tips on how I managed my big chop so many moons ago, grew it out and cut it down to a tapered cut…and again to a low fade. With my short natural hairstyles, some weeks go by where I let it be it’s natural self until I can’t anymore and run to my stylist to have her trim it back down.

Maintaining Short Natural Hairstyles…

What’s the difference between a big chop and having a short natural hair style? In the context of this post, nothing really. You still have to wash, condition, sometimes style and proceed with greatness. I’ve done a big chop…started with a relaxed pixie cut, the stylist cut off all the permed hair, leaving me with a twa. Unlike a short natural hairstyle, I could not twist, braid or style my little afro. It is what it is, until it grows out to where you can do something different. Until then, headbands, pins and random hair accessories were my and should be your friend. Just try not to constantly wear the flower halo accessory like you are in the garden of someone’s Eden about to be laid to rest.

Short natural hair, long natural hair – who cares? Your pockets. When it comes to buying products, less is definitely more. I’m not sure about you and your journey, but for me, I find myself wanting to wet my hair just a bit more, because it’s there and I don’t have to manipulate it to get a certain look. I let my natural curl shine on through after sealing in the moisture with a leave-in conditioner and a oil of choice. This is not a daily routine, but since my last cut, I have found myself wetting my hair under the shower at least twice a week. I don’t even recall using that much water besides wash day when I would sit and twist and retwist every other night to have a defined style with my kinky hair texture.

Some products that have worked for my tapered sides have been:

Although I’m not a fan of gels, these tools are necessary to slick down the fly away sides of a tapered cut. Apply a light coating to your hair, tie up and by the time you’re done with your morning routine, your sides will be ready to go. Overnight works even better, sometimes. We also have a list of a few more edge control gels that will help your kinky edges of your short natural hair.

10 Edge Controls Under $10

Since returning to short natural hair, tapered styles have been my go to. Maintaining a tapered style is harder than the social images seem. You can visit your stylist every two weeks to trim the hairs, visit a local barbershop and hope they trim your hair to your desire, or you can try to steady a mirror and clippers and do it yourself. I would not suggest the latter unless you have a license to operate clippers. lol

Even during the grow out phase, in order to keep a clean appearance, you may want to address the hairs in your kitchen and the sides until the top of your hair and the length of your tapered hair meet. The most awkward phase is growing out a short natural hairstyle, this is another reason I just keep it low. Twist-outs, braid-outs and roller-sets are common styles used to maintain a short natural hairstyle. I’ve also invested in satin-lined caps for not only myself but for mini-natural as well. They are having a summer sale going on right now if you want to try one out to maintain your short natural hairstyles.

Short Natural Hairstyles

Since writing this post, I’ve gone even shorter. Oh My!! Lol It’s just hair, it’ll grow back! Follow our Instagram page for photos of other short natural hairstyles.

Short Natural Hairstyles

Natural Hair

How to Pack Natural Hair Products for Travel

Natural Hair Products for travel

I’ve traveled a bit but still wonder how to pack natural hair products for travel. The first time I pack a suitcase for a trip I end up with so many items that I would be good for a month. Often bringing all your full-sized product along isn’t possible or takes up valuable space in your bag. Travel sized amounts can work, even though as a heavy-handed product junkie the thought of carrying only a travel sized amount is scary. Lately I’ve gotten much better at packing, and even figured out some tricks to pack less of my natural hair products too.

There are many ways to approach packing your products. The first thing to consider is how will you be wearing your hair? If you will be wearing braids or a weave your product needs will be different from someone who will be wearing their hair out naturally. Take a few minutes to gather all you think you would need for the style and then continue with the process.

How long is your vacation? Depending on how long your vacation is you may need more product. If your vacation is a weekend getaway, or only a few days you may be able to bring even less. One time I was only going away for a weekend, and knew I wasn’t going in a pool or in a situation to get my hair dirty, so I washed, slightly over moisturized and sealed my hair to avoid bringing extra items along.

From my experience, here are the best combos you can use to pack your natural hair products, depending on your vacation hair style.

Protective styles. Weaves, braids, twists. You may just need shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo can clean your hair and the conditioner can mix with water and be used as a leave-in/moisturizer. Add a little oil by hand or in the mix if you need to seal.

Quick protective styles. Halo braids, buns, etc. If you’re not going to get it wet or dirty you can skip packing the shampoo. The only risk is if something happens and you need to wash your hair you may be forced to buy a full-sized product or take a chance on that hotel stuff. Outside of that you just need a moisturizer and maybe some oil (for scalp area). Include gel if you want to keep those edges laid.

Popular natural hair styles. Twistouts, braidouts, wash and go, etc. Again, if you don’t plan on getting your hair dirty that’s up to you if you bring shampoo. Bring extra conditioner and let it double as your leave in/moisturizer. To keep hair frizz free and your scalp lubricated you may wish to pack a little oil. If you need a hair styler to you could take the conditioner and mix it with gel for hold. 

I’ve found that multipurposing my natural hair products helps me pack lighter. It was hard at first until I figured out what are the main items I need to get through a trip.

How do you travel with your hair products?

Natural Hair Product Reviews

Lounging Around with Satin-Lined Caps

Satin-Lined Caps

Satin-Lined Caps (SLAP) premiered in 2014 with family and friends as Grace Eleyae’s first customers and reviewers. It was an automatic success which led Ms. Eleyae to sell the SLAPs on Etsy. As a successful woman in business, eight months later launching,Grace Eleyae, Inc. Ms. Eleyae’s provided me with a Satin-Lined Cap to review. The following post is my own opinion. 

With similar products in the business that try to offer the same or similar protection for our hair, SLAPs are stylish and can be worn while running errands, at night for your sleep time or just lounging around doing household things – like Netflix binge watching. Not many Naturals afford the opportunity to purchase satin pillowcases, sheets and blankets. Ms. Eleyae’s design offers satin protection on the inside of the cap with a expanding opening to fit over a head full of hair to even securely fit on my short style. 

Satin-Lined Caps
I choose the latter, and replaced my bonnet with the SLAP.  From a sleep filled night to the lounge around on a Sunday morning, the Satin-Lined Cap stayed on my head and my little bit of hair stayed protected. 

Ways that you can use the Satin-Lined Cap:

    As a night time routine. Twist, braid or maintain your wash n go into the following days. 

    Want to deep condition, but have errands to run? Satin-Lined Caps are stylish and available in a variety of colors to be worn outside. 

    Lounging around at home, I tried the SLAP and was very content with the feel of my curls. With Type 4 Hair, especially my kinky hair, it has the potential to become dry throughout the day. After a full day of wearing a SLAP, my hair was not dry and even the sides of my fade cut were intact. The satin insert is a win!! It’s been a great tool in maintaining my short natural hair and for mini natural too!!  

Satin-Lined Caps

Photo Courtesy of Grace Eleyae, Inc. Gray Kid Slap

    Perfect hair accessory for the children. Hair like Mini Natural, can be washed, conditioned and styled days before and kept neat and protected while wearing one of the children sized Satin-Lined Caps.

How do I keep my Satin-Lined Cap clean?

Satin-Lined Caps will become that go to bonnet, head wrap, protective layering for your natural hair. After awhile, all the oils and products you use on your hair will transfer to the cap and it will and should be washed. I would not machine wash satin items with a regular cycle. Graceeleyae.com’s frequently-asked-questions suggests, “Machine wash them in cold water, with like colors or on delicate. Either hang dry or tumble dry on low.” If you are not sure about placing your SLAP in the wash, you may use a mild detergent and hand wash your Satin-Lined Cap in the sink, gently extract water without wringing and twisting and hang dry till it’s ready to be used again.

Satin-Lined Caps

Grace Eleyae, creator of the Satin-Lined Cap.

Satin-Lined Caps are on sale now!!

Have you tried Grace Eleyae’s Satin-Lined Caps? What is your opinion?