Sights and Sounds at the Afro Hair and Beauty Live 2014 Show.

A few weeks ago I was flipping through the April/May edition of the Black Beauty Magazine and saw an article for the upcoming 33rd edition of the Afro Hair and Beauty Live show coming up on the 25th and 26th of May 2014 and I was determined to be there. Moreso because I had originally planned to be at the World Hair Show in Atlanta back in April but due to a few work issues, I couldn't make it.

Anyway, so after making sure the salon was running pretty well and had no issues that needed my immediate attention, I left for the UK on Friday the 23rd - wanting to give myself one day in between my arrival and the dates for the shows.

I found out later though that apparently the day before the show, there's usually another hair show that's targeted towards natural hair! I found this out by chance on the first day of the Afro Hair and Beauty show when I sighted, went up to, introduced myself and struck up a conversation with Mrs. Bukky George (MD Healthplus and Casabella) who had also come to the show to get great inspiration for products for her store!

As much as it pained me that I missed this years show, at least now I know and in the coming years I will definitely have it bookmarked in my calendar.

My hair on day 1 - I got loads of compliments and requests for pictures :)

Anyway so the tickets were £12 for each day or £10 if you were smart enough to book early, and venue was the Business Design Center in Islington, North London.

I got there on Sunday the 25th on the first day and as I walked up the road leading to the venue, I could hear thumping sounds of Timaya's 'Bum Bum' which apparently was coming from some dude's drop top white exotic wonder on wheels - I keep forgetting how London is really big on Afro Pop. As soon as I walked in to the venue, the thumping got even more intense and as it was already packed full with people, my eyes were immediately brought alive by the hairstyles in every different kind of color,shape, texture, length etc.

The ladies were out and hair was being represented!

I couldn't resist asking this lady for a picture of her gorgeous do! Her hair looked so thick, luscious and healthy! After speaking for a bit, I found out she has a natural hair blog called naturalcocodoll.


Product stands had been set up and most of the fun was upstairs where all the hair and beauty products, live demonstrations, hair & fashion shows, and competitions were taking place. Downstairs you had books, clothing and jewelry.
Yes ladies, Indian Mermaid hair extensions! loll
Jane Carter had a very busy stand

In attendance were Beautiful Textures, Organics, Wahl, Sensationell, Distributors of Taliah Waajid, Dr. Miracle, Flori Roberts, Design Essentials, ORS, Jane Carter, Mary K,  several make up brand stands, accessories - you name it.

I think the stand that had the most buzz and the  largest crowd was Beautiful Textures. This because their latest product - 'The Texture Manageability System' which is a REVERSIBLE straightening system was the focus and there were live demonstrations on models showing how to get your tight kinky curly hair, straight in an easy 4 step system. Now the way I see it, just like relaxers where you have the professional products being used exclusively in salons and the box kits which are milder for home use; this straightening system is pretty much the same thing.

There are a few professional amino acid based straightening systems available in some salons (like the Strengthening System from Design Essentials which we have in the Salon) and this kit by Beautiful Textures aims to give a milder at home straightening process.

At the stand were 2 American Stylists including the internationally renowned Ms Felicia Leatherwood and they took their time to explain how the product works, after care maintenance, how to get your hair back to its curly state if you're tired of having it straight.
With the lovely Ms Leatherwood
 To get it back to curly, all you'd need to do is clarify a few times over the course of a few weeks and your hair will be returned to its natural state. In addition, because of the protein in the main ingredient of this product, it was also said that the hair would be healthier as a result of using this product.

Now this product is amino acid based which is a more natural product as opposed to Formaldehyde's found in the Brazilian keratin blow out and other more damaging straightening systems.So the models had their hair washed, the conditioner was applied, hair was then blown out with a blow dryer and a flat iron was used.

Hair just after it was washed and conditioned
The only products used were the shampoo and the leave in conditioner. And the results? Quite impressive actually. The hair was relaxer straight, had bounce, body and shine. For me what was even more impressive was that it was just 2 products used - no serum, no oil, no nada. Every ingredient needed for the hair straightening was already in the leave in conditioner.

Hair after it had been blow dried and straightened
Moving on to one of my favorite brands which had a stand there - Design Essentials. They'd recently introduced new products to their Natural Hair line including the Honey Curlforming Custard with Honey and Chamomile (don't you just want to stick your fingers in that and smear it on some biscuits and wolf it right down? lolll) honey & shea edge tamer and  Almond & avocado leave in conditioner.

I love the Design Essentials Natural Hair product range - not only is it an award winning line ( won the Super60 Best Afro Natural Range in 2013 amongst others) but its paraben free, paraffin free, petrolatum free, mineral oil free, great for shine and manageability and for a diverse range of styling options! They too had a model with the stylist using the curlforming custard to style some beautiful finger coils on the model's 3c curls.

Hairfinity was also represented showing that their popularity is really heating up across the globe. Compared to the prices in the States, they are kinda pricey (hey everything in the UK is pricey compared to the States) but I guess it is what it is.

Model showing products used in her hair to achieve her twist out - Aunt Jackie's 'Curl La La'  Curling Custard and 'Knot on my Watch 'leave in

The Organics stand had their focus on 2 product lines  - Aunt Jackies and Textures My Way. They had some great demonstrations as well from their American stylists using models to showcase the wide range and versatility of products. Aunt Jackie's is generally for use with Natural Hair while Textures My Way can be used for either wearing your hair curly or straight.
Battle of the Barbers Competition heating up

There was a Barbers competition which was fun to watch - the frenzied yet meticulous cutting and shaping of heads of hair while the crowd watched in fascination. There was also a fashion show showcasing some really interesting items of clothing and heads of hair.

This was one Fierce Afro!

 Everything was greeted with a nice applause and somewhat engaged interest till the predominantly female and obviously testosterone deprived crowd suddenly came to more invigorated life with loads of screaming and whistling when these 2 topless male models came on stage. Lol it was quite funny watching women just scream and swoon at the sight of topless men.
Their smiles say it all - 'yea we know we got you screaming'
A panel addressing questions about hair care was also set up at some point - made up of Ms Felicia Leatherwood, Jane Carter (of the Jane Carter product range) and one of London's finest celebrity hair stylist 'Five'.
Panel with Felicia Leatherwood, Five and Jane Carter

I came across a henna booth and immediately booked myself in to have a design done on my hand - I've always wanted to do this so this was as good a time as any. It cost 5 pounds and took less than 10 minutes and the results? Beautiful!

Styled for the 2nd day. 

The second day was more of a frenzy and I learnt a valuable lesson - never buy anything till the last day at shows such as these! I had bought a few magazines the day before on sale at £2 instead of the usual price of £2.99 and guess how much they were going for now? £1! Ah it was painful mehn!!!! Even one of the magazine's I'd bought for £1 was now being given for free. I felt cheated oh!
Winner of the Avant Garde Category in the Sensationnel Icon Competition.
Theme was 'Alice In Wonderland'
There were loads of give aways, more live product demonstrations using models, another fashion show and more hair on display to the point I started to get dizzy actually.
Sensationnel showcasing fabulous ways to cut, color and style your weaves.

 But all in all I was glad I'd been. Will definitely be going again in the coming years. Now it's  back to life, back to reality for me - getting ready to head back home and get back into work with renewed vigor lol.

And on that note, I leave you guys with this track from my rocking days in QC - have a fantastic weekend ahead! xoxo


  1. Now that's an event to attend next year.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. Very nice! Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about the Beautiful Textures Texture Manageability System. I'm not sure if it's the word "manageability" I have a problem with - like they're trying to say natural hair cannot be managed? Or that it's a new product and I'm really skeptical. I haven't looked at reviews on 4C hair, so I won't negate it just yet, but I'd like to see a complete review on 4C hair. I might just look for something like that on Youtube.

    P.S. Kindly pencil me in for Henna this Saturday, as I see that vendors are making presentations, not demonstrations... Thanks! :)

  3. Thanks Berry! I know what you mean dear as I've seen the same complaints about that word online; but somehow I think it will be difficult finding a word that EVERYONE will be comfortable with. As per this Saturday, I was thinking of doing something else that I think you would equally love! Going to call you in a little while :)

  4. Wow. Looks like you all had fun. I won't mind attending next year's own. I pray I get to find out soon enough.

    1. We sure did! I'm sure you will - I think it's done round about the same time yearly....

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