ON-CAMPUS EVENT

Symposium promotes natural hair care, pride

Curl Connection’s first annual Natural Hair Symposium took place last Wednesday in the Academy Hall Auditorium. For those of you who don’t know, “natural hair” is simply hair that has not been chemically altered in any way. This means no relaxers, color, or texturizers. Recently, particularly in black culture, natural hair has become more mainstream, due to it being viewed as part of the “Black is Beautiful” movement. This is one of the reasons that Curl Connection wants “to connect and cultivate a community to promote hair growth, hair health, and success for all hair types.”  This event was meant to kickstart the club’s future events and generate interest.

The event took about two and a half hours and was very relaxed, with many of the speakers being humorous and interacting one-on-one with the audience. The symposium had several local vendors setting up tables to sell their products, and a raffle for some items that local shops had donated, which gave the whole event a fair-like quality. This gave the attendees time to get personal advice from vendors and discuss what the symposium had presented, making the whole mood very light and happy.

The four speakers at the symposium were mostly experts who spoke about the physical maintenance of natural hair. The first speaker was Jade Gibson, the owner Jade’s Hair Envy a salon in Albany. She spoke about certain techniques that could be done before going to sleep to improve the overall hair quality. One of the techniques demonstrated, was stretching hair out using rubber bands while sleeping to avoid shrinkage. The second speaker was Danielle Colin, who spoke about the politics of natural hair, and its history in the African American community. Colin ended her short talk with a powerful poem about the misconceptions of natural hair. The third speaker was stylist Neeco Piper, who spoke about different products that she had found to be effective in her own work, and when and how to use the products mentioned.

From the personal perspective of someone who has never given much thought to hair care this symposium was incredible. When I went with a friend, neither one of us really knew what we should be doing to take care of our hair; however, we both walked away from the symposium ready to start our own natural hair journey. The speakers were very supportive of everyone there, and seemed to genuinely care that we took care of our hair even if we didn’t buy any of the products at the event. With that said, I look forward to future events from Curl Connection and to starting my own natural hair journey.