On Sunday, September 23rd 2018, I attended the Textur’d Hair & Beauty Show (formally The Toronto Natural Hair & Beauty Show) at the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, Ontario. This is an annual event that was started by founder Stephanie Joseph in 2003.
Initially a small event that lasted just hours with under a hundred attendees, the show has now grown to over 800 attendees, and features over 50 exhibitors, interactive workshops, fashion & hair shows and live entertainment. The goal of the show is to reshape our perception of naturally curly hair, to emphasize its beauty to dissolve stereotypes, and to provide attendees the opportunity to learn about various styling tips for curly/kinky hair, holistic health, fashion and much more!
Location: Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC), 6 Garamond Court, North York/Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Date: Sunday, September 23rd 2018
Time: 11am – 6pm. Doors open at 10:30am.
Cost: Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Children aged 12 and under are FREE.
I have been attending this event annually for a number of years now, and I must say how happy I am with the turn it has taken this year. I wasn’t too excited with the fact that they changed the name and tried to rebrand it last year, and based on the conversations I had with other attendees and vendors, I wasn’t alone with my thoughts. As long as I can remember attending the show, it had been running over the course of two days – Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was the day for some great interactive workshops, and Sunday was the pop up shop (vendors), the fashion and hair show, and more workshops in the morning. I loved this set up. You could opt to buy tickets to just one day, or both days (at a little discount). I loved the show so much I often went both days. Then last year, they changed things up a bit…the name changed, and the Saturday was more of an evening, upscale event with just the fashion show, and the Sunday was workshops and vendors. I went on just the Sunday, and noticed a huge decline in attendees that year. Due to the fact that they literally split possible customers between two days like this, many vendors I spoke to weren’t too happy, and noted that they felt it financially. Well, this year, they must have listened, because they got it correct! Instead of even doing a two day event, they kept it simple and put it all together on one day. Attendees were able to take advantage of the pop up shop/vendors, the fashion and hair show…and all of the other things they added this year.
Upon walking into the JCCC, and along the red carpet, I was greeted with a smile by one of the women at the door collecting tickets. Right after admittance, we were given our goodie bags, and I was eager to see what treats were inside.
I love how they switched things up and included a magazine style program for the show. It was formal and included more information and great photos of some of those involved in the show (i.e. presenters, vendors/sponsors). It opens up with a brief message from the founder, followed by a schedule of events.
September is alopecia awareness month, and I appreciate that they chose to bring awareness, and shed some knowledge on this autoimmune disease.
Considering that 40% of women over the age of 40 suffer from hair loss – not to mention that traction alopecia is more common amongst black women as a result of the tension from hairstyles like wigs, weaves, braids/twists and extensions – it is an important topic to dissect. The topic was also discussed in one of the workshops, hosted by Dr. Nadine Wong.
Other workshops offered with admission were
- Starting and Maintaining Locs – A comprehensive workshop that looked at the different ways to start locs, and the best ways to care for them based on research and the professional experience of presenter, loctician, and founder of TLC: Tresses, Locs & Coils, Taneil Smith.
- Natural hair care & protective styling talk – Lead by T’kehya Prentice-Cupid of TK Natural Hair Wigs, maker of various wigs and extensions that resemble naturally curly/coily/kinky hair.
- Rock Your Wrap! – A hands-on head wrap workshop with demonstrations. Presented by Monique London of London Ivy, a natural hair, bath and beauty product line.
- Food Fad & Facts – This workshop presented by Marcia Thomas, looked at how diet, blood deficiency, and our energies can balance our internal system to help create healthy hair.
- Textured Talk – This workshop led by Tamara Garraway was a general oral rule book on how to deal with natural hair.
- How to Grow Longer, Healthier Hair – This workshop garnered the attention of both women and men, as it not only talked about how to grown longer, healthier hair on your head, but for the fellas, covered how best to grow your beard. All the way from Birmingham, Alabama, master hairstylist, beauty instructor, author, international speaker, natural hair expert, and successful entrepreneur, Darrius Peace, presented this workshop, sharing a multitude of useful techniques to grow long and healthy hair.
- How Your Digestive Health Affects the Growth of Your Hair – Certified holistic nutritionist, internationally published author, healthy lifestyle educator and speaker, Sonia Williams, presented this important workshop. In this workshop she educated attendees on how the digestive system works (i.e. relationship to the thyroid, stress, nutrient absorption) – and how it all affects the growth and health of your hair.
- Beauty Standards & Mental Health – Panel Discussion – This lively discussion featured panelists Tenniel Rock (therapist, facilitator, clinical supervisor and yoga teacher), Andrea Rankine (Child & Youth Worker and upcoming model), Mark Stoddart (brand designer, visual artist, and founder of the LIWI68 clothing line), and Shelley Jarrett (award winning media personality, speaker and author). I was so happy to see such a taboo topic in our community, mental health, discussed so freely amongst the panelists.
One of my favourite parts of the show is visiting, chatting, and shopping at the various vendor booths. This show attracts some of the best products aimed at those who are trying to live a natural lifestyle, not only in regards to hair, but beauty and skin care. I didn’t have my DSL-R (fancy camera) to take photos as I wasn’t sure if I’d get my media pass that I applied for (extremely) last minute, and didn’t want to bring the extra bulk, because Creator knows I needed these hands and strength to hold all the products I knew I was going to buy. So please don’t judge my cell phone quality pics. Now, as I mentioned earlier, there were over 50 vendors, so going to each and every table takes some time, but you can always find some great finds, good prices, and pleasant conversation at this show.
Golden Scents does it all when it comes to natural body care. Natural body butters (i.e. shea butter, cocoa butter, and even the lovely smelling mango butter), black soap, body oils (think a roll on perfume – without the harsh chemicals and alcohol), hair care, beautifully smelling natural incense, and more! I can’t come to this show and not make a (few) purchase(s). Golden Scents has so many natural good quality goodies to choose from!
I was too busy buying out the clearance rack here, so in my excitement got a blurry photo of only half of JV Accessories merchandise below. Such a pleasant duo, and such gorgeous African inspired clothing, jewellery and satin bonnets!
I Can & I Will, run by Kym Niles – who also hosted the showcase – is an organization that prides itself on self mastery by empowering youth to take positive action. Aside from the various workshops/training and business coaching Niles does, up to 20% of sales from the clothing line goes towards supplementing the youth program.
The show’s food was catered by Shelley’s Catering & Special Events. See the menu offered below. This photo was taken around 3pm, so a number of hot ticket food items were already sold out.
I can’t sit here and type about every single vendor present, but know that vendors offered a wide variety of products and services from clothing, jewellery, natural beauty and hair care products, mobile nail service, yoni spa, eye lashes, waist beads, hair salons, and various consulting services. See a list of all participants below.
In between performances, they raffled off a number of products and services from their various sponsors.
Entertainment for the showcase started off with Socacize Entertainment getting the crowd (and this random guy who was brought up on stage) up and moving.
Zak’isha (who hands down rocked the best ‘fro at the show), is a local rapper, who I know had me snapping my fingers like I was at a poetry slam.
Jay Martin had the crowd in stitches! It was so nice that they switched up the show this way. I really enjoyed all of the entertainers they had, and hope they continue in this direction.
I always love the hair show because as a naturalista myself, I always love some ‘hair’spiration! The stylists did not disappoint. I left wanting to do everything from dreading my hair, dying my hair, and booking an appointment with these talented stylists!
Loctician, Taniel Smith of TLC: Tresses, Locs & Coils, had these men and women’s dreadlocks on point!
I love that Hair by Glenna had some very nice, and practical natural hair styles.
Francine Francis, a celebrity hair stylist and educator, came correct!
Other featured hair stylists were Aisha Loobie, and Angela’s Beauty Box.
The Fashion showcase spiced things up with online sexy women’s fashion retailer, Moscato Pink that launched in June this year.
Anisah by Tabia Charles is another fashion line which launched this summer, and features some stunning Ankara printed skirts, dresses and blazers.
This is a family event (last year I brought my baby), and this year they decided to open up a Kids Zone, making it even more appealing for parents to bring their children – as if the lovely representation/beauty on display/natural hair appreciation wasn’t enough. As a grown woman, that still is one of the big reasons I love attending this show. To see other beautiful ‘textur’d’ hair women come together, being celebrated – is definitely a huge drawing point. Again, I am so happy with the direction this show has taken. I love that it is one full packed day, that they included different entertainment, that they have a Kids Zone, that they host some of the best vendors that offer such lovely products and services, the panel discussion, the workshops, and just the lovely overall vibe that I always catch at this show.
Can’t wait for them to do it again…
*Save the date*
The next Textur’d Hair & Beauty Show takes place on September 22nd 2019