I’ve now been to three different hair conferences and I can confidently say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed each and every one and would gladly attend another one. I believe that no matter how long you have been in the hair game, no matter how much you already know, no matter how many conferences you have already been too, there is always something to gain when black queens gather to talk about their crowns.
1. Hair Care Tips –
Even if you feel you already know everything under the sun, someone might mention something or give a DIY recipe that you hadn’t tried before. Either that or you’ll see a style you’ve never seen before. Besides, it’s always good to be reminded of the hair care staples you might have gotten lazy on. Even better, you get to impart some of your hair care tips on interested people.
2. All the beautiful people walking around –
Feel free to attend a natural hair conference just for all the people watching you can do. So many gorgeous women (and men – see below) doing their thing. All the gorgeous styles, outfits, and colors – prints and melanin in all different shades is a welcome sight at most natural hair conferences. Relish in the beauty.
3. The men are legit –
The kind of men that attend natural hair conferences are all kinds of woke and secure in their masculinity. It’s refreshing to converse with them and hear them express their love for their sisters and their roots. We won’t judge if you’re headed to the conference to meet bae! And definitely don’t be shy to bring your boo. Men are a welcome sight at these events, and he’ll leave with a lot of new knowledge too, as well as renewed appreciation in your beauty, and even his own hair!
4. Go for the confidence boost –
Everyone at these conferences is so friendly, so don’t be surprised when you get a few compliments about your hair, clothing, smile, personality, skin or all the above. It’s reaffirming to see all the other naturalistas and be reminded that your struggle is not singular. Even better yet, you might walk away with a few new friends!
5. Getting to meet your blogging crushes –
Natural hair conferences usually headline a few bloggers and natural hair gurus. It’s great to put faces to names and see people in person to remember that bloggers are everyday people too. And maybe you’ll even meet new bloggers/people of interest to follow. And as a blogger, it’s a great way to network with other bloggers and meet potential readers – and get blog material!
6. Networking –
Don’t let the natural hair care title fool you. The women who come here mean business. It’s not a bad idea to come with your business cards and get ready to make some connects. You never know who you will come across – regardless of your industry or the ones you are trying to get into. It’s also an awesome opportunity for potential collaborations with other creatives.
7. Get to know your local vendors –
We all talk about buying local or supporting small businesses, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Hair conferences are an opportunity for you to meet vendors that are selling just the right products for you. You might even learn about new products you hadn’t thought to use or get your hands on the latest craze in natural hair care. Sometimes you even get to meet the owner – how local/small business is THAT?!
8. Get your shopping in –
Vendors typically will have discounts at the conference to ensure that they move all the products they brought. There are also WAY more than just natural hair vendors at these conferences. You can usually buy clothes, accessories and so much more! So make sure you bring cash and set a budget for yourself so you don’t go overboard! Or even just come for the window shopping. #brokelife
9. Life and Business Advice –
Most of these conferences try to go beyond the hair (hence the availability of other vendors). They will typically have sessions and speakers on business, branding, make-up, setting and achieving goals and so much more. Bring a pen and notepad because you’re going to leave with a lot of knowledge. Whether or not you’re thinking of going into business, you’re sure to get something out of the speakers and workshop sessions.
10. All the Instagram worthy photos –
And last, but not least, as mentioned above, there are lots of gorgeous people walking around natural hair conferences. You’re probably going to be looking your baddest as well. Most conferences have a well-lit step and repeat ready for you. But even if they don’t have one, make some cute friends, find some good light and snap away! Camera shy? Snap other cute people!
Check out my recap of the conferences I’ve been to:
- Hue Beauty and Natural Hair Affair – New York City, USA
- Nigerian Natural Hair & Beauty Show – Lagos, Nigeria
- African Hair Summit – Abuja, Nigeria
Have you been to a natural hair conference or planning to go to one soon? Drop your comments and questions below. And as always, subscribe to the blog for more tips and beautiful photos.