Natural Hair Meetup: 2nd Annual Kinky Hair Connection GR Is a Success

Many congratulations and applause goes to Aleka Thrash (NaturallyACT) and Della Marie Levi on the success of the 2nd Annual Kinky Hair Connection GR.

The event was held at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in Grand Rapids, MI on November 12, 2016.  It was truly an invigorating and motivating meetup with 50-75 beautiful Sistah Queens in attendance.

Della Marie started the day off with a charismatic, interactive discussion about the importance of living one’s dream. She was the perfect person to facilitate the discussion because she has quite the resume. In addition to being the co-founder of the Kinky Hair Connection GR, she is also the founder of The Dream Big Sister Circle and owner of Rock Candy Earrings by Della Marie. She is living her dream but told a story that every Curly Girl present understood. That’s the story of continuing to work on your dreams despite having responsibilities that wear you out (children, jobs, bills, spouses, etc.). Della Marie encouraged us to find our passion and cultivate it. Some of the women shared their own dreams that included opening a respite care home for special needs kids, opening a beauty shop and becoming a model. Della Marie gave four tips for living one’s dream:

  1. Make a plan.
  2. Start something and continue doing it.
  3. Schedule time to work on your dream just like it’s your job.
  4. Have a good support system in place.

 

Aleka facilitated the natural hair workshops. Aleka is a natural hair blogger, influencer and professional photographer. She has a relationship with several product manufacturers, many of which sponsored this event. Aleka’s workshops provided education about basic natural hair care. She taught about the importance of learning about hair porosity when  you choose your hair products and your hair care routine. Next she provided a hands-on demonstration to show what heat does to the hair follicles. Aleka encouraged us to use hair protectant on our hair any time we use heat, blow dryers, flat irons, or whatever. Save the tresses. Aleka also shared that she only uses the cool setting to blow dry her own tresses. Aleka provided a demonstration on how to properly take down two-strand twists for a twistout and how to use steam to keep our hair moisturized with a Q-Redew Handheld Steamer. A brand new Q-Redew was raffled at the end of the meetup. It was nice to see the steamer used in person. I’ve heard about them in natural hair groups and blogs but never seen one up close and personal. The Curl Friends had plenty of questions about their own experiences, problems, and concerns of being natural. Aleka was more than happy to share her expertise.

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Just like last year, there was a panel discussion with natural hair enthusiasts who are experts in the Grand Rapids Community. The panel consisted of local natural hair stylist Sheena Webb of Gifted Hands by Sheena, natural hair stylist and product maker Marley Ariyahu of Beauty of Tziyon Boutique, independent makeup artist Paige Wright, and dietitian/RN Erin Webley.  Della Marie started the panel discussion with a few questions for each panelist before opening it up to the audience. Information was shared about how long to keep a protective style in place, what to use for thinning hair or alopecia, how often to clean your makeup brushes, and what to eat to promote optimal hair growth. It was very informative.

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In between the workshops, the Kinky Hair Connection GR participants spent time chatting it up with each others and the vendors who were present. Some of the vendors included Rock Candy Earrings by Della Marie, Barb’s Bangles, Afro Princess Publishing, and many more. As you can see in the photos and videos, it was a great time. Make sure your in attendance because next year will be bigger and better. Unity is in the Hair!

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