Saturday, 5 June 2010
The 29th Afro Hair and Beauty Show 2010 took place this year in its new home at the Business Design Centre, Islington. Coming from the 11 year old girl who used to earn her weekly allowance through sweeping up multiple hair trimmings off of her mother's kitchen floor, when over the weekend the kitchen transformed into a buzzing Afro Caribbean hair salon; the Afro Hair and Beauty Show was a subject often spoken with much excitement. Needless to say as a child, I wished that one day I would be lucky enough to witness the mecca of all hair shows.
Fast forward to 2010 and my wish was finally answered. Whilst I can admit not visiting Islington's business centre prior to the hair show, I think I can safely assume, the venue has never witnessed such an exodus of people before. However; as the old age saying goes, "quantity is not quality" something of which rang loudly in my head as I trailed around the entire circumference of the building. Maybe it was my high expectations or maybe the stories I had once heard about 'the' Afro hair an beauty show, had lead my imagination to run wild.
Whatever the reason, I was slightly disappointed with what I had come across. Reminiscent of the shouting , hard sales technique, one would stumble upon in Brixton Market, surprisingly this was the attitude of many stall holders at the event. I can remember being mildly harassed (to put it politely) to purchase a special offer on a relaxer kit, where I was offered to buy two for the price of one, at the sale of £5. The stall holder of this particular brand was so forceful, my paranoia took centre stage as I started to question how noticeable my re-growth looked to the naked eye. Rest assured by a friend who insisted my hair looked perfectly fine, I would later discover that he used the same 'winning' technique with every potential customer.
Nevertheless, there were a few things that met my expectation such as the 'Emerging Fashion Designer Show' which showcased the latest talent in African fashion including my personal favourite designer; Ituen Basi. For me however; the 100% Indian Remi Human Hair by renowned hairdresser Parees, was the crowning fixture of the hair show. Unlike most hair extensions where after a few weeks it often becomes tangled, matted or even becomes quite discoloured; Parees' new extention hairline is rather impressive as it is one of the few hair extentions that uses 100% premium Indian remi human hair which gives for the best results if you want natural looking, tangle free hair, without the Beyonce price tag. Much to the pleasure of many, Parees has seemingly resolved a common problem for a lot of women which I'm sure will not go unnoticed, so remember where you heard her name first.
All in all, the Afro Hair And Beauty show 2010 was simply ok. Although there were a few elements that at times gave me a glimmer of hope that I would walk away from the event feeling fascinated by what I had discovered; the truth is even in its 29th year, there is still a lot to be desired.