Paris via Eurostar on Saturday 15th March with Katrina, Ayssa and Lola to attend the Natural Hair Academy , and for relaxation and strolling in Paris for the weekend. Before you new it 2hrs had passed and with a blink – it was voila – arrived at Gore Du Nord station in Paris. We dropped off our travel bags at an apartment courtesy of Ayssa’s brother. Everyone was laughing at my small compact bag – but hey we were only there for the weekend and I like to travel light – no need for the kitchen sink. We did not have to purchase metro tickets as it was free weekend transport, to ease air pollution due to a record level of poor quality air in the northern region of Paris and suburbs.
The first two NHA events had been on a boat, but due to the overwhelming attendance the 3rd NHA event was held at a grand venue called Tapas Rouge. Tickets had sold out – up to 1000, so it didn’t surprise me that as soon as we arrived via the red carpet it was ‘POW’ the place was buzzing in the foyer full of beautiful afro and styles. There was a very long line of sisters standing on the spiral staircase waiting to have a hair diagnostic test, which I heard some people lined up for 2hrs. A selective range of exhibitors were selling natural hair products and adornments.
Once we found our bearings we entered a banqueting room which must of had at least 600 people in attendance. We managed to catch the last 30mins of Ken Burkeen the CEO of Huitiful, that are known for their hair steamers. He gave a scientific background about hair growth, the sebaceous gland and restoring moisture to hydrated hair.
The founder of Carols Daughter – Lisa Price gave a brief history of the company which started over 20 years ago from her kitchen mixing butters and selling at craft markets. Mixed Chicks demonstrated the effects of their hair products to moisture and protect hair.
Hair stylists to celebrities Felicia Leatherwood who delivers ‘Love Your Hair with Natural Care’ workshops captivated the audience with her hair maintenance knowledge, hair type, products and styling. On the stage she created 3 stunning hair styles which she mad look so simply to replicate. She introduced a hair brush that was for detangling single strand knots as it is designed to move with the hair without pulling. After the presentation I went on stage to great Felicia and to my surprise she remembered me when she came to London in 2012 when I was co hosting KIWTK premiere. She will be visiting London in May.
The last workshop for the day was led by Taren Guy who spoke about experimenting with hair dye, hair loss and doing the ‘big chop’. She documented her transition to natural hair journey in a video log on her utube channel ‘Taren916’, where she has over 195k subscribers. She will be in London on May 24 at the Curlvolution event.
After a good nights rest and a reflection of Saturdays event I woke up to a room full of sunshine – so time to hit the suburbs of Paris. Window shopping of colourful head scarfs, healthy lunch, wonderful views from site seeing. Within the Champs de Mars region we strolled towards the famous Paris landmark the Eiffel Tower which stands 300mtrs tall and can be viewed from the entire city.
Just about 100 metres further was the Quai Branly a museum that opened in 2006. The museum held a collection of 267,000 objects representing America, Africa, Asia and Oceanic islands. I headed straight for the indigenous art and culture of Africa that surrounded with very huge statues. The room was very large but the light was dimmed in order to protect the artefacts that were displayed in glass cabinets. Whilst browsing I recognised the Ancient Nok terracotta from Nigeria, as I had read an interesting article in the New Africa magazine a few months ago. Also of course I recognised the Ghanaian display that showcased the fertility dolls, cloth and figurines that represented the Akan and Ashanti kingdom. There was so much to see that I did not have time to digest all the information and other sections.
Like every good thing the weekend had to come to an end and with a departing dinner we boarded the Eurostar. I was so tired that I gave thanks for the good sleep on the journey back to London. All in all – a pleasant weekend.
bless – Sister E