ACAWF
February 11, 2019

The Real You – Expo

THE REAL YOU: Natural Beauty and Hair Expo
A one days Expo co-ordinated by H.E.R. Collective and The Calabash Hub to celebrate natural beauty in all forms – from the inside out to educate the community with advice from professionals in the beauty industry, promote made in Ghana products and hands on services from wellness practitioners.


The Expo took place at Impact Hub within the grounds were a variety of vendors selling natural hair and skin care products and accessories, food court. Inside the venue the main discussions in the main room and Goddess Touch transformed a room for a variety of holistic treatments. 
Look out for more images that will be shared via @H.E.R.Collective – Nzali and Afia

What is Beauty? And who defines it?
I chose this topic as during my degree in 2008 I wrote a paper with the same title. So, I wanted to know if anything had changed, perceptions and similarities in one’s stories. It was evident that people viewed similar observations and the effect of globalisation still has an effect of how beauty is defined today. The only difference is with the advancement of technology, social media – personal views and dialogue can be hear more

The Panel discussion was moderated very well by Ivy Prosper who also added value to the dialogue about her personal experiences from being a 6ft1 black female as a teenager, to being told too black and curvy as a model. (@ivyprosper)

Panel member Deziya came to Ghana from UK at a very young age where she found it satisfying to be surrounded by black people. But noticed that there are more shades of blackness now as the years have gone by. Her daughter inspired her to transition back to natural hair. Over the years she has accepted who she is and has grown in confidence from running dance workshops in London. This led to setting up Dancehall Divas Africa in 2014 to share fitness workouts with others (https://www.dancehalldivasafrica.com)

It was good to get a male perspective and Kwaku explained how beauty is being clean and carrying yourself well. Also, people have the perception that if you are a personal trainer then you should have bulging muscle. He took much advice from his mother from a young age about his appearance ‘my mum said I am handsome’.
The dialogue between the panel and audience could have gone for more than 1hr as there was lots of questions, comments and observation in regards to skin bleaching, natural hair, media influence….. One of the main points was to overcome acceptance from society by being confidence within oneself.

Going Live
Hair care advice and hair demonstrations by HairSmith Salon. They twisted thick afro hair using eco style hair gel and created a loc style. The results looked amazing. Advice on hair porosity by doing a simple test – place a few strands of clean hair in glass of water for a few minutes. If hair strands sinks, then hair is high porosity which means easier for moisture to penetrate into hair shaft and vice versa for low porosity. This method is one way to determine which products are better for your hair type.



Skin Deep
Esther Jackson is a hair and skin consultant. Opened up the question to audience – ‘do you love yourself?’ The first step to self- love is loving your skin. Discussed the different skin types – oil, combination, dry. Use plain tissue, clean face, rub gently, hold tissue to light. If see through, then you have oily skin. Other tips included:
Don’t scratch your skin. Use body sponge to remove dirt. Don’t leave flannel hanging in bathroom as attracts bacterial, don’t use bleach to wash clothes. allergies can be caused from clothes.  (@nubianqueenproducts)

Nutritionist Joseph Danquah gave some advice about being thoughtful about the food we intake. We should drink plenty of water to keep hydrated, variety of vegetables.

‘what I can’t eat, don’t put on skin’
He shared a method to bring up Mucus – Blend 4 cloves garlic, cloves, ginger, rosemary with water – use a glass bottle.Well the time given for this section was underestimated – as the experts had so much information to  share.


Branding
Naya by Africa is a popular Ghanaian brand. Nana Ama Yankah. Raised in Atlanta, moved to Ghana where she felt the lack of variety in beauty products. Educate ingredients, study the market, look at ways to overcome challenges. Vends at many events to promote brand. The challenges she faced was sourcing ingredients so has to import packaging and essential oils. Her mission is to go international (https://www.nayabyafrica.com/)

Victorine Sarr was born in Senegal, studied in France but now based in Accra has 8 years corporate experience between Apple and Loreal. A marketer by trade and entrepreneur for past 3 years since starting Lyvv Cosmetics which broke even within 2 years.  Her strapline ‘Lyvv the beauty you are’ is very captive. She has branched out in the Ghanaian market and will be seeking to hire in 2019 – so look out for the advert. Its not often you find or hear about a natural cosmetic line but although I don’t wear makeup I was impressed with her ethical status and use of local sourced ingredients(@lyvvcosmetics, http://www.lyvvcosmetics.com/)


Therapy Cove

Every time I passed through the Health Cove there was always activity in each corner of the room – from Pranic Healing, massages by Afia of Goddess Touch (@afiakhalia) and hair styling on men, women and children.

Food court – Well Mahorgany Health Food did not disappoint – They had a variety of vegan delights such as – beetroot and carrot burgers which I munched down, filling and delicious and fulfilled my appetite. The sun rays were beaming so I didn’t waste time to dive into the cooler which was full of Natural juices. A selection of blends such as moringa & cane sugar, baobab & of course Sobolo – which satisfied my parched throat throughout the day. (was so hungry that I yam the food before taking picture).

Art Exhibition
It was unfortunate that Elihu Ashong was not able to display his artwork – Complex Sheen – images of albinism. This was due to a misfortunate in the morning. Hoping he can share next time. (www.capitalghana.com).

However, we were graced by the visual Artwork of Sel, with his display of Untitled portraits which are part of a series titled Coloracter. – based on the narrative of social conformism, representations of his own identity and self expression mainly on the subject of politics of locs and afro on post modern Ghanaian settings. (@selkofiga)


Give thanks
I met amazing people with a world of talent. The Expo ended with a singing performance by a brother called Ogu. Ideally wished more people were present to gain The Real You Expo experience and support the vendors. However,  the feedback from participants was very positive and value for money.

A massive thank you to all the presenters for extensive sharing of knowledge, volunteers, friends and new acquaintances that took time out of their busy schedule to partake.

Sister E

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