On the second day of 4-Star my city gave to me...a swag bag of lots of goodies! Let's face it the holidays are hectic. It's helpful to take some time for yourself early on. I decided to start my pampering preparations during the first moments of December. Enter, Rachel O's Holiday Beauty Bazaar. From Blow Out kits to hot combs to box braids of the 90s, black women have been creating ways to tame their natural tresses, often times damaging their delicate roots. But recently there's been an outcry, no, more of a movement of African American women that stand up to the commercial view of urban women and not only flaunt but marvel at the expression that is "black girl" hair. These ladies are far from tawdry and tangled but nappy and happy. Causing a strong following of women that have kicked the creamy crack (that's chemical hair relaxer for those not savvy to black hair lingo) habit. These women are proud, self-informed, and truly altruistic; passing on the spirit of sisterhood one loc at a time.
Going into it's second year, Rachel O's Beauty Bazaar seeks to highlight not only local businesses but those that are owned and operated by minority women. This year the event fell on World's AIDS Day causing the two entities to join forces to spread awareness. A portion of the proceeds go towards charity as well as the collection of gifts for women serviced by the Chicago Women's AIDS Project. The event also hosted natural hair fashion shows, makeup and hair demonstrations, as well as a number of vendors selling accessories and cosmetics all in time for the gifting season, and even an appearance from longtime supporter ChicagoNatural.net events, Sista TV.
I was a little nervous walking into the event. These natural hair events have a way of turning grizzly, well not really. But it really has become an ideology and as such has strong supporters that will at the very least try to convert you. For years there's been a dichotomy of between black women as those who wear their natural hair and those who don't. And seeing as just I just dipped my head in a fresh kit of relaxer just a few days ago, I was hoping they wouldn't pick up on the scent of Softsheen Optimum and hair grease. But my misguided daydreams couldn't have been further from truth seeing as the all the staff, visitors and vendors were nothing but welcoming and eager to chat! Octavia Hooks of Octavia's Natural Hair Care Experience chatted with me for a few minutes about her Lock Artisan title until she had to whisk away to take the main stage to exhibit her talent to the masses. And the ladies, Courtney and Kim, of the Mary Kay Cosmetics displayed provided me with more laughs and conversation then I had intended, I lost track of time! Last but not least Ms. Erica Boyea of Clutter Breaker was an absolute joy to talk and trade ideas with on the issues of black hair. I felt like it impacted not only my knowledge base but my spiritual base as well.
The evening was more than enjoyable and a must see for all Chicagoland area black women. With more and more businesses coming out everyday expressing their exclusion of certain groups of people it's nice to support local small businesses that have your ideals in mind. So with that I'll end with a familiar quote "go where you are appreciated, NOT just tolerated."
Support These Businesses!!!
Clutter Breaker Hair Love Art Studio
J'adore Jewelry Mary Kay
Natural Hair Don't Care Tees Nubian Ego
Octavia's Natural Hair Care Slice By Cake
StarChild Wearable Art
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