The very first ZedHair Show is over but memories and great lessons learnt still remain in my mind. I did the ‘Big Chop’ or ‘BC’ of my permed hair in August 2012, a month before my graduation ceremony. It wasn’t an easy decision to make. It has its challenges, but no regrets.
As most naturals will know, your hair reaches an awkward phase, when you have no idea how to style it. This is especially true if you are working, and have to maintain a certain professional image! But I was excited to be part of the ZedHair show, and it gave me renewed energy to keep my hair natural.
ZedHair show time — one great speaker to the nextAs with most Zambian shows, things started late. I was early, and even won one of the first prize giveaways, just for my punctuality. The turnout was small at first. People slowly trickled in, but by noon, most seats were occupied. The program included guest speakers talking about their individual hair journeys. Not only was the focus on naturals, but it looked at weaves, braids, locks and relaxed hair, basically talking about healthy hair care and maintenance.
Master of ceremonies was Masuka, Managing Editor and one of the founder’s of the ZedHair blog. Her personal hair journey, and the story of the birth of the ZedHair blog, were inspiring. You can also see Bwalya Chileya’s piece on ‘My evolution of style’ blog — Bwalya is a founding partner of ZedHair.
Salon owner, Nomai of NC hair studio in Lusaka followed. Find ths salon at Golden Bridge Hotel and in Makeni Mall. It’s a must visit for both naturals and non naturals. Nomai talked about various combs and brushes and their uses. It was interesting to learn that each comb or brush has its purpose, and if the wrong “tool” is used, it can damage your hair. She also spoke on the importance of shampooing, conditioning and moisturising, as well as dandruff, its causes, and how to treat it.
Lusubilo followed. Lusubilo had just done the BC to recover from a damaged hairline. She spoke of the lessons she has learnt over the years and about how to look after hair. A lesson on dreadlocks followed. Jeselle Eli and Alice Tenjiwe Kabwe-Grollnek both had dreadlocks, but slightly different methods of maintenance. They talked about their hair journeys giving advice to anyone wanting to start dreads, and tips on basic maintenance and care.
Then Mwanabibi took to the stage. She taught about natural products that can be made from your own kitchen, homemade products that can help look after your hair, help it grow strong and healthy, as well as save you money. Mwanabibi shared her hair routine on wash day.
After the talks and lunch, a quiz followed with prizes. Many walked away with various hair products and books. The show ended with demonstrations from Nomai of NC Hair Studio, on how naturals can style their hair for work, with some great everyday hair styles.
Closing thoughtsAfter attending the show I felt empowered with knowledge. I liked that the show didn’t just focus on naturals, but discussed hair care and maintenance, whether you are a natural, have locked or relaxed hair.
If there was another show, I would definitely attend, even just to mingle with other naturals and learn new tips on hair care. After attending the show, I’ve noticed a lot of ladies with natural, thick and well styled hair. I am obviously more aware of natural hair, but the fact that there was an event solely dedicated to the ‘natural’ hair movement means that it is definitely growing in Zambia. I think the re-surgence of the movement is here, with celebrities like Solange Knowles being seen as Ambassadors contributing to it. Whether it will take over the weaves, we’ll see. But it’s growing. I have great love and respect for the natural nappy hair I was born with, and now that I have the knowledge on proper hair care, it’s not as hard as I thought it would be to keep it that way.
Do you think there is a natural hair movement? Did you attend the ZedHair show? If so, what did you think about it?
All images are courtesy of the ZedHair Facebook page and ©BalistiQ Photography