Vee Simmons, Entertainment Correspondent

Vee Simmons, Entertainment Correspondent

Caribbean news. The show was held on 24th & 25th MAY, 2015, 52 Upper Street, London N1 0QH, the trendy heart of Angel and Islington. Where there were terrific bars, restaurants and pubs to enjoy for a bite to eat in your interval or just to relax at after the show.

Really the trick is to get there early at 10.30 am when it starts to really enjoy your day. This was an ultimate hair and beauty experience where you were advised about natural hair, healthy living, and pampered head to toe, if you chose to wait in the queues.

My first experience when I walked in the door was a good one. I had lots of attention; everything was clearly signposted and inviting. Everyone was given a programme of the show.  The map and directions were clear so that one could easily find the exhibitions you wanted straight away.  There were a host of speakers on stage to answer all your hair and skin questions.

I was at the show last year and this year there were more people, a relaxed buzz, good atmosphere and it was very positive and receptive. The price of the ticket was reasonable for a whole day. Plus there was food to eat on the premises, if you felt you could not leave and go out.

On the whole, the show lived up to its promotion, expectation and its last exhibition. The exhibition, which showcased black hair and beauty products, showed and launched brands and fashion hair trends to keep you engaged.

As you walked in there was the Fashion Beauty Channel FBN. The producer Michael Garrison was very proud of their achievements in showing fashion beauty, shopping, news, live events, and videos to keep people informed and entertained. Keeping this real – the Studio one, Reggae DJ Elaine Smith was polished off with her fashionable ‘dress sense and beautiful accessories’ yes – hand made by Natasha Dva-Agyemange, who accompanied Elaine who was then interviewed by FBN.

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

The top brands such as Mazuri Shea Butter Naturalsmade, Cantu, ORS, were using the latest technology formulated with all natural ingredients. They all launched their latest new products with better and improved hair care.  Cantu, showcased their full range, using their top stylist Anastasia Chikeze, to show how their products can be one of the top products to buy, for example.

Christal Cosmetics, Ebony pink and others, showed their best black skin care.  This year there were more black natural hair, skin products on sale, in comparison to last year. Last year for example had a lot of jewellers, this year in their place, were products mentioned earlier and natural well-being products.

Afro hair

There was a hair debate on day one and the following products below and more were discussed. I saw the best hair wigs and pieces at discounted prices!!! However, if I am honest I rarely saw people buy these products, girls it seems were going natural!!! On day two the exhibitions were on their way with great selling products.

There were many hair product exhibitions and some were the usual ones we have seen before, Mazuri Olive oil, Palmers, Ebony pink, Taaliah Waajid and ‘Crème of nature’. What was clear on the two days, there seemed to be the widest range for natural hair.

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Avlon exhibition and sales

There were great products sold by Avlon, Avlon– Kera Care.  The exhibition and hair advice was terrific and there were opportunities for ordinary people like you and I to get our hair done. In fact the queue to buy the products was outside the door and in the gangways of passers-by! This was because, the entire exhibitions were selling special show prices (average price was £9.00 per product (NOT HAIR or weaves), as opposed to normal prices with discounts. I find this difficult to recommend as I wanted to discuss the value for money across the board to you. Show prices are not the real prices you and I will end up paying if we were to shop on-line or go to the supplier’s shops, it would be a completely different price!

Ossat exhibition and sales

Ossat specialises in natural hair products generally. They talked about plant proteins added to their products that protect your hair and strengthens it. They had several starter kits and gifts were given away at the exhibition. They focused on the fashion twist twirls which is very ‘in at the moment’. They demonstrated using 4 models; three are shown in this picture below. They explained how easy it was to keep your hair looking soft and manageable even if you have bleached it blond, red, whatever takes your fancy! Using the custard cream, using various co-wash shampoo and conditioners of your choice, moisturising sometimes as much as twice a day, will keep those twists looking amazing.

Mixed Roots exhibition

Everyone was talking about this hair product, this amazing paraben and mineral oil free, curly effect styling product range, was a great hit with the girls. The products have fruit extracts, which can rejuvenate your hair.  There were deep moisture conditions made with rosehip oil and using curl refresher finishing spray to pump up and add shine to your hair. I tried to get prices for you, however could not see the prices on the products!!!!

Competitions

There were top stylists from the UK and Europe at the show. There were Award winning hairdressers giving on-to-one advice and there were panel debates and the interesting Battle of the barbers.

There did seem to be more of everything this year, more competitions, more give-aways, more fashion, more beauty and more natural hair, I’d say.


Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

On the first day, there was a Fantasy Hair Competition

They dazzled the crowd by the creativity of the country’s leading hairstylists. Nothing was left to your imagination, as colourful, tall, bouncy, wide creative Avantgarde Hair Masterpieces were put on for show at the Fantasy Hair Competition.

On the second day, there was the Battle of the Barbers

WAHL  sponsored the Battle of the barbers. The Barbers came from all over the UK to show their skill and masterpieces on mens hair in the Fashion styling showdown.

The treats were not only for men…As a warm up for the lovely ladies, the Afro Hair and Beauty show put on a ‘Diligence’ dance hair creation of muscle men for their delight.  The men came on showing hair and muscles as they danced to the latest fashion music in style, see photos below.

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

As the model dancers cleared the floor full of admiration and new followers, the dynamic Battle of the Barbers panel sat down to view the competition. The panel comprised of the Goggle box panelists Sandy and Sharon, Pecka from Diligence barbers, the Phone Shop man, and Judge Hair and Beauty from Croydon, my home town…The host was the ever ready Award winning 5 time stylist, ‘Five’ who cuts hair for Asher, Edge of 4, Graig David, Danny Roland (E.V.E) etc. These are professionals who love hair.

The 8 Barbers from all over the UK came on with their models and to be honest the models were everyday guys who walk into the barbers to get their hair cut. These Barbers were on point, they were creative, imaginative, and a fashionable crew of skilled masters of hair filled the show and displayed their skill from conception to conclusion with wonderment.

They worked hard for the £500 and barber hair kit. Some Barbers did snazzy fishbone/leaf designs, others did high tops and creations, some had flashing lights and colours and the winner, from Headline Barbers, used his model and scalped and cut a  Batman and Robin coloured design on his head, no wonder he won, whatever next!!???

Ruben Christian and his co-host gave away great hair and beauty gifts from the exhibitioners who wanted to engage with the crowd. There were over 100 gifts given out and I got two gifts and a T-shirt to boot, so yes I’m going back next year. LOL!!

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Beauty show

There were two fashion shows on day one, mainly showing unique hot sexy short and a few long number designs, many were African designs, with glorious out of this world fantasy hair styles with the most amazing colours.

There were many bespoke clothes, with great prices on the stage shows, however it did not stop there. Some of the models walked around to show you what they had on, all day. So if you missed the fashion show, it didn’t matter as you got an eye full later.  They even had Trini Carnival girls at the show (See photo below)!.  You saw a debut of collections from upcoming fashion designers.

As you entered the Afro Hair and Beauty show, you could see at first glance, first-hand the latest innovative products for sale.

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Seminar / Workshops

Gain Knowledge from Experts


There were a few seminar programs that encompassed a variety of interactive sessions that focused on beauty and hair related topics, health, wellness and spiritual development to career, personal empowerment and life coaching. There were good coaching and advice on healthier living life styles and I noticed a lot of people taking the time to buy, and register for healthier life goals etc.

Healthy Lifestyle, run by Seventh Day Adventist church and the NHS teamed up to provide free blood pressure, diabetes and HIV tests with the option to swab.

Pampering

I did see lots of specialist beautician’s on-hand working their make-up magic on women who had made every effort to try something new. There were lots of queues to be a model; however the good news was there were quite a few stands where you could go to be pampered.


Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

Photo courtesy Vee Simmons. CaribDirect

 

Black secret

Black secret a Ghana organisation, 5 years old, sold great quality colourful beautiful products for very reasonable prices ranging from £6 – £20.00 for the more expensive items. They were selling their products online, as they don’t have a shop as yet. www.blacksecretmakeup.uk.com

3 stars out of 5

Grace Kelly Organiser of Afro Hair & Beauty live put on a good show and it was well organised. Great new natural hair care, beauty products but not much fashion designs but they were really trying.  There were many exhibitions with a wide range of products but show prices I believe let them down, as I mentioned earlier. The show has changed and become more about lifestyle.

The workshops and shows are the best, as people learn more about their hair and products.

On the first day the glamorous models were a treat along-side the workshops and give-aways. On the last day, the best part of the show was when Diligence came on, with their dancing party piece, if you get what I mean, demonstrating haircuts with perfect looks to finish off the hairstyles.

It was a day out bringing yourself back to roots.  What has to be remembered, is that every supplier wants to provide each person a product that they hope one will like, we just need to get better at it, that’s all!