…Something I heard about last year when I was still transitioning from damaged, chemically processed hair to healthy, hydrated curls. Sadly enough, I wasn’t proud of my hair enough to even consider going to the event. Although Curlfest celebrates natural hair of all sorts, I was so destroyed by the damage I had done to my hair that I couldn’t even acknowledge it unless it was straight.
And that’s exactly why events like Curlfest exist- there is a lack of appreciation of natural hair that needs to be revisited. It was so beautiful to see hundreds of people at this event, with diverse hair textures, just being proud of the crown they wear everyday.
This time around, I’m grateful that I was able to appreciate and love my natural hair. There is nothing more liberating than allowing your hair to speak for you before you even get the chance to actually talk.
That hot, sun-beaming Saturday on July 15th was more than what I expected it to be. I was shocked by the hundreds of people that came out to celebrate and close this gap in beauty. What I was more intrigued by was the outfit theme almost everyone chose to follow: the colorful, summery, cultural theme- I tried my best to fit right in. In fact, I got my two-piece set at a souvenir shop in Virginia Beach, for only $20! I’m very big on bargaining, especially if I can mix-and-match the pieces.
As all Curlfest anticipators may know, the ticket situation is no joke. This year, the Splashthat website for Curlfest shut down on hundreds of people at 1PM. The “early bird” tickets sold out in the blink of an eye and the regular admission tickets followed. Since I had never been to Curlfest before, I was upset because I really made it a priority to go and the crashing site was definitely a downer. However, Curly Girl Collective apologized for the inconveniences and opened up an Eventbrite account for the tickets- so much easier!
I must say, though: the bags given out to the early bird ticket holders were also available for regular admission ticket holders as well, under one condition: get there extra (like really EXTRA) early and make the line that basically goes around the whole Brooklyn and back. Seriously though. As my sisters and I made the line, we were told that we can just go straight into the event, but we won’t get a bag with products. HONESTLY, SUN (no pun intended) that sun was cock-blocking our lives, so we just decided to go in.
Personally, my main focus was experiencing the event for what it is. When we went in, there were dozens of stations featuring beauty brands like Bumble and Bumble, Ors Hair Care, and Shea Moisture. The representatives at each stand were friendly and were so generous as they handed out free samples to those waiting in line. I really appreciated this because I wasn’t too concerned about new products (I’m currently satisfied with what I’m using) but it was definitely a plus!
My favorite product was the head wrap I got from Bumble and Bumble. I literally wear it every night to sleep and sometimes to work- Haute Headband style. I also got a sample of their Anti-Humidity Gel-Oil which I can’t wait to try out and eventually purchase.
One of my other favorite things at Curlfest was the swing! I heard about it last year and I was like, “I’ma get a pic on that swing next year.” And so I did- isn’t it cute?! No? Oh okay.
The diversity in each stand was what gave the most life to Curlfest, asides from the amazing people that attended, of course. There were even canvasses for people to paint on and express themselves artistically. There’s a no-judge zone when it comes to Curlfest, all you have to do is simply be you in your purest form.
I felt I was at a natural hair flea market (every curly girl’s dream) and hair products were not being the only things sold- clothes, food, and even hair services on the spot. You can definitely tell the committee put in that work (and overtime!)
I’m definitely glad I got to see Curlfest for what it actually is and now I know how to prepare better for next time. These are some things you might want to bring with you:
- Water. LOTS of water!
- Portable charger (trust me, you’re going to want to fight your way in to get a picture on the “#Curlfest” sign. Bruh, I wasn’t even that lucky).
- Small towel or napkins (dab on that forehead, cause it’s gonna get hot).
- Optional, but highly recommended: find a good spot with enough shade and bring a blanket, snacks, and possibly a cooler (I honestly wish I would’ve thought about this beforehand because everyone looked so comfortable and they were able to go back to their spot whenever they wanted to take a break from the sun.)
- Extra products (for last minute styling!)
- A pick (my favorite)
- A positive attitude (I didn’t see anyone that wasn’t smiling).