Woman with orange frohawk

More than any other year before it, 2012 is the year that curly hair of all kinds came to the forefront. This was the first year that professionals in the field of natural hair care were given an open platform to prove once and for all that not only is natural hair manageable, but it’s HAUTE in here!

The here that I’m referring to is at the 2012 American Beauty Show (ABS”>, at McCormick Place in Chicago. For the first time at the event, a pavilion featuring natural hair care products that meet the needs of multi-textured naturalistas made its presence known and well represented. TextureMedia featured a pavilion highlighting the multi-textured woman: she who has chosen to scrap the creamy crack (aka. relaxers”> to discover and embrace her natural hair texture, whether it be wavy, curly or kinky.

Changing the Textured Hair Care Market

Cassadie Blackwell getting styled at the Texture Pavillion

Conventional hair care practices and products, particularly in ethnic hair care, have been called out by women of all ethnicities who are fed up with the damaging effects of relaxers and other chemicals in their hair. In addition, mounting evidence has proven time and time again that there are adverse effects from using relaxers and chemicals, often times with very serious and irreversible consequences. So what’s a curly girl to do? Enter TextureMedia.

TextureMedia is the first social media company for curly girls everywhere and the companies that love them. This innovative company features multiple natural hair forums, such as NaturallyCurly, CurlyNikki, CurlStylist, CurlMart, Curls On The Go and the like, giving curly girls everywhere an open resource for information, curl support and a market for hair care product lines that fit their unique style choices, and not the other way around.

TextureMedia also offers business opportunities for entrepreneurs who rise to the challenges of the curl market and develop high quality hair care systems designed specifically for naturally textured hair. Brands such as JessiCurl, UseMe, Curly Hair Solutions, DNA (which, in my opinion, was BAD to the bone”>, as well as others had their heyday at America’s Beauty Show, educating and lifting the veil of ignorance regarding the care of multi-textured hair.

Educating Future Texture Stylists

At ABS 2012, The TextureMedia pavilion challenged traditional standards of hair care by their mere presence at the show, and then raised the bar to a new level by their stellar presentation of the diversity of hair textures. And boy, did they work it! Natural hair care platform artists and their models expertly demonstrated the correct techniques in caring for multi-textured hair, and stylists who attended those presentations were in for a treat and a continuing education that money just couldn’t buy anywhere else.

The challenge to all was clear and concise: the money making opportunities you seek in your salon are either gained or lost by your willingness to engage and service your natural haired clientele. Natural haired ladies are not to be feared and turned away from your salon, but are to be seen as something fierce, bold and beautiful.

Naturalistas from around the world can be fiercely loyal to the hair care professional willing to go beyond their fears and learn how to properly care for natural and transitioning hair using the right skills and products designed with their unique needs in mind. TextureMedia’s vendors came with that and then some.

It’s About Time

NaturallyCurly’s Lori gets a fuschia streak in her curls

The platform stage was haute, and so were the models. ‘Frohawks, twists, curls, waves and more were styled, dryed and then profiled on the runway, and they were amazing. As people passed the Texture Pavilion, they couldn’t help stop by and inquire as to what was going on. Reactions ranged anywhere from inquisitive glances to shock to outright admiration and looks that shouted, “It’s about time!”

It was an event that was long overdue, a celebration of diversities, and no one was excluded. Straight, wavy, curly, kinky-curly and coily — there was a place for EVERYONE at the American Beauty Show. All you needed to do was bring an open mind, and (of course”> your pocket book, because the deals were flowing too, as only a trade show can present.

My time there was over way too soon, as I learned that moisture is the most important thing to a curl, and that there IS a way to put a product on your hair other than to just slap it on your head. And did you know that most people are too heavy handed with the application of product? Because most of them are made concentrated, you don’t need to use much to get the right effect! You just need to be educated by your stylists, and your stylists need to be properly educated by the companies that make the products you love.

At ABS, stylists are now being made aware that the naturalistas of today are educating themselves. Companies are listening to you, ladies. YouTube, Facebook groups and Twitter have given you your platform. People are paying attention and building a new level of industry from your needs as they research and develop new and better products to meet the structural needs of naturally textured hair. YOUR hair.

Personal Lessons

NaturallyCurly’s Michelle Breyer at the Texture Pavillion

As a guest social media hostess, my goal was to give you a play by play view of the wonderful and ground breaking events that were unfolding at ABS. This was history (or Curlstory”> in the making, as our textures were no longer seen as something you had to control, but at last were being embraced as something that showed that you were in control. I was so proud as a naturalista to have witnessed it and shared it with you, either by Facebook or by tweet; I wanted you to BE there.

In the midst of the usual stylers and profilers, the movers and shakers of the American beauty industry that were doing their thing at the American Beauty Show, there were some new kids on the block: the companies, platform artists and models of TextureMedia. And with them came the dawn of a new day: the day of natural beauty. But then, it’s not really a new day, but one that’s long overdue.

As I have often said to my friends on Facebook, and as I’ll now share with you, my new friends: Being natural IS natural. It’s when you become so used to being altered and added to, and stretched out of measure so you can appear to be beautiful, that this becoming natural, that we’re celebrating so much, is something new. This is NOT something new. We’re not something new. We’ve always been. It’s just that NOW, science is making us realize the damage we’ve done to ourselves by being something other than who we are meant to be – NATURAL. And I love being who I am.

To quote a lyric from “Sister Act 2”: If you want to be somebody, if you want to go somewhere, you better wake up and pay attention.

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