“Frizz is just a curl waiting to happen,” said Lorraine Massey, an innovator of curly hair care and the creator of the curly girl method and handbook.
The Natural Hair Festival was the first of its kind in Africa and the Middle East. The event took place on September 1 at the Fish Garden in Zamalek. It did not fail in its promise to deliver, boasting a host of interesting activities, talks and performances.
Big crowd at hair festival (Photo:Hamed Kamel El Sayed )
Around 4000 people attended the festival, including eighteen speakers from varied professional backgrounds; dermatologists, nutritionists, psychologist, certified hair stylists from Hair Addict, and public figures were there to help attendants learn to value their natural beauty.
Exhibitors displayed a range of natural products for hair, body, and skin care. There was also corner for hair-braiding and safe henna for use on the skin.
The founder of “Hair Addict” in Egypt and the Middle East, Doaa Gawish said, “today we gather to celebrate our success to recover and regain our healthy natural hair by using natural ways, and at the same time encourage others to do so whether they are kids, children, teens, youth or elders.”
Gawish started out her natural hair movement in March 2016 on a group on Facebook.
hairstylists Iman Arafa and Yara Abdeen have a live dry haircut show on stage ( Photo: by Ghada Abdel-Kader )
The Facebook group was a platform to give tips on how to take care of one’s natural hair by using natural methods and techniques. “We encouraged people to invest time and effort in their natural hair, and at the end of the journey they were satisfied with the results,” stated Gawish.
She said, “The Hair Addict group started step by step. Our members tested these methods for themselves. Then, they shared their successful stories, which motivated others to give it a try. It also encouraged us to move up to the next level.”
In the beginning, the Hair Addict team began with sharing ways of using natural oil for scalp massages to increase hair moisture. They share tips for preparing easy natural hair oil mixtures, and other hair-care recipes, at home.
The second step was to stop using heat on hair, so Hair Addict initiated a heat-free challenge.
The third step was to stop using chemical products or straightening tools. The fourth step was to use natural products and medical hair dyes for hair colouring and so on.
"Our focus is not only on curly hair types "Gawish said, “It is for all hair types whether curly, wavy or straight.”
Gawish added, “However, most of Egyptian people do have a curly hair.”
Gawish said that the organizers' plan is to hold the event again next April, with the intent that the Natural Hair Festival will become an annual event.
actress Ingi Abou-Zeid gives a speech(photo by Ghada Abdel-Kader)
One of the speakers was psychologist and psychotherapist Mona El-Shimi who talked about “hair and self-love”. She said, “Any ideas we form about ourselves, our body or the way we look affects us. The messages we receive during our childhood from our parents, relatives, or friends in school are very powerful. They get internalized and form our ideas about ourselves.”
“Love your hair and believe it is beautiful the way it is. You need to go back, revisit your beliefs about yourself, and change them.” El-Shimi added.
El-Shimi then proceeded to provide some tips for changing beliefs or misconceptions about your hair:
"First, positive affirmations are a very powerful thing in psychology… It is positive beliefs you want to implant inside yourself. Repeat them to yourself every day; either say it out loud or write it down. Second, create clear rituals and a daily routine of taking care of yourself and your hair. Third, dig inside these negative voices. Try finding the origin of these ghosts that control you and challenge them," she concluded.
Nada Akram, a fashion designer who boasts a beautiful head of curly hair herself shared her personal experience in embracing her natural hair. “I have been heat free for three years now, I stopped styling or straightening my hair with chemical products. I started using natural ones, and my hair regained its natural shape with lovely curls.”
Akram added, “I am a bold person. My curly hair look is reflected in my designs too.”
Yasmine Yousri talks about her experience (photo by Ghada Abdel-Kader)
Another experience was shared by social-media influencer, Yasmin Yousri.
Yousri survived cancer three times over the course of five years, and works as fashion blogger and stylist.
“I suffered from hair loss four times. Each time my hair looked different when it grew back.”
This year, Yousri decided to go heat-free, and this impacted her life-style as a fashion blogger. “Hair is a very precious thing. My illness made me accept my shape in the worst conditions. Once I started taking care of my hair, my hair began to love me the way I love it.”
“Love yourself the way you are, this is the best thing you can do for yourself,” Yousri concluded.