Artsy Fartsy: Natural Hair Overload

When I started this blog, the impetus was to have a medium of discussion on natural hair, especially for my Canadian ladies. My second thought was that I would get bored of talking solely about hair all day, every day (I have a tragically short attention span), and therefore the entire vision of '83 To Infinity was fleshed out. However, I spent pretty much this entire past weekend talking about/being about natural hair, and I had way too much fun! First up was my radio interview with Emily, a Masters of Journalism student at Ryerson University here in Toronto. Emily had reached out to an online group that I am a member of, seeking to speak with Black women for her Radio Documentary class project. The topic? Discussing our hair history, hair choices, and how those choices have affected or been influenced by current beauty standards. Inspired by a friend of hers who admitted to wanting to wear her hair naturally, but having no idea how to go about it, Emily wanted to both help her friend and educate herself on a world she didn't even know about. Unfortunately, after a vetting process that I personally didn't understand or agree with, it was determined that the group would not be taking part in Emily's project. I decided to reach out to her on my own, and we scheduled a taping date for Saturday afternoon.

My homegirl Mariah joined us, and I think we ended up giving Emily WAY more material than she needed! Emily engaged us with very insightful questions - she was intrigued to learn that my HomieLoverFriend was not a fan of my natural look when I debuted it, and she drew a lot of truth out of Mariah when she discussed the message of self-love that she was sending to her young daughter. We were lucky in that Emily didn't fire question after question at us - she would put a topic out there, or frame a loose question, and then we'd go to town on it! She'll have the difficult task now of mincing all of her material down into a 10 minute project, but I got the feeling that she learned a LOT more than she expected to, and we all had a great time sharing our personal stories. Sounds cliché to say, but if this helps even one person (Emily's friend who's thinking of going natural - I'm lookin' at you!), then it was time well spent.

Once Emily and Mariah headed home, I focused on my hair in another arena - getting prepped for a photo shoot! I had been invited to the iHeartmyhair photo shoot with Sean Anthony Photography, and had to finally do something about this tired-ass bun I'd been dragging around all week. I shampooed, conditioned, and twisted my hair into approx. 15 twists (using Earthtones Naturals products), then decided to step it up a notch by curling the twists around some flexi-rods. Sat under my hooded dryer for about 30 minutes, then hit the sack in order to be ready for the early morning call time.

Sunday morning, bright and early, I headed out to Dundas West and got ready for some photo-shoot fun. My twist/curl-out came out fabulously (sorry - was too rushed to take a pic), so I was looking forward to what would be next. Añya, the super-sweet and super-focused lady of iHeartmyhair hooked my hair up into a fly side-swept look. Rita of Salon Beauty Mark did the damn thing with the makeup, then I was sent off to Sean to put the vision together.

It was my first time working with Sean, and he was AMAZING. He wanted me to be the "crazy one" - so he had me growling and scowling and silent screaming like nobody's business! Every once in a while, he'd look at the camera shots and let out a "Wooooooo!!" At first, I thought he was just gassing me up and trying to boost my confidence, but when he showed me a few of the raw shots, I was like, "Damn! Who's that girl?" I was giving some fierce Grace Jones, y'all. Didn't think I had it in me, but the camera said otherwise.

The best part of the shoot was connecting with new and not-so-new faces (big up Kim, Marsha, and Shereen!), and talking about all things hair and beyond. It was awesome seeing so much beautiful hair in one spot - and in great contrast to my previous guest post about natural hair and fashion, I was so happy to be in a zone that not only was embracing natural hair, but - ahem - actually knew how to style it. Lol. Accessory queens Toni Daley and Ashley Alexis McFarlane came through with some awesome pieces, and so far, the shots I've seen have been GORGEOUS! Here's a sneak peek courtesy of Sean Anthony Photography:

 Aren't these pictures EVERYTHING? Añya and her team caught some other great shots from the day as well:

All in all, I had a great weekend full of natural hair love. Emily ended up catching up with a few models at the shoot as well - that girl is a hustla! I'm hoping to get a copy of her project and share it with y'all, so keep an eye out for that! I guess there are ways to talk one subject to death in a way that's enlightening and entertaining - this weekend taught me that!

Today is the perfect day for this post - still reminiscing about the weekend past, but looking forward to the weekend to come! What do you guys think of the photo shoot shots? Major thanks to Emily, Añya, Sean, Rita, and all the lovely ladies at the shoot! 

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