Afrolicious Natural Hair Show L.A. Staples Center


So….L.A. Fashion Week…..then Comikaze 2015….and now a Natural Hair Care Show.  It’s been a hectic month, but so rewarding.  I’ve been on the lookout for the latest trends:  what’s hot, new, on trend, or pushing the boundaries.  I’ve been looking without boundaries which is the way to go if you’re really into finding the latest and greatest because sometimes the best things are found in the most unlikeliest of places.  I found some hot items at the Hair Care Show….from soaps, to hair care products, to even fashion which I hadn’t expected.  I thing starting in the area of fashion is where I’ll start this blog entry.

“Black Don’t Crack” is what I saw…..way across the room.  “Black Don’t Crack”……It reminded me of something I might see in a Tyler Perry movie….who says that?  Why?  It reminded me of the Beauty Shop and that great scene of Queen Latifa and the guy selling bags….finding your face ‘cracked and on the ground’….I couldn’t help but wander over.  It took me forever to get there….but I kept seeing “Black Don’t Crack” and then it permeated my being and I could hear the strength behind the statement.   It’s true….”Black Don’t Crack”, but sometimes it does anyway….just a bit when your strength has gone and you’re too too tired of fighting the fight of being Black.  And that’s where I was…too too tired….and so when I neared her booth and saw her fab fashions (very retro, but reinvented)…I said ‘yes! Black Don’t Crack’….and I said I’d buy something in the future…

her designs are not for the faint of heart….so bring it when you buy…and buy strong….BUT I will say….it’s not a garment limited to those who are Black.  I don’t want to make ‘black’ the thing and that racism is still everywhere….cause it’s not, but anyone could where this….because there is strength in it for everyone.   So if you’re Asian, be Black and realize you are a person of Color…..check out her stuff and if you like….buy it and be bold.   If you’re white….be Black…and say ‘F’ you….I know who I am…and what I’m about.  I’m a person of Color too.  If you’re Black….buy one and be proud to be Black…it reminds me of my ‘Too Black Too Strong’ tshirt I had during my time at U of Michigan.  Whenever there was racism to show solidarity all the students would wear it and show up to the dorm or the grass and sit and say ‘we’re here anyway so now what…’….that’s still true and extends beyond Color….anyone from the City can speak to it….everyone knows what it’s like to not feel welcome….so wear something that says ‘I’m here anyway MoFo…so deal…’ and then sit in peace and make it everyone else’s problem and not yours.


I came across the soaps first….homemade along with other products like custom body butters….presented in unassuming ways but very hands-on and easy to handle as samples.  The body butters I saw were amazing…I will do another blog post to go more into these products because they were a bit of a surprise find at the show….to include fashion….I was just expecting hair, but they also had a stage were people were presenting topics about health and beauty to include the inclusion of a ‘little miss’ pageant!  It was too nice.  I hope they have a larger venue next time because they had a ‘lot going on’ and you need space to get in and see everything….there was almost too much and they so deserved more space.  I hope next time they get more room…that means more stuff!  Also I’d love to see more of the hair getting done…I saw a small area with people getting their hair done, but I didn’t get over there.  I would’ve loved to have purchased something there for my hair and then wander over to that area….maybe a bit like ‘MAC’ where you can take your products and then ask questions or even get it applied so you can get serious help in how to use products.  That’s the type of help I need as a customer and I would’ve loved to see if I could’ve gotten more help.  My hair is too dry lately…..

anyway….the soaps.  Couture.  Pure and simple.  I never saw such beauty in soaps as I saw at Unique & Natural table.  I saw something too amazing!  I bought a bar of their exfoliating coffee soap that was too nice looking and then stomped upon the cigar tri-colored soap made with Hennesey (did I spell that right?) to sample at home….lol…I don’t drink, but I know that the use of a whiskey in a soap is very anti-bacterial and also astringent (could have more properties, but the use of it is very fashion forward)….so perhaps the inclusion of Hennesey slightly drying maybe? no!  They have an oil?? (I need their brochure because I can’t remember if it was a tabacco oil…hmmm maybe originating from cigars who knows the imagination wonders….too…epicurean (meaning nice)), but some oil is included in the bar along with activated charcoal.  So maybe not too drying.  I loved their stuff it makes the scientist in  me come out.  I know that in Japan they use sake in their beauty care and I wondered if the inclusion of quality alcoholic drinks might add something to this genre).  Now…what I didn’t let on is that I’m also an aromatherapist  (on the side) as well as an herbalist (western herbs) and I know my scents…pretty well and to come across their bars and the way they presented them I was so like whoa.  I highly recommend them as gifts.  Also I believe their cigar soap to be fashion forward and trend setting.  I am going to include it in my current trend analysis project for 2017 which I’m calling ‘The Year of the Man’.  See a sample of one of my pages below.  The Year of the Man has already taken foothold through trends in barber products and other items such as ‘Bro-mance’ and ‘man caves’….things that are small, but all show trends in men coming forward to show that they have a voice in the market.  They want new stuff….but they want ‘man stuff’.  So what does that look like?  Well my trend analysis will show some indicators….themes of renovation….reinterpretations…and emerging from the ashes anew….come up.  ‘It’ men (that I’ve picked from my own vibes on the topic) show a Rennaissance man who is post Da Vinci….he is comfortable in his self…aware of his environment….always inventing and bringing forward new things based on subtle observations the things that he needs to feel comfortable to emerge in new ways…this comfort in self allows the fashion industry to push the boundaries of what is ok for men’s fashion.  I expect to see a grounds-up approach to re-inventing….small changes…and then obvious phoenix-like changes that are totally new will be seen.  Metro-sexual will be thankfully gone and now men can just be men….hot….stylish….without having to justify it to their peers….this will be 2017.  In the meantime we have the road-to-2017 which will be very interesting….more of my trend analysis will be posted on my website and once the pages are done, the results will be made available.  Then I’ll be moving onto 2018 which I’ve already called ‘The Year of the Colorist’.  I will likely make my work available for free on the first analysis so that the work can get out and also so that folks in the industry can see what they think….are my elements there when 2017 come….?  My analysis is different perhaps from other forecasters but I think it has a voice.

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so now onto Unique & Natural because I thought they were amazing….







this soap is the one to buy!!



And folks don’t sell the men short!  I didn’t get a picture of him, but the husband is the one who came up with the formula and design for the cigar soap!  Everyone wants to think it’s the ladies that do the ‘girlie’ stuff, but no…men want stuff too and when they get in their you get something too amazing….too amazing!  Buy that crap!!  Look at that cigar soap…it’s like a suit’s tie….stately and timeless.  It’s truly wonderful piece of art and it smells nice….and it’s unisex…..get some ladies…but you don’t need a lot.  It’s potent so buy a bar and slice it up.  It’ll last a bit and you can share it.  The samples they sold of their soaps were more than enough to get a good try of their products.

I only had a chance to purchase one new hair product.  I wanted to do more.  Shea Moisture was there and I so wanted to chat with them.  I love their products and I have quite a few.  I have problems with some products because my skin and scalp is sensitive and I can’t use everything, but I find their products to be very therapeutic for my hair care regime and their very new and trendy; their ingredients are always good.  However I did get to TGin (tgin).  There table held interesting products and I knew I wanted to try one.  I ended up buying one of their moisturizers.  I came to their table and they had quite a few items and then I walked away and there was a troop of customers that left their table almost naked….yet there was a God looking over me and their was one last jar of their moisturizer left which I bought.  I’ll likely do another blog post on this one to tell how I liked it and show results.


dang!!!  Thankfully I got the last jar.  Whoa!  Buy early.  I think their stuff is going to be too hot.  I kept getting the vibe of ‘the latest thing’ when I looked at their products.  The packaging was too cool and also the brand name was like too chic and hip.  I’d like to know more from this Chicago-based company.  I think they were fab.  Can’t wait to try!  That’s all for now.  Expect a few more posts on the show in the near term.  Until next time….travel Spritely!









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