On the 21st of May, I spontaneously hopped in my car and visited the Afro Chic event in Amsterdam. This natural hair event was created for naturals to meet, share and discuss. And that is exactly what went down. 

The theme of this (second) Afro Chic edition, was ‘Let’s Talk’, so of course a panel discussion was on the itinerary. What I loved was that the discussions not only touched on the beauty aspect of being natural, but also on subjects like building self esteem and self acceptance. Something that I personally am really passionate about.

During the panel discussion, Roots PR owner and Grazia editor Agnes Hofman talked about her mission to take color diversity in media to another level. Working as a television editor I see this on a day to day basis, so this is a mission that I can only applaud and ‘root’ for. ;-)

Panel members of the day. Agnes Hofman on the mic.
Panel members of the day. Agnes Hofman on the mic.

Like in most panel discussions the ladies shed light on their natural hair journeys and how they deal with natural hair and peoples opinions in their daily life. For me, working in a creative environment, has made ‘being natural’ fairly easy. No comments on how I should present myself or style my hair. I only get comments on the fact that I change my hairstyle…A LOT!

I must say that visiting ‘natural hair events’ and talking to fellow naturals made me see that ‘wearing your natural hair’ is not that easy or simple for everybody. And I understand that, but I do want to say that what matters is that YOU love what you do and who you are as a person. You will see that once you really feel that way, the negative comments will slowly diminish and people will accept you for the fabulous person that you are!

It wasn’t all talk at Afro Chic. You could also treat yourself to some nice hair and beauty products. But fashion was also part of this event The fun thing was that during the day models were showing some colorful contemporary African clothing.

Afro Chic event
Fab hair & fab clothes at Afro Chic.
(Check out proud founder Sjamira Roseburg in the back.)

Recently I caught the head wrap bug, so I’ve been rocking those every once in a while. I do not have to tell you that black is my color, but seeing these ladies with these fab colorful pieces was inspiring! Diana Ritfeld (left) also gave a fun mini workshop, so this summer I am ready to step my head wrapping game up!

Di'Xpression's headwrap pro Diana Ritfeld (left)
Di’Xpression’s headwrap pro Diana Ritfeld (left)
Beauty blogger Fatou N’diaye and now face of the Kookaï 2014 campaign came over from France to give a hair styling workshop. I already met this cool and funky naturalista last year, so it was fun seeing her again.
Fatou N'diaye & Dalida Mharram
Fatou & myself
Dutch television/radio host, co-founder of The House of Power and diva extraordinair Sylvana Simons was present as an inspirational speaker. I must admit that her message struck a chord with me. In Holland Sylvana is known for her hair and style changes and being herself regardless. Being a public figure can come with the occasional (harsh) critique. Sylvana talked about how she deals with these kind of situations. “If people want to criticize, that’s fine. In the end, it’s just hair and it’s mine. So if I want to change it, it is my prerogative. People are going to have to take me as I am. What counts is that I am happy with who I am!” And this is something I can only agree with.
When you know your worth, other people have no choice but to see it. 

Sylvana Simons and Dalida Moharram
Sylvana Simons & myself
I must say that I had fun at Afro Chic. Founder Sjamira Roseburg assured me that there will be a third edition. I’m curious to see what she has in store for us!