Defy Gravity is a community based event to provide a safe, non-judgmental, educational space to inform black identified people, their caretakers and hair stylists on kinky hair care and the connection created around it. Designed for Black, bi-racial, adopted children and their parents without previous access to Black hair culture to stay bonded to their roots and self-care lifestyle. This introductory event is also ideal for hair stylist professionals to learn how to serve an inclusive market.
Many kinky haired people do not have access to the love and bond around hair care such as children with non-Black biological or adoptive parents. These caretakers don’t have the knowledge of the maintenance needs of curly hair types or cultural significance. Hair care has been a part of Afro-communities since the beginning of time. It acts as an action of self-love, expression, identity but perhaps even more so, it’s where our people gather, share stories, laughter and love. A pivotal place where support and wisdom are exchanged that otherwise doesn’t exist in other areas of society. This results in disconnection between these black identified individuals and the culture they still very much belong to. To further the issue of access to this care, most stylists’ schooling is very narrowly focused on straight hair types. The Defy Gravity workshop creates an opportunity to fill in this void by providing accessible entry-level education in a loving setting around Black hair care, history, politics and cultural importance.
This workshop not only interactively teaches several introductory protective styles on live models but also touches on information about washing, conditioning and trimming know-how. A short presentation on how to protect your rights of your hair styles in the workplace and review of current laws is included. Protective styles explored will include plait braids, corn rows, head wrapping and box braids in which you’ll be able to try the techniques chosen on yourself or a model. Meet with professional hair stylists and businesses from the area to gain as much knowledge as possible, book a future session and enjoy the community, music and refreshments.
ALL SUPPLIES WILL BE PROVIDED to test out the technique of your choosing and you will go home with a mini starter kit for your hair ritual. Feel welcome to shop the various products available for purchase on site to start your new hair care journey right away! Products range from cleansing care, conditioning, hair wraps, turbans, oils…etc. Cash, card and venmo are available for most vendors.
If space is available, tickets are $45 at the door. All ticket purchases are a tax deductable expense for industry professionals. Please let me know if you have any questions along the way at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We look forward to a new era of embracing Black culture and uniting the community, have a beautiful day!
Stay Light Queens and Kings,
Liz is a local yoga teacher and activist. Using she/her/queen pronouns, she thrives on creating healing, inclusive spaces on and off the mat. Growing up in LA with white caretakers in an Armenian neighborhood, access to hair care and black culture was extremely limited. Always feeling at home amongst her Black community, she traveled to her father’s hometown in rural Tennessee for college where she was immersed in the women and men around her caring for their kinky hair beautifully. Realizing the spiritual connection around the self-love ritual of the care and the connection built around the stylist’s chair- whether in the salon or grandma’s kitchen, she also connected that there are many people in the same position as her: Black identified and with little clue about how to treat their curls. Striving to create a space to call more people to a sense of home, the Defy Gravity workshop starts this year.