My Natural Star Expo Experience [Charlotte, NC]

Hey curlies! So I am soon going to post a vlog and haul from the Natural Star Expo that I attended in Charlotte, but I also wanted to type out some of my thoughts on the event here. I didn't want to add all this to the vlog because 1) I lost the cord to my mike for voice overs and 2) the vlog was already long anyways! :)

lil ol me

So this was the first year that this event occurred. I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of the event when my friend and myself were just walking around, and she was super nice! Overall I had fun networking- I met lots of people at the event and I need to bring business cards if I go to another one of these.

my friend Tyler
The event ran from the morning into the afternoon, but my friend and I arrived about noon. The event was very organized; we were handed a schedule when we arrived. The venue was gorgeous and so was the set up for the event, which you can see more of in the vlog. There were lots of stands from what seemed like local vendors and small businesses with a handful "bigger names" mixed in. For that reason I didn't go crazy and buy a bunch of products, since I hadn't heard of any before.

During the event there was always a supplementary activity going on besides the general shopping. While I was there there was a singer, keynote speaker, a makeup demo, and a natural hair lesson. I went to "Natural Hair 101." I wont say much, but let's just say the stylist arrived kind of late. She had some good stuff to say, but I wish she had focused less on heat styles and "taming natural hair" as she put it. She did show some interesting styles for type 4 hair with pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks. Also I was probably just bored because it was "Natural Hair 101"; I'd love to see a hairstylist do a lesson on a more advanced topic.

As a side note, I found myself to be one of a handful of other Caucasian women at the expo. Now this doesn't bother me, but it makes me think about what the phrase "natural hair" means. Because for me personally, I think that includes all women that wear their hair without using heat or chemicals to change the hair texture.

So should companies in the natural hair market try to appeal to a broader spectrum of not just type 4 girls (kinky coily), but also type 3 and 2 (curly and wavy)? Are they losing business or should they stay in more of a niche market? I started this debate with a few online friends of mine, and we came to the conclusion that companies should be more inclusive in advertising to other races and hair textures. But also the consumers would have to make this change too, by creating their own meetups appealing to a wider range of women, contacting the companies, etc. What do you think? Let me know down below in the comments.

Overall this was a really fun event and if I'm in the Charlotte area and this happens again I will definitely go back. I feel like Charlotte deserves an expo or a convention with more "big" name vendors though, since it definitely has the population for that event to be successful. And I would love to see a hairstylist like April Couse Walker or Joy from, who have a different approach to natural hair, at the expo.

Sarah @:-)

*Photos in this post were taken by my friend Tyler (@color_character on instagram).


As I Am Product Review: Leave in & Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner

Hey curlies! Today I am posting what may be my first ever hair product review (as a blog post). Let me know if you like these as an addendum/companion to my video reviews. Anyways let's get cracking.

**Disclaimer: Product results may vary on your own unique coils, waves, or curls depending on your hair density, porosity, and thickness! YMMV.**

As I Am Leave In

Claim: "A great leave-in is a vital first step in styling. Smooth it on after cleansing and conditioning. Your finished style will be softer shinier and more manageable. This natural wonder keeps tangles away and provides a great foundation for natural styling. It contains an organic strengthening agent, plus natural ingredients that promote hair growth."

Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut)¹ and Phyllanthus emblica (Amla)¹, Cetyl Alcohol¹, Citric Acid¹, Phytosterols¹, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit (Saw Palmetto) Extract¹, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract¹(Green Tea), Glycerin, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract¹, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract¹, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Stalk Extract¹, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root¹, Behentrimonium Methosulfate, Potassium Sorbate, Fragrance/Parfum, Limonene.
*CG friendly, silicone free, protein free, paraben free, wax free, castor/mineral oil free

Price: $10:50

Sarah's thoughts: This is a wonderful water-based leave in conditioner that is very similar to my favorite Kinky Curly Knot Today (KCKT) leave in (for a few bucks cheaper). It smells great- sweet and citrusy- and the ingredients are pretty natural and very moisturizing. This leave in leaves my hair soft and moisturized throughout the day. The consistency is between thick and thin- again similar to KCKT. Love it! This has become my new go-to leave in.

As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner

Claim: "A rich, penetrating conditioner, As I Am Hydration Elation Intensive Conditioner is an exceptional blend of hair softeners and fortifiers, including coconut, sugar cane, green tea, apple and lemon, shea butter and vitamin E.
  • Moisturizes deep within the hair shaft
  • Smooths and aligns cuticle layer
  • Repairs split ends and strengthens weak areas
  • Promotes shine
  • Infused with pure herbal ingredients that stimulate the scalp and hair roots
  • Enhances manageability and hair health"
Aqueous (Water, Aqua Purificada, Purified) Extracts: Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) and Citrus Reticulata (Tangerine)¹, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil², Coco-Caprylate², Quaternium-91, Cetrimonium Methosulfate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cetyl Esters, Cetyl Alcohol, Glycerin¹, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Phytosterols¹, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract¹ (Green Tea), Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract¹, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract¹, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Stalk Extract¹, Fragrance/Parfum, Potassium Sorbate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Glucose, Lactoperoxidase, Glucose Oxidase, Abies Balsamea (Balsam Canada) Extract¹, Limonene 
*CG friendly, Paraben Free, Protein Free, Silicone Free, wax free, mineral/castor oil free

Price: $16.00 

Sarah's thoughts: This deep conditioner (DC) was just OK. I used it two times, and while maybe my hair would have gotten more of the benefits over time, the product doesn't seem to live up to its claims. My hair felt softer, but it did not feel amazingly softer or super moisturized once I rinsed the treatment out. (For reference, I love Curl Junkie Curl Rehab Conditioner for to give me that amazingly refreshed and soft hair.) Since it's protein free, I'm not sure how it's supposed to "strengthen weak areas" either. This is not a DC that can double as a detangling/rinse out conditioner; it did not aid with detangling, which is something I personally look for in DCs. The product does smell amazing and it has a thick texture that distributes well in the hair. I will use up this product, but will probably not repurchase, especially at this price point. 

References - photos, ingredients, and product descriptions from