After stopping in Italy for a few days, Bae and I headed to Dubai for the rest of our vacation turned engagement-cation :D. As soon as I booked my trip, I tried to find naturals in Dubai to link up with, like I’ve done on my travels to Nairobi and Johannesburg.
I ended up chatting with Erica aka Sister Scientist, who connected me with Gertrud Amalwa, or HairbyGerty, who is a new natural hair blogger in Abu Dhabi. Gertrud did all the hard work of securing a space – the fantastic Tre by Roberto Rella restaurant and lounge on the 50th floor of the Radisson Royal Hotel in the center of Dubai. Obviously, when you’re on the 50th floor anywhere, you’ll probably have a great view, but the view of this place was absolutely wonderful!
In addition to nibbling on fancy drinks and small bites – like caviar crusted beef tartare, which I wasn’t bougie enough to try – the ladies and I chatted about their hair journeys, issues, and goals. Many of the women talked about lack of access to products, and having trouble maintaining moisturized hair in the desert. Since I’d brought along some great moisturizing products from brands Mielle Organics and Obia Natural Hair – each woman was able to leave with a few products that would help address the havoc that dry desert climate wreaks on their natural hair.
Mielle Organics co-sponsored the event by sending numerous full sized versions of their Mint Almond Oil, Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk, and White Peony Ultra Moisturizing Leave In Conditioner, which were distributed amongst the attendees. Obia Natural Hair also contributed the pH balanced, vegan, and natural Babassu Deep Conditioner and Curl Hydration Spray, which work wonders in super dry climates, as well as sample packs which included the Curl Moisture Cream and Curl Enhancing Custard.
The ladies and I also talked a lot about protective styling as a viable option based on their climate. Since braids seemed like a difficult thing to get without having your hair ripped out, I introduced them to the magic of clip ins. Once I said that my hairstyle was achieved using Kinky Curly Yaki clip ins, everyone got really quiet… and then bombarded me with questions! Not only was I able to explain how I used clip ins to create a bun that protected the majority of my hair while on vacation, but Kinky Curly Yaki also sponsored the event by providing each woman with a $150 gift certificate (you can enter for your chance to win yours here)!
For more information on the budding natural hair movement in Dubai from my perspective, check out this post I wrote on Black Girl Long Hair.
Also, quick thanks to Bae who was our event photographer!
Great article! I didn’t see anything about the L.O.C. Method being discussed and if it would be effective for the weather there. I hate that I missed the event!
Great point! We actually didn’t talk too much about practices because we were so focused on products! Hopefully there will be more meetups in the area where there can be information and knowledge sharing.
Look like a great gathering for women across the continent learning about caring for natural hair.