January 31, 2013 (BIRMINGHAM, AL)– Birmingham once again takes center stage in the beauty arena as it hosts the Natural Hair & Health Expo 2013. Produced by Visions Beauty Distributors and sponsored by Design Essentials® Natural, the event drew a crowd of more than 2500 Southern naturalistas last year and is expected to double in size this year, attracting attendees from Atlanta, New Orleans and Memphis!
More than an expo or Meetup, this event is a complete immersion into the natural hair experience, offering the latest hair styles, hair care education, hair & beauty products and healthy lifestyle resources. Taking place on Sunday March 10 from 12pm to 6pm at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center (3660 Grandview Parkway, Birmingham, AL 35243), the Natural Hair & Health Expo 2013 is designed to meet the needs of the general public and professional stylists alike.
“Last year, we really put Birmingham on the map as a style hotspot for natural hair and living,” says Victor Simmons, event producer and proprietor of Visions Beauty Distributors. “We’ve brought together that perfect mix of talent, creativity and knowledge that makes it a must-attend event for everyone interested in hair throughout the Southern region.”
Already a hotspot with multiple beauty shows and events, Birmingham is poised to be a major hub for the growing natural hair movement. “We’re very engaged with our fans and customers,” says Tracey Gibson, director of marketing for Design Essentials®. “We’ve noticed a sharp uptick in fans of the Design Essentials® Natural line in the Birmingham area and we’re excited to bring our products and hair care expertise to the people who love us most!”
For more information visit www.naturalhairandhealthexpo.com
Common questions asked of me are, “How do you get sickle cell disease”, “How long have you had sickle cell disease”, “Are you sure you have sickle cell disease, because you don’t look like it”. As sure is the day is long and the sun comes up, believe me my body lets me know every day I live with sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood condition that is not contagious. The genes that are passed on from both parents to child determines what type of sickle cell disease the child will or will not inherit. There are several types of sickle cell disease, but the most common are: Hemoglobin SS,HemoglobinSC, Thalasemia, and sickle cell trait.
It’s a matter of probability, chance, or a roll of the dice! If both parents have the trait, they have 25% chance (1 out of 4) of having a baby with sickle cell disease. If one parent has sickle cell disease and the other parent has the trait, they have a 50% chance (1 out of 2) of having a baby with Sickle Cell Disease. If one parent has the disease and the other has no trait, each of their babies will have a trait. When one parent has the trait and the other parent has no trait they have 50% chance (1 out of 2) of having a baby with Sickle Cell Trait and 50% chance of having a baby with no trait. However, in all of the scenarios each time they get pregnant, they have the same chance, meaning the probability remains the same.
Most states now perform a simple blood test called the hemoglobin electrophoresis when babies are born. This particular test will tell the parents if the baby is a carrier of the trait or the disease. The test also informs the doctor and parents if the baby has any other hemoglobin. Believe it or not everyone who goes outside and tans brown should have this test done on them at least once in their lifetime by asking your doctor to perform it, or go to any Sickle Cell Foundation. If you are already pregnant and you’ve never been tested for sickle cell disease you should ask your doctor to perform a test called amniocentesis to determine if your baby will be at risk of having sickle cell disease. Most doctors perform this test on soon to be mothers if they fall into the category of possibly having sickle cell disease.
When children living with SCD become adults it is a hard transition because the pediatricians are more hands on with SCD patients. The transition can sometimes difficult because it is hard to find a hematologist to build a relationship with immediately because the pediatrician has known the young adult their entire life. Only recently have pediatricians insisted on sicklers finding a new SCD doctor (hematologist).
This year we’ve decided to help someone who lives with SCD instead of moving forward with a red carpet event. A 35 year old young man who is the father to three; he is a classroom parent on off days, he goes on just about all of his children’s field trips, helps with homework, and supports them all in extra curricular activities and sports. He is a protective brother, helpful son, awesome friend to many because he never meets a stranger, and a giver when he has nothing for himself (financially, mentally, spiritually, nor physically). He has worked three jobs at one time to make ends meet. It has been a struggle for him as he tries to work through the pain to make ends meet financially. He was admitted into the hospital over three months ago and has not seen home since being admitted. Many don’t understand that it is hard to keep a job when the pain you feel is like glass traveling through the veins. He has endured many complications due to SCD including 2 strokes, many blood transfusions, loss of hearing, almost losing his eye sight, and infections he possibly contracted by working in the medical field. This long stay in the hospital has left him with no ability to walk, he has lost 50 pounds or more. At 6’8” he is known to most as the gentle giant, always making others laugh, never wanting anyone to feel down and sad. His joking starts before he breaks down in tears because of the pain that many sicklers describe as glass traveling through the veins. As I sit in his hospital room he cannot even make it out of bed on his own. He has not seen his home, that needs so many repairs, in over 3 months because of this long stay in the hospital.
As I thought about September being Sickle Cell Awareness month I decided to possibly cancel an event and pour as many resources as possible into this young man’s 2 bedroom home so that he can maneuver in his home upon his return. It amazed me how many people love him so much to come together on September 29, 2012 to try to do an “Extreme Home Make Over” as best as we could. Even a contractor, Brian of AA Painting and Contracting, SYG Social & Savings Club, and so many friends who came together to make this young man’s who may eventually walk on a cane, handicap friendly. We decided to work with very little to make a difference that will be so huge for for him, his children and his best friend (his dog). On September 29, 2012 we spent the first day making crucial repairs the focus. Brian of AA Painting and Contracting purchased and provided many of the building materials and some appliances as well. We know this will be a 5-7 day project with so many more things that need to be done. We hope on the day of his return we can say “Move That Bus!”
If you would like to help, please email Tina Kay at email@example.com. If you are looking for someone to speak at your next event or set up a blood drive please email Tina Kay.
By, Tina Kay Hughes www.tinakay.net
Birmingham Stylists present the Birmingham Hair Show – Sunday, October 14, 2012 from 5pm – 9pm.
BJCC South Ballroom
$15 General Admission and $20 the Day of the Show.
For tickets and information visit www.birminghamhairshow.com or call (205) 800-5961.
If you haven’t heard of Zumba® Fitness, you must live under a rock. With classes all over the world and late night infomercials, it’s hard not to know that this 10-year program is the latest fitness craze! What you may not know is that Zumba® Fitness has five specialty programs, one that is causing quite the splash around town.
On Saturdays at 1pm, you can find licensed Zumba® Instructors Ashley Harris and Neki Garrett teaching Aqua Zumba® at Wallace Pool on the Lakeshore Foundation campus in Homewood. Accompanied by fun upbeat music, Aqua Zumba® makes exercising seem like a pool party, incorporating the same fun upbeat music as in land Zumba® classes and offers the same or even better benefits as exercising on land.
The fitness benefits you find on land exists in Aqua Zumba®, such as muscle strength and endurance, cardiovascular endurance, caloric expansion and muscle flexibility. By being in the water, there are additional benefits, lower impact on joints and bones and higher resistance for muscle toning resulting in a higher workout intensity compared to land exercise and a full body massage from the water around you. Those are just a few of the benefits exercising in water provides.
Aqua Zumba® classes attract people of all ages and fitness levels. Only your torso is submerged in the water, so there is no requirement to know how to swim since the water is at chest level. Water shoes are encouraged so they can provide support and traction and protection from the pool floor.
All you have to do is ADD WATER! If you interested in trying Aqua Zumba® classes, contact Ashley Harris at (205) 212-4697 and ZumbaFitnessWithAshley@Gmail.com or Neki Garrett at (205) 249-6561 and ZumbaNeki@Gmail.com. Summer class will continue through the end of August. You can also visit www.Zumba.com to see if there is a Aqua Zumba® class near you. For a quick video teaser on the Aqua Zumba® program, click on http://youtu.be/ajv8AMBNwsY.
I’ve had so many people ask me recently…”Are you still natural?” My name is Keisa Sharpe, also known as ”The Natural Hair Diva.” I began my natural hair journey two years ago after chemical relaxer was mistakenly left on my scalp by a stylist. Today, I’m officially a natural hair lover and I’m on a mission to inspire other women on the same path.
But back to the question. The reason for this question is that I allowed Birmingham stylist Zach Pickett (Nhancements) to shampoo, condition, blow dry and flat iron my natural tresses. I adore the new style, but talk about shaking things up.
I’ve had several guys and ladies comment on “how much” they liked my hair, but would ask right after, “Now is that a “natural” hair style?” Well, it absolutely is a natural hair style, or if I could best describe it, it is straightened without the aid of any chemicals. I think some people are amazed and enlightened that a beautiful straightened hairstyle can be accomplished this way. Amazing, but true.
I look at this as an opportunity, though, because I absolutely love to educate people on the variety of styles we can accomplish with natural hair. Some may have the option of relaxing their hair again. I don’t. I’ve drawn a line in the sand — it’s me and my natural hair from here on out. It’s a good thing we’ve made peace with each other!
And to answer your next question…. I won’t be keeping this style long-term. I wanted to try something different for my birthday and also see how much length I’ve acquired in this natural state. People have also been amazed by how much my hair has grown. I am hopeful it is an example of how you can easily grow long, healthy hair by caring for it chemically-free. Long-term, I’ve seen that straightening or flat ironing my hair ruins its natural state. I like my own curl pattern and naturally curly styles too much to risk losing them.
So again, this is ONLY a short-term alternative for me. I do know there are many women, with natural hair, who straighten their hair and wouldn’t have it any other way. If you are one of them, then continue to rock your style. I wouldn’t dare knock any woman who’s found the style she loves because it gives you an opportunity to put your best face forward.
But you should know, in just a few days when you see me out and about in the Magic City, I’m back to my twist outs and afro puffs. So pictures will be the only proof that I straightened my hair until I have an inkling to do it again.
In the meantime, Happy Trails, all of you Birmingham natural divas!