- Be Friendly! At these meetings, there are many other naturalistas, vendors, and speakers attending as well. This is the time for you to smile and make connections. I have met quite a few people at hair meetups, including a hair salon owner who I can count on for hair disasters.
- Be Flexible! Naturally (pun intended) different people will have differing opinions on various topics - LOC, LCO, LOCO, etc for instance. Or you wash your hair weekly, and encounter someone who washes their hair once a month. Now is not the time to start arguing about the best or ultimate rules for hair care. Be open-minded enough to hear and appreciate someone else's experience, while remaining confident in your hairstory.
- Be Attentive! Grab a notebook or use your note-taking apps on your phone to imbibe the wealth of information you'll come across. For instance, at a hair meetup from 2 years ago, I learned that you should never dye your hair from black to blonde in one dye job, but take it one step at a time. Additionally, you might want to take down contact info from vendors for future references.
- Ask Questions! What better time to get your questions about natural hair care regimens, different ayuverdic treatments, and more, answered? Have you had nagging issues with your routine? Ask the experts/speakers present, or even vendors and your fellow attendees.
- Touch the hairs! As a naturalista, you should know that while people can be curious about your hair texture, it's not appropriate for them to just walk up to you and touch it without your permission. It can feel like a total violation of privacy. Just because you are also natural, does not give you the right to touch someone else's hair without asking them first. Funny enough, I don't mind people touching my hair - I even encourage it, but last week someone just stuck her hands in my hair... I was too shocked to react. Don't be that person!
- Be a Hair Snob! Yes, there are some naturalistas out there who are a little bit extra, and will harp on others with different hair types, textures, even length and whether they use extensions or not. Yes, you have the right to your opinion, but don't be condescending about it.
I've only been to meetups in Nigeria, Lagos specifically. But I hope to attend an international one someday. Do you have any other tips for these meetups? Share in the comments below :)
Have a good weekend!