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Taking Back Our Heritage: The Hairitage Chronicles 6.0

If the crowds at the Hairitage Chronicles 6.0 are anything to go by, one thing for certain is that we are redefining our intrinsic ideas about beauty standards. While beauty standards in general, for both men and women, are an unnecessary constraint, acceptable beauty standards have long been skewed in favour of certain types of hair, body type and skin colour. In the past few years, across the African continent and beyond, these standards have been crushed, and a reclamation of heritage has been widespread.

Enter The Hairitage Chronicles, which is a yearly event organised by Nurtured Knotts, that brings together manufacturers of hair and skin products to display and sell their products, specifically targeting wearers of Afro hair. This year, it was held at The Jockey Club at Ngong Racecourse.

There was fun and activity for everyone, from bouncing castles for the kids to performances by a live band.

The venue was a tantalising display of colours, with numerous hair and skin products on sale at discounted prices. Some of the participating brands were: Dew Point Naturals, Afro Kinks Naturals, Fountain Creations, Saru Organics, Harvest of Sunshine, Nutty Princess, Creatives Hub, Damaly Organycs, Borus Beauty, Chao Botanicals, Anama Organics, Haldha Naturals, Blends of Nature and Change Naturals.

A selection of hair products and extensions at one of the stands. It was all things hair at the Hairitage Chronicles.

Hair products by Mielle

There was also jewellery on sale by Sikia Sasa. Sikia Sasa is an organisation based in Ongata Rongai that distributes jewellery handmade by deaf women.

Some of the beautiful jewellery made by Sikia Sasa

There was also art on display, and clothing and fabrics on sale.

Attendees could also have their braided or dyed at select stands.

An attendee gets her hair coloured at one of the stands

Most vendors were also prepared with samples and testers of their products. I sampled quite a few. Fluffy Buttah have great shampoos that double up as body wash, with a variety of flavours, made from blends of oils, honey and fragrances. I say flavours because they smelled so great I had to ask if they were edible. The flavours include berry, orange, lemon and vanilla. They also have accompanying body butters.

Bu.Ke have a wide range of hair products and oils, in addition to a great selection of soaps, such as turmeric and honey oat.

Mahogany Organics have a very wide range of hair products, from hair butters to conditioners, made with different ingredients. Here, not only did I get to sample some conditioners, but they also gave a brief demonstration on chebe powder and how to mix it into a paste and apply it onto your hair. Chebe powder is made from cherry seeds, reisin tree sap, clove, lavender croton, and stone scent. It works to condition and deeply moisturise the hair. Chebe powder has been used for centuries by Basara women in Chad to attain long, healthy, moisturised hair.

Mahogany demonstrate how to mix chebe powder into a paste using one of their oils

Mixing chebe powder into a paste

Kenya has not been left behind in the movement towards appreciation of Afro hair and the care that comes with it. The cosmetics industry has grown in recent times and Kenyan brands are taking control. It's good to see Kenyan brands beginning to dominate the hair and cosmetics industry with quality products made by Kenyans for Kenyans, and it is our hope that they can expand into other markets across the continent.

Follow Nurtured Knotts on their social media platforms for more information about the next Hairitage Chronicles, and to get to know more about the brands behind Kenyan made hair and skin products.

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