I recently was the proud winner of two free tickets to the Baltimore Natural Hair show. I was particularly excited this year because I’m finally wearing and embracing the bend of my hair.

I wanted to go and see what kinds of natural hair product lines would be represented. I contacted my consultant beforehand to ask her what I would be using in my hair within the first six months. I don’t believe in keeping product around much longer than that, if that long –particularly those with natural ingredients. I’m not a product junkie so I really like to find something that works for me and stick with it.

She told me that I wouldn’t be using much of anything. She would give me a starter kit with the shampoo that I needed. I wouldn’t be using any creamy conditioners and that I should moisturize with a distilled water/essential oil mix. She did say that Adiva had some good products so I made a note to look out for them. She also recommended that I look for some hair accessories for the rough days. I’m an accessory queen so I was really excited to see what I’d be able to find at the show.

What I was most excited about was seeing Dr. Cornwell’s presentation on Sisterlocks. She was scheduled to speak at two different sessions so I wanted to be sure not to miss out!

Before heading up, I tapped into my #naturalhair Twitter community to see who else would ave their face in the place. I found out that the owner of Sarenzo Beads would be there with her fabulous hair ties, jewelry, and accessories. I first spotted “Dawnyele,” one of my natural hair inspirations rocking her products and doing them proud! She’s the perfect spokesmodel. I had to know where she got them from and was happy to know that I would be able to cop my own at the show.

Here is my lot.

I got bright funky hair ties that I can rock now with my fro and later with my locks. I want to get more with the matching earrings. I love that look. She is also has such a warm, genuine spirit that you can’t help but want to support her. I also plan to attempt to make my own at some point but I’m not the least bit artsy craftsy. My cousin is though so I may enlist her!

As with any event of this nature, there is always so much more available than hair products. My first stop was a stand where Patrick Payne from InfiniteVinyl.Etsy was selling original album cover leather bags. The large ones were out of my price range but he was willing to cut my friend Butta and I a pretty nice deal on the clutches. Mine is the Chaka Khan on the left. Cute huh? Perfect for a couple of soul sistas like us.

We headed over to the Sisterlocks seminar to find that it was not being given by Dr. Cornwell. I was a tad late so may have missed an announcement as to why she wasn’t there. Given the small room it was in, I imagine that they knew well in advance she wasn’t going to be in attendance. Instead, a consultant from More Hair Salon was giving a Sisterlocks 101 info session. Much of the information I already knew.  I asked a question about what advice she gave her clients for dealing with dry scalp. She said she found that the issue often resolved with Sisterlocks but that there was no need to moisturize the scalp with any product. The scalp produces its own moisture. We’ll see about that. I plan to moisturize internally by drinking more water and also spritzing with distilled H20 and essential oils.

As I listened to the questions, including one from a set of twins who discovered after years that they didn’t have sisterlocks, I was so grateful that I had been smart enough to do my research. I can’t imagine letting someone do hundreds of dollars worth of work to my hair without knowing enough about them or about the process—what I was getting myself into. I want to see their work. I want to talk to their clients. I’m going to do all the reading I can on every blog, forum, Twitter and Facebook page, and YouTube channel about what to expect throughout the process. Sisterlocking is too much of an investment financially and emotionally to do anything less. It’s far more than a hairstyle. It’s a lifestyle.