Hair Show gives all attendees a chance to talk hair

GVL/Nathan Kalinowski Senior Samara Woolfolk discusses a variety of topics at a YBBW event.

GVL/Nathan Kalinowski Senior Samara Woolfolk discusses a variety of topics at a YBBW event.

Erika Collin

For the first time in the history of Grand Valley State University’s chapter of You Beautiful Black Woman, students were able to sit in a relaxed setting to talk with peers about different aspects of African American hair.

Hair Talk, which took place Saturday evening and brought in a crowd of about 40 people, consisted of a presentation that educated attendees about different types of African American hair and how to maintain healthy hair.

“It’s a topic that is talked about a lot on campus, but not necessarily in a comfortable environment,” said Alesia Alexander, vice president of YBBW. “So, Hair Talk (was) for lots of different women—not just black girls, not just minority girls, but just everyone on campus. Males, females, students and faculty (all can) come together and just talk about hair.”

Hair Talk was established this year in honor of the 20th anniversary of YBBW on GVSU’s campus. In previous years, small, casual conversations were held, but this year the organization decided to make them more available to all students.

“I really want girls to understand what healthy hair is,” said Briana Mitchell, secretary of YBBW. “And today we were able to do that and expand on hair.”

This event was also a way to introduce others to YYBW’s biggest event of the year, Hair Show, which will be held Nov. 2 in the Grand River Room.

Hair Show is an event that has been put on by YBBW for almost a decade. This year, for the first time ever, it will serve as both a hair showcase and a competition. The first half of the event will consist of GVSU students who want to show what they can do with hair. The second half will be a competition between four students who are more highly skilled in hair styling and actually do hair for others on campus. Each competitor will have four or five models wearing their styles and performing a routine in keeping with this year’s ’90’s theme. The theme was selected in honor of the decade in which the organization was started on campus.

“A lot of the girls come up with really, really crazy and elaborate (hair styles), so I think it’s going to be really exciting,” Alexander said. “They really do come up with some cool things for us to see.”

The competition will be judged by a panel of hair-styling professionals. Immediately following the event, there will be a dance party held in the same location from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Admission is $5.

YBBW wants to encourage people of all races to attend the Hair Show. “We know that sometimes the name ‘You Beautiful Black Woman’ may scare other races away,” said Christian Knighten, liaison of YBBW. “But we really are open to have everyone on campus involved.”

YBBW is an organization that promotes collegiate women and aims to empower them through its motto, “true queen by nature.” Though it focuses on empowering minority women on campus, women and men of all types and backgrounds are able to join the organization.

The group looks to provide students with community service and networking opportunities while also exposing them to other organizations on campus.

“For me it’s exciting just because YBBW has been on this campus non-stop every year since the year I was born,” Alexander said.