A Crown Of Curls Workshop launched in 2017. After 20 plus years of being the face of big natural curly kinky hair, Princess Keisha created an event that would bring women together to discuss their concerns, questions and frustrations about maintaining their natural hair. 

A Crown of Curls has been featured in The Telegraph! You can read the full article here.

A Crown of Curls has been featured in Metro! You can read the full article here.

A Crown Of Curls is featured in Cinnamon & Brown

ARTS CULTURE LIFESTYLE

 
 

 

Anyone with naturally curly or coily hair will know that it takes tender loving care to maintain and look after it.  Imagine however, that you have straight or wavy hair and your child has a completely different hair texture to yours.  Nothing you do to your hair works on your child’s hair, it behaves in a completely different way, but you are responsible for maintaining it and making it look presentable.   This is the challenge faced by many parents or guardians of mixed heritage children.

What are you to do?   Well, you can contact A Crown of Curls and arrange a private one to one consultation or attend a workshop both run by Keisha Omilana.   I’ve interviewed Keisha and had the privilege of attending one of her workshops so allow me to let you in on the story.

Who is Keisha Omilana?

Keisha Omilana, is a New York model, actress and philanthropist.  Keisha has always had natural hair (unprocessed afro hair) and her look was very unusual and distinctive when she first entered the modelling world.  Keisha stood out because she could go from curly to straight and back again and quickly became known as having ’the best head of hair in the business’.   Keisha worked for major brands and is known as the ‘Pantene girl’ for their Relaxed and Natural campaign.  Keisha also starred in US reality show Runway Moms and is a celebrity red carpet host.  If this isn’t enough Keisha is married to Prince Kunle Omilana from the Arigbabuowo ruling house, so is a bona fide Princess!

 

What made you decide to do natural hair consultations and workshops?

Both Keisha and her 4 year old daughter sport luscious natural hair. Being accompanied by a young child often means that people feel comfortable to strike up a conversation with you or your child.   Keisha found that she was always being approached by people – particularly mums with mixed race children –  saying ‘I love your hair!  I love your daughter’s hair!   How do you get curls like that?  My daughter’s hair is the same texture but I can’t get it to look like that. ‘  Keisha never thought – Oh my gosh that lady doesn’t know how to do her child’s hair!   Instead, she would respond with encouragement by saying ‘Your daughters hair is beautiful!   Have you heard of this technique … ?   Have you used this …?’   She would give them informal tips and they were very grateful for her advice and her approach.

A mum at Keisha’s daughters play group wanted advice and asked if she could have a one to one consultation at her home.  Keisha obliged as their children were friends and the mother was so grateful to have an in depth consultation.  Everyone noticed the difference in her child’s hair.  She tried to explain to her peers what Keisha had taught her but couldn’t and thought to herself, this is Keisha’s field, Keisha needs to do this.  So the seed was planted, Keisha loved the idea as she is passionate about hair and helping people.  She had established herself as a curly hair educator, the private consultations and workshops began and evolved and A Crown of Curls was born.

Why do the workshops appeal to mothers of mixed race children?

 

Keisha then starts with a demonstration on her daughter’s hair and encourages the mums to do their own child’s hair.  She also invites a child to come and get their hair done for demonstration purposes.  The hands on approach really helps parents understand the nature of curly hair.  When I was there Keisha demonstrated detangling a child’s curly hair, stress free.  I can honestly say I don’t believe the child, who was about 3 years old and had never met Keisha before, was even aware that her hair was being detangled – she was 100% relaxed and comfortable.

Common challenges and misconceptions about curly hair

Keisha will ask the group what their challenges are and gear the workshop to the group.   Common challenges and misconception are:

  • Curly hair is strong and can handle anything – actually the opposite is true.
  • Different textures on the same head or between siblings.
  • Dryness, lack of moisture, adding moisture to hair, bed head.
  • How often to shampoo curly hair.
  • How to detangle, manipulate and style curly hair.
  • What tools to use –  what not to use.
  • What types of products should you use – what ingredients should you avoid.
  • Different products needed for different children
  • Hair ‘not growing’ – shrinkage and breakage explained.

All these concerns and more are answered in the workshops and consultations.

How do people go away feeling?

A crown of curls - goody bags
A crown of curls – goody bags

Not only do people go away with a goody bag full of really good treats, the parents and the children leave feeling empowered and confident.   The child often picks up a comb or a brush and starts preening their hair or looking at their new reflection in the mirror.  They go away embracing and loving their hair and not feeling scared of it – they finally recognise that their hair is beautiful.  The parent(s) feel happy and excited that their child’s hair looks good and they can now maintain it.  Sometimes they have never seen their child’s hair look this way.  They can look forward to stress free hair days which can strengthen the bond between parent and child over time.  Keisha often gets pictures sent to her a few weeks later by a parent who has maintained and styled their child’s hair perfectly. 

 

Having attended a workshop I can attest that Keisha’s approach is warm and inclusive.  She is very approachable and friendly to the parents and the children.  As the mother of a young daughter Keisha has natural ability to make the children feel comfortable, important and special and is very gentle when doing their hair.   She believes that hair care means no tears and no fear.   The children love her – which little girl with curls wouldn’t want their hair styled by a real life curly haired princess!

Who are the workshops aimed at?

The workshops and the one to one consultations are open to all people with curly, coily or textured hair. However there does seem to be a niche for mums with mixed race children, girls and boys, who just aren’t being catered to.   It is open to all age groups but tends to be most needed as the child’s hair starts to gain some length with can be from 18 months-2 years and up to any age including teens and adults.

Keisha does more private consultations than workshops as many parents prefer to be in their own surroundings and have one to one hands on support.

Plans for the future?

It seems the A Crown of Curls workshops will be international as Keisha, currently based in London, has already been approached to hold her workshop abroad.   Who knows where the next stop will be?   A Crown of Curls workshops may evolve into events in future so watch this space.

 Click the link below see a sneak peak of the A Crown of Curls workshops:

Keisha can be found on:

www.acrownofcurls.com

FB: Princess Keisha Omilana

IG: keishaomilana

Twitter: keishaomilana

YouTube: A crown of curls – (link) https://youtu.be/CrmJoxxGLUY

 

© Elise

Cinnamon & Brown