Geneseo’s Black Student Union hosted its first ‘Curls and Cosmetics’ event on Saturday April 22 to help cultivate a sense of self-love and self-care for people of color. By learning how to properly take care of their hair and complexion in a community where there aren’t many resources to do so, BSU intends to spread the knowledge and love to everyone who needs it.
Inspired by the ‘CurlFest’ in New York City, women and men of different complexions and hair types ranging from 2A to 4C came together to try out new products and to learn more about how to take care of themselves.
President of BSU junior Zakiya Rose helped bring this event together with the rest of the e-board.
“There was a need for some kind of self-care event for women of color after all that’s happened. The surrounding area doesn’t really cater to women of color in terms of hair care or makeup,” Rose said. “We want to make it annual—the response we’re getting is so positive.”
BSU treasurer sophomore Meagan Centeno spent months putting together the products to be offered at this event. From shampoos to deep conditioners to curl enhancers, there was something for everybody.
“It was frustrating because I contacted about 76 brands and only a few responded. The brands who did respond were very, very responsive,” Centeno said. “Next year, we can expand bigger and have a lot more products and it will hopefully be an annual event.”
Upon entering the event, there were tables set up everywhere. These tables not only provided samples of various hair care products to participants, but also taught others about the diverse kinds of hair.
Additionally, biology major sophomore Chaukim Peters attended the event as a makeup artist.
“I love makeup. I believe that it empowers you. I love the process,” Peters said. “I’m really passionate about it, and want to be a makeup artist to support me throughout medical school.”
Peters expressed the importance to present makeup to both girls and boys—whoever wants to do it.
“I love the fact that BSU is doing this, and I feel like it’s very empowering, not just as minorities, but as women, to just embrace what we have naturally,” Peters said.
A few tables down, international relations major freshman Janelle Clements had a poster board presentation on the different kinds of hair and how to determine what type of hair one has. Through her knowledge on density, porosity and other factors, people walked away with a renewed sense on how to take care of their hair.
“We wanted to do an event promoting self-care,” Clements said. “We all love hair; we’re black, we’re beautiful, black, brown and beautiful. Hair is something that is so deeply ingrained in our culture, and everyone has their own take on it.”
Public relations manager for BSU junior Leah Chin helped coordinate the event and even contacted her aunt, who owns the hair care and skin care brand Tropic Isle Living.
“Having an event that is specifically intended for their hair type helps makes girls feel like they matter, too. Your hair texture matters, too,” Chin said. “Next year, we’re going to have more variety, and it’s going to get bigger and better.”
“This event supports me and anyone else who has felt excluded or secluded from this environment,” undeclared freshman Kiana Henderson said. “Having a group of people—having this outlet where you can be yourself fully and be free—is such an enlightening experience. I’m very grateful and blessed to be here and know the people I know.”