It was about 2 weeks ago I got a Facebook message from a friend/entrepreneur who asked me if I was interested in speaking at Pecha Kucha Bangkok Night. I had no idea what Pecha Kucha was, but I said yes and was so happy that she reached out to me to share my passion for healthy hair care. I knew early on going down this "entrepreneurial path" and living in a foreign country it would not be easy, or cheap. No one in my family owns their own business or working in their "dream job" so for me to go down this path, I was on my own and at many time I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew was that I need to meet as many people as I can, surround myself around entrepreneurs, business owners, people who live their dreams, and create an extensive network. Luck is something that is not just random, but with hard work and the right network, one's luck will increase. So, when my friend/entrepreneur sent me that message, even though I haven't seen her in over 6 months, I knew that this was an opportunity that I should take. Plus, what would I have to lose?
After excitedly signing up and filling out the forms, I researched what exactly is Pecha Kucha night, and learned that it was created in Tokyo for creatives and designers to introduce their work to the public. And what made this introduction so special was the style of the presentation was that speakers had 20 slides and each slide was given 20 seconds of screen time, thus giving the speaker 6.54 minutes to make a presentation. This was a new style of presentation that I never heard of and eventually appreciated because too often I went to events and got bored after 10 minutes of long-winded presentations that never seemed to get to the point. As for me, creating a powerpoint presentation of healthy hair care and showing pictures of my story of and how I got started was a challenge that I was more than happy to take! What I was nervous about was how people would accept my presentation on healthy hair and why it's my passion.
Since moving to Thailand and starting Healthy Hair Asia, very few people are aware of the "Natural Hair Community" on YouTube and Facebook, and how the hair care industry is a multi-billion dollar global business that is not exactly regulated in regards to consumer safety, health, and environment. So, my challenge when it came to creating this 20 slides was, where to begin? Do I begin with my 8 year journey of natural hair, or about the toxicity of chemicals in our hair products?
Looking at pictures and my old notes from when I started my hobby of healthy hair care, I started my presentation with a question many women ask themselves when they look in their mirror, "Is my hair healthy, is my hair beautiful?" and some facts of signs of unhealthy hair: shedding, balding, thinning hair, etc. and continued showing pictures of what unhealthy hair looked like and common problems that lead to unhealthy hair, from hairstyles, lifestyle, ingredients, and factors out of our control, like genetics and age. And most importantly, the chemicals that are in our hair care products that are extremely harmful to our health such as, parabens, mineral oil, isopropyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and more thanks to the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database that measures the toxicity of cosmetic products. And from there, I transitioned to "All hope is not lost" because with slight changes in our diet, lifestyle, and how we take care of our hair. Next I went on to present products people can find in their kitchen or gardens that can be used in their hair, from aloe vera, eggs, banana, avocados, olive oil, and my favourite coconut oil. These natural ingredients do wonders for the health of your hair. Plus, they are not too expensive! And for the rest of my presentation I showed pictures of my 8 year natural hair journey that began when I was a university student and cut off all my hair, to my tiny weeny afro (TWA), to my big afro, to locs. My message was how I joined this online community that has taught me so much about healthy hair care, and how I want to give back and teach others how to have healthy and beautiful hair!
With a kick ass slide show, my next step was presenting this in 6 minutes. Now, I'm not afraid of public speaking because I'm an English teacher and have to present and teach in front of an audience every day. So with this talk, I looked at it as a class that I would be teaching, just much bigger and with older students! And, with that attitude, despite my nervousness and shaking hands, when it was my turn to present, I took the mike and walked on stage with full confidence and talked about healthy hair care in Asia.