Tressly, the all-in-one business software for independent hair stylists, hosted their inaugural Tress Gala on Saturday 21 October 2023 at One Hundred Shoreditch. With the media support of Hairdressers Journal, Tress Gala is an event aimed at celebrating the women behind the UK's thriving Black hair styling industry, providing a safe space to network and share ideas and stories before an incredible after party.
Hosted during Black History Month, Tress Gala champions excellence and community within the industry, and Antoinette Ale, Tressly Co-founder and CEO, opened the event with a welcome speech, commenting: "The whole point of this is to celebrate Black hair, we don't get the chance to do this so it's really nice to see you all here. Today is a really important day and hopefully we can continue to make this an event that grows."
The hair theme for this year's event was 'Adorned' and guests were asked to come with their hair laid, adorned with accessories of their choice. From chains, to pearls, clips, headpieces and ponytail cuffs, it was a chance for everyone to express themselves creatively through hair. There were awards for Best Dressed and Most Creative Look on the night with the first award presented by sponsors L'Oreal Professional and Ruka Hair.
Before presenting the award for Best Dressed to Mary Adekoya, Monica Teodoro, L'Oreal Professional General Manager Education and Professional Development UK & Ireland, commented: "59% of British women do not have straight hair, that said the biggest gap in our professional industry is towards curly and coily hair. Antoinette, you're starting an incredible movement, we're very proud at L'Oreal to be here with you because each and every one of you has the opportunity to make a positive drive for change. So thank you for going on the journey with us, a journey that is about elevating the standards of our industry and creating a better future to give more voice, more power, more equality and inclusivity to all humans and all hair types."
Ugo Agbai, Co-founder at Ruka Hair, outlined the importance of community and events like Tress Gala: "We're so proud to be able to support this event, and we're extremely excited for what Antoinette is going to build with Tressly. Ruka and Antoinette are so aligned on the importance of community - community within this space is so powerful, it gets us more bookings, more money, more connections and more opportunities. Everyone here probably gave up clients or jobs to be here but the power of communtiy will double that tomorrow." Ugo, then went on to award the winner of Best Hair: Sofi Keenan.