With temperatures climbing north of 100 degrees in New Orleans, the heat can only be described as nothing short of oppressive.

It’s a gamble to show up at Essence Festival events with a silk press or a blowout. You might leave looking less like a melanin goddess, and more like a shaggy dog. Clearly, the ladies got the memo, because locs, braids, and passion twists seemed to be the go-to style for many festivalgoers.

And the way we go in with our hair, you know the ladies weren’t going to keep it simple. There were colors, curly ends, and almost knee-length versions of the protective styles. It was nothing short of what we expect from the ladies of Essence Festival.