The ‘fros and curls were in full-effect as hundreds of natural-haired women converged upon Atlanta for the 15th annual Taliah Waajid’s World Natural Hair and Beauty show.
Although I’m not newly natural, attending hair meet-ups is a relatively recent phenomenon in my world. I’d heard stories of massive crowds and treasure troves of free samples at hair events like these, so I was pumped. I didn’t even let the twenty minute wait in parking lot traffic, only to be redirected across the street, deflate my excitement bubble. Not even the thirty minute wait in line to purchase tickets was able to steal my joy. My curls were poppin’, I had my list and clipboard in hand, and my camera in tow. I’d reached the natural hair Mecca and I was on a mission to conquer my first coil show.
Once inside, I was pleasantly surprised that despite the crowd, walking around was a breeze. Yet, as I circled around to find out what vendors were actually there I was a bit disappointed — of the six on my hit list, only one was actually on-site.
Don’t get me wrong, there were dozens of known and trusted brands like Shea Moisture, Jane Carter and Oyin Handmade plus a raw food restaurant, Tassili’s Raw Reality that’s right in my city. I’m also t-shirt lover and there were countless booths offering cute styles. The only problem was they weren’t on my list — I’m a product junkie and I needed my fix! Sigh. Despite the let down, the shopper in me wouldn’t let me leave empty-handed so I copped two pairs of hard-to-find faux-gauged earrings.
The best part of the World Natural Hair and Beauty show were my fellow naturalistas with their magnificently coiffed curls and fly styles. I met and swapped hair antics with dozens of women from across the country and even bumped into and took a picture with Georgetown Sociology Professor Michael Eric Dyson. In the end, I was glad for the experience and at least I’ll know what to expect next time. In case you couldn’t make it, here are some pictures up top to hold you over until the fall show, perhaps I’ll see you there!