Angela Walker said her “Naturalista Hair Showcase and Competition” will return this year with the power to “influence the modern naturalista.”
Walker, owner of N Natural Hair Studio, in Maryland, will hold her second annual natural hair care show from Saturday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 3, at the Double Tree Hotel in Silver Springs, MD.
The event will feature workshops and panels lead by Camille Robbins-Reed, Charmaine Ford and Shawne Morgan. Vendors like Keilove Botanica, San Jules, Black Crown and Bougie Babe Designs will also be on hand. With her 2013 show a success, the salon owner hopes to exceed expectations and provide a new platform for natural hair care education.
“This is the first and only hair show that I know of that will have hands-on classes that are filled with curly hair mannequins, where stylists are physically showing attendees how to do different styling techniques that attendees can then create right there on the mannequin,” Walker said. “We need to deliver quality education aside from product usage so that people understand they don’t need to be a product junkie to maintain and style their hair.”
Walker is expecting around 2,000 attendees for the two-day period and hopes to reach as many people as she can. One tool to broaden awareness about the natural hair movement will be a “Social Media Lounge,” where attendees can take pictures and live tweet about the event, as well as mix and mingle with instructors and panelists. She said the more people that learn about her hair show can learn about how to keep and maintain natural hair that works for them.
“Natural hair shows are so important in relaying the message that choosing to keep your hair natural is organic and beautiful. I want to perpetuate that, keep that thought process going,” Walker said. “So my thing is that people are walking around thinking that there is only one way to wear their natural hair but if they know how to style it, they won’t be so quick to quit or give up on natural hair care.”
Walker has high hopes for this year’s show and can see a bright future for the natural hair care industry.
“When you start to see the big name companies that have been selling and promoting relaxers switch over their marketing and language then you know you have power. It means that natural hair is becoming so popular that they have to take notice and can no longer ignore that industry,” Walker said. “We now see new product lines embracing natural texture – and it’s not a flippant decision. It means they are understanding the sustainability of our industry.”
But what is even more important to Walker is that wearing hair natural is connected to the well-being of overall mental and physical health.
“I don’t believe that Black women should be wearing our hair straight – I mean it’s cool if someone chooses that – but it just isn’t how our hair grows. Why should we alter the texture of hair that is so beautiful?” she said “With more people going natural, it is creating a community where children are seeing their mom wearing natural hair and they are growing up and wearing their hair natural and it is turning hair back into something it always should have been.”