The Proud Lady Beauty Show, one of the most celebrated trade events that revel in the uniqueness of black hair, breezed through Chicago this weekend. In addition to showcasing the latest trends and products, the industry event attracted educators, stylists and students who wanted to show off or learn about the latest styling techniques in black hair. Professional stylists and cosmetology students attended classes that ranged from the science of creating blondes to wigology, to the art of treebraiding.
The exhibition hall at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers brimmed with personalities outdoing one another to gain attention for their products, but a contingent of stylists also pushed for black women to stop chemically relaxing their hair. Dozens of retailers offered products for maintaining natural hair. Some large corporations said creams used for perms are now less caustic.
And, of course, there were rows of weaves, lace front wigs and extensions – hair from India and China.
Black hair shows are a financial boon. Each year hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on black hair care products.
The American Health & Beauty Aids Institute was founded in 1981 to be an industry resource for black hair. Its Proud Lady symbol is found on many black hair care products that reinvest in the African-American community.