Black hair show breezes through Chicago

The Proud Lady Beauty Show attracts national attendees

March 29, 2011

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(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
Celebrity stylist 'G-Whiz' demonstrates on a cosmetology student.
(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
‘Shak’ models for La Textura, a hair products company.
(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
Romeo Crews pitches products for La Textura, a hair products company.
(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
Raquel Atkins models for SoftSheen-Carson.
(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
Brandi Brooks (center) develops and markets hair extensions.
(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
A SoftSheen-Carson rep works the crowd at the Proud Lady Beauty Show.
(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
Charlene Yau's company manufactures and markets beauty shop items.
(WBEZ/Shawn Allee)
Shannon King of SoftSheen-Carson.

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.