This time I told you before hand about the AIHE. Yes, this time I really did and for those who came to say hi, it was really nice to see you ther. It goes without saying, this year’s event was a lot different from last year’s one and I think it was more biased to natural hair care than last year’s one. That’s my opinion. You know what, the tide is really changing and many African women are taking charge of their hair and making sure they don’t cause unnecessary damages to their stresses. Natural hair was really like trending at this year’s event and I loved it. Before I go on rambling, let my start from the top. Right. The AIHE was split into 3 distinct events and I was privileged to be able to attend all 3. The first one was the Hair conference, then the Awards Evening and lastly the Expo.
Hair Conference 12 September Morning
This event is by invitation only and it was attended mainly by the businesses which were exhibiting, media and the specialists who were presenting. The program was so packed with informative presentations and discussions in the Q&A segments and my data base benefited big time. We started off with Emmie de Kock from De Kock Attorneys presenting on Branding Protection, Trademark and Franchising. That was a real eye opener for me on a personal level. She touched on so many aspects of business that entrepreneurs often take for granted, overlook or don’t even know they are necessary. Shaughn Adams then followed with Best Technology For Ethnic Hair. Well Shaughn has massive experience in the hair industry and is also the brand ambassador for Philips hair gadgets which made his presentation center on what technology Philips has to offer more or less. With his experience though, he tutored us on the many things that we the owners of the hair and our stylists are doing wrong when dealing with our thirsty roots which is the main cause of chronic breakage. His presentation was so funny I enjoyed every moment of it. By the way Shaughn has a salon in Observatory Cape Town. You can just search his name and it will take you to his site. I wish the information Shaughn has on ethnic hair was taught in Cosmetic school or Hairdressing colleges to all stylists for us to benefit more. The last person to present was Professor Nonhlanhla Khumalo on Health Safety and Science of Black Hair. If there is a deep talk jammed with nuggets of information from hair history, the progression of hair care creams and relaxers, the dangers, what we can do now, is this one. Prof Nonhlanhla really had all the answers and these are not just thumb sucked answers but from extensive experiments she and her team have done on hair. It was quite an experience and really getting into hair that deep was a first for me and indeed she took us on a journey back many years ago for us to understand where we are now and why we do the things we do to our hair. Seriously I just thought hair was hair until I understood how intricate it is from the Prof.
The Hair Awards 12 September Evening
This was a red carpet event and it was awesome in every aspect except time keeping. The awards were supposed to start at 1800 hours and we only got to it just before 2000 hours. So you can imagine what a rush I was in since I had been at the African Hair Conference and had only left for home around 4 pm. At least the food was really great and hubby and I did not feel the minutes go by. We were just concerned what time they would finish seeing they were going to start late. However, we were out at around past 9 pm so that was not bad at all. Once started, everything seemed to go very smooth. Congrats to the winners.
The Expo 13 & 14 September
This is kind of the main event and everything builds up to this in some way. It was fabulous, beautiful, well organised and just outright awesome. Yes the natural hair flare was all over this event as well and I loved it. From the exhibitors to the attendees. It was so Afro all over and I was really in a comfortable space. Not to mention many naturals who I had never met that came to say hi and the regulars of course. it was really nice seeing you all. So many new entrepreneurs in the cosmetic space were exhibiting as well which got a lot of my friends asking why Natural Moisture was not. I just had too many things going on I suppose and shelved exhibiting for a bit. But next year, watch the space. A big shout out to Shereen and her team from Nubian Nature, Earth Naturals, Indalo Care, t444z, and Design Essentials. Well done. A big shout out to the organisers of AIHE as well. Well done for hosting such a world class event. Looking forward to the next one.
…and some pictures
Many blessings to you and yours.