In case you didn’t get a chance to visit you can read all about the expo here.
Baltimore’s Natural Hair Care Expo
By Mireille Liong
Ambassador Mutabaruka & Organizer Malaika Cooper
Since 2002 Baltimore’s has it’s own Natural Hair Care Expo. Initiator and founder Malaika Tamu Cooper brought together various African-influenced small enterprises and created an opportunity for these businesses to expose their products and services around the theme of natural hair and education.
This year’s expo took place at Pikesville Armory about 15 minutes from the city. In the venue’s large hall over 100 entrepreneurs offered their goods and services. Colorful boots exposed products varying from exotic teas to earrings and of course hair products. Classes were scheduled in the rooms that surrounded the exhibition floor. Besides locking and natural hair care classes there were also teachings to learn how to mange a small business, cooking and how to mix your own products. Something for everyone. The only class I managed to go to was the free class of Jamilah from Saniyya Naturally. I really liked her approach of keeping natural hair care simple. She gave helpful insightful tips and the personal consultation for everyone at the end of the class was icing on the cake. Jamilah gave each attendee personal advice depending on their hair goal. The expo was well organized. Besides shopping and classes one could enjoy the entertainment on the main stage. There was enough variety in the line up to entertain almost anyone. Music artists in the genre of gospel and hip hop were followed up by a poetry performances or a fashion/hair show. These shows are always a great outlet for natural hairstylists to expose their creativity and a wonderful opportunity for an audience to enjoy the art of natural hairstyling. Unfortunately the Creative Lock Competition didn’t take place but like every natural hair expo loc stylists didn’t fail to deliver. Thando Kafele, Thierry Baptiste, Amber were among the stylist who created fabulous signature hairstyles only to be admired at such an event.
Organizer Malaika said that she was very happy with the turn out of an estimated 4500 visitors over the weekend. We started the Natural Hair Care expo in a school 5 years ago and we have grown ever since. This year we almost doubled the number of vendors and it looks like we need to look for a bigger location next year, she said. Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.