Over 13 million people making up the multicultural society of Paris with the language French as the common dominator. Mentioned in the same breath as London, New York and Tokyo, the largest city of France and the ninth largest city in Europe, Paris is the heart of culture of Europe and arguably the world. Even for the French, Paris is – as a crossroads of trade routes and international orientation – a meeting place where everything happens.
It was against this colorful cultural backdrop that Salon Boucles D’Ebene started a natural hair show a decade ago. The idea was to encourage discussing Black women’s hair issues and to promote the beauty of natural hair. Ten years later the show has grown out to be the platform for Black entrepreneurship showing off the latest innovations when it comes to hair but also beauty, fashion food and nutrition.
From May 30th to June 1st, the largest Black trade hair show of Europe will demonstrate a melting pot of cultures. The slogan of the fifth edition is “Love is in the (h)air”. Hair – natural hair in particular – is big business and covers a market larger than just good hair products and a good hair dresser.
As the organizers of this annual event felt the audience’s need to go beyond the level of hair they compiled a program that will surpass a visitor’s expectation. Not only top hair dressers and makeup artists will have their show off but other experts as well. The list is pretty impressive.
Rokhaya Diallo will open the series of presentations. She will use her position as a journalist and famous Française – of Senegalese, Gambian descent – for radio and television, film director and writer to bring issues related to discrimination, secularism and gender to the table. Diallo is seen as the 36st of the 100 most influential Frenchmen and according to the British Powerful media, belongs to the 30 most influential black people. With the documentary Les Marches of Freedom, she won an Award for the best documentary at the Festival of Guadeloupe. The journalist has multiple publications on her name. She wrote the book Pari(s) d’amies together with Kim Consigny; with whom she often presents during the hair show.
Alphonse Tierou comes from the Ivory Coast, where he studied in Abidjan at the National Institute of Arts. He did research into the oral tradition of the Quenon people; to whom he belongs. Tierou is the first to have put this information in writing. In his book The Eternal Law of African Dance, he describes the movements, codes and meaning of traditional African dance. His book is a contribution to the international cultural wealth. He is the founder of Centre Doople, Academie de Danse Africaine in Paris; where, apart from choreography and dance, once can also learn about costumes, scenery, figures, masks and the use of the human body.
Dioulde Chartier and Siga Diagoura are both researchers at D’Cap Research, an agency which deals with high quality and market research and strategic policy. During her research, Siga Diagoura focused on the representation of beauty in black women and the return of the Afro and the revaluation of natural beauty.
Patricia Paisant works for Laboratoire Europeen de Recherche et d’Exploitation Complements Alimentaire, which deals with, amongst others, nutritional supplements. In her presentation, she focuses on the impact of the pollution of nature on our health in relation to beauty. She has multiplepublications on her name.
Juliette Smeralda is French, Doctor of Sociology, professor at the University of the French West Indies and Guyana. As a researcher, she is also linked to Laboratory Ceregmia. She wrote multiple articles on subjects such as relaxers and the book “Peau Noir, Cheveux Crepu, L’Histoire d’une alienation”. In her presentation entitled “Beaute et estimede soi”, she focuses on self-esteem and beauty and how to have fun at combing children’s hair.
Mireille Liong A Kong studied ICT in Amsterdam. She is the founder of “Going Natural.com and kroeshaar.com” and the author of the bestselling book on Amazon.com “How to fall in love with nappy hair.” She talks about social inequality and the transition to natural hair. She will be at the fair with her exposition “Bad hair at its best” and the documentary the Going Natural Video Diaries. With this exhibition, the documentary and the pageant “America’s Next Natural Model”, she is an ambassador who persistently promotes the beauty of natural hair.
Alice Zagury is the founder of “The Family”, a place where budding entrepreneurs – in Paris – in particular women and minorities, are given the space to develop themselves and to develop their business. Zagury’s organization, amongst others, aims to contribute to improving and strengthening the educational system and a more attractive business climate in France. She will talk about economic development opportunities for women.
Michael Kamden is linked to the European Women’s Studies Bank. His publications include “Egalite des chances” and will share his vision on equal rights for women.
Fatou NDiaye – model of Senegalese origin – was discovered by Olivier Toscani for Benetton will make her appearance. She received an Award for the “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role”.
Angela Plummer from Great Britain, who is known for her peculiar method of weaving; Sephora Joannes, who gives a contemporary twist to traditional hair styles inspired by people such as the Fulani, Masai, Ethiopia and Martinique and; Jamadl Lioness and Missoro focus on head wrapping; Sarr Fatou (True Colors Makeup), Deshonica Kerrie (stylist design Essential), Nadeen Mateky (hair dresser and makeup artist), Jamilah Anderson and Zachary Amougou (Salon Essations), Peter Mbafor of the brand Avlon from the UK will be speaking about other specialties in the field on hair, hair products, makeup and related matters. Furthermore, exhibitors, actors and other artists from the Afro-Caribbean scene will add their contribution.
The organization has chosen the Centquatre – Paris as stage for this spectacle of beauty in – as they call it – the diaspora. This location was specifically designed and suitable for artistic promotions in the field of theater, dance, music, cinema, video, culinary, digital and urban arts. It provides space for permanent exhibitions, as well as temporary productions, performances and audiences from all over the world.
When composing the program and searching for speakers, the organizers – just like expert stylist Deshonica Kerrie – must have thought “Beauty is not only the hair or the makeup, it is a complete look coming from the inside out”.