Edited and photo by Floyd Galloway
More and more Black women and men around the world are going back to a natural look with the chemical-free hair they were born with. The controversy of Black women’s natural hair in braids, locs, and other styles being seen as”unprofessional” in corporate circles still exists to a point, but it has decreased immensely over the years.
The natural hair movement is being celebrated in cities and towns with forums and conferences like the annual International Natural Hair Meetup Day (INHMD). Held in locations simultaneously across the globe, in Arizona the events were held in Sierra Vista and Phoenix on Saturday, May 30.
Close to 400 people attended the Phoenix event. Its purpose is to allow women across the country to meet in their own communities while networking, sharing and meeting (virtually) with other women across the country participating in meetups on the same day. Natural hair meetups are events designed to share information, techniques, inspiration and products to aid individuals in their natural hair journey.
The Phoenix INHMD 2015 featured great presentations from hair and health experts, and a sisterhood panel discussion.
Fatimah Halim, a community activist and artist, opened the event and emcee Queen Roshae, a licensed cosmotologist in Arizona and Ohio, with 25 years of experience in the hair and beauty industry, had the energy to keep the program flowing.
“We hope the attendees were entertained by the stage and the community spirit that showed up with this event. I can truly say the business sponsors stepped up and got on board quickly. We appreciate them immensely,” said Gier.
The Sisterhood panel featured several Valley women entrepreneurs addressing the subjects of sisterhood, unity and relationships. Four “Hair-Atige” segments featured presentations by Dennard Clederin (San Diego) of Sisterlocks, who shared his hair journey and the development of Sister-locks; photographer Jennifer Adams (Columbus, Ohio) shared the story of her “Beauty of the Black Man” photography show, which evolved out of a discussion with Queen Roshae in a hair salon in Ohio; Queen Roshae, “Hair History – 400 Years Without A Comb.” and the “The Curl Academy”.
Renowned stylist, industry expert and educator, Madrid Johnson of Phoenix and Oakland, gave tips on thermal and naturally textured hair.
The INHMD 2015 featured marketplace with 40 artists, designers and local merchants and an avenue for giving back to the community.