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If I had to sum up my wonderful weekend at the Taliah Waajid World Natural Hair Show this weekend into one overall theme, I am pleased to say that the dominant message was one of accepting and being proud of not just your hair, but of who you are. It was a great demonstration of how the natural hair movement has evolved — it is not just a social rebellion against long enforced notions of Eurocentric beauty and ideals. Who knew that one’s choice in how to wear, style, care for and maintain their hair would be a catalyst towards self-acceptance and self-respect, as well as a lead to a push towards better health and education? This weekend was proof that the trend towards natural hair in the African American community is not just a fad, but evidence of a lifestyle and cultural change that has taken hold within the community and shows no signs of letting up.

MORE: Natural Hair: A Trend or a Growing Movement?

The show was a product junky's veritable paradise. There were well established hair care companies including Design Essentials and Crème of Nature, that are wisely expanding their line ups to include products to suit our unique needs; natural and curly girl favorites like Carol’s Daughter, Hair Rules and Karen’s Body Beautiful; as well as up and coming brands including U R Curly, Oyin Handmade and My Honey Child. Regardless of the size or popularity of the brand, one thing was the same with each representative I spoke to: It’s not about hair envy or striving to achieve the texture on the next girls’ head, but knowing your own tresses, taking care of them and feeling confident and capable of maintaining your own personal sense of style.

MORE: Bronner Bros International Hair Show Recap

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