The World Natural Hair Show took over the Georgia International Convention Center, bringing vendors and naturals from far and wide under one roof. With this being my first experience at the World Natural Hair Show, I must say I was overwhelmed but way beyond impressed. The sheer number of attendees and vendors really makes you take a step back and appreciate how much of an impact we naturals really have. I was surrounded in a sea of gorgeousness…and it felt so good!
Is overwhelming really a good word to express how I felt about the World Natural Hair Show? Well, the answer is definitely YES! I wish I had gotten pictures of the traffic just to get to the convention center because that was an experience all in itself. Had we decided to go with the crowd, it probably would’ve taken us an hour to park. Seriously, packed is not descriptive enough! Thankfully, the location of the event provided lots of off-site parking so we were able to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, that’s not where the lines ended.
The sheer number of people waiting in line just to get inside the venue was beyond ridiculous! I was watching another blogger talking about how the line was the best part of the World Natural Hair Show experience, and I would agree with her 100%. People were bubbling with excitement and anticipation and I took this time to meet and converse with so many beautiful naturals. So while everyone was just standing around, I was able to capture some of the best hairstyles & fashions of the show.
Fast forward to when we actually got into the event space. Two words: sensory overload! There were vendors the entire length of the convention center and I was giddy to see some of my favorites as soon as I walked in. Naturals both young and old maneuvered through the crowds, mingling amongst each other, chatting it up with vendors. It was so much fun! I enjoyed watching vendors work the crowds with savvy presentations and product demonstrations, taming the wildest of hair into submission. There was something there for everyone, not just products and accessories. There were poetry and musical performances on stage, as well as social interactions through the Book Nook and the Social Circle. The entire event was even streamed live on the internet for those who weren’t able to attend, but still wanted to get in on the action.
Of course, the main attraction of the World Natural Hair Show is the shopping, and that did not disappoint! I stocked up on some of my staple products, but I was also able to venture out and try new and up-in-coming brands like B.A.S.K. and As I Am. I was also able to meet some of my favorite brand representatives, including Mahisha from CURLS, Ylorie from EDEN BodyWorks and Jamyla from Oyin Handmade as well as fellow bloggers and members of natural hair groups from across the country. I went home with more products than I could carry. and I’m excited to try them all!
World Natural Hair Show Tips
Now that I’ve officially made it through my first World Natural Hair Show, I have a few DOs and DONTs to share with you.
- Get your tickets in advance! The will call line was long to pick up your wristbands, but not nearly as long as the line to purchase tickets at the door.
- Wear comfortable shoes! I don’t know how some ladies were walking around in heels, but flats or tennis shoes will definitely save your feet after circling the floor a few times.
- Bring a friend! I attended the event with my sister, who is natural but not quite ready to take her braids out. It’s always more fun going with people who are just as enthusiastic.
- DON’T be close-minded! Now is the time to try new products, especially when most are deeply discounted for the show. You may pick up a new favorite.
- DON’T be late! If there’s anything I want to emphasize the most, this has to be it. Not just because the parking gets bad and the lines stay long, but your favorite vendors will sell out! I missed a few of my staple products because I got there late.
- DON’T miss this event! What else can I say? It was an experience that cannot be replicated. Get in the mix and make sure you’re in the building for the next World Natural Hair Show.
Did you miss the World Natural Hair Show this spring? Well don’t fret, there’s another one coming up in a few months! The fall World Natural Hair Show will take place October 6-7, 2012 so make sure you grab your tickets early! I’ll see you there!