The Bronner Brother’s International Beauty Show is a three-day professional beauty industry event in Atlanta. I didn’t know where to start when I first arrived! Walking into the cacophony of music, announcers, salesmen, and consumers was a delightful step into the glorious African American haircare market in its truest form.
I started with Paul Mitchell’s Marula Oil fashion show, where a team of three hairstylists sculpted the tresses of a multi-racial cast adorned in black and gold. Next, I meandered over to Shea Moisture, where a Brooklyn-based hairstylist conducted a hair-dressing demonstration for Shea Moisture’s new professional line. I finished the day with a new pair of lashes for the plane home.
Touring the different booths made me see how different brands construct a show, story, or narrative to appeal to their presumed audience or consumer (Shea Moisture has a great, authentic, rags-to-riches story).
Domestic consumers – I discovered – really loved the natural, raw, fragrant butters (homely looking packaging? Not a problem). The hairstylists were crazy about sales at Design Essentials Salon System, among other brands. Also, it was a perfect opportunity for vendors to educate their consumers about the benefits of their products (whether or not their education was accurate is a different blog post).
- Brands that manufacture and sell professional thermal tools and styling products (Paul Mitchell and Nairobi Professional)
- Brands that carry product lines derived from plant-based ingredients (Shea Moisture and Aveda)
- The ever-so-pervasive-not-going-anywhere hair extension product brands, which always capture my attention (Naked, A Porsha Wililams Collection).
Furthermore, niche brands like Mixed Chicks appealed to more nuanced consumers who yearn for a specific, more specialized message.