Natural Hair and Health Expo draws hundreds of vendors; thousands of visitors to BJCC

By Ariel Worthy
The Birmingham Times

Jeffrey Simmons, co-founder of the Visions Beauty Natural Hair and Health Expo (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times)

The seventh annual Natural Hair and Health Expo on Saturday drew thousands to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex where more than 100 vendors had something to offer for everyone in attendance.

From healthy hair talks and panel discussions, styling demonstrations, beauty pageants, hair product samples, fashion shows and styling competitions, even massages and manicures and pedicures, people from across the Southeast got tips on healthy hair and healthy lifestyles.

Jeffrey Simmons, co-founder of the Expo, said the event has grown exponentially since it began in 2011 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center on U.S. 280.

More black women and men are living in a healthier manner and the trend toward natural hair was apparent, said Simmons, who along with his brother Victor, are founders of the Visions Beauty Natural Hair and Health Expo.

“It [natural hair] wasn’t embraced [back then by many] but we knew at some point it would be,” Jeffrey Simmons said of establishing the expo.

The show also featured celebrities Rotimi from Starz’s show, Power; Jay Hunter from “If Loving You Is Wrong” and Timon K. Durrett from “Queen Sugar.” YouTube stars, The Glamtwinz Kendra and Kelsey Murrell, were also in attendance, and talked with the crowd about their own healthy hair journey.

Jessica Alexander was crowned 2018 Miss Natural Hair and Health Expo Beauty during the Third Annual Pageant.

During the day long extravaganza women complimented each other, learned hair tips and styles from other attendees in addition to supporting the vendors.

“I see the camaraderie, the joyfulness going on here,” Jeffrey Simmons said. “I see people having a wonderful time. Those are things that drive me.”