Celebrities share hair and lifestyle tips at the 2018 Ubiquitous Woman’s Expo

By Brigette White, Special to the AFRO,  The Ubiquitous Women’s Expo is a annual 2-day event, held in the Walter E. Convention Center in NW, Washington, DC, that features exhibitors with a variety of brands in the beauty, hair and health industries. There is live entertainment, workshops, product demonstrations, and panel discussions to promote positive lifestyle choices. The expo is all about “women coming together no matter what their hair texture or how they decide to wear their hair”, according to The Ubiquitous website. Ubiquitous women’s expo stands for global female grand display of art. In this case the artform is hair. Most women who come to the event are looking for “thee” product(s) and regimen that will tame their tresses and promote overall health. “I came here with my Mom and younger sister said Maryland native,” Nikki Knight.” I want my hair to grow. I’m looking for hair growth products. I don’t like to use heavy oils because I like volume. I’m hoping to find out more information on the best natural products for my hair.” With the business of the black hair industry reaching a whopping half a trillion dollars, according to Huffington Post, hundreds of companies are trying to dial into the customer base claiming to have a magic hair solution. Tameeka McNeil-Johnson, aka The Curl Whisperer is a Natural Hair Artist, celebrity stylist, author, entrepreneur and creator of the Curl Crush hair care line which is based out of New York and South Orange, New Jersey. Her line carries shampoo, conditioner, a hair mask, gel, and edge control, the main products needed for the standard “wash and go” hair style. The “wash and go” hair style is achieved by washing, conditioning the hair, applying styling products to help define the curls, and that is it. This style can be left to dry on its own or, for more volume, less frizzing, and a quicker dry time, with a blow dryer that has a diffuser attached. The only product that McNeil-Johnson does not make but does sell on her website is the “biggah the buttah” made by the Curl Prep hair care line that is also based out of South Orange, NJ. “I love how the Curl Prep “biggah the buttah” product makes the natural curls pop,” said McNeil-Johnson during her live product demonstration at the expo. “I swear by this product. You can use the product on dry or wet hair. I use a racking method to define the curls in small sections. The key is to really rub the product into the hair like you would lotion on your skin. Then I apply my “Around the way Gel” on top in the same racking method to hold the curls and keep them elongated and defined.” McNeil-Johnson dropped many hair secrets that she has learned in her over twenty year career as a licensed natural hair stylist to her attentive audience. People want to know what works. R&B and Soul Singer/Songwriter, Actress and Cohost of TVOne’s “Sister Circle” Syleena Johnson, who performed at the expo, also had a vendors table with her new book “The weight is over”, and two of her CDs “Rebirth of Soul” and “Chapter 6: couples therapy”. She was wearing her hair in a wash and go hairstyle and shared some staple products that work for her. “I use both the “Kinky-Curly” and “Design Essentials” hair products because they hold but they are still light. I also use a moisturizer product called “movie star” that is not for sale yet. It’s made by Robin D. Groover who is the founder of “Too Groovy Salon” that is based in Atlanta, GA. “Our Hair Care Specialists use award winning techniques in the arts, sciences and methodology of advanced hair care to achieve optimal results,” according to the Too Groovy Salon website which claims to have transformed the hair of thousands of women from coast to coast since 2003. The website also indicates that product sells are coming soon. Not only hair products are sold at Ubiquitous. Cynthia Bailey who is a Fashion Model, Actress, TV Personality, and Entrepreneur was in attendance at the expo selling her homemade soy candles, sunglasses and accessories. The actress who is usually seen wearing a wig as a protective style and fashion statement says that her hair is natural underneath it all. “I am a firm believer of organic extra virgin coconut oil. I use it all over my body. I also drink coconut oil in my tea, coffee, and eat it as well,” said Bailey. Bailey was one of the six panelist to speak at the expo on August 25. “Do what is in your heart to do. I am no better than you are. If I can do it, so can you,” said Bailey when asked about entrepreneurship. Bailey sold her items in the center aisle next to TV Personality, Community Activist and Co-Founder of EveryHue Beauty, Gizzelle Bryant. Bryant had a team of helpers with her as she engaged with women, by helping them to find their foundation color, and who were interested in her whole EveryHue Beauty makeup line. She also had her hair under a wig as a protective style. “I use Mielle organics and the Jane Carter product line,” said Bryant who also shared that her natural hair has grown to mid-back length. Not far down that middle Ubiquitous lane stood Actress and Actor , Nicole Ari Parker and Boris Kodjoe selling their product line. The couple of eleven years co-founded Gymwrap. Gymwrap is a fitness sweatband developed with EvapoTech™, a patented revolutionary process that provides maximum sweat absorption through a unique blend of fabrics, which allows heat to escape while letting cool air in. Parker explained that she created the Gymwrap because although she had been slim most of her life she had become lazy and gained a few pounds. She claimed she rarely wanted to go to the gym with her husband and she had several excuses, one of the main reasons being her hair. “We stress about our hair as black and brown women. Not only does it take a lot of time to do but it cost money and we want to get the most out of what we paid for. I wanted to create the Gymwrap to help preserve hairstyles while exercising,” said Parker. “Many of the diseases that are killing our people are preventable with the proper diet and exercise. I know our product is just a small piece to the puzzle for better health in our community.”

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