Held biannually in Atlanta, the Bronner Bros. International Hair Show is now the largest show of its kind. It’s come a long way from the first event in 1947 hosted by the first generation of Bronner brothers, Dr. Nathaniel H. Bronner Sr. and Arthur E. Bronner Sr. The Bronner Brothers empire now includes Rainforest Films and Upscale magazine. Rolling out sat down with a very busy Bernard Bronner to get insight on this year’s hair show. –annsonita robinson
Why and when did the hair show begin?
The first show was 64 years ago. It was really a workshop to teach people how to use the Bronner Brothers products.
What is the most significant change in the hair care industry in the past 10 years?
Overwhelmingly, it’s women of color going back to natural hair. Bronner Brothers has been diligently watching the cycles for decades, so we were ahead of the trend. As women become more health-conscious, the mind-set migrates to other areas of their lives. First, they recycle and become more conscious of their carbon imprint. Then, they want organic vegetables from places like Whole Foods. It’s not long before they start to question the choices they make for their hair and skin care. Also, Chris Rock’s documentary, Good Hair, had a resounding effect on the industry as well.
Another development is the record number of celebrities who have launched hair care lines. Both Laila Ali and LisaRaye will have major presentations on the main stage. Raven-Symoné is partnering with us to develop a line of products. Cynthia Bailey ["Real Housewives of Atlanta”] has a new line as well.
Why should a seasoned salon owner attend this year’s show?
There are so many new trends in the marketplace. They need to attend so they can learn about the products, technologies, and training connected to these new trends.
The Surgeon General will be featured. Tell us about that.
The show will feature a hair fitness competition on Sunday afternoon. We learned that many women resist embracing exercise because they don’t want to damage their hair. With high blood pressure and diabetes affecting so many African Americans, we felt this needed to be addressed. Stylists will vie for the winning hair style that is workout friendly. The Surgeon General of the United States, Regina Benjamin, will judge the competition. First prize is $5,000.
A record number of African American salons are going out of business due to the economy. Will any of the featured events address that?
First, keep in mind that African American-owned salons represent the largest segment of black-owned businesses. So, it looks like a lot because it is the larger piece of the pie. This year’s show will have 16 classes that solely focus on the business of running a salon.
The Bronner Bros. International Hair Show will be held in Atlanta Aug. 20-23 at the Georgia World Congress Center. Visit bronnerbros.com for more information.