Taliah Waajid leads power talk with Amara La Negra, Coca-Cola’s Terrez Thompson

Taliah Waajid hosted the 21st Annual World Natural Hair Healthy Lifestyle Event in Atlanta. A pioneer of the natural hair movement, Waajid led a Power Panel that featured candid conversations with some of the Black community’s highest achievers – author Sheri Riley, Ellis Island Tea founder Nailah Ellis-Brown, Coca-Cola VP of Global Diversity Terrez Marriott Thompson, The Girl Power Agency president Kelly Smith Beaty, fashion designer Tracy Nicole, Carestream Dental general counsel, chief compliance officer and corporate secretary Noni Ellison Southhall, and singer Amara La Negra shared secrets of success.

The World Natural Healthy Hair Lifestyle Event is the world’s largest natural hair, beauty and health show of its kind. Featuring over 300 exhibitors in beauty and lifestyle and performances from the best artists in hip-hop, R&B, Jazz, Soul, Gospel and Rock, it’s a celebration of Black excellence designed to inspire and empower the community.

At a private event, The Voice Season 12 contestant JChosen serenaded this writer and a group of special-invited guests and he also took the mainstage, as well as Major, and Jor’Dan Armstrong over the course of the weekend.

Waajid shares, “I started the World Natural Hair Healthy Lifestyle Show because I had a desire to create an all-natural show free of relaxers and perms. Early on in my career, I attended countless shows and noticed an absence of natural hair solutions. I wanted a platform where both stylists and natural hair wearers could learn about natural hair, products and techniques. Since the first show, we’ve grown so much and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Bringing together the best in beauty and lifestyle, The World Natural Hair Healthy Lifestyle Event allows attendees to enjoy a weekend of music and interactive workshops on topics ranging from caring and styling natural hair to fitness to starting and maintaining a business and more, while providing information on the latest products and services for healthy living. It’s a place for attendees to find information and tips on wellness and healthy living, allowing them to become more empowered.

While this is the 21st anniversary of the #WNHS, a Harlem-bred Waajid reminds “this is my life. My mom would not let me get a relaxer. I was forced to wear my own hair. Of course, I gave push back because everybody else was wearing perms, straight hair. We were told when your new growth comes in, you have to perm your hair. I learned to do my hair. I started liking my hair. I liked the way it felt. I was able to style it once I figured it needed moisture … after you shampoo this kinky-coily hair, don’t let it dry because you won’t be able to comb it. Those are the things that informed my decision to stay natural. I want everyone else to know that you have a choice. If you want to wear a perm, you can.”

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