Africa International Hair Extravaganza 2012

14 Aug

This past Saturday (11 August) I attended the inaugural edition of the Africa International Hair Extravaganza (AIHE) which was held at the Coca Cola Dome in Johannesburg, South Africa.  I have to mention up front that I only attended the expo on Saturday 11 August.  I arrived at about 1pm and left around 5pm.  My comments relate solely to what I witnessed and experienced during this time.  The expo was held over two days (Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 August).  I went to the expo with my sister (who happens to have natural hair).

Things of interest:

  • It was fun walking around and seeing some great and interesting hairstyles.  Since the focus was about hair I felt many made an effort with their hairstyles.

Jade Williams.  Beautiful afro.

Rachael. She used two different colours to achieve this look.

Minenhle. She was one of the models at the expo. The look was created with braid fibre.

  • Black Like Me was exhibiting and their stand was about going retro and the return of the perm.  They are launching new products to perm the hair as well as for perm maintenance.  The ladies that were showing off the products even had perms themselves.  I thought this was so interesting.  So is this the dry perm that I keep hearing about?

The Black Like Me ladies with their perms

  • Easy Waves is introducing a whole new line of gels and moisturisers.  One of the stylists at the stand was doing a straw set on natural hair.  I was so fascinated.  I don’t think I have ever met a stylist doing a straw set in my life!  The stylist told me she was not ‘scared’ of natural hair which fascinated me even more! Her name is Kristeen Kuria and she is a freelance stylist from Cape Town.

Kristeen Kuria doing a straw set

What I loved:

  • The stage productions were excellent.  The stage, sound, dj and lighting were excellent.  The MC’s (Zizo Beda and Amstel) looked great and did a good job.

Zizo Beda, one of the MC’s. Love the hair!

  • I loved the models that walked around the venue and mingled with guests.  They had dramatic afro hairstyles and they were all dressed in black.  It looked really chic.

Some of the models that were walking around the venue

  • I loved spotting celebs here and there.  I spotted Weza Solange, Thembi Seete, Kendra Oluchi Etufunwa and Eda Rose.  I’m sure there were more that I didn’t get to see.  It was a great idea to have ambassadors for the expo and I loved bumping into them as I walked around.

Weza Solange.  Her makeup was flawless.

Thembi Seete.  She is so beautiful.  She is on the cover of Drum Hair.

Kendra Oluchi Etufunwa.  The pic doesn’t show just how tall she is!

Eda Rose.  That afro is to die for.

  • I loved meeting other bloggers.  I met Matlhodi and Nangamso of Frochic as well as Fantagiaah of Au’Curlsnaturelle.  I also met Carice Anderson who writes for Destiny Magazine and Shimmer by Motions.  It’s great to put faces to blogs.  I loved chatting to them too.

Matlhodi and Nangamso

Eloise, Busisiwe and Fantagiaah.  Fantagiaah’s hair is natural, she had set and wrapped her hair.

Carice (on the right) and I.  Carice had her natural hair tied back in a bun

  • We got goodie bags at the entrance.  The goodie bags looked great and even had some full size products.  I loved that they were branded.  Beauty is often in the detail! The goodie bags also contained a program for both days of the expo.  This was a great addition.

The goodie bag and contents

Areas that I feel can be improved:

  • The expo was much smaller than I expected.  The Coca Cola Dome is quite a large venue and many expo’s that are held there utilise the whole floor space.  This was my expectation when I went there.  The expo utilised about 1/3 of the space.  Of this, about half was taken up by the stage.  It took us less that 30 minutes to walk around the venue and visit each exhibit.

A view of the stage

  • Which brings me to the fact that there were too few exhibitors.  None of the big hair brands were in attendance.  That really got me thinking – why were these big brands not there?  Why did they seem to shun the expo?  Most of the big brands have new lines that they are introducing to consumers, would this not have been a great place to showcase this?  Where were Mizani, Organic Root Stimulator, Dark and Lovely, Motions, African Pride, Dr Miracle, Darling Hair, Lusters Products etc
  • I had hoped to see smaller manufacturers too – manufacturers like JO’M Cosmetics as well as others that focus on natural ingredients
  • I feel ladies with natural hair were let down.  I went there expecting to get some shea butter, bentonite clay, rhasoul clay, aloe vera juice, henna, indigo, amla oil, coconut oil, Jamaican black castor oil etc  I would have loved to see some exhibitors selling these natural ingredients which are really big when it comes to hair care for black women.  They may not be big in South Africa (or Africa at that) but this would have been a great forum to push them and to educate consumers
  • The entry fee was too high in my opinion.  I figured it was an issue of economy of scale.  I felt that the few consumers that did turn up had to cover the expense of the large venue of which only a third was used.  I paid R220 (US$28) for my one day ticket.  A two day package would have cost me R410.  Obviously as the first expo of its kind, it needs to build a following and I’m sure the price will go down with time but I think the R220 (US$52) kept people away.  Had I not been a hair blogger, I don’t think I would have paid that much.  Maybe it would have been better to use a smaller venue and to move to bigger venues as the expo gets bigger.  I must add here that I have no knowledge of what it takes to host an expo and my suggestions may actually not make sense!
  • The expo was billed as an ‘Africa’ and ‘International’ one.  I didn’t really see that reflected in the exhibits as well as what was going on.  It would have been great to get an exhibitor from Ghana with shea butter and one from Morocco with argan oil!  I guess these are things that can be worked on for future expos.

So in summary, the Africa International Hair Extravaganza was a great idea.  I feel this years expo was quite small and I look forward to it growing in the future.  I really hope it will become an annual event and that it will grow with each year.  There were many great ideas that can be taken even further.

Some hairstyles from one of the stage shows:


28 Responses to “Africa International Hair Extravaganza 2012”

  1. Evelyn Nyandoro 14 August, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Thanks Tendai for the info on the expo. i had no idea this was happening otherwise i would have attended. I dont think they advertised it widely enough. and thank you for all your advise on hair care. i am starting to look after my hair and my daughters hair as well.

    • Tendayi 14 August, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

      You’re welcome Evelyn. All the best with your hair care. I left out the issue of advertising because I wasn’t sure where the expo was being marketed. I learnt about it on twitter. I guess also my twitter circle would be interested in it so there were many tweets about it.

  2. Grace 14 August, 2012 at 2:04 pm #

    Thank you for the info Tendayi, my interest in my own hair is growing.
    Might go to the expo one day.

    • Tendayi 14 August, 2012 at 2:06 pm #

      I just hope it gets bigger and bigger.

  3. wiscellaneous 14 August, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    Hey Tendayi – so weird, I was writing up my blog post of the AHIE event just as yours landed in my mailbox. As I’m going natural at the moment I did not enjoy the event at all and left sorely disappointed. Well intended, poorly executed. I am sorry I missed you though, looks like we were there at the same time! Well it can only get better next year….

    • Tendayi 14 August, 2012 at 2:10 pm #

      My sister is natural too and she had come with cash to buy shea butter etc etc!! She didnt buy anything on the day unfortunately 😦

      Look forward to reading your review.

  4. Ms Z. 14 August, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

    Reblogged this on Soul Hair and commented:
    Recap of the African Hair Extravaganza!!

  5. Eloise 14 August, 2012 at 4:08 pm #

    Hi,Tendayi. It was great meeting you @ AIHE and now also assessing your blog! Great stuff!!
    I think the advertising for the African International Hair Extravaganza was a bit misleading.On the AlHE website and in mags like TRUELOVE etc, the price of tickets ranged from R150 for 1 day to R250 for both days!
    This was not the case when we purchased our tickets. I paid R410 for a 2 day pass!
    I too had gone there hoping to score some shea butter, argan oil etc. Nada!
    But on the positive side it can only get better! God bless!

    • Tendayi 14 August, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

      It was great to meet you too 🙂 I didn’t get to see the other advertising. I was just exposed to advertising on the internet. I wonder if the tickets were initially cheaper then got more expensive. I bought mine in the week leading up to the show. I left it until the last minute.

  6. fantagiaah 14 August, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    thanks so much for the awesome article LOL i couldnt agree more! i love this article, when i write mine i must definitely link this article to mine. I love all the pics 😀 😀 thanks sisi

    • Tendayi 14 August, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

      Welcome 🙂

      Please let me know when you post yours.

  7. nancy 14 August, 2012 at 10:11 pm #

    Thank you so much for the post. Wanted to attend but felt ticket price was too high especially since there were no large haircare brands sponsoring the event. I will give credit to the organisers and hope the event grows from here. Agree with you that it would be nice if they could include exhibitors promoting healthy hair and natural products and not only styling.

    • Tendayi 14 August, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

      I’m also hoping for something bigger next year.

  8. Gugu 15 August, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi All, were can I buy a satin head scarf and a pillow. I’m based in Kempton Park.

    • Tendayi 15 August, 2012 at 3:42 pm #

      I have seen satin pillowcases in Mr Price Home. They were all white though! As for satin scarves. You can just buy material from a fabric shop and hem them yourself!

  9. Mary-Anne 15 August, 2012 at 7:04 pm #

    Hi Tendayi,

    I was also diappointed with what was on offer. But it was the first attempt, so I’m hoping they will improve with time.

    Just a note. I am importing shea butter and would love to have a stand of my own next next year. I’ve started small, but I love the benefits of shea butter and would like to share it with everyone.

    Thanks for another great post!

  10. Muke 16 August, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    I was at the AIHE on Sunday. I was highly disappointed. The big brands were not there the likes of Dark ‘n Lovely, Ladine, Organic and more. I did not see any international brands as promised. I hope next time it will be properly organised.

    • Tendayi 16 August, 2012 at 9:32 am #

      I hope next time it will be bigger too

  11. Lungile 17 August, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Hi Tenday, thanks for the wonderful post. Please let us know once you’ve got the details from Mary-anne regarding the shea butter, i’m also interested in it.

    • Tendayi 17 August, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

      I will pass it on when I get it.

      Also check for it in health shops. Most malls have at least one. I saw a 500g tub of shea butter today at Brooklyn Mall (Pretoria) going for R148. This was at the health shop at Brooklyn Mall. Ive also seen it at Menlyn Mall in the health shop there.

  12. Phro Phro 20 August, 2012 at 11:43 am #

    wow, sounds like it was quite an event. I wish I had been there … It’s a pity that there weren’t a lot of products for naturals. Always pushing for hair dressers to invest in understanding how to nurture our hair …. I hope they hear our cry! 🙂

    • Tendayi 20 August, 2012 at 11:45 am #

      I hope they here our cry too!

  13. curlyummi 25 August, 2012 at 6:43 am #

    I am really loving this hair show. nice variety of styles on very different textures.

  14. Yolie 21 March, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

    Hey i just wanna know where do u think i could get/buy these products (for natural hair) you mentioned? Esp the Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

    • Tendayi 22 March, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      I have not seen or heard of JBCO being available in SA. You would have to purchase it online. As for the other products – oils you can get in Dischem and healthshops (coconut, castor, jojoba etc). You can also get the clays eg bentonite in Dischem and in Healthshops along with aloe vera juice. Shea butter i see very often in healthshops too.


  1. Au'Curlsnaturelle » Feedback: Africa International Hair Extravaganza - 21 August, 2012

    […] It is a must-read : […]

  2. Africa International Hair Extravaganza 2013 | africanhairblog - 05 September, 2013

    […] I passed through (literally!) the Africa International Hair Extravaganza (AIHE) held this past weekend at the Brightwater Commons in Johannesburg.  I was in Johannesburg for something else and passed though on my way back home.  I attended the expo last year, read my thoughts about it here. […]

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