“The Queen of Natural, Curly, Coily Hair”
Being natural for over 25 years is impressive all on its own — but that is far from the most impressive quality about the talented and entrepreneurial spirit of Taliah Waajid.
From working on her doll’s hair to her sister’s hair and eventually her client’s hair, Taliah’s fingers were engrossed in tresses since she was a little girl.
With 5 brothers underfoot before a little sister graced her family — Taliah was at the mercy of baby doll hair for practice, but when her sister came along she finally had her first real client to help her love and skills for natural hair grow.
Up to five times a day she would braid her sister’s hair up and take it down all the while changing the style and braid to hone her craft and increase her braiding speed. “All my doll’s had the flyest hairstyles!, said Taliah.
Fashion was also another passion for Taliah, as she used to sew– but her love of natural hair eventually won her over. Being an early trailblazer in the natural hair care industry, Taliah opened up her first natural and braiding salon in 1988 in NYC.
Meet Taliah this weekend in Atlanta at The 18th Annual World Natural Hair, Health and Beauty Show!
In 1991 she moved her daughter and business to Atlanta — but was met with challenges as natural hair was not as big in the Atlanta at that time as it was in New York. She flew back to NYC monthly to do her client’s hair — but it grew tiresome and counter-productive. At that time, she realized being able to not only do natural hair, but other hair styles (relaxed hair, weaves) would help open up more doors for her in the south.
With the release of the 90’s movie Poetic Justice —- and Janet Jackson’s hugely popular and iconic box braids – Taliah’s braiding career begin to grow. Gaining clients with her intricate hairstyles and keeping them with her healthy hair education practices. Taliah also begin to help women recover from damaged hair caused by chemical relaxers/perms.
Business was more than just doing hair and Taliah figured that out early in Atlanta. She worked at a very popular salon in Atlanta where there were 25 stations. The salon was booming and she begin to notice that part of the salon’s success was the hair products they sold to clients to help maintain their hair in-between appointments. Taliah started to watching and learn about the importance of the overall experience of the hair salon business.
As her reputation grew, her clients were eager for products they could use at-home. Taliah realized this was avenue to serve her growing clientele — as well as help to expand the market from just hair styling and hair education to products. She hired a chemist and with her knowledge of hair textures and the science of hair she came out with her first line, Black Earth Natural products.
Taliah started The World Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show because there was a lack of information for women who wanted to transition from relaxed hair to natural hair.
The World Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show has always been for women (and men) looking for more ways to have and maintain healthier hair. “We didn’t have anything like that at the time, said Taliah. “There were many shows that focused on chemically altered hair but natural hair was hugely overlooked.”
People were gravitating to hair shows for the latest style, best stylists and products — and Taliah knew natural hair deserved that type of showcase and recognition as well. The enthusiasm for natural and braided hair was increasing and needed proper representation.
As the natural hair movement grew, so did the The World Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show. Each year the show had more vendors, participants, workshops, entertainers —- and ever-growing passion for hair education, love and acceptance.
Today, Taliah continues to lead the natural hair industry with the latest and the greatest in healthy natural hair care.
From a little girl to a grown and successful businesswoman, Taliah Waajid continues to keep natural hair a strong beat in the hearts of women and men interested in loving themselves and their natural beauty. Taliah Waajid is a natural hair care pioneer and icon.
Check out Taliah Waajid’s natural hair tips on the next page! If you are going to be in Atlanta this weekend make sure to check out The World Natural Hair, Health & Beauty Show at Georgia International Convention Center on April 25th – 26th.