By Leah Fletcher
If you’re a hairstylist, barber or other beauty professional, what could be more fulfilling than a couple of days with thousands of your peers at one of the nation’s largest multicultural hair and beauty shows? It is a great opportunity to view the latest beauty technology, shop for professional products and get all the knowledge needed, in one place.
The International hair and Beauty Show (IHBS) is a two-day multi-cultural educational trade show held every year in May at the Meadowlands Expo Center in Secaucus New Jersey this year, the spring beauty show took place on Saturday, May 20 and Sunday May 21, 2017. For the past 25 years it has led the way for the educational development of cosmetologist and beauty trade professionals, while understanding that professionalism and education are essential to the continued success and growth in the health and beauty aids industry.
There were over 10,000 beauty professionals there to brush up on their professional education and to grow their businesses. The beauty show featured over 100 professional education classes. Innovative workshops sessions, styling demonstrations, creative competitions, exhibitors and creative competitions.
A busload of salon owners, stylists, barbers and industry professionals departed Philadelphia for the show, which was coordinated by Mary Craig, owner of the Craig House of Beauty. According to Craig, who has coordinated the trip for over 22 years, the show has historically drawn professionals, who already have cosmetology and/or barbering licenses, with the desire to move beyond the basic training courses — cutting, coloring, chemical treatments and styling classes taught in cosmetology school.
“The popularity of this particular trade show is tied to the professional development opportunities its offers,” said Craig, who noted that increased technical knowledge breeds business success.
Stylist Kim Williams, agreed. If I want to serve my client well, I must be a skilled expert at what I do,” said Williams. “Seeking advanced training and taking additional courses are mandatory to become specialized in a particular area of hair care,” said the 22-year industry veteran.
“I want to supplement my training in coloring and new product development. At the show, I recive training in advanced coloring, and I have the opportunity to interact with companies about their products and observe product demonstrations.”
Before arriving in Secaucus, stylists could be observed making lists of must-see exhibitors, viewing the floor plan for a list of confirmed exhibitors and selecting master training classes, with the industry’s top stylists.
Once at the trade show, all manner of beauty professionals were observed exploring innovative coloring and cutting techniques, conversing with colleagues as they browsed the isles sampling products and viewing hair styling demonstrations and conversing with representatives from companies that displayed thousands of products and services.
At the show’s end, Craig noted the goals of the participants were met. “For years, the reason the stylists and barbers come to the show has remained the same — training and education. And they were not disappointed.”
Observers learn that nothing fuels the flames of creativity like attending the IBHS in Secaucus, New Jersey.