The 6th Annual Natural Hair & Health Expo (NHHE) recently revealed the winner of its 2nd Annual Miss Natural Hair & Health Expo Pageant, which happens to be Tuscaloosa native Adrian Maria Latham. After slaying the Formal Gown and Q&A segments of the competition, this 27-year-old student majoring in psychology at Troy University and mother of two sealed her fate as the winner. As Miss Natural Hair & Health Expo Beauty (Miss NHHE Beauty), Adrian won an all-inclusive Bahamas vacation for two sponsored by Breezes Resort and Spa Bahamas; two round-trip train tickets sponsored by Amtrak; Design Essential Natural hair care products; and a Don’t Touch My Hair original art piece. She will officially start her duties as Miss NHHE Beauty at the Sheen Magazine Legendary Awards Weekend in Atlanta, Ga. on April 28-30.
The pageant, now entering its 2nd year as an official part of the NHHE program, is the pride and joy of expo founders and brothers Jeffrey and Victor Simmons. “The profound impact of this pageant on our attendees is remarkable,” says Victor Simmons. “From the beauty and poise to the inspiration and natural hair celebration as demonstrated by all of the phenomenal, pageant contestants, attendees can’t stop raving and thanking us for bringing this pageant to Alabama.
When asked about her natural hair journey during the pageant, Adrian replied stating the following—
“I had a short visit to the “relaxer world” but my hair was dry and lifeless. It took me years to grow my curls out, yet I still wanted to alter my curl pattern and straighten it with heat. My hair suffered severely from heat damage because I wasn’t accepting the curly me. Finally, after years of frustration, I just cut it all off and started fresh. It was liberating and offered me the chance to get to know and love my hair. I am curly, natural, confident, and free of societies opinion of beauty! Being Miss NHHE Beauty 2017 is not only a privilege but it is an opportunity to show my sisters the beauty of owning YOUR concept of beauty.”
Along with Adrian, the 2nd Annual Miss Natural Hair & Health Expo Pageant featured eight other final contestants who opened the show with a Women’s History Month (March) tribute to the song I’m Every Woman by Whitney Houston. Following the opening scene, emcee, author and premier spoken-word artist— Mark Lacey— presented the final nine through the competitive segments, including: Formal Wear, Formal Natural Hair, and Judges Q&A Session. Celebrity and guest judges included actress and cycle 3 winner of America’s Next Top Model Eva Marcille, Tahira Joy of The Cut Life, editor-in-chief of Sheen Magazine Sammi Haynes, Anthony Lunkin of Design Essentials and natural hair enthusiast Krystle Bell.
After a fierce competition, the final three chosen as the official 2017 Court, included: 2nd runner-up Quinchela Dent-Hess, 1st runner-up Kheri Lusain and finally Miss NHHE Beauty Adrian Maria Latham of Tuscaloosa AL.