The ladies who attended the Black Hair Matters Mini Expo received tons of information from top hair professionals who demonstrated their craft and shared their knowledge and journey to healthy beautiful hair.

The expo was the last installment of the Black Hair Matters program, which was part of the Black History Month celebration held in February and sponsored by the Alachua County Library District. The program consisted of a four-week series focusing on the culture, history, health and wealth of black hair. It was presented by Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, senior lecturer in the University of Florida African American Studies program, and Ryan Kearse, director of Bly’s School of Cosmetology.

Attended by nearly 15 women, the expo was held Monday at the Cone Park branch library at 2801 E. University Ave.

The expo featured hair professionals including Marquita Riggs, a cosmetologist and owner of House of Riggs Beauty Salon, who demonstrated the art of hair braiding; Rashawanda D. Thomas, a non-surgical hair replacement professional/hair pharmacist, owner of Adorned Crowns Hair Salon Inc. and a Florida Blue Insurance provider.

Thomas spoke about cranial prosthesis, a custom-made wig specifically designed for patients who have lost their hair as a result of medical conditions or treatments. Kaya Worthy, who creates natural hair products using oils, herbs and other natural ingredients, spoke about skin and hair health and Cynthia Allen, a part-time cosmetologist specializing in hair crocheting demonstrated her hair technique on her teenage teenage daughter, Nia Brown. Allen said she comes to the customer’s home with everything required, including the chair.

Carla Lewis- Miles, who volunteered for the hair demonstration, is CEO of the Greater Duval Neighborhood Association and coordinator of the neighborhood revitalization for Alachua Habitat for Humanity. She spoke about alopecia areata, which is a common autoimmune skin disease that causes hair loss on the scalp, face and sometimes on other areas of the body. According to, alopecia affects roughly 6.8 million people in the U.S.

Lewis-Miles said she has traction alopecia, which is a form of alopecia caused by putting too much stress on the hair, such as wearing braids.