Colorful hair, complex cuts and a whole lot of body paint: America’s Beauty Show 2017

Since we typically attend insurance trade shows, Sean Brownyard and I knew when we registered that America’s Beauty Show would be a totally new experience. But nothing could have prepared us for the vibrant reality—a salon, runway show, beauty product expo, drag show, and talent showcase all rolled into one glittering, colorful party.

ABS brought together around 70,000 salon owners, stylists, students and educators for the three-day weekend, so it’s hard to pinpoint one trend that stood out. It was such an eclectic group that came together in one place: from rock star stylists to drag performers to people covered in elaborate body paint. Yet you could tell this was a big gathering of serious professionals focused on their craft, collecting suitcases full of samples and learning new techniques from other pros.

The enthusiasm was infectious. We had a blast watching celebrity stylists and artists like Guy Tang executing incredible hair styles at an impossible rate on a stage in front of cheering crowds. I watched one barber execute a super precise style, making symbols in the back of a model’s head—it was impressive. Sean even braved the crowds to get a trim live on stage (though he didn’t go for the patterns shaved into his head).

Among the revelers was the team from Finally Lisa’s Salon & Spa, whose owner Lisa Bodreau won our Salon Secrets contest. Sean and I got a chance to spend a little time with Lisa and five of her salon staff whom she brought along for the experience—they couldn’t have been kinder. It was wonderful to see them enjoying themselves at the show because they deserved it.

It may not be surprising to hear that we didn’t see any other insurance companies there, but (partially thanks to our canine booth mascot) we had some great conversations with attendees. I was surprised to hear how many people did not have professional liability insurance and/or had let it lapse for long periods of time. Many students stopped by and walked away with information about getting insured.

From the live performances to the colorful hair and amazing assortment of new products, America’s Beauty Show was just plain fun. Thanks to Stacey from Salon Today, to Beth from Nails Magazine and, of course, the Finally Lisa’s crew for stopping by our booth for a chat.

Kathy Lopez, Account Manager for SASSI, the Salon and Spa Specialty Insurance program at Brownyard Group. She can be reached at

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