Forsyth County hairstylist Tiffany Allen Thames was a top-five finisher at the Aug. 5 Third Annual Hair Fitness competition in Atlanta.
Sponsored by UnitedHealthcare and black-owned hair-care giant Bronner Bros., the competition seeks to dispel the myth that black women can’t exercise and maintain a stylish, eye-catching hairstyle.
The competition, which was held during one of Bronner Bros.’ large scale international hair shows, attracted stylists from across the nation. Each of them tried to impress the large crowd and a panel of judges by crafting exercise-friendly styles.
Linette Battle of Palm Beach, Fla. won first place. The top prize came with $5,000 and a trophy for outstanding design and execution. Thames, the owner/operator of Kernersville-based Main Attraction Hair Studio, finished fourth. The Dudley Cosmetology University graduate is in high demand and has earned wide-acclaim for her hair design talents.
Organizers of the competition want the event to encourage professional hair stylists to create hairstyles that are easy to maintain and empower their clients to make exercise a part of their daily routine. The Hair Fitness competition was inspired by studies that showed many African-American women avoid certain fitness activities in order to maintain their hairstyles, as well as the alarming rates of obesity among African Americans. According to the 2011 edition of America’s Health Rankings, the prevalence of obesity among African Americans exceeds 30 percent in 36 states and the District of Columbia, which dramatically outpaces obesity rates for whites and poses serious health consequences for those affected – including diabetes and heart disease.