1. How long have you been a beautician?
I have been a hairstylist all of my life! I use to comb my little sisters hair when we were younger. I became a professional hairstylist nine years ago.
2. What got you into the hair business? My aunt and her husband were hairstylists, and I always admired their talent. I practiced on my sister all the time, but I didn't decide to do hair professionally until my grandmother gave me a gentle push. I was a very young mother and I was attending CSUS. It was hard for me to have a work schedule that would allow me to freely attend my college classes. My grandmother suggested that I go to Cosmetology school so that once I graduated I could make my own schedule. It turned out to be the best advice I ever received. Once I graduated from Cosmetology school, I was an assistant at a really nice salon in East Sacramento for a year. Once I finished my assisting program I was able to set my own schedule and return to CSUS to finish my Bachelor's Degree.
3. I have talked to many women and when the decide to go natural, some African American beauticians are not supportive. I talked to one women who threated to go to a barber, since her stylist wouldn't do a big chop. Why do you think some can be so resistant? Many stylists are resistant because of one thing....MONEY! African American hair is big money. Relaxers, every two week styles, colors, and weaves are big money. When a client decides to go natural they opt to do a lot of their own maintenance at home. At home maintenance means a loss of income for the stylist.
4. Since I have known you for a few years, you have talked about the importance of natural hair. Why do you think this is so important? I think that people become so addicted to fake hair that they forget how beautiful their natural hair is. By fake, I mean relaxing it to make it straight or being so addicted to weaves that no one sees your hair without one. If we take the time to nurture our own hair we can achieve any style we desire with a little assistance. Weaves and relaxers are not always the end all beat all.
5. Can you give some tips for women who are going to get the big chop? JUST DO IT!!!! The chop is so liberating. I chopped mine twice. You find out a lot about your own version of beauty when you are brave enough to take the plunge. You learn that you are truly NOT YOUR HAIR, and you start to define your own standard of beauty. My best advice is to only do it if you are truly ready to reflect on yourself and your life. People will make comments, some positive and some ready, so you have to be mentally ready for the non solicited feedback. My second best piece of advice is products are your friend! Don't be afraid to experiment with products to help enhance your natural curl.
6. Any tips for those who want to transition?
For those who want to transition, find a stylist who can help you through the process. It is imperative to get the right assessment of your hair and your hair care needs. And you must get your hair trimmed and deep conditioned. Transitioning hair is very very delicate and needs special care. Protective styles are usually best if you are trying to transition.
7. For those who wear their hair in braids, what should they be aware of?
- Do not get braids on freshly relaxed or freshly colored hair.
- Do not leave your braids in for longer than a month or so. It all depends on your rate of growth.
- Moisturize, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE. Your hair is still exposed and must be cared for.
- Do not allow anyone to braid or pull your hair too tight. If you get hair bumps, it's too tight!
8. What is your personal hair care regimen?
I am all over the place with my hair. One month it's curly, the next month it's braids, and then the next it's straight! I love Shea Moisture Products, Miss Jessie's, Bumble and Bumble, Kera Care, and anything with Coconut Oil. My regimen depends on my style. When my hair is curl, I use Shea Moisture Products. I usually co-wash with their conditioner or Coconut Oil Conditioner, and I apply Knot Today, or Curling Custard by Kinky Curly. Their products keep my hair moisturized and shiny without leaving my curls crunchy. I love Miss Jessies' products but don't use them too often because their products are costly. When my hair is straight, I shampoo with Bumble and Bumble Quenching Shampoo and Conditioner. I also use their Quenching Complex as a leave in conditioner. I blow dry with Bumble and Bumble's Straight Blow Dry styling balm because it protects my hair.
I would like to say a special thanks to Nicole Dansby for her wonderful tips and tricks. If you would like to make an appointment, contact her at Byuti Salon in Sacramento.