While a college student, Trinidad native Patrice Grell Yursik attempted to relax her own hair. But the smell of the chemicals got to her. So her junior year, she cut her hair short—and wore it naturally. "I learned that I had to love myself as I am—natural, black, Caribbean, and plus sized," she said. "It’s a beautiful thing, to see exactly what you were born to look like."
She blogged to encourage other women of color to try going natural. The success of Afrobella put her on Ebony Magazine's Power 100 list. And, due to her influence, she got to work the Oscars' red carpet. But her best accomplishment? Changing how women think and feel about themselves.
Tabatha Coffey first fell in love with hair salons on trips there as a child with her mom. But it was from watching drag queens put on wigs at the night clubs her parents owned that she learned hair was transformational. "It was the object that brought the costumes, makeup and attitude all together," she said.
Now she's a bestselling author and the star of "Tabatha Takes Over," advising flailing businesses on Bravo. But what inspires her is the connection between a stylist and client. "I like making people feel good about themselves," she said.
Now, with Ouidad, she's built a multimillion dollar empire catering to curls—salons, products like shampoos and conditioners, as well as a book, Curl Talk. "My daughter Sondriel works with me in my NYC salon, and is just as passionate about curls as I am," Ouidad said. "Eventually she wants to run the business. That is so gratifying."
While fostering a litter of black puppies, 20-year-old Susie Crary delighted in giving all 11 a bath. At the same time. "It was precious—and messy," she said, recalling how they slipped, covered in bubbles, on their attempts to clamor out. "Dogs are so sweet and submissive when wet."
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Kippy Spilker/Shutterstock.com
... Inspired A Dog Grooming Business
Now she operates a mobile dog grooming business in the Twin Cities, seeing an average of six dogs per day. "It's so fulfilling to take a furry, dirty mess and transform the dog back into its gorgeous self," she said.
Gonne Asser's Dutch father taught her to love all of God's creatures. Including bugs. But when she and her two preschoolers got lice, all she could think about was how these bugs had nested, hid, and reproduced in their clean hair.
While trying to finish 50 holiday headpieces before a trunk show on Black Friday, Summer Spence struggled to attach an elastic string to the end of a rhinestone band. So she tied it to a wire comb instead.
Stylist Vaso Spirou believes your hair influences your moods. That's why she chose to make her sister, Page, a buttery blond. "It made her feel youthful and helped motivate her to start a new chapter in her life," Spirou said. "She is always happy now."
Noted for her ability to tackle unruly hair, she opened her first salon, Salon Vaso, in Miami Beach. Over the past four years, she says her clientele has grown by 500%. But it's that pure energy that develops organically between a stylist and a client that appeals to her most.
Reehma Khan learned to shape brows by threading while working in her mother's beauty shop in India. Then, as a teen, she worked on her own clients. "Women looked so stunning after a quick session," she said.
One night, while Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti sat at a Boston cafe, a redheaded girl approached them and asked how they applied their make-up. She expressed her frustration at finding "redhead friendly" items.