What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from working on such a culturally important shows like Black-ish, Martin, Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Scandal, and Girlfriends?
I’ve learned that I have to put in 150% because when I started in this industry, it was a male-dominated profession. So being a woman, I had to prove myself—not just that I’m good, or even that I was the best, but it was very much, “Oh, she’s a great female barber,” but I can run with the best of ’em, whatever you choose to identify as. So it just groomed me to always put in at 150% and to not let what people may say or think affect me or my dedication to what I do.
You’ve been the barber behind a lot of A-list men—including Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, and Diddy. Why is it equally as important for men to see their natural hair represented in the media?
There’s still a lack of education when it comes to black hair, both how to actually style it and how to speak about it. But it’s important because showing the multifaceted styles that people with texture have, it represents those people, so when you see someone like you on-screen, you have something to identify with. It just changes male perspectives in grooming when they can see someone on-screen who looks like them and they have a certain haircut, or they look a certain way. And when it comes to education, for people who don’t have textured hair, I think it’s important, and I encourage my colleagues to teach classes and show the level of skill required to style textured hair, and teaching techniques, and teaching how we verbalize and speak about our hair and continuing to put it on-screen to really change it.
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