Sometimes opportunities come when you least expect it and that is exactly what happened to Natural U Salon Owner, Melody Washington last month when she was asked to style Katt Williams hair for his featured comedy tour that made a stop through Jackson, MS.
Ms. Washington was referred for this opportunity. Williams’ personal assistant called Natural U and requested her services. When Ms. Washington arrived, Williams’ assistant asked for more time because he was exhausted from a previous show. Perhaps the most excited at the Hilton Friday night for the style session was Washington’s daughter, Taylor. She is a huge fan of some of Katt Williams movies and was thinking about the questions she was going to ask him.
Finally…Washington’s phone rings and it’s time to style his hair. The excitement build in the elevator for Taylor but Washington remained quiet. Little did she know, Katt Williams will have the same demeanor. When Washington and her daughter arrived to his suite at the Hilton they were greeted by William’s assistant. A few minutes later, Katt Williams came out, he introduced himself to Washington and Taylor, sat down in the chair at the table and proceeded to remain quiet.
He told Washington he was meditating for the show and rehearsing. Washington respected that and focused on styling his hair.
“Seeing Katt in his element put me in my element to focus on creating the perfect look for his hair,” Washington said.
Katt Williams’ hair was in a transitional stage, so Washington washed, blow dried and flat ironed it. She used Bamboo products. The nationally known comedian was pleased with his look and rushed to get ready for his show at the Mississippi Coliseum.
This article was written by Annette Peagler, PR specialist. Follow her on Twitter @Annette_Peagler.
Melody Washington is no stranger to hard work. The 34-year-old hair salon owner took a risk and left the banking industry and the military to follow her dreams of opening her very own business.
Washington attended Jackson State University and majored in Biology. She took a job in the banking industry to pay her bills, however, Washington was not happy at her 9 to 5. She knew she was not following her passion and decided to leave her job and to start over; a daring task for a single mother at the time.
Years of hard work and times of adversity helped to shape her into the business woman she is today.
My name is Annette Peagler and I met Melody Washington three years ago, when I moved to Jackson as a news reporter. A couple of months before, I received a relaxer that damaged my scalp tremendously. Washington not revitalized my hair to its healthy state, but since going to her, my hair has grown more than 5 inches!
It’s not only Washington’s hair skills that puts her in a league of her own, but her commitment to her community as well. I sat down with Washington and asked what inspired her to open Natural U Salon. If it’s one thing Washington is not afraid of, it is change. Read below for the full interview.
1. Melody, at what point in your life did you decide to become a business owner and go into natural hair care?
I was 25 and was in my Junior year at Jackson State. I was a part time student and full time worker at a bank. At that time, I failed my third Chemistry class. After failing Chemistry for the third time, it caused me to look at my life in a different direction and make other decisions and that’s when I decided to become a business owner.
2. When you were a little girl, did you like doing hair and did that inspire you to become a salon owner?
I began styling hair at age ten, so there was a love for hair at a young age. In my Sophomore year of College, my hair completely fell out. At the time, I didn’t know what the cause was so that’s when I began researching hair chemicals. My initial goal was to become a doctor. During my biology studies, I became interested in the chemical effect of relaxers. I learned that chemical hair treatments were not only unhealthy for hair, but for the body as well when used long-term.
3. What road blocks did you encounter while starting your salon and how did you get over them?
Oh wow. I encountered a lot of road blocks. When I started my salon, I stepped out on a leap of faith. I only had $400 dollars to my name and I quit my job in the banking industry knowing that I had bills, car note, etc.
One thing that I knew was I had a skill of hair styling. Because I had clients before, I knew how to gain clients. My children gave me a larger drive to succeed and not fail. Every day, I sought out new clients and it slowly began to build into the salon I have today.
4. What is the best thing about owning your own salon? What makes you tick every day?
I would say interacting with my customers, meeting their needs, teaching my employees to grow and climbing the ladder of success for myself as a business owner. My goal is to have million-dollar franchise and so that’s what keeps me going daily.
5. Any women you look up to and why?
Madam C.J. Walker, because she was the first black millionaire in hair care.
Debbie Allen, because as a child I was intrigued by her drive and work ethic to make her mark in the entertainment industry. She faced so many challenges. They didn’t expect her to excel in dancing and she proved all the naysayers wrong. Her work ethic caught my attention and encourages me daily.
6. I know you worked in the banking industry for years and you have a great deal of customer service experience. What does customer service mean to you in the salon?
Customer service is like gold, because it’s precious and it’s valuable. Your customers are just as valuable as gold. Without customer service, there would not be a business. It’s dire, you can’t have one without the other.
7. Have you thought about opening a chain of Natural U Salons?
I have. I would like to broaden my brand across the nation, promoting healthy hair care.
8. What advice do you give young women hoping to become a salon owner?
First thing, make sure this is what you want to do. Be prepared to put in long hours and be prepared to wear many hats. Find a mentor and invest in continue in education. Don’t be afraid to fail the first time. Get back up and win!
Natural U Salon is located at 5440 Executive Place in Jackson, MS. You can follow Natural U Salon on Instagram and Twitter.
Annette Peagler is the author of this article and interview. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
What Is Natural Beauty
Natural beauty is enigmatic. What does natural beauty really mean? What does it truly mean to be a natural beauty? To one person the term could mean something completely different compared to another. Is a naturally beautiful woman someone who is drop dead gorgeous? Does she look lovely without makeup? Are you even allowed to wear makeup and still be naturally beautiful? These questions will spark a million answers. Everyone has a different opinion on what is beautiful and even more so what is naturally beautiful. But surely there is a common ground that people can and may agree upon?
The Beauty in Being Natural
Beauty is what everyone pursues. When it is not something one is born with, there is help available through means of beauty products and even cosmetic surgery to enhance one’s looks. But no matter how hard one tries to achieve the perfect look, it is no comparison to the beauty in just being natural.
Look at the beauty of nature: the crystal blue sky, the floating white clouds, the colourful rainbow after it rains, the twinkling stars at night. Climb to the top of a mountain at night, when the moon is bright, the air crisp, and one can see as far as the eyes can reach, and appreciate the panoramic beauty of nature and the open vastness of the universe.
In this universe of ours, there are lofty mountains and steep cliffs, there are rushing rivers, lush forests and boundless deserts. All these naturally beautiful landscapes of the world are odes to the beauty and wonder of nature. The beauty of nature really enchants and fascinates us! In the pursuit of beauty, we may make up artificially for what is lacking naturally. Whether we are landscaping a garden, decorating a house, fashioning a wardrobe, or even changing our physical figure or posture, we need to design them in harmony with nature in order to achieve a high standard of beauty. So it buildings are ostentatiously designed or is people are overly made-up, they lose the beauty of being natural. To be pretentious and affected is to forfeit natural beauty.
There seems to be no standard for beauty, but there should be some guiding principles for it. Beauty should be pleasant to behold, and also able to purify one’s spirit, sublimate one’s mind, open up one’s heart and transcend worldliness – the true meaning of beauty lies in the ability to beautify our lives.
In pursuing the beauty of being natural, when speaking we should do so with humour, in dealing with others we should be reasonable, and in handling business we should be gracious. Then beauty in being natural may be close at hand. The valiance of men and gentleness of woman, the kindliness of seniors and the innocence of children; as long as they are not overdoing it, are all life’s examples of beauty in being natural.
Hаvе уоu contemplated thе thоught оf wеаrіng уоur nаturаl hаіr but fоund yourself fеаrful of trаnѕіtіоnаl рhаѕеѕ аnd maintenance requirements? Arе уоu tіrеd оf rеlаxеrѕ аnd dеѕіrе a mоrе nаturаl аррrоасh to ѕtуlіng? Mаnу Afrісаn-Amеrісаn wоmеn hаvе abandoned thеіr rеlаxеrѕ fоr a nаturаl lооk- thаt іѕ vоіd chemicals or rеlаxеrѕ. Althоugh іt hаѕ рrоvеn benefits, оthеrѕ sit on thе ѕіdеlіnеѕ аnd ԛuеѕtіоn іf the transition and maintenance іѕ wоrth іt. Before dіѕmіѕѕіng thе idea, you ѕhоuld lеаrn аbоut thе mуthѕ and ѕtуlіng орtіоnѕ аvаіlаblе tо mаkе transitioning frоm a rеlаxеr easier.
Thе fіrѕt myth is that еvеrуоnе whо trаnѕіtіоnѕ frоm a rеlаxеr rеԛuіrеѕ a “big chop.” Althоugh thіѕ may be recommended whеn there is еxtеnѕіvе dаmаgе, thоѕе wіth lоngеr hаіr mау simply choose to allow their natural hair tо оutgrоw thе rеlаxеd hаіr. Onсе thіѕ occurs, a реrѕоn may be required tо cut оnlу thе dаmаgеd hair whіlе mаіntаіnіng mоѕt оf her lеngth.
Cоnѕultіng wіth a рrоfеѕѕіоnаl hаіr ѕtуlіѕt wіll hеlр you to undеrѕtаnd the bеѕt option to рrоmоtе hеаlthу growth. Aѕ it rеlаtе tо ѕtуlіng, a great wау to help wіth this trаnѕіtіоn and рrоmоtе active growth іѕ to simply brаіd уоur hair. Whether you dесіdе tо brаіd уоur hair or аdd еxtеnѕіоnѕ, thеѕе ѕtуlеѕ can be bеаutіfullу wоrn fоr аll occasions. In аddіtіоn, thеу rеԛuіrе lіttlе mаіntеnаnсе, аllоw room for various ѕtуlіng орtіоnѕ, аnd promote active hаіr grоwth.
Thе ѕесоnd myth іѕ thаt nаturаl hair іѕ еаѕіеr tо maintain. It іѕ bеlіеvеd thаt nаturаl hаіr rеԛuіrеѕ juѕt as much tіmе аѕ rеlаxеd hair. Those whо сhооѕе thе nаturаl route ѕhоuld undеrѕtаnd thаt уоu аrе trading оnе tуре оf mаіntеnаnсе for аnоthеr. Fіndіng thе best products fоr уоur hаіr texture іѕ important tо kеер hair hуdrаtеd аnd healthy. Fоr еxаmрlе, adding nаturаl оіlѕ аnd uѕіng ѕhаmрооѕ wіthоut sulfate рrеvеntѕ еxсеѕѕіvе drуnеѕѕ thаt lеаdѕ tо dullness.
Depending on the lеngth of your hаіr, styling орtіоnѕ may іnсludе but are nоt lіmіtеd tо the following: mini Afro, twіѕtѕ, and Afrісаn lосkѕ. Althоugh these mау rеԛuіrе less mаіntеnаnсе, іt іѕ important to make a concerted еffоrt to maintain a hеаlthу, nеаt арреаrаnсе bу uѕіng lеаvе-іn соndіtіоnеrѕ аnd getting regular trims tо rеmоvе unhеаlthу hаіr.
Thе thіrd mуth іѕ thе trаnѕіtіоnаl рhаѕе frоm rеlаxеd tо nаturаl is both dіffісult and unаttrасtіvе. Althоugh сhаllеngеѕ exist, thеrе аrе wауѕ tо сrеаtе bеаutіful ѕtуlеѕ. Wіth a lіttlе сrеаtіvіtу, уоu саn lеаrn great techniques fоr styling аnd mаіntеnаnсе. For еxаmрlе, fоr vеrу ѕhоrt hair, уоu mау consider wеаrіng waves аnd scrunches fоr a vіntаgе look. If you desire ѕоmеthіng mоrе соntеmроrаrу, ԛuісk wеаvеѕ аnd wigs are grеаt fоr аnу hair lеngth. Of соurѕе fоr a more саѕuаl lооk, роnуtаіlѕ, twіѕtѕ, аnd rolls аrе аlwауѕ tіmеlеѕѕ. As previously mentioned, brаіdѕ аrе grеаt for аnу оссаѕіоn. Addіng fun ассеѕѕоrіеѕ ѕuсh аѕ соmbѕ, headbands, flоwеrѕ, аnd ѕсаrf’ѕ can gіvе уоu a grеаt lооk for thоѕе 9-1-1 emergency hair days.
According to www.naturalusalon.com nаturаl hair іѕ vеrу bеаutіful аnd unіԛuеlу сарturеѕ thе сulturаl spirit оf Afrісаn-Amеrісаn wоmеn. However, іtѕ beauty is often marred bу controversy and сhаllеngеѕ. Tаkіng аddіtіоnаl time tо еduсаtе and еxрlоrе орtіоnѕ complimentary tо реrѕоnаl ѕtуlеѕ іѕ nесеѕѕаrу tо fееl comfortable wіth nаturаl hair.
The online natural hair revolution has produced an abundance of Youtubers that offer daily hair care advice and insight to the natural hair community. There is now a wealth of information available for future generations on how to handle afro, kinky, and curly hair textures. Many Vloggers provide this advice as experts despite lacking appropriate credentials or qualifications. Although the natural hair movement has been a source of empowerment and self-validation, it’s concerning when some people in the natural community value the advice of amateurs over professionals.
Many naturals are often quick to google their hair concerns rather than seek the opinion of a professional because the internet is more accessible. Unfortunately, when surfing the web, you will find misleading information that may steer you in the wrong direction. A natural hair vlogger may give you advice based on techniques that have worked for them, but their methods may not work well for your hair. The problem with Youtubers providing advice is that it can breed misinformation as well as confusion. Many viewers may try methods that they believe to be safe and helpful. This can result in an array of hair and scalp issues as well as hair loss if the information provided is inaccurate. Also keep in mind that, hair and scalp issues can be physical manifestations that are the result of underlying health issues. This is why it should be a priority to consult a dermatologist or cosmetologist for your hair care needs over a Youtuber. Professionals are trained and educated to provide information or assistance based on facts and science which will help you maintain healthy hair.
In all, before you are quick to mimic what your favorite vlogger says, it is important to do your own research. Although some Youtubers may provide good advice, it is important to make sure that suggested methods and techniques are scientifically sound. Information you receive should line up with cosmetology textbooks, research studies, or dermatological practitioners. Although many Youtubers show their audience what works or does not work for their hair, it is up to you to do your own investigation and seek the opinion of a professional.
Have you ever had adverse effects after following YouTube advice? Do you prefer advice from a licensed professional or advice from bloggers or vloggers? Tell me your thoughts!