PHOTOGRAPHER CHARLES CAESAR @charles.caesar
INTERVIEW KASHA LASSIEN @kashalassien MAKEUP RAISA FLOWERS @raisaflowers
What was your introduction into the world of beauty?
My introduction into the world of beauty started at a very young age. Like most black girls in the early 90’s, I had my hair chemically relaxed at the age of five. There was a big commercial push during my adolescence that promoted having “manageable” hair. My mom was bamboozled into believing the hype surrounding “Just For Me” relaxers, and I suffered hair loss and was bald by the age of six/seven.
When did you know that you were in love with creating hairstyles and being a hairstylist? Is there a particular moment that you can share with us?
I knew I was in love with being a hairstylist when I befriended an older lady named Louise Hamilton. I was her purse and she was my best friend. Interestingly enough she was 65 yrs my senior and allowed me to practice braiding her hair and styling her wigs for church. I upgraded from doll hair to human hair and was thrilled. I appreciated our intimate bonding time and loved making her feel beauty.
How does (if at all) other mediums of art play into your creating and styling hair?
Other mediums of art, like silent movies and the salon culture on Flatbush Ave, play a major role in my styling and creating process. The influences of Michelle, Sherrian, Avian, Sasha, Gizelle, Clin, Cutie, Sandra, Mamacita, Precious, Micheal, Annette, Nessa, Onika, and Althea can be seen woven through the creations I make and how I conduct business . I’m the culmination of these amazing stylist and their techniques.
Recently there has been a lot of talk about hairstylists/makeup artists only knowing how to do one type of hair or skin, what do you have to say about this, if anything?
There has been a lot of talk about hairstylists and makeup artists who lack technical skills to do black skin and black hair and honestly its unacceptable. This notion that black skin and black hair is hard to manipulate is ignorant. Ignorance is the lack of knowledge. Become knowledgeable about all subjects to ascend to the mastery of your craft. But hey, I guess it’s easier to outsource someone else who can do it instead of acquiring a new skill set.
What has been the most difficult part of this journey of being an artist and how did you overcome it?
The most difficult part of this journey has been having perseverance. It’s easy to walk away when you aren’t getting booked, when you’re knowingly being taken advantage of, or when life seems to give you lemons. Its easy to quit when you’re struggling financially, emotionally, and physically to follow your passion and dreams. I quit being a hairstylist everyday, but I also overcome these challenges by surrounding myself with people and friends who inspire and motivate me. My Aquarian Support Group gives me unbiased feedback that redirects me back to focusing on the bigger picture.
What do you want your legacy to be?
Immortality. I want to leave behind a digital imprint that future generations reference.