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Conversations with the Inspiring Shanitra Hughes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanitra Hughes.

Shanitra, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
My desire to become a hairstylist begins in high school when I had this classmate that would always change up her hair. So, I remember asking her who did her hair and she said I do. From there, a dream was sparked. So, I begin to try different hairstyles on myself which then lead to using my sisters as my practice dolls and from there friends to finally securing my professional license and being able to serve clients.

My road to where I am today has been anything but easy. But what I never did was give up on my dream, which was the desire to touch others lives through their hair. Little did I know that being a hairstylist is so much more than “doing hair.” You share experiences, life ups and downs, and so much more with those you serve.

Has it been a smooth road?
The road is never really smooth, but it’s all in how you see it.

Looking back, I realized that everything I’ve gone through with, being a young, single mom and having to delay starting cosmetology school, working for cooperate and in a restaurant and other jobs helped shaped me into the business minded woman and woman that I am today. Being a single mom, I really didn’t have time to focus on building a dream, my focus was on surviving and providing financial support for my son. I was never that person that wanted to feel like others had to help financially care for my child, I wanted to ensure I was the one that could do that. So, I did, while working and going to school to obtain my Associates Degree in Accounting. But I couldn’t have attended school and worked without the help up my family, who still helps to hold me down today.

Although I worked other jobs prior to beginning my career as a full-time hairstylist, I never lost sight of the dream. Why, because working the other jobs didn’t leave me fulfilled and I didn’t want to end up like other adults I knew that just settled for whatever work they did because it paid the bills.

For anyone that may be starting on their journey or even got lost along their journey, I encourage you to first find HOPE, which by definition is a feeling and expectation for a certain thing to happen. Then once you have hope, begin to work on your dreams and desires. Without hope and doing the work it takes to reach your goals you will never get there. Keep pushing, find a mentor, read books, articles, do your research, make sacrifices, but do the necessary in order to see your dream through. All in all, you have to do the WORK.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Shantastic Hair Life story. Tell us more about the business.
My brand is mainly known for providing great natural looking hair extension installs while maintaining the integrity of the client’s hair. But the technique that I’m mainly known for is the braidless weaving method.

The proudest moment for myself is when I was able to take the braidless weaving method and help give some hope and confidence to those women that may be experiencing hair loss issues. When I initially learned this method five-plus years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined that I would be able to use it to help some women that have some hair loss issues. So, when I was able to take my years of experience in providing this service and be able to create a solution for women with hair loss, man it was such a moment for not only myself but the client. But I must say, that at first I didn’t believe I could do it, but my stylist friend believed I could and together with the braidless install and her cutting and styling we tagged team the client and now the rest is history.

What sets me apart from others is my high regard to providing high-quality service in a timely manner. Throwing out the extreme salon wait times that have developed in the mindsets of clients due to previous experiences with a stylist that have poor scheduling management skills. The other thing that sets me apart is the level of customer service that I provide to my clients across the board whether it’s communicating through email, text messaging, phone calls, or on social media. And let’s not forget, several times throughout the year, I show a token of my appreciation to my clients and keep in touch with them.

Do you have a lesson or advice you’d like to share with young women just starting out?
The most important advice that I can give to a woman just starting her career is that although you may start at entry level if you work hard, you can advance to the next level, the next, and the next. You have to do the work!!!

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
JoJoStylez, Shantastic Hair

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