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Conversations with Adea MCclendon-Dunn

Today we’d like to introduce you to Adea MCclendon-Dunn.

Hi Adea, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I was always into hair for as long as I could remember. When I finally got into doing hair; I started as a braider around 11 years old. I later found out that I hated braiding and switched to being a hairstylist. High school was my peak when I really started to build clientele and take my business somewhat serious. I started working in shops around 16/17 and becoming known for doing hair around Milwaukee, Wi; where I’m from originally. I remember denying my talents for a while because people downplay hairstylists as if hairstylists can only make so much money. But once I started to believe in what I was building, big things started to happen for me. At 18/19, I moved to Atlanta, GA where I felt like I could get more exposure to hair. Which, I did get more than I could’ve asked for. I started working with an artist within the first couple of months in Atlanta and ever since just been building my name and platform.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Becoming the hairstylist, I am today has never been easy for me. For one, I fought it for so long. I used to tell people I was going to be a news anchor and do hair in college. But something happened in my life that forced me to lean on hair and somewhere along the way, I found my calling. Also, when I left my hometown, I left a fully booked schedule. Not only that but I didn’t have much help; my family was going through so much at the time I never really asked for help I just did it. I had to get real mature and grow up faster than I expected. Once I did the big move I still had so much to learn about doing hair in a bigger city. I basically had to re-learn how I did hair because people like their hair different down here from what I was doing at home. I had to learn a little about the industry on my own though. No management, no one telling me this should or shouldn’t be happening, etc. So, I’m still learning on this journey and still bumping my head along the way.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in wigs/extensions also the care of natural hair under those installs. I think I’m mostly known for wigs even though I am taking up classes specializing in microlinks/tape-ins. I’m most proud of my move to Atlanta and the opportunities that have came since. I was able to launch products which is my end goal; to just have GOOD products everywhere in every store. I think what sets me apart is the fact that hair is really in me. I don’t see clients and see a dollar sign. I look to make a difference in people’s lives starting with their hair. I don’t take shortcuts or skimp my clients on quality. No matter how good I get or am I’m still seeking educational opportunities and further development in my skill. I relate to my clients and understand firsthand what they go through when it comes to their hair; I was bald-headed a lot through high school experimenting or going to the wrong people. I’ve even had to grow my own hair out. So when you come to me, you get knowledge about your hair type, product knowledge, at home care, etc.

We love surprises, fun facts and unexpected stories. Is there something you can share that might surprise us?
I don’t know if this is still surprising because most people know; however if you don’t know, I am ONLY 20 years old. People are always shocked so I’m just going to put it out there to save the reactions. Yes, I’m 20. I grew up kind of fast but I don’t regret it; it just gave me a head start.

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