Today we’d like to introduce you to Jhane Shephard-Howard.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jhane. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Hair has always been a big deal for me. I remember back when I was a kid, I really didn’t care to have the Barbies that you could dress and play within her mansion, I wanted the one that was just ahead. I wanted the one that I could sit and braid her hair all day, or that could attempt to use my mom’s curling irons on. I melted many many doll heads trying to treat their hair like the real thing. Then once I got to about middle school I remember watching YouTube videos for hours and hours of different people styling their hair different ways or trying out different makeup looks. I would then try and take those looks and try to do them on my self or any friends that I could trick into being my guinea pig.
One summer during this phase, I made my garage into a little makeshift hair salon. My dad’s girlfriend had shelves full of hair products that I was dying to get my hands on, so I decided to take a folding chair and set it next to the hose and invite my neighborhood friends over and offer to wash their hair. My first hair cut happened that day. My friend’s little brother just finished letting me wash his hair. It had been a long time since he had his last trim and his bangs were far beyond a “little grown out”. So, me being obvious only YouTube trained professional that day, I took care of it and gave him what I can say in hindsight was a real crooked pageboy. I’m sorry Eddy.
Fast-forwarding a bit I moved to Birmingham when I was a junior in High School. It was an absolute shock for me. This was my fourth high school that I’d attended, but this was my first time struggling to make friends. It was strange for me not enjoy school, so I honestly found ways to stop going, I hated being here in Birmingham for so long because of it. Anyway, at this point, it’s time for me to decide what I wanted to do for college. I decided at that point I wanted to go to UAB and be a Chemistry major. During orientation, I recall walking through the green and tears beginning to well up in my eyes because both God and I knew that this wasn’t at all where I belonged. So, I went home afterward and looked into Cosmetology schools around my area. The same day I toured the cosmetology school that I ended up attending was the same day that dropped my classes because I knew that was where I needed to be.
I graduated cosmetology school in about 18 months and about a week after graduation Beth Doyle, whom I am beyond grateful for, decided to take a chance on me and let me join her team of amazing stylists at The Collective. Three years later you can still find me they’re cutting hair, slinging color, and making people feel just a little bit better about themselves.
Has it been a smooth road?
I would be terrified that I took the wrong path in life if everything was smooth sailing. One of the biggest struggles that I had when starting out like I mentioned before I had no friends. I was a brand new stylist with no friends and no family in the city that I was living in. I needed to find a way to get clients in my chair and quickly because my mom moved back to Houston and I was on my own so it was up to me to hustle or else I would fall flat on my face and that was not an option.
Another obstacle that I faced was the fact that people who looked like me didn’t trust me to care for their locks. This one hurt me to the core because I knew that I had what it took to make their hair look better than it had ever looked before. So I decided to go ahead and get some additional training to specialize in Rezo and I have been happier than ever getting to transform more women of color.
Alright – so let’s talk business. What else should we know about your work?
I am a stylist that takes pride in the fact that you can sit any and every hair type in front of me and I know exactly what to do with it. I have vast knowledge in all different coloring techniques, from highlights to balayage to fashion colors and grey coverage. I also specialize in curly haircutting, and men’s cutting too. When I say I welcome everybody to my chair I mean it. I also take education seriously, I am fortunate to not only call The Collective my work home, but I also get to visit different salons and educate as a Specialist with R+Co.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Birmingham in growing bigger and faster every single day. I think if you are thinking of starting a business now is the perfect time to do so. I’m saying this as a girl who grew up in Houston, Texas and used to HATE it here, it’s beautiful. Whatever your business has to offer I can ensure there is someone here ready to eat it up. If you are thinking about starting a business in Birmingham ( or anywhere for that matter) don’t hesitate. Do it!
- Address: 2801 2nd Ave S. Suite. B
Birmingham, AL 35233
- Phone: 205-264-9991
- Instagram: @jhanaenae