Dana Hayes, a native of Port Allen, was inspired to start and create Junior Cosmetology because of her mother Ora Lee Breax Williams who was a hairstylist.
Now, at 40-years-old, Hayes has taken that interest and passion into a classroom where she teaches young girls how to care for, protect, and have pride in their natural, healthy hair.
“These are lifelong skills each girl can learn and keep with them for the rest of their lives. I’m teaching them how to make money. I’m teaching them to be girl bosses, business owners, and female entrepreneurs. To be their own Boss… strong and confident,” Hayes said.
“I started Junior Cosmetology during 2017 and I’ve had the pleasure of hosting many successful events. (Students) get a chance to dream and imagine while learning something new and exploring the ever-changing world of cosmetology.”
Participants attend class professionally dressed in all black. Hayes provides mannequin heads and all supplies. Hayes said she plans to host classes in schools, churches and social groups around Louisiana over the next five years and introduce Junior Cosmetology as an elective like dance.
“Students learn the fundamentals of healthy hair care, natural styles, parting, sectioning, proper comb, and brush placement, product knowledge, braiding, and cutting! This class also teaches them how to be confident in the skin they are in. They learn how to take care and manage their natural hair and appreciate its beauty.”
She told the story of a young girl whose father brought her to each class. “She has participated in four or five classes thus far,” said Hayes. “She came in not know anything about hair or braiding and now she can braid a full head. Her dad purchased a mannequin that she practice on and he would send Dana pictures and videos of her work. She has improved tremendously. She is my star student and most improved student.”
Hayes said she enjoys seeing the girls become excited about cosmetology. They are willing to learn something new and trendy. “The girls are smiling and excited but also very nervous at the same time,” she said.
Along with the regular classes, Hayes offers private Junior Cosmetology events and limited free classes to introduce the business and her teaching technique to the community.
By Yulani S. Semien