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Campus salon provides stylist specializing in Black hair care

10 Min Read

All it takes is one dangerous haircut. And we are able to all sympathize with one dangerous haircut. Skilled hairstylist Yvette Wade has a consumer who, after transferring to Florida, skilled a lower so dangerous that now that consumer waits for a go to to South Bend to have Wade work her magic. As of this month, Wade is bringing that magic to Notre Dame’s campus.

Wade is a grasp stylist specializing in African American hair care and hairstyles. She lately joined the staff of hairstylists at College Hair Stylists, a salon positioned within the decrease degree of LaFortune Scholar Heart.

For Wade, who has been on this area for greater than 30 years, hair is about extra than simply the lower. It’s about having wholesome hair. “The integrity of the hair — the health of the hair — that’s the biggest thing, regardless of the style you are wearing,” Wade stated.

Wade asks new shoppers a litany of inquiries to assess the situation of their hair: what works, what doesn’t work, what have they carried out, what haven’t they carried out. “There are a lot of factors that go into styling the hair versus just coming in and sitting in a chair and saying, ‘Do whatever.’”

Wade is a much-needed addition to the stylists on campus. Getting a brand new haircut or type and discovering the best stylist to do it shouldn’t be a problem. However for a lot of African American women and men attending and dealing at Notre Dame, it has all the time been a stumbling block.

“When Black women know they are moving, they are already searching for a stylist. That’s one thing they are going to think about. I think it’s so misunderstood that it’s not seen as important as it is,” Wade stated.

Hair sorts range between and amongst races and people. Stylists use the numbers 1 by 4 with subcategories of A-C to categorize hair from very straight, high quality and skinny (1), to tight coils (4). As a result of African American hair is essentially completely different from different kinds of hair, its wants and care are additionally completely different. The problem then is discovering somebody who’s expert in that care, in addition to discovering available hair care merchandise for maintenance. It’s not the best factor to do if you end up new to an space.

“I am often asked by Black students, faculty and staff where they can get their hair done or buy hair care products,” Eric Love, director of workers variety and inclusion in Human Assets, stated. “I was thrilled when barber Joe Davis [who specializes in cuts for Black men] started on campus last semester, and now I am excited to have a master stylist, Yvette Wade, on campus for Black women and others.”

The salon has had stylists specializing in African American hair care through the years, nevertheless it has been near 10 years for the reason that final Black hair care stylist labored on the salon. African American school, workers and college students have needed to search out a stylist within the space, wait till they go to a city with an skilled stylist or do their very own hair. For college kids, it’s a problem of not solely discovering a stylist, but in addition discovering the time and transportation to go off-campus.

Consuela Wilson, director of the Workplace of Scholar Enrichment within the Division of Scholar Affairs, has been going to Wade for her hair take care of 10 years. She came upon throughout certainly one of her common appointments that Wade can be establishing store at Notre Dame.

“It’s very convenient for me now, since I work here. I think it’s really important to have someone on campus that knows how to do all types of hair,” Wilson stated. “We have students here, from all cultural backgrounds, with different types of hair. Many times they have to find someplace off-campus to get their hair done, and it’s hard for students to get off campus and it’s cost prohibitive. So, it’s important for them to feel like there is someplace where they can go to get their hair cared for — so they can feel as good about themselves as anyone else walking around campus, putting their best foot forward.”

The College Hair Stylists salon is owned and managed by Zak Emmons, who can be the proprietor of the barber store within the decrease degree of LaFortune. Each outlets have been in his household for the reason that Nineteen Seventies when his father, Jim Emmons, began with 4 chairs in a barber store in Badin Corridor. The store moved to LaFortune within the ’80s.

“I love being on campus and interacting with the students and faculty. It’s really neat to be in the center of a cultural oasis here in South Bend,” Emmons stated. “I would love to be able to take care of everyone on campus. It’s a long way from home for many of the students, and it’s nice to be able to provide a service to make them feel more comfortable.”

Arnel Bulaoro, director of Multicultural Scholar Applications and Companies, works to deepen college students’ sense of belonging.

“I believe that Notre Dame is a very special place and that whoever you are and wherever you come from, Notre Dame will take care of you and your basic needs like haircare,” Bulaoro stated.

Bulaoro additionally works with the Range Council of Notre Dame and its president, senior Jo’Vette Hawkins.

“The Diversity Council has been advocating for better hair care resources and trained stylists in response to requests from many Black students who previously had to rely on external sources for services and information,” Hawkins stated. “Ely Rodriguez ’23 and junior Milan Booker, after hearing the concerns of their peers, initiated the Multicultural Hair Care Initiative under the Diversity Council.”

Hawkins defined that the objective of the initiative is to coach college students about hair care merchandise, companies and alternatives. They labored to safe a merchandising machine, additionally positioned within the decrease degree of LaFortune, stocked with hair care merchandise for curly and kinky hair. However most significantly, they labored to safe a stylist specializing in Black hair care.

“It was crucial to address the needs of Black students who previously had limited options for hair care on campus and access to resources within the University community,” Hawkins stated. “It reflects a positive step forward and shows students that they are seen and cared for. This will undoubtedly be a tremendous convenience and invaluable resource for students who previously had to manage their hair care needs on their own.”

Wade, who manages her personal store, Promise Hair Studio in South Bend, makes a speciality of working with pure hair — twist outs, blowouts, cornrows, braids (not single braids) and two-strand twists; hair cuts, colour and extensions; and different processes corresponding to relaxers. She is going to work at College Hair Stylists from 10 a.m. to three p.m. each Wednesday. This offers her an opportunity to be a part of an answer to an issue.

“I know what it feels like looking for something and you can’t find it. I don’t know if people realized how hard it is to find not just a stylist, but a committed and loyal stylist. Giving the students access to a stylist who is knowledgeable and cares about the health and integrity of their hair is a win-win,” she stated.

Wade sees the wants of the scholars on campus and appears ahead to serving to them. A devotee to the hair care business, she subscribes to the assumption that there’s all the time extra one can be taught to reinforce information, capacity and creativity. However the finish outcome all the time comes all the way down to what she does for her shoppers and the way she makes them really feel.

“I think the most rewarding part for me is making someone look and feel better about themselves once they get out of my chair,” Wade stated. “The smile is priceless.”

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