I've always had a fascination with cosmetologist. My aunt was one and she is literally the person I credit for me learning how to properly apply relaxers, fingerwaves (back in the 90s lol), using barrel irons with the stove, and just giving me the chance to be creative with her mannequins, my hair, her hair, and my moms. Whenever I’m asked questions about my hair or for suggestions on others hair, I advise them that I’m not a cosmetologist and that they should seek a professional. Clearly, I am a “kitchen beautician” and for now I’m okay with that. So with all that being said, I decided that I would interview a licensed cosmetologist. I’m all about doing whatever I can at home but for me visiting a professional is something I haven’t stopped doing completely. I present to you Yolanda Nicole as my Cosmetologist Spotlight…
NK: Who is Yolanda Nicole?
YN: Yolanda Nicole is a passionate licensed master cosmetologist who prides herself in giving her clients a professional and personable experience. As long as the client leaves looking beautiful and FEELING beautiful, the job is done.
Nk: Why Cosmetology?
YN: Cosmetology kind of chose me. When I was younger I was never the play with Barbie type. Of course my Godmother wasn't happy about that lol, but I needed my dolls to have hair so I could style it. I taught myself how to cornrow at 9 years old and it took off from there.
NK: Tell me something about yourself that no one knows.
YN: There are so many answers to that question. All I can say is keep your eyes and ears open. People will get a chance to finally meet the Yolanda Nicole who has been in the background 10 plus years. I’m excited to share my journey with the world.
NK: What inspires you?
YN: My love for what I do is what inspires me. Because I truly love my career I can find inspiration almost anywhere from a child with a head full of hair to a stylist with an exciting story. The top of the list has to be when someone leaves my chair with more confidence and a smile on their face. That is usually followed by several compliments from others and a huge self-esteem boost. Just knowing I was a part of that is truly a blessing. It makes all the hours on my feet and online or in books doing research worth it.
NK: Now, I must admit and I've told you before that I LOVE your hair. What's your routine?
YN: LoL. I love your hair as well. It has been a pleasure watching your journey. I must admit I do not have a real routine. I am tender headed so I try to minimize what I do to my own head. My main must do is moisturize. Whether it is with my oils, whip, or hydration treatments, I MUST moisturize. My hair is very fine and extremely curly so if I allow my ends to stay dry too long it will tangle and break.
NK: What's been the most exciting thing so far, career-wise?
YN: I have had so many exciting moments in my career it's a little hard to pick one but one of them that sticks out was doing wigs for Sandra Reeves Phillips. You might know her as the African American music teacher in the movie Lean on Me. She had a one woman show called 6 Great Late Ladies of Blues and Jazz. I got to style her wigs for each one. It was amazing being a part of the tribute to women who have made such an impact through their music. I felt as if I was styling the ladies themselves.
NK: Any advice for aspiring cosmetologist?
YN: My advice to aspiring cosmetologist would be 3 simple words. RESPECT YOUR CRAFT. The word respect reaches so many aspects. It’s a domino effect because when you truly respect something all your actions and thoughts reflect. You will take pride in what you do and find every way to learn, teach, and appreciate it. This is definitely not a career path for someone who cannot respect the hard work, love, passion, and determination that goes into being a cosmetologist. So many times people have a lack of respect for what we do so if you can't respect it enough to prove them wrong, you will not have longevity.
NK: Well there's been a surge of pro natural hair in the last five years or so, has that effected business for you? Positives/Negatives if any.YN: It's very interesting to see people embracing their hair in its natural state. I have only had a relaxer for 4 and a half out of 31 years so it is not new to me by any means. People may not like this but I believe in personal preference. I have had hair down my back both with and without relaxer so I cannot look down on anyone for their choice. I can say it has not changed business for me personally because I have always done chemically and non-chemically treated hair. One thing I did notice is more and more people have gone back to their natural state to "dump their stylist". Since everyone is not blessed with the talent to make their hair look good and keep it healthy, I sometimes worry that those people will give natural hair a bad name. My solution for that is to show the world what great HEALTHY hair looks like one client at a time.
NK: Any trends you want to see make a comeback? Go away? What trends do you like?
YN: As far as trends go, I love the fact that there will always be people who like their own style. That allows me as a cosmetologist to always have a variety to pull from whether it is with the trend or not. I love hair that moves so that is my favorite trend, anything that allows the hair to move. Another look I love is soft waves. In cosmetology school I loved fingerwaving, the way you can mold hair always amazed me.