Choice or change?

Have you thought about entering the Beauty industry but felt you don’t have the skill to enter such a rewarding industry? Well, I’m here to tell you that you don’t always have to have the skill to jumpstart a carer in this fun, exciting and always changing industry. Whether you’re right out of high school or making a career change you can carve out your own space in the Beauty industry. Also if your looking for a career that offers a work-life balance, this is the career for you.

Hello! My given name is April Dawn and I have a rich background when it comes to the Beauty industry. I’ve been a licensed Cosmetologist for thirty- one year.  After graduating from high school I had no clue as to what it is I wanted to do for a career. All I knew is that I didn’t want to attend a four-year college. Maybe I was too afraid to leave my comfort zone- home. My mother suggested I attend the local technical college and take Cosmetology as a trade. And thirty-one years later, I am so in love with what I do!

I was a salon owner for eleven years. After going through a divorce and closing my business I went to work for the Salon at JC Penney. I worked with them for five years and the money was not the same as it was when owning my own salon, so I decided to relocate. I moved to Florida on someone’s else’s word that I could come live with them until I get on my feet. Well, that was short lived. After two weeks I found myself homeless. And moving back to where I moved from was not an option.

I’ve made a life here in Florida with the help of a few family members whom I am forever grateful. And having this ability to hone my craft has been the biggest asset. I was the sibling who ran to my sisters to fix my hair every morning before school because I didn’t know anything about styling hair. And it’s funny that today that’s how I pay the bills.

I’ve researched the earnings of people in this industry and I find the numberes to be, well, what I’d like to say is highly inaccurate. I say this because I am on the front lines (figuratively speaking) and I see most of the stylist I work with not reporting all of their earnings. This is something that really irks me! I’m not sure if they’re aware of how they lower the value of the Beauty industry. And people who say that you can’t make money in this industry should do a little bit of research on the projected growth of our industry. Just saying- people aren’t making this a career because just because. And that’s all I will say about that.

So, if you’re on the fence about chasing a dream you may have of entering the Beauty industry, I encourage you to jump off that fence -feet first if you have the slightest thought of being in this AWESOME industry. It can be one of the most rewarding career choices you can make. If you don’t have the skill but have the will anything is possible. If I can do it so can you.

Uncontrollable Itch

There are times where the skin on my legs, stomach or back itches so bad I scratch until my skin bleeds. I’m scratching uncontrollably. Then I developed these ugly scars on my skin from that uncontrollable itch.

Being a Cosmetologist offers many perks. My client base is very interesting. After a few visit, they get pretty comfortable with me – as I do with them. I talk about things most stylist probably are to embarrassed or afraid to talk about like my uncontrollable itch.

I have a client who’s a physician and she’s in the beginning stages of her own skin care line. Since she and I have similar skin concerns she gave me a few of her products to try. She gave me her “Lift & Plump” kit and a “Body Hydrator”. These products are made in the USA, paraben free, and pet safe.

Inside the “Lift & Plump” kit is an Instant Eye Lift cream, an Instant Lip Plumper and an Instant Face Lift cream. This kit is great for traveling because it comes in a little travel pouch with each of the three items being less than the two ounce minimum required when flying with airlines. The Body Hydrator will moisturizer your skin without feeling heavy or greasy and lasts twenty four hours.

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I have been using the Body Hydrator for a week and I’m in love with it. This Hydrator has a very mild smell and it goes on creamy without that sticky, greasy feeling. This stuff is amazing enough for me to say I have not had the uncontrollable itch since using it. Before using the Body Hydrator I was using Aquaphor. In the dead heat of summer I’d use Aquaphor all over even on my feet. As I’ve finished getting dressed and looking really cute – I walk outside in my cute flip flops and dirt would stick to my heels. I know there are some of you women out there who can relate to what I’m talking about. What a nasty look and dirty feeling. YUCK! About the Lift & Plump kit – is still virtually new to me since I really don’t need to lift anything as of yet. (Ha ha) I have used it a few times but not enough to know if I really Iike it.

If you’d like to find out more about these products, go to the the website.

Virgin Hair

After returning from a short visit to the UAE, I have come to the realization that I am so in love with who I have become. I do not know exactly what may be found in my rich ancestral lineage, but I am in love with every bit of me.  I am in love with the extremely tight curl in my hair. My gumball sized eyes are so big and round; not to mention my large nose. I love all of me from my hair follicle to the creases on the bottom of my big feet; yes I love me!
Most of us must have, at one point in our lives, come to the realization that we must love who we are. If we don’t, then tell me how can someone else love the person we don’t. Let me put it to you like this; how can I expect someone to love me and “I” don’t love me. Well enough about the love of oneself, let’s talk about hair.

My first attempt, as an adult, to do the natural thing was back in 1999. I cut all my hair off and began to let it dread up. My mother told me I was a rebel. She hated the way I wore it and she never hesitated to tell me. I must admit she was right. I was at a very rebellious stage in my life.

Dread Head

After wearing dreads for about two years I decide to relax my hair again. Yes I gave in to the “creamy crack”. I wore my relaxed hair for years. Then it hit me…. I wanted to be natural again. Round two! In 2010 I cut all my hair off once again. This time I wanted to try the twist and go styles. Obviously I was doing something wrong because it wasn’t at all looking like the girls on the YouTube videos. Look at the picture below. It at first looked like a hot mess, but the more I looked at it the prettier it looked.

I wore this natural hair style for about three years. Then I decided to relax my hair again because my career was not moving in the direction I wanted. I have conformed to the way society say’s I should wear my hair for some time and now I’ve decided to go back to my root-tee, root, roots. You know – that curly, tight of a curl most of us African America women are embracing today? That’s what I’m going for. I’m excited to go on this journey with my hair and see where it takes me this time.

From 2013 until about four days ago I wore relaxed hair. I did the “big chop” ( cutting most of the relaxer out) and I don’t know what I’m going to do with it but here I am.

So I’ve been using Curvaceous by Redken. It’s a hair styling agent used on curly hair. The “full swirl” is a sculpt and shine serum that helps control the frizz and good for dry hair ends. The “ringlet” is a lotion that helps transform the unruly spiral in our hair. I love it! I’ve been getting so many compliments on this look. However I don’t know how long I will wear it because if you know your local Cosmetologist, that would be me….. I’m always trying something new. The products cost about $19 each. A bit costly, but well worth the price. I shampoo my hair with the Curvaceous low foam shampoo then follow with the conditioner. It’s the best thing for right now.

I have not tied my hair up before going to bed since cutting it. In the mornings before going about my day, I wet my hair and put about a quarter sized amount of the “Curvaceous full swirl” in the palm of my hand, emulsify it and rub it into my hair. Then I take the “Curvaceous ringlet” and squirt about three pumps in my hand and distribute it evenly throughout my hair. I like the way it defines the curl in my hair. As you look at the front part of my head, in the picture below, you will see some relaxer on the ends. I will cut that out gradually. But overall I am digging this product.


Define Me…

My hair doesn’t define who I am! My hair doesn’t say I’m not qualified! My hair does not say I’m a rebel. My hair says I am who I am and that I am African American. I was raised to love who I am. I have always loved my hair. It was always long, thick and black. From a toddler, my mother has always told my sisters and me that we are beautiful. Not to sound conceited, but we are.

I can remember when I was probably between the ages of eight and ten. Someone was always making a comment about my hair. Those comments were never derogatory. The one thing I didn’t like about my hair was that when I got old enough to style it myself I couldn’t. From the sixth grade all the way through high school I had to rely on my oldest sister, Precious, or my younger sister, Lisa to style my hair every morning before getting on the bus to go to school. And if one of them were mad at me for some reason, I was going to have to tackle my head myself. I guess I was never really in tune with the needs of my hair. I was more concerned with how my big, crooked feet looked in my shoes more than anything else. At that age I had it backwards. I actually thought my feet defined who I was.


When I was in Abu Dhabi this past February, I came to the realization that my hair does define who I am. I saw many women, young and old, of color who were proud of their rich heritage. I don’t know what country they originated from, but they walked tall, heads held high and their hair was not Americanized. I am American and with all the “Natural  Girls Rock” campaigns you would think we, as an American race, would not stereotype or define a person by the way their hair is naturally. LET ME SAY THAT AGAIN….. “N.A.T.U.R.A.L.L.Y”! It is who we are. It is who I am.

Why does some of white America define who we, me, or should I say, I am before getting to know WHO I AM first?  You like who I am on paper. (My resume) But wait until I walk through the door. Look at her hair…..”She’s too Black! Maybe we can find someone the customer can connect with.” My hair, natural hair, closed many doors for me. I was very qualified for the job, but my natural hair was not getting me the job. I wanted to see exactly what would happen if I gave in to the “creamy crack”. (Sodium hydroxide hair relaxers) So I relaxed my hair and on another interview, with the same person, I was hired. Yes, hired just like that. I’m not saying that this is the case for all African American women. All I’m saying is this how it happened to me and for me.


Twenty days in the United Arab Emirates was very enlightening. I am on a new journey with my hair and I am so excited to see what lies ahead. I am inspired by my baby sister, Lisa. She had been natural for six plus years and has no problem cutting it off and starting all over again. I admire her for that. I want to tell you that my hair does define who I am. My hair says I am qualified! My hair says I am as beautiful as the day my mother told me I was. My hair is who I am. I love my hair and always have.

My sisters & me

The look that got me the job (relaxed hair)

Love Everything Hair

I love everything “Hair”. I have been doing hair since I was eighteen years old. I owned my first salon at the ripe young age of twenty-two and it was fabulous, or at least I thought it was. So I have had this love affair with all things “hair” since. While in Dubai, someone very dear to me booked three of us gals a mani/pedi at this Day Spa Haven called “Tips and Toes”.

As we arrived I had expected to pull up at a mall of some sort but, it was a villa! It was nice looking from the outside and I was dying to get inside. As we walked up the steps to go inside there was a sign right outside the front door on the building stating the services they offered. And they offer a sweet variet of services.  I wish I had gotten a shampoo and blow dry style while I was there but, fear stopped me. If you’re anything like me you have to see what a stylist can do before jumping in head first.

Reaching for the door handle we went in. The front area was unusually interesting  and so was the greeting. However the spa was pretty.  We were then called into another room, one by one,  where we were asked to have a seat. I must tell you that my experiences with the nail salons in the U.S. are somewhat different than what we experienced in Abu Dhabi at “Tips and Toes”.  Each of us had one Filipino woman doing our manicure, one doing our pedicure, and one doing our back massage. Can I say I felt like royalty! I was very tense before getting the massage and very relaxed afterwards. I will most definitely go back! If you’re planning a trip to Abu Dhabi  put “Tips and Toes” on the itinerary.  Oh and one more thing, the nail tech’s are super nice. Here is their website