When we make that transition from college to the real world, we are confident that our career aspirations will take us to the next level in hopes that one day we can achieve the American Dream. What we forget in the process is life happens and we are then faced with the task of revamping our plan and adjusting accordingly. This truth has held strong for Aminata (Ami) Kaloko whose brush with unemployment led her to pursue her hobby/passion of becoming a Hair Stylist.
Ami was introduced to the profession by her late Aunt Hawa where she worked in her hair-braiding salon while in high school. Once Ami arrived to college, she styled hair for extra money. While she mainly provided hair-braiding services, as time progressed, she learned about natural hair styling and weave instillation and so her love affair with weaves began.
She started out gradually learning about hair quality, types, and textures. She then continued to develop her skills with weave braid patterns, sewing techniques and instillation. As her skills increased, her client base grew. With ten years in the hair industry under her belt, she amassed a large clientele and now offers a wide variety of services including natural hair care, weaves, custom wig construction, and makeup application. In a nutshell, she is a one-stop beauty shop. As she develops her skills and grows her business, she is hoping to gain national acclaim while diving into the hair care industry on a greater level.
Hours of Operation: 9-5 By Appointment Children’s services Available
Prices: Inquire for details
Services: Cut, Color, Weaves, Wigs, Styling, Perm
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Ami is looking to become the “go-to” person for women in the Washington, DC area to educate on how to better manage their hair. Not only does she specialize in styling natural hair and weaves, but she also works with women who have experienced significant hair loss, turning their hair from a challenge to flawless in a couple of hours. One of the ways she does this is by working with each individual client to assess their needs and offers individualized advice based on different yet significant issues. Ami insists that it all begins with buying the right products. She says, “Sometimes we get caught up in buying products and don’t know how to use them”. This can be easy to do since there appears to be thousands of brands on the shelves at the beauty supply store. What’s most important is that you pay attention to how your hair responds to the products and she would suggest consulting with your stylist before buying too many products you’re not sure about.
When asked to name any celebrities she would love to work with, she names Kelly Rowland, Ciara, and Rihanna. Citing their versatility, Ami notes, “I absolutely love how they evolve in regards to their hair. They give a variety of looks whether it’s curly, short or a bob”. She also adds that while she has been in the hair care industry for quite some time, she is still trying to perfect “the J. Lo bun”. And while she may get some ideas from her favorite hair shows like Chicagolicious and LA Hair, she admits that it would be great to have more shows like this on television because it’s not only interesting, but also instructive.
So what’s next for a woman who would love to work with the likes of Kelly Rowland, Ciara, and Rihanna? For starters, setting up shop in Northern Virginia and hoping to do more work with her custom wig line. From her time in her Aunt Hawa’s braiding salon to owning her own shop, Ami has avoided the fate that so many Millennials have found themselves facing over the past five years. Instead of a future filled with uncertainty and unemployment, this budding entrepreneur went from following the traditional path of college to forging a path for herself and from what we can see, the sky is the limit.
Check out pics of her work below.
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