I hope everyone is well. This year I thought it would be great to do several posts that highlight initiatives and services offered within Toronto and GTA. This has always been an area that I wanted to include within the blog, so I am happy that this opportunity presented itself!
The Collabo Blogspot's first feature of the month is Hair By Glenna
Glenna is a Toronto based hairstylist that specializes in natural hair care and styling. She has been featured in Essence Magazine and will be the co-host of the upcoming Celebration of Curls event.
For more information on Glenna, check out the interview below:
TCB: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
HBG: Where do I begin? In the hair world, I gained experience from doing my own hair, along with my friends hair and friends of friends hair as well. I enjoy working with all types of hair, and so I decided to go to the Aveda Institute for hair styling training, and to begin the licensing process. Prior to attending the Aveda Institute, I had a very different life. I attended Humber College, where I completed their Law Clerk Diploma program, which allowed me to work as a legal assistant. Later, I went to Ryerson University, and enrolled in their Justice Studies program. Although, I enjoyed the program, I was not fully satisfied and decided to invest in what I was more passionate about instead of pursuing a path that wasn’t for me. It is important that people follow their dream—it is also important that you have a plan to execute your dream as well.
TCB: How long have you been a natural hair stylist?
HBG: This is always a complicated answer. Technically, I’ve been a natural hair stylist for about ten years now, but officially to the general public since August 2010.
TCB: On your wordpress page, you are described as an artist and have an ability to create.
Can you tell us more as it applies to natural hair styling and how you demonstrate your artistic flare?
HBG: I call myself an artist because I don’t just style hair. I talk to my clients about their lifestyle, I figure out what their needs and wants are for a new look, and together a style is created for that individual. I also take other things into consideration, i.e., bone structure, personal style, and the longevity of the desired look. I have the most creative freedom when a client wants me to style their hair however I see fit—I love those appointments! One reason being, having that much freedom also comes with the responsibility to create something magical for the client, which can be quite challenging as well.
TCB: In addition to natural hair styling as a specialty, what other hair types or techniques do you enjoying doing?
HBG: I really enjoy working with Super Curly hair, but I also enjoy working with Straight hair as well. I attended hair school because I wanted to be a versatile hair stylist. I wanted to know how to work with all hair types – that was important to me and still is. I enjoy both cutting and colouring, as you can make such a statement by changing either one on a client.
TCB: I noticed one of your photos was included in Essence Magazine that must have been a very proud and exciting moment for you. Can you tell us about that milestone and other aspirations you have for the future?
HBG: Yes, I was very excited about that. Words cannot begin to express how much appreciation I held for that opportunity. My photo ended up in Essence Magazine’s first, Hot Hair Issue, in October 2011. A few months prior to the issue releasing, I had attended Afrofest, here in Toronto, and a freelance photographer thought my hair style was unique and asked if he could take my photo – I agreed. I didn’t think anything of it, until I received a call and an e-mail from Essence Magazine asking me if they could use the photo. At the time, they also asked for a quote as to why I love my natural hair and this was what I said, “What I love most about my hair is the versatility and creativity it offers me”. That statement is something that came very easily, as it was something I noticed when I stopped relaxing my hair. All this had happened, while I was in hair school which was very exciting for me. I don’t want to say that the Essence Magazine opportunity solidified that I was doing the right thing with my life, but it certainly added to my feeling that I was on the right path finally. Before I started hair school I had dreams of having my own salon one day. It’s still a dream that I am very much interested in attaining one day, but anything could change, I could start having other dreams within the industry. For now, my only aspiration is to continually grow, while making people happy with the services that I offer.
TCB: What is one misconception do you think many women have about natural hair care?
HBG: One major misconception that many women have about natural hair care is that it is extremely hard to do or that their hair is unmanageable. I understand that styling Super Curly hair takes a certain skill set and not everyone possesses that, but there are ways to style the hair that are easier than most people think. I’ll try to refrain from making general statements. I find that some people are impatient when transitioning from relaxed hair to their natural hair texture. During the transitioning period is when people should possess the most patience with their hair, as they are learning or re-learning how to work with their hair. When I went natural ten years ago, it wasn’t as easy as it is today. Today, there are more resources for people looking to go with their natural texture, one of them being YouTube. Whatever resource people use to learn, they just have to keep in mind who they are learning from, as that will impact their results. I still believe trial and error is the best way to learn.
TCB: How would you describe your personal hair style?
HBG: I wear different hair styles, but I do have a trademark look that I wear most of the time. It’s the same look that got me in Essence Magazine’s Hot Hair Issue. Generally, I would say my look is unique and edgy.
TCB: In addition to hair, what are your other interests?
HBG: I don’t have a lot of spare time, but I do enjoy the company of quality people in my life. I enjoy meeting new people, socializing, dancing, Food, Knitting, and great Toronto Summers.
TCB: If readers want to get into contact with you, how can they go about doing so?
HBG:The best way to contact me is through my cell number or by sending an e-mail, but below I have provided all contact information.
Cell: 416-799-3210 (call/text)
F: Hair By Glenna, Natural Hair Styling