In Atlanta, the beauty and barber scene is almost as hot as the weather. Pros from across the country flock to the “Empire City of the South” to put their artistry to the test. We spoke to five of the most popular pros in Atlanta to get their business secrets and see what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
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Although Jazmin is a model and actress herself, her real passion is working behind the chair. When she was 17, she went to college for only two weeks before realizing she had to follow her calling. She enrolled in Concord Empire beauty school and few years later, with an empty client list, packed up and moved to Atlanta to make a name for herself. Today, her services are in high demand across the city and her clientele has grown larger than she ever would have dreamed.
- How long have you been in the business? I’ve been in the business for 12 years if you count how long I’ve been working in a salon, 16 years if you count how long I’ve been making money lol.
- What is one piece of advice about running a great business? Have GREAT customer service but be firm in your decisions/policies because people will take your kindness for weakness and try to run over you.
- What are you passionate about in your business? In my business, I am very passionate about working at a fast past while creating neat work.
- What is the wackiest request you have ever received from a client? The wackiest request I have ever received from a client was to do half of their head while the other half was done by someone else…. I do not touch other people’s work.
Client Review: “I am EXTREMELY pleased with my hair and service. Braids VERY neat and tight ( not TOO tight ). I will be back. Thank you!” — Tee M.
Terrance has been airbrushing and custom painting his way to stardom since the 90s. Now, when he isn’t busy with celebrity clients like Queen Latifah and Jennifer Hudson, he’s focused on running his nail boutique and working as an independent coach and educator. He’s a judge on the hit show “Nail’d It,” he’s been featured on several talk shows including “The Today Show” and he continues to push the envelope with his unique designer nail services.
- How long have you been in the business? I have been in the business 16 years now.
- What is one piece of advice about running a great business? Consistency is key. Always be the stylist your client fell in love with!
- What are you passionate about in your business? I’m passionate about educating my clients as well as keeping them up-to-date with all of the current nail trends. I’m also passionate about getting to know each client and their specific needs and requirements. Understanding your clients is the answer to client retention.
- What is the wackiest request you have ever received from a client? The wackiest client request was to do “Boobs.” At first I was kind of apprehensive, but when my client explained that she was a breast cancer survivor, I totally understood. I really admired her struggle and her will to survive. The nail art was a testimony to her struggle.
Client Review: “Amazing work!! Terrance is very thorough, detailed and attentive to his clients. I loved my visit! My new nail spot.” — Keisha M.
After 15 years as a barber, Tahir has become a bit of a celebrity. Maybe you’ve seen him on BET’s “Ink Paper Scissors,” a reality show about “Salon Ramsey” where solo artists congregate and do what they do best. He’s also in an episode of Bravo’s “A Night With My Ex.” Reality star or not, Tahir’s clients really love him for his skills: “This guy is a beast with these clippers! Haircut is ALWAYS on point!”
- How long have you been in the business? I’ve been cutting hair for 17 years, although I’ve been cutting hair here in Atlanta for 3 years.
- What is one piece of advice about running a great business? When it comes to barbering and running a shop, I find that it is very important to create a comfortable (safe) environment for all your clients no matter what – everyone deserves respect.
- What are you passionate about in your business? I am very passionate about hair health and care. I use quality product and believe in sanitation and cleanliness.
- What is the wackiest request you have ever received from a client? Luckily I haven’t had a wacky request yet, the majority of my clients are professionals and need to look the part.
Client Review: “The BEST barber in Atlanta. #PERIOD” — Kenneth S.
Lei has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, a minor in Sociology, and a Masters in Social Work. So, how did he end up braiding professionally? His father taught him how to braid and he was immediately hooked. He practiced on his 4 siblings and by the time he was seven, he was already getting paid for his skills. Turns out, his talent was hard to ignore. One day, Lei received a phone call from the owner of “Cut Creators Salon Suites” asking him to join the team – the rest is history.
- How long have you been in the business? Honestly? I’ve been getting paid to braid since I was seven, but I started to take it seriously when I was fourteen, that’s when I worked in my first hair salon. So, about twenty one years.
- What is one piece of advice about running a great business? Never compromise your art. People will try to make you do things that you’re not comfortable with. If you know you aren’t capable of accomplishing a certain task, keep the integrity of your art solid, honest, and unique.
- What are you passionate about in your business? My CLIENTS, Duh!! They mean the world to me, whether I’m meeting them for the first time or they are religiously sitting in my chair every two weeks to receive the same service. I’m not a pushover, but I’m definitely a people pleaser.
- What is the wackiest request you have ever received from a client? During the Bronner Brothers Hair Show, I had a client come to me with three separate design pictures and she wanted me to incorporate all three of them into her style. Honeycomb at the top of her head, with freestyle braids in the back, all connected by one long tail braid that shot right down the nape of her neck.
Client Review: “I was BEYOND impressed and satisfied with Lei Yohn’s work. He was professional, personable, and his talent is simply outstanding! I’ve already recommended him to friends and I’ll definitely return!!” – Bre W.
Moe has been in the barber game for 25 years, so you know he’s doing something right. What makes his service list stand out from the rest? Haircuts for college students at a discounted rate – and we’re not talking promos, this service is year round. Moe invests in his community, he believes in family, and he supports other barbers.
- How long have you been in the business? I’ve been cutting hair basically my whole life. I am 44 years young and started at 14.
- What is one piece of advice about running a great business? My advice would be, remain humble and always be a student of the game. Be reliable, professional and consistent.
- What are you passionate about in your business? I am passionate about the craft, continuing to learning and seeking growth. There’s always room to grow. I’m honored to provide a service that will always be needed.
- What is the wackiest request you have ever received from a client? “Can you dye my beard gray so I can look like an older guy”.
Review: “Very detailed. Even when the phone rang, he told the customer he was in the middle of a cut. Asked me what I liked as far as the cut and line. Very Professional ” – Austin W.
Flash has been the on-set barber for multiple films and he’s been featured by Bevel and GQ magazine for his skills. But with Flash, it’s always more than just a haircut. He inspires his clients to do better and he supports everything they do inside and outside of the shop. Don’t be surprised if he just hits you up out of the blue to see how you’re doing — even if you don’t have a haircut scheduled.
- How long have you been in the business? I’ve been a master barber for 10 years.
- What is one piece of advice about running a great business? Stay humble, stay committed, and persist. Also, stay educated in the industry by investing in yourself as well as your craft.
- What are you passionate about in your business? Using my gifts as well my talents to help influence my community and impact some of the future leaders of tomorrow.
- What is the wackiest request you have ever received from a client? No questions are really wacky to me, I try my best to accommodate all my clients’ requests.
Client Review: “Flash has been cutting my hair for over 10 years. I have a hard head to cut and he was the first barber to ever get it right. That day I made the decision to keep going to him until he messed up. . . . After 10 years I’m still here.” – Mike R.