In The Chair With: Dezi Santiago

@dezi_s / Instagram

“In The Chair” spotlights the incredible hairstylists in our community who are giving us major inspiration. Each week, they discuss their personal hair and career journeys, what they’ve learned from their clients, and their top hair care tips. 

For Dezi Santiago, the hair salon is home. “I grew up in salons, so all things hair and beauty were a normal part of my life,” she tells ESSENCE. From a young age, Santiago’s dexterity was a gift, which at first, she didn’t realize she had. “My godmother picked me up from preschool, mind you I was 4 years old, and asked who did my hair,” she says. “When I told her I did it, she asked me to teach her how to part and braid neatly,” she says. “Barbie had not had a bob until my five-year-old hands cut one.”

As she grew up, coloring and styling helped pay her way through Hampton University, turning her side hustle into a catalyst for what was to come. “My family didn’t have the finances to pay for my education at a private college, so my passion grew more so from a dependence,” she says. After graduation, she was taken under the wing of a world-renowned Atlanta hairstylist, as well as an unofficial stylist for her friends. 

Moving back to Detroit to open a salon, “people always ask me the question, ‘do you love what you do?’ and my answer is always the same,” Santiago says. “More than loving what I do, I love who I do it for.” Her intimate relationship with her clients, including influencer Tatianna Merritt, turns the salon chair into a space for not just hair but therapeutic connection. “Most of my clients have been with me for years so we have been together in things and through things,” she says. “I feel like the hairstylist is the nurse taking the vitals before you see the healer.”

Below, Santiago discusses her favorite products, styles to do, and more.

Her current favorite product

The Omni Restore Conditioning Mask preserves the integrity of my curl pattern and allows me to transition back and forth between heat styles and natural styles seamlessly. Clients in humid areas love the effect it has on preserving their hairstyles with minimal frizzing.

Her favorite hairstyle to do on clients

We’re betting on the bobs right now! They are sleek, sexy, and great transitional cuts. And it’s an A-plus for the fashion of it all.

Her top hair health tip

Feed your hair by feeding yourself better. Your diet directly impacts your hair. Most of what we are putting in our bodies is not nourishing our bodies. Try more water-based fruits and vegetables, like cucumber and melons. Add it to your water and eat it twice a day; whatever you need. People need to understand that all parts of your bodily health are related to your diet. So eat your veggies, drink your water, mind your business, and let your hair be great.

A hair myth she wants to debunk

People with dry scalp believe putting oil on their scalp will make it not dry. More water is needed, drink more water, put a humidifier in your room, get a steam treatment. Oil causes dryness, bodies are created to produce what we need, when we supplement too much it tells our body it no longer needs to produce. So oiling your scalp and edges daily tells your body not to produce, so now your glands are dormant. Best thing is to stop oil, increase water intake and then start getting steam treatments regularly.

Also, heat and protective styles do not make your hair grow faster. Healthy hair grows. Drinking water makes your hair healthy and minding your business makes your hair happy. Less stress, more hair.

What she’s learned from her clients

I’ve learned everything from how to make a moist 7-up pound cake and how to structure my capital gains through my operating agreements, to how to fight off sickness and how to pray without ceasing. The chair is not only for the clients, it’s for the stylist, too. We offer what often resembles a therapy session, but we also grow from their stories, transparencies and victories too! They don’t just come for the hair, they come for the vibes, for the safe space, for the non-judgement, for the laughter, for the recharge and reminder that they deserve to be cared for too. That’s the biggest and most important service I provide for them: unconditional safety.

How she uplifts her clients

I tell them the truth about how beautiful and wonderfully made they are. I’m often reminding them that they are the canvas and that my job is made easy because of the beauty of the canvas I am able to create on! Hairstyles are merely crowns; it’s about the queen that wears them. We have to remember that when we look in the mirror. And most of all, I celebrate their private victories just like I do their public ones.

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart