Beauty Launchpad Magazine

AUG 2017

Beauty Launchpad is everything beauty for salons & stylists! Stay on top of the latest hair style trends and products for hair, skin, makeup and nails. Get hair color ideas, business advice, education tips and beauty industry news.

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Page 32 of 100

G rowing up in Brooklyn as the daughter of immigrants from the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, my home was always fi lled with color. It's no wonder I have an eye for beauty; my mother was a Diana Ross doppelgänger, my father looked like he came from a photo shoot and my grandmother was my model! Before I turned 10, I learned how to braid on a Brooke Shields doll. My father, a former boy scout, noticed my attempts and lent a hand, demonstrating his technique for tying rope. Shortly after, my grandmother became my fi rst client and the rest is hair-story! In spite of this early experience, I did not become a hairdresser overnight. Instead, I worked for 15 years in the jewelry industry, starting as a graduate gemologist. Although I spent a great deal of my professional life in this role, I was never completely satisfi ed. After being laid off for the third time, I decided it was now or never. I signed up for a natural hairstyling course and soon after I wanted a cosmetology license. I visited the Hair Design Institute (Brittany Beauty Academy) with one unanswered question: How would I pay for this? Enter Beauty Changes Lives (BCL). My mother found the link to the BCL scholarship application and although I only had 48 hours to submit, she encouraged me to make it happen. The video submission for BCL asked, "What do you want to shout through beauty?" My answer was that my dad taught me how to braid; I stopped comparing myself and started writing. Beauty Changes Lives takes hopefuls such as myself and can help if one proves they are committed. It's life- altering, to say the least! I will never forget the Sunday afternoon when Suzanne Mulroy called to invite me to the BCL Honors dinner, saying that out of the 10 Vidal Sassoon scholarship winners, my entry was chosen to represent the group and the future of styling. Before my speech, the team reminded me to take full advantage of the honor. Support is everything to me, which is what I focused on while taking the stage. My favorite part of the BCL experience was being welcomed into the industry by so many beauty professionals. Ultimately, my inspiration stems from others, and most of all from my clients. Each time I see their smiles I am reminded that we are more than hairstylists; we are healers, therapists, advisors and friends. ÑAs told to Emilie Branch Live & Learn/ POV COURTESY OF KAMILAH GERESTANT 30 | BEAUTY LAUNCHPAD | AUGUST 2017 Kamilah Gerestant takes a client from curly to straight. All roads have led Kamilah Gerestant, winner of the Vidal Sassoon Professional Beauty Education Scholarship, on her path to hairdressing . Mane Maven Gerestant receives the Beauty Changes Lives Award certifi cate from then-director of the Hair Design Institute in Brooklyn, New York, Michael Hawkins.

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