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16 Black Hair Artists and Educators to Follow

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Sam Villa's The Fabric of Change event has shown a spotlight on 16 Black individuals to support in the beauty industry because they, "deserve to be given a higher profile and stronger voice," Villa says.

The Fabric of Change online event, by Sam Villa, highlighted the following 16 Black artists and educators, and raised over $7,500 to benefit the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) which helps to support equality and end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ bias and stigma.

Related: Clean Beauty Steps Up for Black-owned Businesses

This group of artists represent a cross-section of some of the best-known educators in the industry. Their talents range from precision cutting, barbering, styling and finishing, specialty color techniques, business building/coaching, extraordinary editorial work and celebrity styling.

  • Tippi Shorter (@Tippishorter): Global artistic director for Mizani, co-founder of The Texpert Collective, celeb and session stylist and co-host of Fabric of Change
  • Marquetta Breslin (@marquettabreslin): Motivational speaker, coach, author, educator and master lace wigmaker
  • Leysa Carrillo (@leysahairandmakeup): Mizani/Redken ambassador, session stylist, BTC #Oneshot winner and queen of colorful curls and coils
  • Yene Damtew (@yenedamtew): Educator, salon owner, founder of The Academy and Michelle Obama’s personal stylist
  • Jamal Edmonds (@lamajbackwards): Mizani artist, salon owner, NAHA judge and celeb stylist
  • Vernon François (@vernonfrancois): Celeb stylist, session artist, educator and founder of the Vernon Francois Collection
  • Evie Johnson (@contactevie): Master stylist for Mizani’s international development team, certified trichologist, salon owner, platform artist and educator
  • Shannon King (@shannonwilliamking): International educator, Goldwell and KMS artist and creative development consultant, president/founder of Beauty360O Consulting and salon owner
  • Felicia Leatherwood (@lovingyourhair): Natural hair expert, celeb stylist, inspirational speaker, inventor of Brush with the Best and The Curl Calendar
  • Cynthia Lumzy (@cynthialumzy): Wig specialist, celeb colorist, Bronner Brothers Icon Award winner, BTC #Oneshot Award winner, educator and CEO of Hues by Cynthia Lumzy
  • Keya Neal (@keyaartistically): Textured hair color specialist, ABCH certified, speaker, industry activist and founder of Texture vs. Race Series
  • Neeko (@neekobackstage_): Celeb stylist and session artist (editorial, film and TV) specializing in highly textured hair
  • Michelle O’Connor (@michelleoconnorbeauty): Matrix global artistic director, The Salon by InStyle creative director and 5X NAHA winner
  • Rachel Redd (@rachel_redd): Mizani/Redken brand ambassador, textured hair color expert, educator and salon owner
  • Rodrick Samuels (@rodricksamuels): Motivational speaker, educator, activist, barber and co-owner with wife Lauren Moser of Hair Lab Detroit Barber School
  • Joie Wallace (@joiewallacehair): Colorist, educator and creator of Sessions by Joie Textures Color Academy

“The way for us to be better is to come together, and at Sam Villa we are committed to becoming more inclusive,” Sam Villa, co-founder of Sam Villa and global artistic ambassador for Redken, said. “To do this, we must support and respect Black hairdressers and all textures and types of hair. We started with the Fabric of Change online event and will continue to share and support these amazing artists and others while demonstrating diversity in our future events. These educators deserve to be given a higher profile and stronger voice in the industry. Together, we understand the importance of removing boundaries and changing perception through education. If you aren’t already following these artists, we encourage you to connect with them on social, tune into their digital events and experience their artistry live at future shows and events. I know you’ll be inspired and expand your knowledge!”

Villa continued, “The beauty industry has an important role and responsibility in breaking down barriers and promoting equality. We at the Sam Villa Company are committed to creating change. Rodrick Samuels expressed this relevant quote from Wayne Dyer, ‘When you change the way you look at things the things you look at can change.’”

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