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Let the professionals handle your hair at Seven

Family vibe: Yvonne Amelia Heath working on a client at Seven Perfection in Hair and Beauty Salon on Court Street in Hamilton (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

YouTube “professionals” are a growing headache for veteran hair stylist Yvonne Amelia Heath.

She manages Seven Perfection in Hair and Beauty Salon at 12 Court Street, with owner Christine Downer. The pair are now spending a lot of time picking out and repairing the work of untrained hairdressers, particularly when it comes to hair extensions.

The phenomenon has exploded since the pandemic began, when many people spent lockdown glued to YouTube, rethinking their lives or trying to find a new job.

“The industry has changed in that a lot of people, unfortunately, are not going to school,” Ms Heath said. “They are learning from YouTube or as they go.”

And YouTube instructional videos often leave out vital information, such as the amount of space needed between microlink hair extensions.

“Some of the worst things I have seen are microlinks not done right causing tension and hair breakage,” she said. “I have also seen haircuts not blended creating two haircuts on one head.”

She said some clients have such a bad experience getting hair extensions put in by untrained people that they end up hating the process and want nothing to do with it afterwards.

“And these YouTube-trained hair dressers are charging the same as what we charge,” Ms Heath said.

She and Ms Downer, and the rest of the staff in the salon have all been to university or cosmetology school, and have continued to upgrade their skills since graduation.

“I did a course in microlink extensions in 2019,” Ms Heath said. “I went to Chicago to do it and gained a certification. It was a lot of fun and learnt a lot.”

She said clients should ask some key questions before allowing people to do microlink extensions on their hair.

“They should ask where the person studied and with whom,” she said. “They should also ask if the microlinks can be done on relaxed or Keratin treated hair? Is the hair 100 per cent human hair? How often does it need to be tightened?”

She and Ms Downer focus on the mature woman who might be facing hair loss or hair challenges.

Women can face hair loss for several reasons including genetics, damage from extensions and wigs, vitamin deficiencies and hormonal changes related to pregnancy and menopause.

Ms Downer rebranded as Seven Perfection in Hair and Beauty Salon in 2021, after running Sheer11 in the same location for 14 years.

“Christine is spiritual, and, to her, seven is God’s perfect number,” Ms Heath explained.

Ms Heath said the community around them on Court Street is tight-knit and supportive.

“It has a family vibe,” she said. “The neighbours look out for us. When Christine had a soda machine installed everyone was helping to carry it inside for her.”

She said some of their clients find their way to Seven despite being warned away from Court Street by others.

“I had a client from Lagos, Nigeria who works for a local law firm,” Ms Heath said. “They told her don’t go on Court Street. But after she went to a tailor down the street, she walked around and said this is child’s play. This is where everyone of colour is. She wandered into the salon and said gosh, this is so beautiful.”

The pandemic brought some challenging times for them, but also highlighted their importance to their clients.

“Women were excited to come back into the salon so someone else could take care of their hair and get it looking nice,” she said. “Now there is much more appreciation of what we do.”

Ms Heath is originally from Mississippi.

“I was raised by my grandmother, and she really could not do hair,” Ms Heath said. “As a result I was teased. And I was very tender headed. I did not like to have her brush my hair.”

Then one day her grandmother took her to a hair salon.

“I didn’t know it didn’t have to hurt,” Ms Heath said. “She did a great job and it really built up my confidence. People stopped bullying me.”

The experience inspired her to eventually become a hair dresser. She was working as a hairdresser in Atlanta, Georgia, when she first came into contact with the Bermudian community.

“At the time, Atlanta had the largest population of Bermudians living outside of Bermuda” she said. “I met a Bermudian family and they invited me back to Bermuda for Cup Match.”

She loved the island so much she moved here in the late 1990s.

Two years after arriving, she met Ms Downer who was hired by the same salon. They became great friends, and Ms Heath eventually went to work for her.

@yahbeautiful on Instagram.

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Published February 20, 2023 at 7:47 am (Updated February 20, 2023 at 3:34 pm)

Let the professionals handle your hair at Seven

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