A true pioneer in every sense Ademola Mandella started the first ever natural hair salon in Brooklyn, NY back in 1985. I like to think that his initiative was key to where we are now.
Name: Adémola Mandella
Location: New York
Profession: Educatorm, Entrepreneur, Author, Locktician
In the Natural Hair Care Business since: 1985
Website/ Channel: naturthentichair.com
Traveling throughout Europe, it was in Paris, France that Mandella discovered his true calling when he found it difficult to find a suitable hair shop to maintain his natural hair. In 1979, he returned to the United States and discovered that none of the salons in the black community specialized in natural hair care. This sparked his new mission: to create an outlet to address the hair care needs of this unique population.
In order to develop his skills, Mandella enrolled in the only professional New York school that focused on natural hair, The Atlas Barber School. After graduating with honors, he accepted an apprenticeship at the largest black owned barber organization in New York: Jerry’s Den.
In 1995, he co-founded Locks & Chops Hair Inc. By 1999, Locks & Chops Hair had expanded to three locations in mid-town Manhattan. Each salon was designed by Mandella with modern African ambience and included gallery space that showcased numerous emerging visual artists of color, such as Leroy Campbell, Willie Torbert, and Greta Wallace. Mandella’s contributions to the development of the natural hair care industry have been recognized by the community and in various publications such as: Essence, Ebony, Crain’s NY Business, Braids & Beauty, Modern Salon, and The New York Times.
In 2001, Mandella self-published his first book, “AUTHENTIC HAIR™, a book of Photo, Poems, and Prose Celebrating the Beauty and Versatility of Natural Hair”. The book is now considered an American classic; and in celebration of its 10th anniversary, the “Authentic Hair” book is now available for the first time in a paperback edition. Naturthentic Hair Care System™ is Mandella new line of products and services created specifically for people passionate about maintaining beautiful, healthy and natural hair!
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