The Voice of the AHLC
I N S P I R AT I O N
Tonya Fairley, Strandz Hair Studio LLC, Strandz on Grand, TSFairley Hair Restoration Center
orn to drug addicted parents, I lived a life of constant battles. From being homeless, molestation, abuse and abandonment, I never thought my dreams would ever be fulfilled. Many of the adults that were around were just as involved with drugs and alcohol as my family, so this was the norm. It wasn’t until my birth mom was very drunk one night, beat me until my eardrum bled and I had a black eye, did I realize this wasn’t normal. I was only 11. The next day, I went to school and reported the incident. They informed me I would be going to the police station for pictures, they would pick up my brother for protection, and then off to a holding center until we could be placed in a foster home. I begged the officer to let me go home so I could get my “hair toys”. Braiding and talking to my dolls were my coping mechanism when my birth mother was drunk. I would braid and un-braid for hours at a time. I also taught myself to cut hair.
Being placed in a foster home was the best thing that could have happed to me. I was placed with my best friend’s mom and was around more positive role models. However, I had some personal hurdles I needed to overcome. I had always felt, “If your mother doesn’t love you how can anyone else?” This made me angry and resentful. I didn’t trust anyone, not even the one who had become my mother. I would fight and get into so much trouble it was ridiculous. One day my social worker help remind me of my potential. I was getting A’s and
B’s, people were paying me to cut their hair, and I had a family who loved me. If I kept up my pace I would be sent to another foster home and my dream of becoming a hair stylist would be over. Ever since I could remember I would tell my (foster) mom and sister, “When I grow up I’m going to be a beautician and own my own beauty salon/supply.” I would watch some of the elder ladies on Sundays come to church with their hair so pretty and shiny. I could see their confidence come through just because their hair was done. It also seemed to make them “happier.” Tonya Fairley as a child
For me, happiness is what I was seeking, considering my life was full of tragedies and disappointments. Watching these ladies made me feel that all I needed to do was make someone’s hair look good and I too can be happy. After working in corporate America for over 16 years as a trainer for an Auto Finance Company, being a wife and mother of two there came a time when I knew I had to follow my dreams.
I never lost my passion for hair and would do my friends and family’s hair. I knew I needed to make provisions to leave a very secure job, finish cosmetology school, become licensed and get into a teaching salon. By the time I opened my salon I was a six-figure stylist and booked out three-and-a-half months. Three years after the first salon came the second salon, Hair Restoration Center & Training Academy. During this time, I continued my education, set goals and helped other stylists excel in their craft. Becoming a Trichologist was a natural progression for me. My clients would ask me about issues that I felt I should know more about especially since it was associated with hair loss. I started to learn about the meds and looked for alternative non-medicinal solutions. My research started yielding great results I knew there was only one more thing to do, become a specialist in hair loss and scalp disorders. I completed a full program in 1yr, 2 months. I was amazed by all the scientific research that goes into hair loss and hair restoration. As a Certified Stylist and Certified Trichologist my ultimate goal is to help other stylist and salons identify hair loss behind the chair, get to the root of their client’s issues, identify scalp disorders, and help clients make the best choice for hair restoration. Overcoming adversity has allowed me to excel. I needed to fully understand adversity is a situation and not a life sentence. Adversity rooted me in my faith and has brought me to where I am today. Adversity did not allow me to give up even though so much was stacked against me. Embrace adversity, learn from it and Live Your Purpose. Issue 29, Spring 2019
The Link Magazine is a quarterly trade publication for the Hair Restoration Industry, published by the American Hair Loss Council, www.AHLC....