Blogged by @thefineauthor
Celebrity hairstylist Ashanti Lation has been in the hair business since she was in the fourth grade, performing makeovers on willing participants, which also happened to be her cousins. By age 15, Lation was getting paid for her work. Growing up with a sensitive scalp and eczema, she quickly learned what worked for her own hair and how to identify similar issues within her clients.
With the launch of her VIP Lux Salon & Hair Boutique and VIP Luxury Haircare in 2009, she began making customized products to address her customers’ individual needs. One of her favorite products from the line is the Greaux drops, which is her company’s bestselling item. The lightweight stimulant is applied directly to the scalp and addresses alopecia and hair thinning.
After years of building a name for herself in New Orleans as the top hair specialist, Lation caught the attention of platinum-selling recording artist Normani, who also lived in New Orleans for a while with her family before leaving after Hurricane Katrina. The “Motivation” singer’s mother reached out to Lation after her products helped Normani re-grow her hair once she experienced thinning. Lation was part of the team that helped bring Normani’s “Wild Side” hair looks to fruition. Since then, Lation has done some of the star’s most memorable hair looks, including her September Dolce & Gabbana Women’s Fashion slay.
Fast forward to Black History Month, Lation is spotlighted in Vogue’s Texture Diaries, which showcases Black people across different facets of the beauty industry as they highlight their unique care rituals and reflect on hair acceptance.
During her sit-down with Vogue, Lation attributed part of her success and established trust with her clients to a tough lesson she learned in cosmetology school when her educator ignored her sensitive scalp concerns and put a “super perm” in her hair. The botched demonstration caused Lation to lose her hair and require steroid injections on her scalp.
“That taught me the importance of listening to my clients’ needs and not just doing what I want because I know how it feels to be ignored,” she stated.
In January, she launched her Healthy Hair Journal e-book. The guide contains thorough advice and tips that she would normally provide during an in-person consultation. The book is a valuable tool for clients to track their growth and adjust hair care habits in between hair appointments. She is now hoping to create an app centered around the e-book that allows people a way to improve their hair directly from their smartphones.
Though Lation is no longer accepting salon clients, she continues to service print and media clients. She now splits her time between Los Angeles and New Orleans as she continues to grow the VIP Luxury Hair Care brand.
Keep up with Ashanti Lation on Instagram at @viphair_ashanti .